Hard to believe, but we're already prognosticating games again. Does the NFL season move fast or what? Seems like just Monday I was watching the Philadelphia Eagles implode in the red zone.
Another week for Atlanta Falcons fans to hate me, another week for Andrew Luck to play well. The latter will happen, hopefully the former won't, as I did NOT pick the Falcons to lose at New Orleans. Falcons Nation has risen up enough to rip my research on Twitter. Hey, I was wrong. They pulled it out against the Dallas Cowboys. If I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.
But, my esteemed editor thought I should mention this, so I humbly submit ...
Alright, let's get to it.
Elliot Harrison went 10-4 on his predictions for Week 9, giving him a 58-26 record since taking over this space in Week 4. How will he fare in Week 10? His picks are below, with home teams listed second:
I think the Oakland Raiders will give the Baltimore Ravens a game, and even carry a second-half lead. But the Ravens have been very good at home this season. Undefeated, in fact, as both Baltimore losses have come on the road ( in Philly and Houston). The Ravens haven't played at home since Oct. 14, so performing in front of the familiar folks should give John Harbaugh's team a lift. With Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson hurt, look for the Raiders to attack through the air and target Baltimore CB Cary Williams, who's allowed the most completed passes in the league (43). #OAKvsBAL
The Denver Broncos have won three in a row and four of the last five. So why have the Broncos been racking up wins, outside of Peyton Manning? It's not as easy to figure as you'd think. Denver turns the ball over, the ground game has been inconsistent and penalty problems have reared their ugly head at times. Yet, the secondary has more than held its own; opposing passers have managed just a 75.7 passer rating in the last five games, while getting sacked 17 times. Cam Newton must be accurate in this contest for the Carolina Panthers to have any chance. A heavy dose of the running game (besides Cam!) will help slow down the Broncos' edge rushers. Good luck. #DENvsCAR
The New York Giants jump out to an early lead, but then the game tightens up. Big Blue's secondary can be had, as long as quarterbacks have time to throw. The key for the Cincinnati Bengals will be allowing Andy Dalton to hold the ball a bit longer, because plays down the field will be there. The pass protection often has been there for the second-year quarterback out of TCU; he just tends to get rid of the ball too fast or doesn't see the vertical shots. At 3-5, Cincy really needs this game at home, or the playoffs might be a pipe dream. Sorry, Bengals fan, but it feels like that might be the case. #NYGvsCIN
Really thought about picking the Tennessee Titans in a Week 10 upset. Instead, this is my odd score of the week. Cameron Wake records a safety and the Miami Dolphins ride Dan Carpenter field goals to victory. As far as Tennessee, remember when everyone wrote off this team ... and then Mike Munchak's group upset the Pittsburgh Steelers? It can happen again. There is still a lot of talent on the Titans, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. And the expected return of Jake Locker could provide a spark. That said, don't expect Chris Johnson to go for 175 on the league's third-best run defense (83.9 yards per game allowed). #TENvsMIA
The Minnesota Vikings fight back in this NFC North battle on the strength of a Kyle Rudolph touchdown catch and impactful special-teams play. The latter played a big role the first time these two clubs met, a game the Vikings stole on the road. The key to a Detroit Lions win -- and divisional standings leapfrogging -- will be the ground game. The Lions have put up 117 rushing yards per game during this winning run (three out of four). It's so important to the offense to not only keep Matthew Stafford upright, but also to refrain from putting the whole damn game on his shoulders. Meanwhile, the Vikings need Rudolph to get back to his early-season production. Another goose egg destroys any Vikes hopes. #DETvsMIN
A serious late flurry keeps Ryan Fitzpatrick's fantasy value up, but doesn't produce a Buffalo Bills win. The New England Patriots will get the turnovers they need to build a quick 24-7 lead and never look back. Takeaways are huge in this matchup, as the Patriots lead the AFC (again) with 20. Buffalo has managed just 11. Fitzpatrick has accounted for 12 giveaways by himself. Is it just me, Bills fans, or does Fast Freddie not look all that explosive since getting hurt in Week 1? Would love to hear your take at the ole @Harrison_NFL. #BUFvsNE
The Atlanta Falcons' offense was held in check by the Cowboys on Sunday night. Falcons fans are pretty angry with me for picking against their team, but we can be friends this week, as these New Orleans Saints just don't have the horses to do what Dallas did defensively. Namely, New Orleans doesn't possess the secondary to slow down what Matt Ryan wants to do out there. It merits mentioning again that Atlanta is the least penalized team in the NFL, an important factor given that this is a road game. A saving grace for the Saints could be the emergence of a pass rush, which was key in their Monday night win. #ATLvsNO
This is a tough contest to pick. My initial leaning was toward the visiting San Diego Chargers, who have the quarterback to challenge a subpar Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary. The problem is, Philip Rivers has been more frustrating for Bolts fans than Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were for Star Wars fans. Rivers played well versus the Kansas City Chiefs -- minus a bad decision in the red zone -- but does he have the weapons on the outside to threaten the Bucs the way other teams have? No. On the other side, if you play fantasy, just double check that Josh Freeman is not on the waiver wire. Speaking of Freeman, on throws that travel at least 20 yards past the line of scrimmage, he has a 106.5 passer rating. #SDvsTB
This game could be 23-17, 24-21, 10-6 ... something close like that. Nah. The New York Jets' offense will not look good. If they're smart, the Jets will pound Shonn Greene and refrain from leaning on Sanchize. Giving Tebowmania some serious run would be smart. Control the line of scrimmage, pound the rock and beat the Seattle Seahawks at their own game. Yep, that would be smart football, focusing on slowing a pass rush that has 23 sacks under its belt, not placing the outcome on No. 6's shoulders. Ah, but will Gang Green do it? By the way, I'm not sure what effect Antonio Cromartie will have in this game. Russell Wilson will throw to whomever, and Marshawn Lynch will carry the ball 25 times. #NYJvsSEA
You know when you think you've done everything right on a date -- cleaned the Doritos from 1986 out of your front seat ... wore something besides denim-on-denim ... took her to a dazzling Mexican food place (Tex-Mex) -- only to discover a big chunk of guacamole under your right nostril? That's the Dallas Cowboys. They do everything to win a game against a seemingly superior opponent, then fail to close the deal. Think: Dez Bryant dropping a two-point conversion and later being a fingertip away from glory, or Morris Claiborne letting Roddy White take his interception away. Luckily for the Cowboys, they face a team that is in more disarray than they are. Hey, did anyone see LeSean McCoy gain more than 100 yards on 13 carries in the first half Monday? His reward? Six carries the rest of the way. #DALvsPHI
Sam Bradford, it's time to start playing like a former No. 1 overall draft pick. Love you -- mean it -- but it's your third season. Sure, having a different offensive coordinator every year doesn't help. But you've got Danny Amendola back and, frankly, you've been playing just good enough to get your team beat. Do the St. Louis Rams have other problems? Of course. But an 8-to-7 TD-INT ratio and a passer rating of 82.4 isn't good enough. And this is the best year of Bradford's career. I still think he can play, but the San Francisco 49ers will control this game. Look for Jim Harbaugh's squad to run the ball 35 times, despite Alex Smith's supremely effective performance in Arizona. #STLvsSF
This game is going to be AWESOME. Can't wait. Two of the three best teams in the league square off at Soldier Field on Sunday night, and it should be a slugfest. The Houston Texans will likely come out throwing to slow down the Chicago Bears' front four, setting up the home team for a heavy dose of Arian Foster late. Something about this game reeks of Devin Hester, though. Houston will nurse a smallish lead (14-10?), then No. 23 will strike. Brian Cushing's absence will be felt in this contest, as Matt Forte should be quite the threat in the passing game. #bestmatchupthisseason #HOUvsCHI
The Pittsburgh Steelers toy with the Kansas City Chiefs while all of us -- or just Dave Dameshek and I -- yearn for the bumblebee uniforms Mike Tomlin's team donned a couple of weeks back. The crystal ball says Jamaal Charles will surprise some folks ... and have a touchdown called back. Why? Because even though the Chiefs aren't penalized that much, they just can't get out of their own way. Not to mention, if Romeo Crennel can't stop him, maybe the refs will. On the other side of the ball, if you want to make an MVP case for Ben Roethlisberger, here's the only stat you need: Pittsburgh converts 51.3 percent of third downs, best in the NFL. #KCvsPIT
The Jacksonville Jaguars' problems -- the same ones that have ailed them this season, last season and several seasons before that -- will hamper their ability to beat the Indianapolis Colts Thursday night. The Jags can't get to the passer, nor can they make their own passer look good -- i.e., their receivers aren't threatening anybody. While Andrew Luck makes his receivers beyond Reggie Wayne look schnazzy, Blaine Gabbert doesn't have that kind of ability. It doesn't help that Jacksonville is last in the NFL in sacks. #allfreakingdaytothrow #INDvsJAC