All In the Cards: Week 10 Recap

Welcome to the week 10 NFL recap! So many things happened this past weekend that I already know I won’t be able to cover everything. Still, I’ll do my best to cover as many as possible as the season is really starting to shape up and teams are either gaining or losing confidence. I hope you enjoy and if you do make sure to follow me on Twitter @QTipsforsports or just search the hashtag #Allinthecards for in-game thoughts and analysis. Without further ado, let’s see how terrible I did with my week 10 picks:

How I did with my Week 10 NFL predictions:

  • Arizona 39, Seattle 32: You may recall that I called the Cardinals’ wins over the Ravens and the Browns “very important” because of how Arizona won those games. Well the importance of those wins and the lessons they taught were crucial for the Cardinals to defeat the Seahawks. In the Browns game, Arizona won its first game of the season in which it lost the turnover battle (4-2). Until that point the Cards had either a neutral turnover margin or won the turnover battle during their victories. Being able to win despite giving your opponent more possessions shows that you are the better team. In the Ravens game, the Cards showed they had the mental fortitude to overcome their mistakes and withstand a late-game charge by making clutch plays to win.
  • Sunday night, or early Monday morning on the east coast, the Cardinals overcame both obstacles to take down “big brother” on the road. The Cardinals overcame a negative turnover margin (Arizona had three turnovers while Seattle only had one) and overcame losing a 19-point lead to drive down the field once to retake the lead and once to put the game away. It was the first time in my time as a fan that the Cardinals won a huge game by taking the victory away from another team instead of just holding on for dear life. This was a championship-caliber win and a declaration to the rest of the league that the Cardinals are the NFC West threat that other teams should fear playing. (0-1)
  • Buffalo 22, New York Jets 17: Both the AFC and the NFC Wild Card race are a mess and it’s because of games like this one where teams who could distance themselves from the pack lose and make the race more crowded. Regardless of what you think of Rex Ryan and the his choice to make IK Enemkpali one of the Bills’ captains, the fact is that the Bills won an important game that for the moment gives them a big tiebreaker in the wild card race. The Jets have the (slightly) easier schedule going forward but with how the Jets have played lately that might not matter. (0-2)
  • Chicago 37, St. Louis 13: You could make the argument that if five crucial plays went the other way over the course of the season, the Bears would be 0-8 heading into this game. That’s what makes their blowout win over the Rams so surprising. The Bears put all of their defensive focus on Todd Gurley and shut him down (12 carries for 45 yards), thus making Nick Foles have to throw to beat the Rams. The fact that Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher appointed Case Keenum as the starting quarterback for this week’s game should tell you all you need to know about Foles’ performance. The Rams could continue to focus all of their attention on beating divisional foes but going undefeated in the division won’t help if you can’t supplement your record with other wins. (0-3)
  • Pittsburgh 30, Cleveland 9: I stated a couple of weeks ago that the Steelers would need to make a big run in the second half of the season to win a wild card but that task looks a lot easier at the moment. The first thing is that the Steelers currently have either a one or two game lead over all other AFC wild card contenders. The other thing that looks more favorable is the schedule, as opponents such as Denver, Indianapolis, and Seattle look a lot less threatening then they did a few weeks ago. With Ben Roethlisberger still able to be a top five quarterback even when not at 100%, I think the Steelers are one of the few sure things in a cloudy playoff picture. (1-3)
  • Tampa Bay 10, Dallas 6: How weird is the NFC playoff race? These two teams are a combined 6-12 and both of them have legitimate shots of playing in January. The Cowboys have Tony Romo coming back and with no one running away with the NFC East they have a chance to take the division if they finish 6-1 in their last seven games. The Bucs have a tougher challenge as they are two games behind the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons and are tied with five other teams at 4-5, a group that includes the Seahawks. I think you can call Tampa Bay’s season a success already but why not try for the playoffs if your team still has a shot? (2-3)
  • Detroit 18, Green Bay 16: I give a ton of credit to the Lions, but it still doesn’t make any sense to me that the Packers lost that game. I’ve picked the Packers each of the last two weeks thinking they would rebound only to disappoint. I feel I’m in the same position I was in with the Ravens at the beginning of the season. I knew they were a talented team and just banked my hopes on them turning it around. I think the Packers will eventually turn it around but I don’t think they will do it in time to win the division as they have to travel to Minnesota this week and with how the Vikings have been playing, I wouldn’t be surprised if this losing streak extends to four games. (2-4)
  • Carolina 27, Tennessee 10: People, me included, were having a hard time accepting Cam Newton’s transition to an elite quarterback because his performances weren’t all that impressive. However, this past week I finally saw what I wanted out of Newton. Against the Titans, Newton not only ran the ball well and committed no turnovers; he also threw very accurately, connecting on 21 of 26 pass attempts. Sure the game was a blowout, but we needed to see Newton throw a very accurate passing game to show us he is capable of doing it. Now it’s a matter of if he can do it when the game is on the line. He’s proven he can win in crunch time with his legs; now let’s see him win with his arms. (3-4)
  • Miami 20, Philadelphia 19: This was a crucial win for the Dolphins as it seemed they had lost all of the momentum that they gained when interim Head Coach Dan Campbell first took over. Meanwhile the Eagles give away yet another game and are facing the possibility of having to start Mark Sanchez at quarterback. The Eagles could survive the next two weeks against the Bucs and Lions without Sam Bradford (who has both a concussion and a separated shoulder), but then again they should have won this week and didn’t. (3-5)
  • Washington 47, New Orleans 14: I warned that sometimes a defense’s confidence can be irrevocably shaken when it takes part it an all-offensive shootout. The Saints’ defense wasn’t that good to begin with but the last two weeks have been an aftereffect of the Giants game. In the seven games prior to that 51-48 epic, the Saints were giving up 26.4 points per game (below average but manageable with an offense as great as the Saints). In the two games since the Giants game, the Saints have given up 40.5 points per game. It looks like a small sample size but that shouldn’t sway you as the last two offenses (Titans and Redskins) are considerably weaker than the majority of their first seven opponents (Cardinals, Eagles, Falcons, Colts, and Panthers had better offenses than the Saints’ last two opponents). The Saints can only hope that changing defensive coordinators helps stop the bleeding. (3-6)
  • Jacksonville 22, Baltimore 20: With the Jaguars’ win, this weekend marked the first time all three Florida NFL teams won on the same week in 5 years! Just let that sink in for a little bit. As for the Ravens, their season is literally playing out like one of those spoof movies where everything goes hilariously wrong. At this point I think it would be in the best interest of every Ravens fan and their health (both physical and mental) to look comically at this season and not take it seriously. The best the Ravens can hope for is to use their high draft pick to find an explosive skill position player to give Joe Flacco a playmaker to help him carry the offense. (3-7)
  • Minnesota 30, Oakland14: I know it is a quarterback league, but Adrian Peterson needs more attention in the MVP race. He has single-handedly made Teddy Bridgewater’s job easier and has reclaimed his title as best running back in the game. Peterson is on pace for 1,708 rushing yards, which would rank as his third best season total behind 2008 (1,760) and 2012 (2,097), the latter of which Peterson won MVP. He’s also helped the Vikings equal the same amount of wins they had all of last season after just 10 weeks. This week the Vikings have a chance to take advantage of the slumping Packers and gain a two-game lead in the division with a home win over Green Bay. (3-8)
  • Kansas City 29, Denver 13: Doesn’t matter how old Peyton Manning gets, that kind of performance (5/20 for 35 yards, 0 TDs and 4 INTs) only makes sense if Manning was injured, which he was. People seem ready to bury Manning, with talks of making Brock Osweiler the starter for the rest of the season and I think that is ridiculous. I know I’ve made a point this season to point out how bad the Broncos’ offense has been but this seems like a panic decision after losing two games in a row. Let Osweiler take over until Manning is 100% because a healthy Manning is still the Broncos’ ceiling on offense. (3-9)
  • New England 27, New York Giants 26: You know it was a crazy week in the NFL if Tom Brady and Patriots actually beat Eli Manning and the Giants. All jokes aside, this was huge for the Patriots as they continue to try and make up for the two championships they lost to the Giants by winning last year’s Super Bowl and potentially this year’s Super Bowl. However their chances for this season took a bit of a hit as Julian Edelman required foot surgery and may not be back in time for the playoffs. Brady is still one of if not the greatest quarterback of all time and he’s had success with replacement-level to slightly above-average weapons before but Edelman was possibly the last weapon (even more than Rob Gronkowski) Brady wanted to see go down. (4-9)
  • Houston 10, Cincinnati 6: We all knew that the Bengals weren’t going to finish the season undefeated so it was inevitable they would lose and as a result people were going to jump on the team after that first loss. I’ll admit that a loss to the Texans (especially one to backup quarterback T.J. Yates, who has beaten the Bengals in the playoffs before) is a little hard to swallow at first, but the Texans have a legit shot at making the playoffs either through the AFC South or the AFC wild card. What the Bengals should be more worried about is that they don’t seem to have as reliable of a running game anymore despite having both Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill healthy.  (4-10)

Week 10 Record: 4-10
Season Record: 90-56 (.616)
Perfect Score Predictions: 2