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Week 10 NFL Picks

Division races around the NFL heat up in Week 10 as the top spot in four divisions goes up for grabs. Elsewhere, the Giants and 49ers battle for the NFC’s second seed, the Lions and Bears fight for the top Wildcard spot, and the Jaguars and Colts do whatever it is they do.

Last Week:  9 – 5 – 0
Season:      81 – 49 – 0

Thursday Night (8:20PM ET)

Raiders at Chargers
I picked the Chargers. Obviously, I didn’t get the memo that Carson Palmer was reverting to his 2005 form. Regardless, San Diego had a chance until Philip Rivers threw yet another red zone interception in the game’s final minutes. Maybe that late season surge we’re all expecting from the Chargers just isn’t going to happen.

Early Games (1:00PM ET)

Cardinals at Eagles
(Shaking my head…) EAGLES If I were Charles Barkley; No Line Yet due to Kevin Kolb’s status.

Titans at Panthers
Cam Newton’s not happy about anything he’s accomplished this season because he’s 2-6. Someone should remind Cam he’s playing for the Carolina Panthers. You know, the same team that forced their fans to live through Jake Delhomme’s collapse, Jimmy Clausen’s failure to develop, and Matt Moore’s disappointing start in 2010. Ease up, Cam. As long as you stay competitive and win 4 to 6 games, they’ll right books about you in the Queen City. PANTHERS If I were Charles Barkley; Panthers -3.5

Texans at Buccaneers
A huge, huge game for the Buccaneers. With the Saints and Falcons battling on Sunday, the Bucs need a win to stay within striking distance of the NFC South leader. The Texans, on the other hand, are missing a big road win from their impressive 2011 resume. I trust Arian Foster more than Josh Freeman (or Matt Schaub, for that matter). TEXANS If I were Charles Barkley; Texans -3

Redskins at Dolphins
From 3-1 NFC East leader, to 3-5 underdogs against the 1-7 Dolphins. Whoa. What happened in D.C.? I know their quarterbacks stink and the offense has recently been ravaged by injuries, but that defense should’ve been good enough to prevent a four game skid regardless. If the Redskins don’t rally to a 7-9 or 8-8 record, Mike Shanahan is done, right? Picking between Matt Moore and John Beck is like choosing cauliflower or Brussels sprouts. DOLPHINS If I were Charles Barkley; Dolphins -4

Jaguars at Colts
DirecTV’s QuickTune option allows you to put any nine channels in a 3 x 3 box. With one push of the clicker, that box pops up on your screen and you can choose any of those nine channels. I use this feature every Sunday for easy channel surfing between different games. There are 10 early games on Sunday. Guess which one won’t make the cut? (If the Colts lose, it’s because they’re going all in on Andrew Luck. Even Vegas thinks so. How else do you explain Indy giving three points to the Jags at home?) JAGUARS If I were Charles Barkley; Jaguars -3

Broncos at Chiefs
Kansas City got too high on themselves and were subsequently embarrassed last week against the Dolphins. They won’t make the same mistake twice by overlooking the scrappy Broncos. However, I don’t think the Chiefs are any good. The Broncos really aren’t either, but if the Willis McGahee – Tim Tebow option causes the Chiefs as many problems as it did the Raiders, anything could happen. The Chiefs should win, but that’d be boring. I’m rolling the dice with Tebow and the Broncos. BRONCOS If I were Charles Barkley; Broncos +3.5

Bills at Cowboys
It’s not a division game or even a conference rivalry, however, both the Bills and Cowboys desperately need a win on Sunday, and desperation often makes for great football. If Dallas paid attention to the Jets’ win last week, they’ll pound Buffalo with DeMarco Murray, swarm Fred Jackson, and force Ryan Fitzpatrick to win the game. Conversely, if the Bills hope to win, they must pressure Tony Romo into multiple turnovers as they did with Tom Brady and Michael Vick. If the Buffalo defense creates turnovers, they’ll win. The Bills have one road win and that was way back in Week 1. Not a good sign. COWBOYS If I were Charles Barkley; Bills +5.5

Saints at Falcons
The winner moves into the driver seat in the NFC South. As an Eagles fan, I’d like Atlanta to win and keep on winning so they move out of the Wildcard chase. Since topping the Texans in Week 3, the Saints beat the Jaguars, held on against the Panthers, lost to Tampa, crushed the horrendous Colts, collapsed to the Rams, and were uninspiring in a win last week against the Buccaneers. I’m not convinced New Orleans is all that good. FALCONS If I were Charles Barkley; Falcons -.5

Rams at Browns
I’ll pass. Thank you. BROWNS If I were Charles Barkley; Browns -3

Steelers at Bengals
The most interesting game of the weekend. Just how good is Andy Dalton? Are the Bengals legitimate contenders in the AFC North? Is the Cincinnati defense really on the same level as Pittsburgh and Baltimore as the statistics suggest? What happens to the Steelers if they drop to 0-3 in the division? Needless to say, I’ll be paying close attention on Sunday. And for the record, I think Andy Dalton is good. The Bengals are legit. The Cincy defense is that good. And falling to 0-3 in the division is not that big of a deal for Pittsburgh. I also like the Steelers to win. Dalton hasn’t seen a defense like Pittsburgh’s yet, the Steelers are angry about last week, and it’s not like the Bengals are going to sneak up on them. STEELERS If I were Charles Barkley; Steelers -3

Game to Watch: Steelers at Bengals
Game on Call: Saints at Falcons

Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)

Ravens at Seahawks
An obvious win for a 6-2 team tied for the lead in the most competitive division in the NFL. Except not. The Ravens are the most bi-polar team in the league. One week they’re drubbing the Steelers, Texans, or Jets, the next they’re getting clubbed by the Titans, Jaguars, and Cardinals. You’d like to think they’d have learned their lesson by this point of the season, but traveling to Seattle to play a lousy Seahawks team screams of another letdown. Just so you know, I’m cringing as I pick the Ravens. RAVENS If I were Charles Barkley; Ravens -7

Giants at 49ers
I think the Giants are the better team. As they proved last week and all season long, they find ways to win despite injuries and odds stacked against them. However, this one means a lot more to the 49ers than to the Giants. As long as Alex Smith stays in the “2011 Alex Smith” lane, San Francisco should be in good shape. If the Giants jump out to an early lead, though, look out. Smith bringing the 49ers back against New York’s pass rush could have disastrous results. 49ERS If I were Charles Barkley; 49ers -3.5

Lions at Bears
I expected the Eagles to relentlessly pressure Jay Cutler in Week 9. Instead, Cutler didn’t even have to wash his jersey following the game. Obviously, Detroit will total close to 8 sacks on Sunday. (Ok, not really. I’m just bitter.) I like the Bears. Earl Bennett is Cutler’s safety valve and his return was huge against the Eagles. The Bears need Matt Forte to bounce back after his two fumbles last week in order to avoid the 3rd and longs they continually found themselves in against Philadelphia. Chicago looks locked in right now. I’m also expecting a lousy game from Matthew Stafford. Two interceptions and a fumble seem about right. BEARS If I were Charles Barkley; Bears -2.5

Game to Watch: Lions at Bears
Game on Call: Giants at 49ers

Sunday Night (8:20PM ET)

Patriots at Jets
Neither of their remaining schedules are particularly difficult, but the Patriots get a slight edge for the easier of the two. For that reason, combined with their loss to New England last month, this is a must win for the Jets in order to have a realistic shot of winning the AFC East. My instinct is to pick the Patriots, because when does Bill Belichick ever lose three in a row? Tom Brady seems off, though. Is it because he’s lacking a big play threat at receiver, or are we witnessing the decline of a legend? His 4th quarter against the Giants last week proved he’s still clutch in decisive situations, so for now, I’m going with the lack of production at receiver. Unfortunately, New England’s defense is as worthless in the 4th quarter as the Philadelphia Eagles. JETS If I were Charles Barkley; Jets -1.5

Monday Night (8:30PM ET)

Vikings at Packers
The Packers are talking 19-0. Considering the Green Bay defense gives up what feels like 19 points a quarter, I’m going to say an undefeated season is doubtful. In case you weren’t paying attention, Aaron Rodgers now owns the crown as the NFL’s most unstoppable player. By the way, the biggest losers of the 2005 NFL draft? The Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota had the 7th and 18th picks that year and took Troy Williamson and Erasmus James, respectively. Yeah, you don’t know who they are. Want to know why? Because neither is currently employed by an NFL team. Oh, I almost forgot. Drafted 24th that year by the Green Bay Packers? Aaron Rodgers. Whoops. PACKERS If I were Charles Barkley; Vikings +14

*****

If I were Charles Barkley
Last Week: 9 – 5 – 0
Season:     64 – 60 – 6

2 Comments

  1. Derek

    As a Panthers fan I am insulted. Just because the team is run by those lacking certain amounts of intelligence doesn’t mean the fans are in the same boat. Cam is finally saying what no one else has been willing to say. Aiming for mediocrity is no longer acceptable. I like the attitude because it will naturally rub off on the rest of the organization.

  2. Ryan (Author)

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. I meant no harm.
    I simply meant that as long as he gets 4-6 wins THIS season, everyone will love him because it’s been so bad there as of late.

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