As predicted before the season, the Raiders are coming! Hopefully they continue on this great season because it would be exciting to see the Raiders versus the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. The Patriots and Raiders seem to be the only two really great teams in the AFC.
The NFC has looked like a one team race with a bunch of other good teams just struggling with consistency. Dallas clearly looks like the best team but at some point the rookies leading the Cowboys have to hit a rookie wall. There hasn’t been a team this good led by a rookie quarterback since Ben Rothelisburger led the Steelers in 2004.
The NFL season is getting more intriguing week by week. November is the stretch in which teams really begin to distinguish who they are and where they will finish. The good news is that nobody has been officially eliminated yet, but If you are a fan of the 49ers, Bears, Browns or Jaguars, your season is pretty much done for.
Last week was a great week of football with not a lot of upsets. Most of the games were really close and it seems like there is an overtime game every week as there have been four straight weeks with an overtime game. Although the viewing numbers are down this season, the games are still really good. Week 10 has one highly intriguing game as Seattle travels to New England. It should be another fun week in the NFL and here are the Hagan’s Haus NFL Picks for week 10.
Last Week: 8-5
Cleveland (0-9) 23 @ Baltimore (4-4) 20: Cleveland has a chance to win a game this week. Thursday night games are usually difficult to predict and have had many upsets, especially in divisional games. A team has to be really bad to go 0-16 and the Browns will win at some point this season. Baltimore got a big win against Pittsburgh but will underestimate the Browns and take a bad loss in the process.
Green Bay (4-4) 31 @ Tennessee (4-5) 25 : These Packers are not the same old Packers everyone is used to seeing. Aaron Rodgers has called out his teammates for their poor play and now it is time for them to respond on the field. Tennessee is coming off a game in which they needed to win to take the next step as a franchise. Right now they are a .500 team and Aaron Rodgers typically feeds off these types of teams. This game won’t be a complete blowout but it should be a fairly easy win.
Minnesota (5-3) 26 @ Washington (4-3-1) 17 : The Vikings have lost three straight games and last week was a heartbreaker. This game is going to make or break the Vikings’ season. If they win this game they will make the playoffs but if they lose this game they risk falling out completely. The Redskins need to keep pace in the NFC East but they just don’t have what it takes. Kirk Cousins will be under a lot of pressure in this game and it will lead to mistakes. Vikings get the upset on the road.
Chicago (2-6) 24 @ Tampa Bay (3-5) 27: The Bears had a bye week and looked good against the Vikings on the Monday night Halloween game. If their defense can play that way all season the Bears will string together some wins. They fell too much to catch up and won’t make the playoffs but this team is showing promise. The Bucs are trying to stay afloat in the NFC South but the Panthers are coming. This should be a close game as both teams are pretty even but since the Bucs are at home they get the advantage.
Kansas City (6-2) 20 @ Carolina (3-5) 23: This game has a chance to be a classic. The Chiefs are a good team that is flying under the radar but they have to be taken seriously. The Panthers have won two straight and are beginning to find their grove. It is hard to see the Panthers missing the playoffs and if they lose this game it will bring their season loss total to six and they can’t afford that. A desperate team at home is dangerous.
Atlanta (6-3) 27 @ Philadelphia (4-4) 31: The Eagles have come back to reality over recent weeks but this is the time of the season in which the Falcons usually drop off. The Falcons will drop off at some point and it starts this week in Philly. The Eagles defense will get to Matt Ryan early and often. The hits they get will provide the difference and Carson Wentz will be able to get the Eagles enough points to out score this high flying Falcons offense.
Los Angeles (3-5) 21 @ New York (A) (3-6) 23: Both of these teams are extremely difficult to figure out. Essentially both teams struggle with consistency and are middle of the road teams. The Rams have a great defense but their offense holds them back and it will continue to do so until they find a quarterback capable of being dangerous. The Jets have a talented offense but again need a quarterback just like the Rams. With two inconsistent teams, it is safer to go with the home team and that is precisely why the Jets will win.
Denver (6-3) 24 @ New Orleans (4-4) 28: The Saints are an interesting team. Their offense can do wondrous things and the matchup against the Broncos defense should be exciting. The Broncos are much better at home and only a .500 team on the road. Before the season I mentioned Denver would finish in third place in the division and I fully expect that to happen. The Saints love the Super Dome crowd and will win a huge game against the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Houston (5-3) 27 @ Jacksonville (2-6) 23: Houston looks like the best team in its division and it is because of how strong their defense is. They are tied for 11th in points given up per game with 20.9. They struggle on offense only scoring 17.1 points per game but because of their weak division they don’t have to do anything special to make the playoffs. Jacksonville is still struggling to grow into a winner and until they do so they can’t be picked to win in big divisional games. The Texans go on the road and get their first road win of the season.
Miami (4-4) 28 @ San Diego (4-5) 24: There are so many teams that come off as inconsistent and middle of the road and you can add both the Dolphins and Chargers to that list. After a 1-4 start, the Dolphins have won three straight and now sit in second place and have a realistic shot at the playoffs. The Chargers are in the best division in all of football and will not find their way out of fourth place. The Dolphins success comes from running the ball as they sit at sixth in the NFL with 122.1 rush yards per game. San Diego has a stout run defense only giving up 85.3 yards a game. Whichever team imposes their will in their running strength will win this game, and my money is on Miami.
Dallas (7-1) 24 @ Pittsburgh (4-4) 27: One of the old great rivalries in the NFL gets to see a new chapter in week 10. The Cowboys are riding hot at 7-1 and the Steelers are limping through the season. This will be interesting to see because Pittsburgh is at home where they are 3-1 and Dallas is currently undefeated on the road. There is a point in which the Cowboys hit a hiccup and it will come this week because Pittsburgh needs this game much more than the Cowboys do.
San Fransisco (1-7) 13 @ Arizona (3-4-1) 27: This is a complete mismatch on paper, which usually means the underdog shows up and shocks the world. That won’t happen this week. It is hard to fathom how the 49ers beat the Rams in week one because they are that bad. Even though the Browns are 0-9, the 49ers are the worst team in the NFL and on this day the Cardinals will soar over the 49ers.
Seattle (5-2-1) 27 @ New England (7-1) 31: Sunday Night Football has done it again. They have given the fans a fabulous game to look forward to. Who doesn’t love seeing Seattle and New England play after their epic Super Bowl just two seasons ago? Tom Brady is currently the hottest player in the NFL. The Seahawks are third in the NFL in defensive points per game giving up only giving up 16.8 points per game. The Patriots rank sixth in points scored per game. This will be a battle of wills and the Patriots will win that battle in Foxborough.
Cincinnati (3-4-1) 27 @ New York (G) (5-3) 30: The Giants almost threw away a win last week but their newly built defense came through in the clutch. Odell seems to be catching fire as he has seemed to always do in the second half of the season. Cincinnati is not as formidable as recent years and are 1-3 on the road. A.J. Green and Odell Beckham will both put on shows and over 100 yards on Monday night. The Giants will make a few more plays in the Meadowlands to stay in the race for the NFC East crown.