After last weekend’s insanity, week ten’s schedule of action is even more unpredictable. Surefire wins? There aren’t many. So this obviously means there will probably be eight blow-outs (due to karmic imbalance or some crap like that), especially after the close game we lucked into on Thursday night. High-scoring affairs? Not so much. This might be a crappy weekend of football. Whatever. Let’s run through all of the games left in week ten anyway!
(8-1) Seattle Seahawks at
(2-6) Atlanta Falcons
Seattle should win this game. But they’ve had two extremely close victories the past two weeks over the Rams and Buccaneers, so maybe they’re ripe for the taking. Atlanta is essentially out of the playoff picture, but they’re a prideful team that won’t roll over for the Seahawks. Roddy White is still listed as questionable for the game, but I think this has to be the “Trap of the Week.” Seattle’s offensive line has been that freaking bad.
(4-5) Philadelphia Eagles at
(5-3) Green Bay Packers
Only a week ago this game looked to be a point-filled Green Bay win. Now? The Packers have Seneca Wallace starting at quarterback against Nick Foles, Passer of Seven Touchdowns. (That would be his ancient Greek epithet.) Now not only is this game’s outcome less certain, I’m leaning towards Philly coming out of Wisconsin with a win.
(0-8) Jacksonville Jaguars at
(4-4) Tennessee Titans
So… who wants me to actually dissect this game? Well, if you don’t care, go lay down for a minute.
Were this game in Jacksonville, I might be inclined to suggest this could be the Jags’ first win of the season. Actually, wait. Their home-field advantage is terrible. I wouldn’t suggest that at all. This may not be a blow-out, since that really doesn’t lend itself to the Titans’ ground-and-pound style of play, but they’re great up front and should handle their business at home.
(3-6) St. Louis Rams at
(6-2) Indianapolis Colts
Indy garnered some momentum coming out of that great second half against Houston last week. Now they welcome in the Rams, who, while playing well on defense, still maintains Kellen Clemens as their starting quarterback. I like the Rams, generally speaking. Their defense is tough, their d-line is aggressive, and they have a few developing offensive weapons. But their current quarterback negates any shot against Andrew Luck in Indianapolis.
(3-5) Oakland Raiders at
(2-6) New York Giants
My initial reaction to seeing this game on the schedule:
Oakland was riding high after improving performances from their young quarterback, but Darren McFadden’s injury means their offense will be stagnant and one-dimensional. That makes things way easier for the Giants, who have a chance to string a few wins together against “lesser” opponents. (I’m not convinced the G-men are a good team waiting to happen. I’m pretty sure they just suck.) Someone tell me what happens in this game. I don’t think there will be many “highlights.”
(3-6) Buffalo Bills at
(2-6) Pittsburgh Steelers
I feel like these teams have played each other already and they’re stuck in a perpetual loop of crapitude, Matrix-style. Anyway, E.J. Manuel will be back under center for the Bills after the crime that was Jeff Tuel in week nine. That gives their offense the upper hand over the Steeler defense, who did nothing to stop Tom Brady while giving up 55 points. I’m not believing in the Steelers anymore this season. They’re too old.
(6-3) Cincinnati Bengals at
(3-5) Baltimore Ravens
Man, these Ravens sure look shitty! Ray Rice has been abysmal this season, and there hasn’t been any word of injuries to the star running back. I’m not sure what the problem is. Can he really be on the decline already? Yeesh, that’d be awful. This week the Ravens welcome in the division-leading Bengals in the hopes that they can rebound in the AFC North race. Cincy’s had ten days to think about their overtime loss to Miami on Thursday Night Football, and I’m betting they’ll come out on fire.
(5-3) Carolina Panthers at
(6-2) San Francisco 49ers
Hey look! Two winning teams in one game! What a rarity! Carolina has won four in a row, pounding lesser opponents along the way. But the Niners have won five in a row, scoring at least 30 points each game against much better defenses. Off their bye week, San Fran looks to have the edge. Speaking of edges, Aldon Smith will be on the field for ‘Frisco following his rehab stint. Possibly returning as well? Receiver Mario Manningham, who can only help the league’s worst passing offense. I think it will be a crazy entertaining game if Carolina’s excellent front-seven can step-up to the plate and shut down Frank Gore.
(2-6) Houston Texans at
(4-4) Arizona Cardinals
Hello defensive slug-fest! This game is made more thrilling by the addition of Case Keenum, who had a brilliant first half against the Colts last week… only to see his offense stall out in the second half and give up a big lead. Still, he’s exciting and prefers to sling the ole’ pigskin down the field and stuff. Ya know, like Texas-boys do. Arizona’s defense will give him all he can handle though, especially with Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu patrolling the secondary. But Arizona does have Carson Palmer… maybe a boomerang or two will even the odds. Wait, Wade Philips is coaching the Texans this week. Anything could happen.
(7-1) Denver Broncos at
(4-4) San Diego Chargers
Denver’s bye week was a very eventful one, with head coach John Fox undergoing aortic heart valve replacement surgery. This game will see Jack Del Rio take the reins as interim head coach as Denver travels to take on their fellow AFC West squad. San Diego almost has no hope of taking the AFC West title, but they need to start being more consistent if they hope to be the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. At 4-5, they’d be on the outside of the bubble. I don’t think there’s any stopping Peyton Manning if he has two weeks to prepare, either. This is an uphill battle for the Chargers.
(5-4) Dallas Cowboys at
(6-2) New Orleans Saints
The Rob Ryan tour publicity continues with this revenge game against the teams that fired him after the 2012 season! In the week’s second battle of winning teams, both teams are looking to stay ahead in their respective divisions with claimants breathing down their necks. In New Orleans, the edge obviously goes to Drew Brees and the Saints. But no Darren Sproles means they’ll have to go without their scat-back speedster. Honestly, this game should be hella-fun. Romo can hang with Brees. Let’s put up some points, gentlemen.
(4-4) Miami Dolphins at
(0-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seriously Monday Night Football? THIS is what you grace primetime with? A battle of Floridian disasters? I have to out-do that Jennifer Lawrence GIF now.
These are the two most dysfunctional locker rooms/franchises in the NFL. I’ve really never seen anything like what’s going on in Tampa or Miami, and somehow they both get the Monday night spotlight? I’m not sure if ESPN loves this or hates this combination of shit-storms. Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico will find it hard to talk about the actual game with as many storylines as there are circling these teams. And Miami’s offensive line absences will be notable against the Tampa defensive front. Still, I’m watching exclusively for the drama.
And there endeth The Opening Drive! Seems like a lackluster schedule, but who knows? Maybe we’ll have a slew of close games and tremendous finishes! Or perhaps you guys can all catch up on your Netflix queues. In any case, enjoy the games!