What to Watch For  


What to watch for: Viewing tips for Week 10 games

  • By Gregg Rosenthal and Marc Sessler
More Columns >

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Seahawks offensive tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini aren't ready to return from injury. Center Max Unger could be out with a concussion. Seattle's offensive line might be the worst in the league, but no quarterback is better than Russell Wilson at escaping from free rushers or the perfectly timed blitz.

Further reading:
Injury roundup: Roddy White 'ready to play' vs. Seahawks
Who'll be odd team out in NFC among Bears, Lions, Niners, Panthers, Saints, Seahawks?
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews rematch of NFC playoff classic
Pete Carroll mic'd up vs. Bucs on Week 9 'Sound FX'

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco is missing a lot of throws, even when his teammates are open. His protection has improved dramatically since left tackle Eugene Monroe joined the team, but the entire team has struggled when blitzed.

Further reading:
The QB Index: Flacco flubbing his Super Bowl follow-up
Elliot Harrison's Week 10 predictions
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews AFC North battle
Canty: 'The playoffs are starting now' for Ravens

Oakland Raiders at New York Giants

The Giants showed signs of turning around their passing game before the bye. Now they face a Raiders defense that badly struggled to cover the vertical pass last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Eli Manning is going to test Oakland's defense deep.

Further reading:
RB shuffle: Brown in for Giants, Wilson to IR
Elliot Harrison's Week 10 predictions
Further viewing:
Terrell Thomas: Giants haven't given up on winning NFC East
Watch: Best of Week 9 'Sound FX'

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Matthew Stafford is 0-4 in Chicago, but this should be a good week to break the trend. The Lions are No. 3 in scoring offense, while the Bears have the No. 26 scoring defense. Stafford probably had his worst game of the season against the Bears when the two teams met earlier this year, and the Lions still won.

Further reading:
Kriegel: 'Hollywood' Reggie Bush finds unlikely home in Motown
Who'll be odd team out in NFC among Bears, Lions, Niners, Panthers, Saints, Seahawks?
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews NFC North showdown
Bears' Jay Cutler to be back under center vs. Lions

A Football Life

The career of legendary coach Vince Lombardi -- who directed the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships in the 1960s -- will be chronicled on NFL Network on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

» The magic of Lombardi
» Top 10 motivational coaches
» Video: 'A Football Life'
» NFL Network schedule

Upcoming episodes:
» Dec. 24: Vince Lombardi, Part 1
» Dec. 31: Vince Lombardi, Part 2
» Jan. 7: Tiki and Ronde Barber
» Jan. 14: Bill Parcells
» Jan. 21: Jerry Smith
» Jan. 28: Jerry Rice

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers

No team has more explosive plays this season than Philadelphia. The Eagles' line play on both sides of the ball has improved in recent weeks. Nick Foles had all day to throw last week in Oakland. And the Eagles' defense, so embarrassing early in the year, hasn't given up more than 20 points in three weeks. It should be able to keep Seneca Wallace under that number.

Further reading:
How the Packers can survive Rodgers' absence
Who'll be odd team out in NFC among Bears, Lions, Niners, Panthers, Saints, Seahawks?
Further viewing:
Packers will work out QB Matt Flynn
'A Football Life': Randall Cunningham's glory days in Philly

St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts

The Colts could coast to the AFC South title. They face just two teams that currently have a winning record for the rest of the season. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has been criticized plenty, but the Colts' offense is averaging 4.5 points per game more than it did a year ago despite a lot of injuries.

Further reading:
Pagano: Andrew Luck needs better protection
Where do Colts sit in latest NFL.com Power Rankings?
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews Rams-Colts matchup
Watch: Best of Week 9 'Sound FX'

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

The Jaguars became the fourth team in NFL history to lose their first eight games of the season by 10 or more points. They've scored just 36 points in the first half all year and roll into Rocky Top minus their best player, receiver Justin Blackmon, who's been suspended for the campaign. A winless season feels possible.

Further reading:
Elliot Harrison's Week 10 predictions
Schein: Jets, Chargers, Titans among teams vying for AFC wild-card spot
Further viewing:
Jurrell Casey: Titans won't take Jags lightly
NFL Films previews AFC South battle

Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bills are the best 3-6 team in football. Their defense went from dangerous to excellent once cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Jairus Byrd got healthy. They play with great effort every week, and running back C.J. Spiller is finally looking 100 percent again. This is a game the Bills should win; Pittsburgh can't get it together on either side of the ball.

Further reading:
'Angry' Mike Tomlin threatens jobs on Steelers' defense
EJ Manuel in line to return for Bills
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews Bills-Steelers tilt
Steelers' Troy Polamalu makes The Shek Report

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers

The Panthers have won nine of their last 12 games, but the knock on Carolina? They haven't beaten anyone of note. We don't buy it. The Panthers have scored 30-plus points per game during a four-tilt win streak, and Cam Newton is playing the best football of his career. His 120.4 passer rating on third downs points to Newton making critical throws from the pocket, and he's one reason we're all aflutter for Sunday:

Further reading:
Silver: 'Riverboat Ron' Rivera puts a charge into Panthers
Who'll be odd team out in NFC among Bears, Lions, Niners, Panthers, Saints, Seahawks?
Further viewing:
Newton vs. Kaepernick: NFL Films previews bicoastal NFC showdown
Will Aldon Smith play Sunday vs. Panthers?

Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals

The Texans are on the brink of extinction, but Case Keenum has made them fun again. The rookie quarterback owns the highest completion percentage in the league on passes of 20-plus yards through the air in 2013. Andre Johnson looks reborn with Keenum winging the ball. We'll be watching to see how he fares against Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.

Further reading:
Gil Brandt: Keenum perfect for Texans
Free-agent bust? Ed Reed demoted as Texans starter
Further viewing:
Cards' Bruce Arians on the stress of being an NFL head coach
Watch: Best of Week 9 'Sound FX'

The playoff picture
How would your team's prospects look if the season ended today? See where each team stands in the playoff picture midway through the season. More ...

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers is a top-five quarterback again, but nothing can touch what Peyton Manning and the Broncos have accomplished. Denver has scored more points through eight games than any team in NFL history, but if you're looking for an X-factor, how about Mike McCoy? The Chargers coach helped implement aspects of the Broncos' hurry-up attack last season and knows Manning well.

Further reading:
McCoy's inside knowledge could prompt Chargers upset
Schein: Jets, Chargers, Titans among teams vying for AFC wild-card spot
Further viewing:
NFL Films preview: Manning, Rivers renew rivalry
'View From The Couch': Your couchgating guide for weekend

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints

Nothing is more tedious than the criticism aimed at Tony Romo. He's thrown a touchdown pass in 22 straight games, second only to Peyton Manning (31). The problem in Dallas is a disorganized defense bleeding yardage and points. The return of DeMarcus Ware would help against the Saints, but Drew Brees remains the NFL's best quarterback against the blitz this season.

Further reading:
DeMarcus Ware set to return for Cowboys
Who'll be odd team out in NFC playoff chase?
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews Sunday night shootout
Watch Romo's game-winning drive from Week 9 on 'Sound FX'

Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We've written plenty about the mess in Miami. In Tampa, the big question for a winless team down the stretch is whether Mike Glennon is the quarterback of tomorrow. Before he's anointed, we'd like to see the rookie stick in the pocket and deliver throws, easing his tendency of late to scramble with receivers wide open.

Further reading:
Silver: Dolphins controversy goes beyond Richie Incognito
Sessler: RB Mike James a revelation for Buccaneers
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews Monday night clash of Florida teams
Darlington: Will media circus hurt Dolphins on the field?

The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.

Fan Discussion

NFL News