Week 10 NFL predictions: Scores for every game

NFL Nation reporters predict the outcomes and scores for Sunday’s and Monday’s Week 10 games.


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There are a lot of things that can trip up the Saints this week: Buffalo’s opportunistic defense (NFL-leading 2.1 takeaways per game), Buffalo’s run game with LeSean McCoy and QB Tyrod Taylor, and potential weather conditions. But the Saints seem better equipped to handle all of those elements than they’ve been in years, with a standout defense and run game flanking QB Drew Brees. Since their six-game win streak began in Week 3, the Saints have the NFL’s No. 1 pass defense and No. 2 defense overall. Saints 24, Bills 20Mike Triplett

Current projections call for temperatures in the low 40s and close to zero percent chance of precipitation. That would seem to benefit the Saints, although their offense has performed well both in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and on the road this season. The Saints, who are 3-1 on the road, have averaged 25 points per game (ninth in NFL) and 384 yards (fifth) away from New Orleans this season. The Bills are 4-0 at home but have beaten the Jets, Broncos, Buccaneers and Raiders, who are a combined 3-14 on the road. Saints 28, Bills 17Mike Rodak


PickCenter

This isn’t your typical Packers-Bears game. First off, there hasn’t been one since 1991 where either Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre didn’t start. Second, it’s the first matchup in which both teams have a .500 or lower record since 2003. At some point, the Packers will figure out how to win without Rodgers. Could it be this week? Not seeing it. Bears 21, Packers 16Rob Demovsky

This game will serve as a referendum for where the Bears are headed under John Fox. Chicago is favored over Green Bay for the first time since 2008 — and for good reason. The Bears’ defense should have little trouble with Green Bay’s offense led by quarterback Brett Hundley, who seems lost at times in the pocket. Chicago’s offense is averaging only 16.8 points per game, but as long as Mitchell Trubisky doesn’t self-destruct with turnovers, the Bears have enough to win an ugly game. Bears 15, Packers 10Jeff Dickerson


PickCenter

The Lions’ pass defense has 10 interceptions, and Detroit has forced 10 fumbles (recovering six). That’s a tough matchup for rookie QB DeShone Kizer. Defensively, the Browns have done a great job stopping the run, but QB Matthew Stafford is having a strong season with a 94.4 rating. That does not match well with a porous Browns secondary. Lions 23, Browns 6Pat McManamon

The Lions are 1-3 historically in games in which they are facing a team that is 0-8 or worse. That’s not a good ratio, but this is a different Detroit team. The Lions are a more talented team and have been less prone to the baffling mistakes the franchise has made in years past. Detroit’s defense — particulary the secondary — should turn the Browns into a run-only team, and the Lions’ No. 6-ranked run defense is good enough to handle that. Meanwhile, Stafford has been on a tear and should put up at least 250 yards. This game should not be particularly close. Lions 31, Browns 10Michael Rothstein


PickCenter

A Steelers passing game hoping for more bounce in the season’s second half should look no further than the Colts as a catalyst. Indy has allowed 124 points in back-to-back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh, with Ben Roethlisberger posting an outrageous 1,107 yards, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions during that stretch. The Colts’ overmatched offensive line has allowed 36 sacks on the season, just what the Steelers’ second-ranked pass rush (26 sacks) wants to hear. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett can pose problems for the Steelers’ passing defense, but it won’t be enough. Steelers 30, Colts 13Jeremy Fowler

This game is every Pittsburgh fantasy owner’s dream. That’s because the Steelers have beaten the Colts by a total of 124 points in the past three meetings. But hold on, it gets better (or worse, if you’re a Colts fans). The Colts have zero sacks in those three games. Indianapolis will head into Sunday’s game with the 31st-ranked defense and being last in the NFL in points allowed at 28.9 points a game. Steelers 38, Colts 14Mike Wells


PickCenter

Yes, the Jaguars are much improved and have one of the best defenses in the league. But the Chargers are coming off a bye week and have defeated Jacksonville in the past six matchups by an average of 19 points per game. And Blake Bortles, although playing better, has thrown five interceptions against the Chargers in the past three games. Chargers 28, Jaguars 20Eric Williams

Philip Rivers has owned the Jaguars in his career (6-1 record, 2,119 yards, 19 TDs, 4 INTs) but this is a significantly better defense than those he faced, especially over the past four seasons. The Jaguars lead the NFL in pass defense, sacks and yards per play allowed, and the defense has allowed just 10 points in the past 10 quarters. They’ve handled Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco (combined zero TDs and seven INTs) this season already and Rivers is next. Jaguars 24, Chargers 13Mike DiRocco


PickCenter

This is a dangerous spot for the Jets, who seem a bit overconfident after last week’s win. Their former quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, is a smart cookie who knows their scheme and personnel. He won’t have star WR Mike Evans, but his two tight ends (Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard) will cause problems for them. The Jets have allowed 513 receiving yards to tight ends (27th) and six touchdowns. The Bucs are better than their record and are due for a slump-buster. Bucs 23, Jets 17Rich Cimini

Last week against the Bills, Jets running backs Bilal Powell and Matt Forte combined for an impressive 194 rushing yards. The Bucs are surrendering 117 rushing yards per game, 22nd in the league. Against the Saints last week, they surrendered 151 rushing yards to Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Until the Bucs’ defense can get off the field and the offense can put up more points, the losing streak will continue. Jets 27, Bucs 23Jenna Laine


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The Bengals’ offense looked as bad as it has all season with less than 200 net yards against the Jaguars last week. Until they figure out how to get the ball to their playmakers, it’s hard to imagine the offense getting much better. The defense has played well at times but struggled with Blake Bortles on Sunday and was on the field for too many plays. Another road game won’t help. Titans 21, Bengals 10Katherine Terrell

The Titans are on a three-game winning streak in which their defense has feasted on struggling offenses. They get the 32nd-ranked Bengals offense Sunday, and another opportunity for Kevin Byard and the defense to force turnovers. A.J. Green will draw a lot of attention from Logan Ryan and the Titans’ improved secondary. The Titans should get enough from their offense to win comfortably for the first time in a while. Titans 24, Bengals 13Cameron Wolfe


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Coming off a bye, Minnesota is well-rested and riding a four-game win streak. Case Keenum remains the starter at quarterback — even with Teddy Bridgewater now active — and while he completed critical throws under pressure against Cleveland, interceptions have been an issue in each of Keenum’s past three games. Wide receiver Adam Thielen will continue to be a key weapon for the Vikings in the second half, and Minnesota’s top-10 rushing attack should be able to wear down Washington’s front seven. Could Week 10 yield another 120-130 yards rushing for the Vikings? Yes. The Redskins ride huge momentum after beating the Seahawks at their place, and the Vikings’ top-tier defense knows the challenges Kirk Cousins presents. If Minnesota can keep Cousins below 200-210 yards passing, it’ll extend that win streak to five. Vikings 21, Redskins 17Courtney Cronin

The Redskins have had a difficult schedule the first eight weeks, with six games against teams who are a combined 38-13; the Vikings have played two games against teams above .500. That’s not to say the Vikings aren’t good — it’s to put each of their records into perspective. The Redskins’ defense has played six QBs ranked among the top 12 in Total QBR; the Vikings have faced one (they get their second on Sunday). So there might not be a big gap at all between these teams based on what they’ve faced to this point. Redskins 20, Vikings 17John Keim


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Without Deshaun Watson, the Texans are not built to beat the Rams in a shootout, which is what Sunday’s game likely will turn into if the Rams keep up their offensive pace. The Rams are averaging an NFL-best 32.9 points per game, and the Texans are allowing 26 points per game, third most in the NFL. It will be hard for a Tom Savage-led team to outscore Los Angeles, and it could get ugly early in the game. Rams 38, Texans 20Sarah Barshop

Since they moved West for the start of the 2016 season, the Rams have won only two games at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. That rate needs to pick up, and it’ll start to this week. The Texans are injured and broken. The Rams are healthy and rolling, winning their past two games by a combined score of 84-17. Their offense is humming along and their defense is finding its form. The Rams haven’t been home in more than a month, and they owe the locals a victory. They’ll get it on Sunday. Rams 31, Texans 13Alden Gonzalez


PickCenter

Just how important is this game for the Cowboys? According to FPI, if they beat the Falcons they have a 66 percent chance of making the playoffs. If they lose, it goes down to 33 percent. The last time the Cowboys won six of their first nine games in back-to-back seasons was a five-year stretch from 1991 to 1995, so history is not on their side. But their running game gives them an edge. In three of their past four games, the Falcons have given up at least 138 rushing yards as a defense. The Cowboys have run for at least 131 yards in their past five games. Even with Ezekiel Elliott out, the Cowboys believe their running game will travel. Cowboys 31, Falcons 23Todd Archer

This is the best matchup of Week 10, according to FPI. The outcome will go a long way in determining whether the Falcons are the second consecutive Super Bowl loser to miss the playoffs the following season. A loss drops the Falcons’ chances of making the playoffs to 9 percent, according to FPI. Don’t count on that happening as they return home after three straight on the road and avoid having to face Ezekiel Elliott. Falcons 27, Cowboys 24ESPN


PickCenter

The Giants’ one win came against a quarterback who has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season. Their seven losses have come against competent quarterbacks or better. This at least gives the Giants a chance on Sunday with C.J. Beathard starting for the 49ers, but after watching them against the Rams, this isn’t a team that looks capable of beating anybody on the road. That includes the 49ers and Browns. 49ers 17, Giants 16Jordan Raanan

Given how banged up the already talent-deficient Niners are, it figures to take a team equally injured for them to have a shot at their first win of the season. Enter the Giants. New York is also dealing with a rash of injuries and, unlike the Niners, there is speculation about coach Ben McAdoo’s future. The Giants are in disarray and have to travel across the country for this one. As hard as it is to see the 49ers winning considering their current roster, this is their best chance to do so, and if they don’t get one here, it’s fair to wonder when one might come this season. 49ers 20, Giants 19Nick Wagoner


PickCenter

With a win, Bill Belichick will tie Tom Landry for third on the all-time list for coaches (270). Turnovers are key in every game, but when considering Denver is tied for last in the NFL in turnover differential (minus-12: 19 giveaways, seven takeaways), it is especially pertinent this week. The Patriots are coming off the bye, and while they are expected to be without three starters because of injury, they should still have enough to get the job done. Patriots 27, Broncos 23Mike Reiss

The Broncos are in a four-game losing streak — their longest since 2010 — they’ve lost five of their past six games and now they get a Patriots team coming off a bye. The Broncos have started poorly in games this season — they’ve been outscored 41-6 in the first quarter of their five losses — and they turn the ball over far too often. Only the Browns, with 21 turnovers, have turned the ball over more often. If the Broncos don’t fix either one of those issues in this one, it could well be another ugly prime-time appearance. Patriots 27, Broncos 17Jeff Legwold


PickCenter

The Dolphins are 0-2 in prime-time games and draw their toughest assignment to date against the Panthers. Miami’s offense still lacks chunk plays and is 31st in the league in total yards. That won’t be enough to keep up with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Co. Panthers 23, Dolphins 13James Walker

The Panthers already have beaten quarterbacks Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford. It’s hard to see the league’s No. 1 defense getting beat by Jay Cutler. This unit is getting stronger by the week, allowing only two touchdowns in the past three games. If it can shut down the Miami running game to force Cutler to win the game, Cam Newton can get away with playing average. Panthers 28, Dolphins 13David Newton

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