There are many obnoxious things about the 17-game season the NFL crams down our throats. It flies in the face of player safety, it’s a blatant soft springboard to an 18-game season, and it completely changed all the historical data points for NFL records.
But nothing is more annoying than the fact we no longer have an actual midpoint of the NFL season. I don’t know why it drives me so crazy, but it does. I’m not anal retentive by any stretch.
However, not having the quarter pole and the midpoint and the three-quarter mark of the NFL season clearly delineated drives me absolutely crazy. Just move to 18 games already so we can get a nice even number once again.
The record books are already ruined, let us get some damn symmetry please. To the Week 10 picks!
“Ah, [bleep], here we go again.” Why can’t I quit backing this terrible Carolina Panthers team? I hate them. They’re terrible. They can’t throw the ball down the field. They can’t really run the ball effectively. They can’t protect Bryce Young. Brian Burns is out Thursday and the injury report is massive. It’s all quite frustrating! But the Bears aren’t good either. And the Tyson Bagent Cinderella Story can’t roll on forever. Or maybe it ended two weeks ago when Bagent started dishing out interceptions like Halloween candy? He’s got five picks in the last two games, and the Panthers defense should be able to limit this offense enough, although I am petrified of the D.J. Moore Revenge Game™️.
The Ravens are rolling right now and getting up for big games. They’re one of three teams since the NFL merger in 1970 to win three straight games against teams with a winning record by 24-plus points. (The Bills also did it this season, but in the first four weeks of the season, so it deserves an asterisk since they got a 1-0 Raiders team, etc.) The Ravens smoked Cleveland once on the road and blistered good Lions and Seahawks teams at home over the last month. The Browns will have Deshaun Watson here, but the offensive line is a concern and Baltimore should dial up some pressures and create some turnovers en route to a dominant victory.
Everyone knows about 🎵 Andy Reid / off the bye 🎵 but now you’re about to learn about 🎵 Dougy P / off the bye!🎵 … sadly Doug Pederson actually hasn’t been that great off the bye, so it’s not really a thing. But a lot of his losses were in divisional games or with some quarterback concerns. There are no such concerns here with Trevor Lawrence playing pretty well. I think the Jags are set for a second-half surge in the standings similar to last season, and it starts with a surprise win at home as an underdog coming off the bye and the Niners getting an early West Coast kick.
Short week for the Chargers, who head back across the country after a “dominant” win over the Jets only to face off against a much more difficult test in Detroit. I expect a lot of Lions fans to show up for this game, just because Lions fans are GOING to games these days regardless of where their team is playing. The Lions will protect Jared Goff much much better than the Jets did for Zach Wilson, and the Lions can exploit the Chargers pass defense to make L.A. one dimensional.
GROSS GAME. Backing a Matt Canada offense is petrifying. But the Steelers don’t need to score that many points to win here — the Packers offense is a complete disaster right now and probably isn’t going to magically get better with a road trip to Pittsburgh. T.J. Watt is on a tear and could pick up a couple sacks here, with one possibly going the other way.
I was interested in backing the Cardinals until I realized that the new Call of Duty comes out Friday … two days before Kyler Murray takes the field for the first time this season. Atlanta has to bounce back against a bad defense here. Feed Bijan Robinson already.