NFL Week 10 Preview: Is Seahawks-Patriots a Super Bowl Rematch & Preview?
Two excellent AFC-NFC matchups highlight the NFL schedule this week. Also, the Browns are on national TV. Ugh. Here’s a preview of Week 10:
Thursday, November 10
Why Are The Browns On National TV?
Cleveland at Baltimore | M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore; 8:25 p.m. (ET) on NFL Network
Really: WHY? Scheduling games like Browns-Ravens for a Thursday night is a partial reason why NFL ratings are down.
Cleveland (0-9) is terrible and unlikely to be favored to win a game in the 2016 season. They’ve used six different quarterbacks this season. SIX! If Browns fans think rookie Cody Kessler is the answer, the question must be ‘who is the next USC quarterback to disappoint in the NFL?’ The most interesting thing about Cleveland is the data-driven approach their front office — and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta — are implementing. If the Browns are to be the Cubs of football, we’ll have to wait till next year (or longer) to find out.
Baltimore (4-4) leads the AFC North, but John Harbaugh’s squad is a very mediocre team that could just as easily find themselves out of the playoff picture in a few weeks. They saved their season with last week’s upset of the Steelers, but they’ll need to be a more complete team in the second half of the season to get back to the playoffs. Expect the Ravens to win this game, but don’t expect many people to enjoy watching it.
Sunday, November 13
The Eagles Need a Win. Now.
Atlanta at Philadelphia | Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Philadelphia (4-4) went from playing for first place in the NFC East to sitting in last place in the division in eight days. The Eagles have lost all three of their divisional games and another to Detroit, a potential NFC wild card rival. If Philly drops a few more contests, their once-promising season is all but over.
It won’t be easy for the Eagles to turn it around against Atlanta (6-3) and Matt Ryan this week. The Philly-area native is having a Pro Bowl year. If he can sidestep pressure from the Eagles’ pass rush, Ryan could get the Falcons out to an early lead, and force Philly rookie QB Carson Wentz to play catch-up. That’s been the case in nearly every Eagles loss this season.
Start the Chargers’ Farewell Tour
Miami at San Diego | Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego; 4:05 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Perhaps you heard: there was an election on Tuesday. While the outcome of the hotly contested presidential race didn’t have any impact on the NFL, the Chargers became very likely to move their franchise to Los Angeles (or another city) when a measure on a stadium funding bill failed to pass.
Quarterback Philip Rivers hasn’t had that problem for San Diego (4-5). He’s fourth in the league with 2,560 passing yards, and he’s benefitted from the emergence of running back Melvin Gordon — the NFL’s third-best rusher. Perhaps Chargers fans should start saying good-bye to these incredible offensive talents now. At least those who show up.
Southern California football fans should go to the game just to watch Dolphins’ running back Jay Ajayi. He’s rushed for 529 yards and four touchdowns in the past three games for Miami (4-4) — all victories for the ‘Fins. For that win streak to continue, Ajayi must test a Chargers defense that allows just 85.3 yards rushing per game — fifth in the NFL.
Steelers vs. Cowboys Always Feels Like a Super Bowl
Dallas at Pittsburgh | Heinz Field, Pittsburgh; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Regardless of the year, Steelers vs. Cowboys seems to matter more than any other inter-conference game. The teams are arguably the modern NFL’s most storied franchises, each with huge national fanbases. They’ve met three times in the Super Bowl, and they have 11 Lombardi Trophies between them. However, this Sunday’s game will mean more to Pittsburgh (4-4) than it will to Dallas (7-1).
After losing their third consecutive game last week, the Steelers need to stop their slide now. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is still recovering from knee surgery, something the Cowboys’ pass rush is sure to exploit with blitzes. Big Ben and his offense must put up points and put pressure on the Dallas offense to keep up the pace.
Fueled by the steady play of their offensive line in front of rookies Dak Prescott at quarterback and Ezekiel Elliott at running back, the Cowboys are being discussed as potential Super Bowl contenders. Dallas may be that good, but they haven’t had to play a defense quite as physical as Pittsburgh’s. This game is the latest stress test for the tires on the Cowboys bandwagon.
Seahawks-Patriots: Super Bowl Rematch & Preview?
Seattle at New England | Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
There has been a lot of terrible football on display in the 2016 season. That should not be the case this Sunday night. Just under two years removed from playing in what might have been the greatest Super Bowl ever played, the Seahawks and Patriots meet again in a primetime duel that could easily be a Super Bowl preview as well as a rematch.
Despite season-long offensive struggles, Seattle (5-2-1) remains one of the NFC’s best teams. The Seahawks don’t have much of a running game, so quarterback Russell Wilson will have to work his elusive magic against the Pats defense. If tight end Jimmy Graham has returned to his former Pro Bowl self, he’ll be a serious weapon.
Thanks to the quality play of quarterback Tom Brady and the coaching of Bill Belichick, New England (7-1) once again looks like the NFL’s best team. Both Brady and Belichick will be tested by the Seattle defense, which is third in the league in sacks and allows just 16.8 points per game.
Sunday, November 13
Kansas City at Carolina | Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Chicago at Tampa Bay | Raymond James Stadium, Tampa; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Los Angeles at N.Y. Jets | MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. ; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Houston at Jacksonville | EverBank Field, Jacksonville; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Denver at New Orleans | Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
San Francisco at Arizona | U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Monday, November 14
Cincinnati at N.Y. Giants | MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland