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Week 10 viewer's guide

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Around The NFL's Kevin Patra fills you in on the key storylines for each matchup. Here's your guide as you settle into your couch for all the NFL action:

Zach Mettenberger shouldn't expect a ton of help from his running game in his second NFL start. The Titans are averaging 60.7 rushing yards in the last three games (worst in the NFL since Week 6). On Sunday, Bishop Sankey and Co. face rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley and the No. 6-ranked run defense, allowing just 86.4 yards per game (to better running teams). Mettenberger didn't look ready for his first start in Week 8, so it will be interesting to see if he made any strides over the bye.

Justin Forsett sits just 11 rushing yards shy of passing his career-high mark. It's been a remarkable turnaround for the journeyman who currently is fifth in the NFL in rushing yards (609). On Sunday, he'll face a Titans defense that has allowed 300 total yards in seven straight games (the franchise's longest streak since 2010 -- 10 straight) and 28th-ranked run defense, which is giving up a ghastly 134.8 yards per game.

Pregame reading material
LeGarrette Blount says Terrell Suggs is known to be a dirty player
Dexter McCluster to fans: You can't give up on us
Titans OC Jason Michael is among the league's top new hires
Owen Daniels and Steve Smith did not practice Thursday

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Ravens.

Justin Houston has a sack in seven of eight games this season. With 12 sacks, he is on pace for an NFL-record 24.0. This week the dynamo will try to clobber Kyle Orton. This could be a nip-and-tuck game in Orchard Park, so watch Houston to have an impact late against Orton. The quarterback currently boasts an NFL-best 132.5 fourth-quarter passer rating. The Chiefs will need Houston's disruption to bring that number back down to reality Sunday.

The Bills' biggest advantage will be their demolition defensive line against a Chiefs offensive line that, while improving, remains porous for stretches. Buffalo's eighth-ranked run defense is allowing just 92.2 yards per game but will have to slow down Jamaal Charles, who has four rushing touchdowns in his last three games. If the Bills' front four can make Alex Smith and K.C.'s offense one-dimensional, Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams can pin their ears back, get after Smith and add to their team sack total of 28 (second in the NFL).

Pregame reading material
Alex Smith is efficiently moving up the QB Index
The Bills and Chiefs are part of the 2015 International Series lineup
Fred Jackson is trying to return early to the Bills' lineup
Sammy Watkins was a non-participant at Thursday's practice

Who will win? Three of five Around The NFL writers pick the Bills.

The Dolphins' defense has been domineering over the team's three-game winning streak. Their 10 takeaways in the last three games lead the NFL. It's not a surprise the unit has played much better since the return of safety Reshad Jones, who has been all over the field. Cameron Wake and Co. should be able to beat up a Lions offensive line that has struggled this season, which could lead to multiple Detroit turnovers. Turnovers have set up Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins' offense on short fields during their hot streak, which has allowed the unit to get leads and the quarterback to get in an early groove.

Getting Calvin Johnson back on the field is huge for the Lions' offense. Matthew Stafford has struggled, especially with the intermediate routes during Megatron's absence. In the past three games Stafford has completed just 37.5 percent on passes of 11 to 20 air yards and has a 0:2 touchdown to interception ratio and a 28.6 passer rating on such passes. While Stafford has protected the ball better this season, he's facing a stingy Dolphins secondary. If the rush gets to Stafford, the quarterback could give Jones and cornerback Brent Grimes opportunities to make plays on the ball once again.

Pregame reading material
Calvin Johnson is back and feels good out there
Brooks: Dolphins have pieces to win AFC East
Ricky Williams left the Dolphins due to bad quarterbacks
The Lions and Dolphins are among the teams in the 2015 International Series

Who will win? Four of five Around The NFL writers pick the Lions.

Whether or not Tony Romo plays (it's looking more and more like he will), this game will be all about DeMarco Murray carrying the load. Murray's 100-yard streak was broken last week, but Sunday he'll face a Jaguars defense giving up 123.4 yards per game on the ground. However, Jacksonville's D has actually been the stiffest in the NFL in the red zone this season, allowing a touchdown on only 40 percent of such drives. So when Murray carries the Cowboys down to the red zone, he'll need to punch it in.

The Jaguars have leaned on Denard Robinson the last three weeks and it's kept them in games. The former college quarterback has 329 yards on 57 carries the past three outings. He'll face a Cowboys defense that has allowed 100-plus rushing yards in its last three contests (and in six of its last seven). The Jags will also need rookie quarterback Blake Bortles to avoid throwing one of those back-breaking interceptions he's unfortunately becoming known for, as the Cowboys have 14 takeaways this season (ninth most in the NFL).

Pregame reading material
Jaguars were named in the 2015 International Series lineup
Romo practiced in London on Friday
How the Cardinals shut down Murray in Week 9
Dez Bryant is willing to talk deal after signing with Roc Nation

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Cowboys.

The San Francisco 49ers' secondary will have its hands full against Drew Brees, who has shot back to life with big plays. The 49ers' defense has allowed just one 300-yard passer this season (Peyton Manning, 318). It will be interesting to see how San Francisco goes about covering Jimmy Graham -- especially if Patrick Willis, one of the NFL's premier cover linebackers, returns from a toe injury. The 49ers' fifth-ranked run defense must also siphon off a fresh, bulldozing Mark Ingram if San Francisco is to avoid its first three-game losing streak under Jim Harbaugh.

The hand-wringing over the 49ers' running game (or lack thereof) continues. San Francisco has run the ball on 44 percent of offensive plays this season (still eighth most in the NFL) after running it on 53 percent of plays last season (the most in the NFL). A struggling offensive line hasn't opened holes on the occasions the Niners did take to the ground. Don't expect a reversal in play-calling this week against the 10th-ranked Saints' run defense. Rob Ryan's D has been gashed through the air enough this season (268.4 yards per game; 27th-most in the NFL) that Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman will want to sling it.

Pregame reading material
Jairus Byrd leads Chris Wesseling's list of the top 10 free-agent flops
Frank Gore guarantees a postseason finish for the Niners
Marcus Lattimore announced his intent to retire
Aldon Smith won't return this weekend

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Saints.

The hapless Jets' secondary catches Ben Roethlisberger at the worst possible time. Big Ben has 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games. The Jets have the fewest interceptions in the NFL (one). Opposing teams have thrown 24 touchdowns against the Jets, the most in the NFL. The most scores New York has allowed to a single quarterback this season is four (Kyle Orton, Week 8). Roethlisberger could be in for another monster game if Rex Ryan's pass rush doesn't get home every play.

Michael Vick's symmetrical 1-1-1 record versus the Steelers will be undone Sunday. Vick played fine last week, posting a 105.7 passer rating, but he couldn't stretch the field. This season, Vick has completed just 19.2 percent of 10-plus air-yard attempts (lowest in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 20 such attempts). He'll get some reprieve with the Steelers missing veteran Troy Polamalu and athletic rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier. Expect Vick to target Percy Harvin again in the short-passing game and attack the Steelers' D on the edges, where he holds a huge advantage.

Pregame reading material
Cowher: Big Ben has never played better
Polamalu and Shazier are out for Sunday
The Jets part of the 2015 International Series
An anti-John Idzik banner was flown over the Jets facility Wednesday

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Steelers.

Don't expect another shellacking like the 56-14 whooping the Falcons put on Tampa in Week 3. Atlanta plays much differently on the road than in the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan is averaging 40 fewer passing yards, has thrown four more interceptions and holds a passer rating 39.6 points lower on the road. Still, he has the weapons in Julio Jones and Roddy White to torture a Bucs defense that has been pasted but has much less talent. Tampa's biggest hope to thwart the Falcons' pass attack is if Gerald McCoy blows up a weak Falcons interior offensive line.

Josh McCown starts for the Bucs for the first time since the Week 3 loss to Atlanta. Early in the season, McCown fell victim to a porous offensive line and played poorly. However, he faces a Falcons team ranked last in total defense (408.8 yards per game allowed) and 28th in scoring defense (27.6 points per game) that has compiled just seven sacks (fewest in the NFL). Mike Evans could be in for another big day against a Falcons pass defense ranked 30th.

Pregame reading material
Matt Ryan is in the top 10 of this week's QB Index
Lovie Smith is sticking with Glennon as the Bucs' QB of the future
McCoy: Bucs aren't 'upset enough with losing'
Doug Martin did not practice Thursday

Who will win? Three of five Around The NFL writers pick the Falcons.

Peyton Manning is perfect against teams that are 0-3 or worse. Against such teams he's compiled an 8-0 record, with a 71.4 completion percentage, 17 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and a 102.7 passer rating. Coming off a loss, Manning will unleash his bevy of playmaking wideouts against the Raiders' 10th-ranked pass defense. I'll be watching Manning match wits with Charles Woodson, who is having a sneaky-good year for the winless Raiders. It's always fun when two all-time greats battle it out.

Derek Carr shouldn't expect much help from his running game (again). The Raiders average 65.5 rushing yards per game, which is the NFL's worst mark since the 1946 Detroit Lions (42.5 YPG). Pounding the ball against the Broncos' top-rated run defense would be a fruitless enterprise. The Raiders' offensive line has given the up-and-down Carr solid protection, but they'll have to be even better Sunday against Von Miller (who has nine sacks) and DeMarcus Ware (eight).

Pregame reading material
The Raiders are projected to earn the No. 1 overall pick
John Fox: Broncos moving 'on to Oakland'
Montee Ball thinks Ronnie Hillman should remain the Broncos' top back
Manning admits he 'stunk' against Pats

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Broncos.

Inexplicably, the Rams are frisky against NFC West opponents (2-1) but flame out against the rest of the NFL (1-4). Austin Davis has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in each of his last three starts. However, the Rams are 2-1 in those games. Relying on Tre Mason (averaging 4.5 yards per carry) will be tough sledding this week against Todd Bowles' stout defense, which has not allowed 85-plus rushing yards to any single player and just pile-drove the NFL's leading rusher last week.

The key to this game will likely be how well the Cardinals' offensive line holds up against a Rams pass rush that has found its groove (eight sacks last week). Carson Palmer has been the best quarterback in the NFC West thus far, and his low interception rate (two for the season) is a big reason why. However, he's known to self-combust when under siege. Gregg Williams' blitzing defense (you can bet the house he's coming all day Sunday) could rattle Palmer. But if the signal-caller is given time, his flock of receiving playmakers in Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown and Andre Ellington out of the backfield should win one-on-one matchups all day.

Pregame reading material
Cards' culture shift has team among league's elite
What was Bowles' master plan to shut down DeMarco Murray?
Daniel Jeremiah thinks Palmer is playing the best out of the NFC West QBs
Takeaways from the Rams' win over the 49ers

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Cardinals.

This is a battle of two offenses that have been up and down this season. Eli Manning has cooled off since the team's Week 5 win, and his season completion percentage is back down to 62.5. However, he hasn't thrown a pick in four games, and his 145 passes without an interception is the longest streak of his career. (Yay, Eli!) He's getting little help from receivers -- outside of Odell Beckham in spurts -- and a slogging running game isn't going to aid much against the Seahawks' fourth-ranked run defense. If Manning can't take advantage of Seattle's non-Richard Sherman cornerbacks, the Giants' offense is in for another long day.

Seattle's rushing attack got back on track last week, and we should expect a lot more of that Sunday against a Giants defense giving up 119 yards per game on the ground. It's troubling that Russell Wilson hasn't found much chemistry with his receivers this season (oh, where have you gone, Golden Tate?). However, facing a Giants secondary that has been decimated by injury will give the Seattle signal-caller the chance to right the ship -- that is, if his offensive line can keep Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers off his back.

Pregame reading material
Seahawks OC says Marshawn Lynchis still the best player in the team's offense
Woodson laments Carr throwing Sherman's way
Tom Coughlin has a Giant challenge ahead
Antrel Rolle questions his teammates' heart

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Seahawks.

Which Jay Cutler will we see Sunday night in Lambeau? I'm not sure the Bears, Cutler, the Greek gods or even Miss Cleo know the answer. As waywardly as Cutler has played at times, the quarterback is on pace for career highs in completion percentage, touchdown passes and passer rating (all true facts). However, the forced throws and miscommunications that led to interceptions have killed the Bears. Cutler can't make mistakes against the Packers' ninth-ranked pass defense, which has compiled 10 interceptions (tied for fourth). We'd expect Matt Forte to carry the load against a Packers run defense that has been gashed this season, but we've expected that before with little to no payoff.

Returning from a hamstring tweak that got healthy over the team's bye, Aaron Rodgers should be in full chops-licking mode Sunday night. In the last meeting between the two teams at Soldier Field, Rodgers was unstoppable. The Bears have no one to cover Jordy Nelson or stick with Randall Cobb on option routes. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs (ribs) is expected back, which should help against Eddie Lacy and the Packers' running game, but it's more important for the Bears to get Rodgers to the ground to thwart the outside passing attack. If not, it'll be another rollover win for Green Bay.

Pregame reading material
Mike McCarthy signs a multi-year extension with Packers
McCarthy thinks Rodgers' hamstring 'looks good'
Packers cut 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod
Briggs says this is his Chicago swan song

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Packers.

Cam Newton hasn't played well the past several outings. He of the 32nd-ranked 57.4 completion percentage faces an Eagles secondary that has allowed 256.2 yards passing per game and has gotten burned at times this season. The question is, does Cam have the weapons around him to take advantage? When Kelvin Benjamin plays like a rookie (dropping passes) the Panthers' offense goes from creaky to stalled out. Ron Rivera would like to utilize the running attack to keep Chip Kelly's high-flying offense on the sidelines. However, the Panthers are averaging just 94.7 rushing yards per game, 26th in the NFL -- and that includes Newton's scampers. Carolina needs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams to be more than occasional sidepieces Sunday.

We've finally made it. Mark Sanchez will begin his road toward redemption. The quarterback couldn't have asked for a cushier situation to be thrown into. He's on a division-leading team in an offense that shelters the quarterback as if he were a boy in a bubble. Moreover, he faces a Panthers defensive secondary that struggles covering in space. It will be intriguing to see how Chip Kelly deploys Sanchez, including whether Kelly utilizes Sanchez's mobility more than he did with Foles. It's just comforting to know that, for better or worse, whether in an extended or abbreviated time period, Sanchise is back in our lives.

Pregame reading material
Greg Hardy's Panthers career likely over with postponed trial
Newton's struggles are explained in the latest QB Index
Chip Kelly: 'I control the roster'
Jeremy Maclin: 'Sky's the limit' for Sanchez

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Eagles.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 10 game and recaps the Browns' blowout win over the Bengals. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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