Lots of close games and lots of upset picks last week made it a tough week for picks. A few of our staff members were able to find the right ones though. Here are the results.
Matt Gajtka – 8-5 (78-43)
Matt Shetler – 10-3 (76-46)
Zac Weiss – 11-2 (76-46)
Jason Harding – 6-7 (68-54)
Here is a look at our picks for Week 10.
New York Giants at Cincinnati
Giants fans are worried about their team heading in to the daunting second half of the season. In Previous years the Giants always slide into the playoffs after dropping close games at the end of the year. New York (6-3) will travel to play a Cincinnati team that is desperate for a win. Eli Manning has looked sloppy at times, but we all know he is capable of bouncing back. The Bengals have to find a way to hang on in the fourth quarter for the win. They were up 20-17 after three, but lost 31-23 to Denver last week.
Giants: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka
Tennessee at Miami
The Titans were thoroughly embarrassed last week by the Bears and will need a big spark to bounce back. The return of Jake Locker should help things get moving, but the Dolphins are no slouch this season. Ryan Tannehill has won more games than anyone would have expected for the year. The Fins lost a close 23-20 game last week to the Colts despite Tannehill’s effort, 22 of 38 290 yards and TD. Both QB’s will look at the running game to give their team the edge.
Dolphins: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka
Detroit at Minnesota
This NFC North battle could be the swing for either team this week. The Lions look like they are heading the right direction after a big win against the Jaguars last week. They rolled up 149 yards rushing against Jacksonville and will rely on that again this week. Minnesota’s rushing defense gave up a staggering 195 yards to the Seahawks last week. The Vikings have been in a rut and can’t seem to get it going in their favor lately. Adrian Peterson ran for a season-high of 182 yards last week against a tough Seattle D.
Lions: Shetler, Harding
Vikings: Weiss, Gajtka
Buffalo at New England
The Patriots league best offense will look to keep the ball moving coming off their bye week. Their bye week comes after the long road trip to London where they blew out St. Louis 45-7. Tom Brady continues to put up solid numbers with 301 passing yards per game. Buffalo has now dropped 4 out of their last 5 games. Many attribute that slide to getting away from the run game. CJ Spiller has a 7.2 ypc, but only has 78 carries on the season. More totes for him could be coming in the future.
Pats: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka
Atlanta at New Orleans
Roddy White stirred the pot for the Falcons, the only remaining unbeaten team in the league, by saying Atlanta has the “pedigree to run the table.” Matt Ryan does continue to look like an NFL MVP with nearly a 69% completion rate and 17 TD to just 6 INTs. Drew Brees and the Saints on the other side have been fighting their way back to relevancy. Each week for them will be deemed a must win by their standards. No question this game will have big implications for the NFC South. This is the game of the season between these two who will play again Thursday, November 29th.
Saints: Shetler, Harding, Weiss
San Diego at Tampa Bay
Many would say that Doug Martin is the big story in Tampa Bay, but I will go with Josh Freeman, who is quietly turning around the season for the Bucs. Martin ran for 251 yards against Oakland in the win last week. Freeman has thrown for over 2,000 yards with 16 TDs to just 5 INTs this season. Philip Rivers is coming off of his best performance against the Chiefs last week where he went 18 for 20 with 220 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Its not a Philip Rivers stat line without the INT added at the end. The Chargers struggling run game may have a tough week against Tampa’s league best run defense.
Bucs: Shetler, Harding, Weiss
Denver at Carolina
John Fox returns to Carolina for the first time after coaching the Panthers from 2002-2010. The Broncos are riding a three game winning streak on the arm of Peyton Manning. Manning continues to put the neck injury concerns to rest. Manning has nearly a 70% completion rate, 20 TDs and 6 INTs. The Bengals managed to bottle up Willis McGahee and maybe the Panthers can pay close attention. The Panthers will need to limit Denver’s points due to their lack of offense this season.
Broncos: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka
Oakland at Baltimore
Baltimore has continued to look sloppy, but they still have the second best record (6-2) in the AFC. Joe Flacco is under 60% completion with 10 TD and 6 INTs. Luckily for the Ravens the Raiders defense is one of the worst in the league. The Raiders offense may also be without Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. Carson Palmer managed to throw for 414 yards, 4 TDs and 3 INTs in the loss to Tampa Bay last week. Palmer certainly won’t be able to turn the ball over against a still tough Baltimore defense who is still missing key players.
Ravens: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka
New York Jets at Seattle
Mark Sanchez will play against his former coach at USC for the first time in his career. He’s hoping to have a better performance than his 5 INTs and 6 fumbles in his last 5 games. Seattle is looking to continue their unbeaten streak at home. No question the Seahawks are one of the league’s tougher teams to beat at home. Just ask the Saints from the playoffs two years ago. Marshawn Lynch continues to produce as well as Russell Wilson who has 9 TDs and no INT when playing at home.
Seahawks: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka
Dallas at Philadelphia
The question for me is will the Eagles bench Michael Vick or fire Andy Reid? Many attribute Vick’s struggles to the offensive line, but don’t buy into that. Vick has a 59% completion rate with 10 TDs and 9 INTs. He has some of the best surrounding young weapons you could ask for. The Cowboys are in a similar situation. Dan Connor is questionable this week for the Cowboys after sitting out last week due to a neck injury. Both teams are desperate in the NFC East for the win.
Cowboys: Shetler, Harding, Weiss
St. Louis at San Francisco
Each week it seems that the 49ers defense is the main focus, which has silenced the talk of their offense. San Fran’s offense has been more than just serviceable this season. They currently boast the league’s best running game and Ales Smith has done a quality job possessing the ball. He has a 70% completion rate with 12 TDs and 5 INTs. The Rams are hoping to forget their last game before the bye week. They are coming off the 45-7 blowout in London to the Patriots.
49ers: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka
Houston at Chicago
Two 7-1 teams playing each other this late in the season is rare. No question this is the game of the week with two stacked defenses. The Bears defense is statistically better, as they have 7 TDs on the season. Chicago is 4-0 at home and Houston is 3-0 on the road. The question is how well Jay Cutler can play while JJ Watt is applying the pressure.
Texans: Harding, Gajtka
Bears: Shetler, Weiss
Kansas City at Pittsburgh
The Steelers haven’t lost a Monday night game at home since 1991 in Chuck Noll’s final year as head coach. Pittsburgh will continue to rely on its new found running attack. It appears as though Rashard Mendenhall may get the start on Monday. He would be the third different starter in as many games for the Steelers. The Chiefs on the other hand are looking for anything to go their way. They have not led in any game this season in regulation, breaking the record dating back to 1929.
Steelers: Shetler, Harding, Weiss, Gajtka