NFL Week 10 Picks, Predictions: Buccaneers, Chargers score close, home wins

Photo: Keith Allison via Flickr.com

Photo: Keith Allison via Flickr.com


Thursday, Nov. 10

Cleveland Browns (0-9) at Baltimore Ravens (4-4)

The Ravens aren’t necessarily a good team but the Browns are still a really bad one.

Cleveland’s defense allows the second-most points (30.3) and total yards (421.7) per game. On the flip side, Baltimore’s offense compiles the sixth-fewest total yards (325.1) yards per game and averages only 19.3 points per game.

That means that even with names like Joe Flacco and Terrelle Pryor playing, Thursday Night Football probably won’t be a very dramatic game. Stranger things have happened, though.

Q’s Pick: Ravens, 24-17


Sunday, Nov. 13

Houston Texans (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)

Despite the large difference in records, Houston enters the contest as only a one-point favorite.

The Texans offense continues to struggle, averaging only 17.1 points per game. That’s thanks in large part to the fact that Lamar Miller has passed the 100-yard threshold in only two games this season and Brock Osweiler has thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions (nine).

The Jaguars should have a better offense behind Blake Bortles, but it’s their secondary that has shone, allowing the fifth-fewest passing yards per game (217.6).

I won’t be surprised if the Jaguars win, but I don’t think they will.

Q’s Pick: Texans, 23-20


Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) at Carolina Panthers (3-5)

The Chiefs are on the road and might start Nick Foles instead of Alex Smith at quarterback, but neither should struggle heavily against Carolina’s sloppy secondary.

Kansas City’s defense has proven they are one of the better squads in the league, allowing only 18.9 points per game.

Cam Newton has lead the Panthers to consecutive wins, but they struggled to put up points against a depleted Rams defense last weekend.

Q’s Pick: Chiefs, 27-23


Denver Broncos (6-3) at New Orleans Saints (4-4)

The Broncos lost last week’s road game and the AFC West lead when they fell to the Raiders in the Bay Area.

Oakland exploited Denver’s defense as the Broncos allowed 30 points, the most they have allowed all season.

Don’t expect that to happen in consecutive weeks, though, even if this week’s foe is Drew Brees. The Broncos defense is simply too talented to allow something like last week’s demolition to happen again.

Q’s Pick: Broncos, 31-27


Los Angeles Rams (3-5) at New York Jets (3-6)

The Jets defense hasn’t had many answers this season, but they should have one against a struggling Rams offense.

New York’s secondary isn’t very good but neither is Case Keenum. At the same time, the Jets have the fourth-best run defense in the league (81.0 ypg) which should be good enough to stop Todd Gurley from doing any suberb damage.

The Rams are also reeling on a four-game losing streak, three of which came at home.

Q’s Pick: Jets, 23-17


Atlanta Falcons (6-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)

The Eagles have lost three of their last four games and they face a stiff test against the No. 1 offense in the league.

Led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the Falcons passing game is among the most formidable in the league, averaging 315 yards per game through the air.

The good news for Philly is that they have a solid secondary, allowing only 218.4 yards per game through the air.

But the Falcons average a league-high 33.9 points per game and that should be too overwhelming for Carson Wentz and the Eagles to handle.

Q’s Pick: Falcons, 31-27


Minnesota Vikings (5-3) at Washington Redskins (4-3-1)

The Vikings tailspin continues with three-straight losses after starting the year 5-0.

Now they have to visit a Redskins team who beat the Giants and Eagles and gave the Cowboys and Bengals a run for their money earlier this year.

Washington is also coming off a bye and the Vikings offense hasn’t been able to score more than 16 points in either of their last three losses.

Minnesota might turn things around, but Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have the No. 4-ranked offense in the league.

Q’s Pick: Redskins, 27-22


Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Tennessee Titans (4-5)

Aaron Rodgers spent last weekend calling out his Packers’ “lack of energy” in an upset loss against the Colts.

An angry Aaron Rodgers is not good news for a Titans secondary which ranks in the bottom-third of the league.

The silver lining for Tennessee is usually DeMarco Murray‘s dominant ground game but the Packers have the best run defense in the league (75.8 ypg).

Q’s Pick: Packers, 24-20


Chicago Bears (2-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

The Bears are coming off a bye and upset the Vikings in their last game so picking them wouldn’t be a bad choice.

But the Bucs have been a better team and had a better offense as of late. I’ll forgive their defense for allowing 30+ points in their last two games because they faced the Raiders’ and Falcons’ offenses.

Now they are back at home and their offense has been a bit more consistent than Chicago’s.

Q’s Pick: Buccaneers, 23-17


Miami Dolphins (4-4) at San Diego Chargers (4-5)

The Dolphins have won three-straight but all of them came at home and two of them were behind career games from Jay Ajayi.

The Chargers have the answer with a solid run defense, ranked fifth in the league allowing only 85.3 yards per game.

San Diego also has an offense that ranks in the league’s top-10 in most relevant categories, led by Philip Rivers‘ pass offense.

 Q’s Pick: Chargers, 31-24


San Francisco 49ers (1-7) at Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)

The 49ers have lost seven-in-a-row and only one of those losses were one possession games. It’s proof that San Francisco is really as bad as their record looks.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, aren’t as bad as their record looks.

Their defense allows the fewest total yards per game (297.0) and Carson Palmer and David Johnson have continued to pace an offense that scores 22.4 points per game.

The 49ers don’t have an offense to challenge Patrick Peterson and company.

 Q’s Pick: Cardinals, 27-21


Dallas Cowboys (7-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)

The Cowboys have been the hottest team in the league and get to take their top-ranked run game into Heinz Field to face a mediocre Pittsburgh run defense.

Dak Prescott continues to demonstrate outstanding ball control by throwing only two interceptions in 248 attempts this season. His rookie battery mate Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 111.4 rush yards per game, the most in the NFL.

Ben Roethlisberger is challenged with facing the 10th-best defense in the league and he’s still not fully healthy. The Cowboys are for real and they should prove that again this weekend.

Q’s Pick: Cowboys, 31-26


Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1) at New England Patriots (7-1)

The Seahawks have all the odds stacked against them as they travel on short-rest to the East Coast to take on Tom Brady coming off a bye.

That’s a solid combination for a Patriots offense that averages 380.3 total yards per game, and that includes the four games Brady didn’t play.

Seattle’s defense has dropped out of the top-10 in terms of yards allowed but they are still winning games because they don’t allow points. The Seahawks only allow 16.8 points per game which is just enough to counter the fact that their offense can only put up 20.3 points per game.

The Seahawks will give the a Patriots a good game, but ultimately Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham‘s performance last weekend were outliers to how average their offense has been all year.

Q’s Pick: Patriots, 31-23


Monday, Nov. 14

Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) at New York Giants (5-3)

The Giants have been a streaky team this year, winning their first two before losing three-straight and now they find themselves on a three-game win streak.

That includes an impressive win over the Eagles last weekend while the Bengals were resting on a bye.

A.J. Green has the second-most receiving yards in the league (896) and Andy Dalton has been working hard to get him the ball, but the Bengals don’t have many other offensive options, even against a bad Giants secondary.

 Q’s Pick: Giants, 27-26


Last Week’s Record: 10-3

Season Record: 82-49-2


** Bye Week: Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders

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