PFT’s Week 10 picks


Last week, Rosenthal and I disagreed on only two games.  In the afternoon, I was feeling pretty good when the Titans had a 10-point lead over the Bengals.

And then the Titans blew it.

Later in the evening, I was feeling extremely good about my prediction that the Steelers would be the Ravens by a score of 20-17 when the Steelers were leading 20-16 and the Ravens were starting a drive from their own eight yard line with 144 seconds on the clock.

And then the Steelers blew it.

As a result, Rosenthal’s seven-game lead has expanded to nine.  This week, we disagree on four games.  Which means that he’ll likely have a double-digit lead soon.

For the week, Rosenthal was 8-6 and I was a dreadful 6-8.  For the year, he’s 88-42, and I’m 79-51.

Raiders at Chargers

Florio’s take:  The Chargers have lost three in a row, and the Raiders have lost two in a row.  In the series, the Raiders have won two in a row after losing 13 in a row.  Without Darren McFadden and with Carson Palmer still learning on the fly and with all three running backs ready to go for the home team, the Chargers should end a couple of those streaks.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 27, Raiders 16.

Rosenthal’s take: Look past the unlucky interceptions. Carson Palmer actually made a number of great throws against Denver. Philip Rivers also found his mojo late against the Packers. The defenses for both  teams are struggling, but Oakland has more talent. As long as the Chargers don’t run the read-option, the Raiders should prevail.

Rosenthal’s pick: Raiders 30, Chargers 28.

Saints at Falcons

Florio’s take:  After a disappointing start, Atlanta has found its groove.  The Saints have looked good at times, not good at others.  With Sean Payton still coaching from upstairs, the Saints could have a hard time if they fall behind.  It’ll be important for the Falcons to take control early, and they have the talent to do it.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 31, Saints 24.

Rosenthal’s take: The last time these teams played in Atlanta, the Saints won 17-14 in Week 16 last year. I’m not sure this Saints group is much better, but the Falcons are worse. New Orleans is coming off its most complete game of the year and has too many weapons for Atlanta’s secondary to handle.

Rosenthal’s pick: Saints 30, Falcons 27.

Titans at Panthers

Florio’s take:  In this battle of underworked and overpaid tailbacks, DeAngelo Williams has the better supporting cast than Chris Johnson.  Also, the 2-6 Panthers realize that, with two games to play against the up-and-down Bucs, a late-season hot streak could help Carolina finish in third place in the tough-as-nails NFC South.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 27, Titans 21.

Rosenthal’s take: Titans coach Mike Munchak said Tennessee earned its 4-4 record. If they keep playing at their current level, they will earn a 6-10 season. Carolina struggles to finish close games, but they should be able to run right at Tennessee. Here’s an offense the Panthers can stop.

Rosenthal’s pick: Panthers 27, Titans 17.

Steelers at Bengals

Florio’s take:  When I pick the Steelers to lose, they win.  When I pick them to win, they lose.  Sorry, Steelers fans, but I think that the time has come from the Black and Gold to turn the Black and Orange black and blue.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 24, Bengals 13.

Rosenthal’s take: The Steelers need to be careful. Coming off a devastating home loss, Pittsburgh faces a Bengals team eager to show they are contenders. Cincy’s deep defensive line will give the Steelers problems, but it won’t be enough. Andy Dalton has yet to face a defense this good since San Francisco in Week three. They scored eight points in that game.

Rosenthal’s pick: Steelers 16, Bengals 13.

Rams at Browns

Florio’s take:  Yes, the Browns are 3-5.  But their trio of wins came against the 1-7 Dolphins, the 0-9 Colts, and the 2-6 Seahawks.  It could mean that the Browns are ripe for another win against the 1-7 Rams, but St. Louis has shown some improvement, whereas the Browns seem to be getting worse.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 17, Browns 13.

Rosenthal’s take: There are a lot of great matchups this week. That means there are going to be some stinkers. It doesn’t get much worse than this. Cleveland does nothing well on offense, while the Rams couldn’t beat John Skelton. I’m taking St. Louis if only because the Browns don’t deserve to be 4-5.

Rosenthal’s pick: Rams 20, Browns 14.

Bills at Cowboys

Florio’s take:  Most of the Super Bowl rematches played this year have resulted in the same outcome.  When the participants in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII get together in Dallas on Sunday, history could repeat itself once again.  Regardless of whether Fred Jackson loses his helmet.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 30, Bills 21.

Rosenthal’s take: It must have been jarring to Bills fans to see Buffalo’s offense stopped cold by the Jets. The Bills had three first downs midway through the third quarter. It also must have been jarring to look at the schedule and see the Dallas defense up next. As the Cowboys-Patriots game showed, the Ryan brothers are sharing information effectively.

Rosenthal’s pick: Cowboys 28, Bills 21.

Jaguars at Colts

Florio’s take:  The Colts perhaps have their best chance to win a game.  But do they want to?  The front office seems to be hot on the trail of Andrew Luck, and the locker room seems to be too complacent to care.  Meanwhile, the Jaguars are rested and Jack Del Rio is coaching for his job.

Florio’s pick:  Jaguars 27, Colts 14.

Rosenthal’s take: Okay, it does get worse than Browns-Rams. Logic says the Colts will win eventually and this looks like the best chance. But Curtis Painter keeps playing worse, to the point where he’s no better lately than Blaine Gabbert. Only one of them gets to face the awful Colts defense on Sunday.

Rosenthal’s pick: Jaguars 20, Colts 16.

Broncos at Chiefs

Florio’s take:  Let’s see.  The Broncos beat the Dolphins in Miami.  And the Dolphins beat the Chiefs in Kansas City.  So it makes sense that the circle will be completed by the Chiefs beating the Broncos.  Especially since the Chiefs will be ready for the read-option offense — and since the Chiefs will be ready to get out of their mouths the awful taste that comes from losing to a previously winless team.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 27, Broncos 10.

Rosenthal’s take: I watched Kansas City’s 31-3 loss to Miami. It was hard to believe the Chiefs were a real playoff contender after that. I watched Denver’s win over Oakland too. It was hard to believe any team but the Raiders would be so ill prepared for the zone-option. If nothing else, the Chiefs have shown the ability to rebound after embarrassing results.

Rosenthal’s pick:  Chiefs 21, Broncos 17.

Redskins at Dolphins

Florio’s take:  The Dolphins are 1-12 at home since December 2009.  This is their chance to move to a not-quite-as-pathetic-but-still-pretty-damn-bad 2-12.  It’s fitting that, to get there, the Dolphins will be facing a guy who started four games during Miami’s 1-15 fiasco in 2007.  It’s yet another rematch of two prior Super Bowls, and it would be fitting for the team that won Super Bowl VII by seven points to duplicate that feat.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 14, Redskins 7.

Rosenthal’s take: The return of John Beck to Miami! All this game needs is Cam Cameron and Greg Camarillo to remind Dolphins fans of an era just as depressing as this one. Depressing for Redskins fans: Miami is favored by four points. It’s for a good reason. Miami no longer starts John Beck.

Rosenthal’s pick: Dolphins 20, Redskins 14.

Cardinals at Eagles

Florio’s take:  Kevin Kolb may miss his first crack against his old team, which given the quality of his current team may not be a bad thing.  Like 2008, with the Eagles backed against the wall and fans clamoring for Andy Reid to be fired, Philly will be ready to filet the redbirds, extending by at least a week the Eagles’ inevitable exit from playoff contention.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 48, Cardinals 20.

Rosenthal’s take:  John Skelton helped out Kevin Kolb in last week’s win. Skelton looked worse than Kolb, but the Cardinals still won. That should push the Cardinals down the draft, safely away from Andrew Luck. With Kolb likely out again, this game lacks a built-in storyline. It will also lack any drama.

Rosenthal’s pick: Eagles 33, Cardinals 14.

Texans at Buccaneers

Florio’s take:  The up-and-down Bucs have sidled up to a defensive tackle who spends plenty of playing time down on his stomach.  Which shows just how desperate they are to salvage a season that is slipping through their fingers.  The Texans have developed the right formula to succeed, and the only other time the Bucs faced a 3-4 defense this year, they lost by 45 points.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 30, Buccaneers 20.

Rosenthal’s take: The Bucs aren’t as good as their record indicates. Their defensive stats are awful across the board. Josh Freeman is struggling with decision making, and he doesn’t have enough playmakers. Tampa will lose this game simply based on karma from adding Albert Haynesworth to a supposedly “youngry” defense.

Rosenthal’s pick: Texans 27, Bucs 19.

Ravens at Seahawks

Florio’s take:  The Jim Harbaugh/Pete Carroll feud expands a bit, with Jim’s brother getting a crack at Carroll’s team.  That’ll help keep the Ravens from once again letting their guard down against an inferior team a week after beating the Steelers.  And the fact that the Seahawks simply aren’t very good.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 30, Seahawks 17.

Rosenthal’s take: The Ravens lost in Jacksonville and Tennessee.  They barely beat Arizona, another NFC West also-ran.  That’s a long way of saying this game is no layup for Baltimore.  That doesn’t mean I’m crazy enough to take the Seahawks to win straight up.

Rosenthal’s pick: Ravens 20, Seahawks 16.

Lions at Bears

Florio’s take:  The Bears have improved on the fly, just like they did last year.  And the Lions have struggled on the road this year, narrowly beating the Bucs, Vikings, and Cowboys.  The Bears have been unpredictable this year, but they get the benefit of the doubt since they’re playing at home.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 24, Lions 21.

Rosenthal’s take: Perhaps the Lions did the Bears a favor a month ago. Chicago’s embarrassing Monday night showing in Detroit forced Mike Martz to give his offensive line help. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte have done the rest. Matthew Stafford may prove to be a better player than Cutler long term, but I’d take Cutler right now.

Rosenthal’s pick: Bears 24, Lions 21.

Giants at 49ers

Florio’s take:  The 49ers haven’t beaten the Giants since that crazy 39-38 playoff game from nine years ago.  Though this one likely won’t involve half (or maybe a fourth) of the same scoring, Jim Harbaugh is crafting a masterpiece this year, and it’s time for him to add a little Big Blue to the canvas.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 7, Giants 3.

Rosenthal’s take: This could easily be a playoff preview, something that Trey Junkin is surely rooting against so he doesn’t get famous all over again. The 49ers play almost every game tight because their conservative offense can’t pull away from teams. Eventually, that’s going to come back to bite them.

Rosenthal’s pick: Giants 24, 49ers 20.

Patriots at Jets

Florio’s take:  The Jets finally have a clear path to an AFC East crown, which would give them at least one home playoff game.  It won’t be easy to send the Pats to their third straight loss, but the Jets likely realize that this is their golden opportunity to finally take control of the division.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 20, Patriots 17.

Rosenthal’s take: For last week’s Sunday night game, I debuted my revolutionary strategy to simply pick against what I thought Florio would do. Let’s try it again. This game reminds me a lot of Ravens-Steelers. Everything points to the Jets winning at home, but momentum is only as good as your next fourth quarter drive. I don’t trust Mark Sanchez to pull a Flacco.

Rosenthal’s pick: Patriots 27, Jets 21.

Vikings at Packers

Florio’s take:  Early on, the Vikings will take their best shot in this border war.  And then the Packers will take care of business, as they always seem to do.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 34, Vikings 20.

Rosenthal’s take: As bad teams go, at least the Vikings have some fun players to watch. Jared Allen could be the defensive player of the year. Christian Ponder has added life to the offense. Adrian Peterson is playing some of the best football of his career, and Percy Harvin is finally healthy.  So at least this should be an entertaining blowout.

Rosenthal’s pick: Packers 38, Vikings 21.

43 responses to “PFT’s Week 10 picks

  1. “And the Lions have struggled on the road this year”

    The Lions are 4-0 on the road this year. They had two comeback wins but I would hardly say going undefeated on the road through half of the season would constitute “Struggling”.

  2. obvious collusion between the Ryan Brothers… which is unfortunate. and scary for Bills & Pats fans when Rob Ryan becomes the HC of the Dolphins next year.

  3. Falcons will beat NO. Saints DBs are in awful shape w/ injuries. Can’t believe this game is a push in Vegas. Lock of the week.

  4. Given the state of the Pats D, it is hard to feel really comfortable about things. After two close losses, I don’t really see them losing a third. The Jets are playing well, so the teams are going in different directions at the moment. This game will come down to turnovers. If Brady doesn’t turn it over and Sanchez does, the Pats will win. Their D is just not good enough to carry the O when it struggles.

  5. I see everyone is one that Packer bandwagon they are not as good as they seem they are very lucky so far this season they have a very leaky secondary and are giving up pass yds like crazy they should have lost 3 games so far this season but the other teams gave it away. Ponder was 1 big play from beating them in the first game even after he threw 2 picks.He will not do that this week and AP will run the ball all night long and they WILL LOSE

  6. Da Bears over the Lions? Come on guys. Lions are perfect on the road. Besides after the whooping they gave Chicago on MNF a few weeks ago, Detroit should be clear favorites.

  7. I like how the Lions are “struggling” at 4-0 on the road.

    The Minnesota and Dallas games were iffy, granted, but the TB game was not as close as the score indicated and they destroyed Denver.

  8. Mark my words (packer fan words) : stafford will NEVER be better than cutler.

    maybe more overrated but never better.

  9. Since when did Cincy pick up a stupid tagline stolen from another team? By the way, saying who-dat or who-dey just makes you look like an idiot.

  10. i know its been said but the guy is a moron. lions ahve struggled? havent lost a game on the road this year. that sure is struggling/ lions 36 bears 10. cutler sacked 22 times

  11. Bengals command the game and lead all throughout the game. But the very desperate Steelers will roll up (Chemo) on Andy Dalton in the fourth quarter, take him out, and stage a one point victory over the Mighty Awesome Bengals!

  12. Wow, the Dolphins are favored over the Skins by 3 1/2.

    What does that say about the state of the Skins?

  13. Lions are struggling on the road? The Lions have a better road record than the Bears home record. The Bears offensive resurgence came against the 9,10 and15 defenses in points allowed. The Lions are 29. Let’s not get wrapped up in todays specials menu.

  14. In no way do I think my Vikings will win Monday night, BUT come on. The Vikings gave them quite a scare and could’ve won that game. With it being in Lambeau field doesn’t really matter either.Everything I’ve had to read about the Dome being so full of Pack fans that it was like a home game. So yeah, it will be another close game. I can hope anyways……

  15. Giants-49ers 7-3? I’m a Giants fan, and they may or may not win, but 7-3? Should be a great game, but really? 7-3?

    Gore SHOULD be able to run on the Giants D which has given up the big run all year. Giants should be able to pass on the ‘9ers. I think Rosenthal’s final score (24-20, either way) is probably closer to the truth

  16. As a Browns fan, I’m kind of hoping they DO lose this game. And the rest of them this year. Anything to get Shurmur and “The Big D’oh!” out of town.

  17. “In no way do I think my Vikings will win Monday night, BUT come on. The Vikings gave them quite a scare and could’ve won that game. With it being in Lambeau field doesn’t really matter either.Everything I’ve had to read about the Dome being so full of Pack fans that it was like a home game. So yeah, it will be another close game. I can hope anyways……”

    The first game at Lambeau last year was close, and I probably would have puked if Favre to Moss would have won the game last year. The second game was a blowout at the Dome, so the results a few weeks ago will have no bearing no MNF.

    As I pointed out in my post which was deleted earlier despite being completely appropriate, Ponder’s numbers on 1st and 2nd down are awful, and his 3rd down numbers are unsustainably high making him look “not half-bad” in his first two games. I would expect those 3rd down numbers to come down to Earth – not because he’s destined to be god-awful (it’s too early to tell), but because he’s a rookie and that’s what rookies generally do.

  18. ” The 49ers play almost every game tight because their conservative offense can’t pull away from teams. ”

    48-3 vs Tampa Bay. Ranked 8th in scoring offense.
    It’s not that they aren’t capable of it; the lack of “pull away” may have something to do with the quality of opposition (Detroit, Cincy, Philly, Dallas). They did pull away against Skins (19-3 till the last 2 mins). 20-10 vs Browns.

    I think this is going to be a great game.

  19. Rosenthal definitely will take this weeks picks crown, especially thanks to the Silver & Black pick. Chargers will have played 3 games in 11 days. Look for their weak defense to call it quits following halftime. Carson P. will have his coming out pArty tonight at the expense of low battery Chargers.

  20. Lions fans on here make me laugh. If you really think your facing the same bears team you did 5 weeks ago your more nieve than I thought. For how awfull the bears offense was we lost by 11. The defense gave up 14 on huge busted plays that will not happen again. That’s because your team picked up our liability “chris harris” were a lot faster at saftey now. Earl bennett will play in this game also, cutler’s go to man. The real part of the lions schedule has begun. Good luck it will be bears and falcons that get the wild card in the nfc this year. #1- packers #2- 49ers #3- saints #4- giants #5- bears #6- falcons

  21. The Saints will crush the Failclowns this week. The Failclowns’ secondary is awful and won’t be able to keep up. The Saints secondary dominated the Bucs last week WITHOUT Tracy Porter for the entire game.

    Saints 35, Failclowns 20, you can write it down.

  22. I see everyone is one that Packer bandwagon they are not as good as they seem they are very lucky so far this season they have a very leaky secondary and are giving up pass yds like crazy they should have lost 3 games so far this season but the other teams gave it away. Ponder was 1 big play from beating them in the first game even after he threw 2 picks.He will not do that this week and AP will run the ball all night long and they WILL LOSE
    That’s one hell of a run on sentence there buddy. Hard to say a team is lucky when they haven’t trailed in the 4th quarter once during a 14 game winning streak. Considering the closest margin of victory was 6 I’d like to see a list of the games they “should have lost”. And as far as Ponder being 1 big play from beating them…are you kidding? The game was 33-17 to start the 4th, the Vikings scored 10 to get within 6. Then they couldn’t advance the ball past their own 25. So I guess if that one big play is a 75 yard game winning pass play, you’re totally correct.

  23. Considering the lions have had 2 weeks too prepare and the bears have a short week i’ll take the lions obviously…and fairleys back! Cutler be runnin for his life again!

  24. Carrot top gonna be runnin for his ginger life! Big Ben will throe for 5 td’s 359 yards…Book It!

  25. Thank goodness all this Detroit arrogance ends today, after the bears b*tchslap the Lions! It only took three losses this year before Martz realized the Bears aren’t the St Louis Rams of 10 years ago, and started running the ball and blocking to protect his QB. And now, the O-line is rounding into form and Cutler is even starting to roll out on pass plays. The defense looking every bit as strong as in the past.

    So Lions fans, hope you enjoyed your little run. The remainder of this season is probably going to feel a bit like it did for Denver last year — remember how they started out 6-2 and didn’t even make the playoffs, lost most of their remaining games? The Lions have no running game, an undisciplined defense and way too much arrogance for a team that is only a little bit removed from being the league’s laughingstock for decades . . .

    Watch Forte run for 150 today . . . watch Peppers LIVE in the Lions backfield and cream Stafford multiple times . . . watch Cutler slice and dice the Lions defense.

    End of the day, Bears are 6-3 and the Lions are 6-3. But the difference is that the Bears’ arrow is pointing up, with 4 wins in a row and the hardest part of their schedule now behind them; whereas the Lions’ arrow will be pointing down, with 3 losses in 4 games, and the toughest part of the schedule still to come.

    Oh, and lastly . . . YES, the Lions have struggled on the road. They had to have miracle comebacks to win those 4 games, and frankly that won’t be happening much anymore.

    Good luck Bears and Bears fans . . . and sorry Lions fans if the truth hurts. But good luck to you guys, too, with your (what did the Lions D call him? oh yeah, a China Doll) your China Doll quarterback. It will be his turn to deal with some serious noise. The Bears won’t be dealing with all those false start penalties this time . . .

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