It was another bizarre week in the NFL, but the Seahawks didn’t sit this one out as Seattle’s messiah – quarterback Russell Wilson – was back under center to get the team back on track… but it didn’t exactly work out that way.
Perhaps it was a bit too early for Wilson’s return as the Seahawks not only lost to Green Bay but were shut out 17-0 at Lambeau Field. Wilson, who missed each of the last three games since suffering a finger injury in Week 5 against the Rams, looked rusty, to say the least. Leading the NFL in passer rating up until the week of his injury, Wilson completed just 20 of 40 passes for 161 yards and was intercepted twice. Despite his 39.7 rating in Week 10, the Seattle quarterback still owns an overall rating of 104.5 on the year.
Due mostly to poor execution, the Seahawks didn’t hold the ball long, losing the time of possession battle to the Packers by nearly twofold. Green Bay held the ball for 39 minutes and nine seconds while Seattle had it for 20:51. The Hawks were out-gained 393 yards to 208 and netted 133 yards passing – Wilson was sacked three times for 28 yards – to go along with 75 on the ground.
Seattle hopes another week of practice shakes off Russell’s rust as the Seahawks are set to host the NFC West-leading Cardinals in Week 11. Arizona was without quarterback Kyler Murray in Week 10, and Carolina blew out the Cards 34-10. It’s unclear whether Murray will play, but signs are pointing to yes. Seattle will have to be on its A-game regardless.
Following Week 9’s unpredictable outcomes, Week 10 featured an even more topsy turvy set of results. We’ll see if Week 11 follows suit.
My season picks record: 5-8-1 last week, 88-61-1 overall
Arizona (8-2) at Seattle (3-6)
Without Kyler Murray (for a second straight game), the Cardinals were no match for Carolina, losing 34-10 at home. Colt McCoy again started in place of Murray and completed 11 of 20 passes for 107 yards and an interception. James Conner scored Arizona’s lone touchdown on an 11-yard run midway through the fourth quarter and finished with 39 yards on 10 carries. Christian Kirk had 58 yards on seven catches.
Gerald Everett had 63 yards on eight catches to lead the Seahawks in their Week 10 loss to Green Bay. Alex Collins ran for 41 yards on 10 carries. Russell Wilson added 32 yards on five totes. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett combined for just 49 yards on five receptions. In the second quarter, Jamal Adams came away with an interception in the end zone that kept the Seattle deficit at 3-0.
Murray should be back, which could really put a damper on Seattle’s playoff chances.
Pick: Cardinals 24, Seahawks 21
New England (6-4) at Atlanta (4-5) – Thursday
Rhamondre Stevenson took advantage of his playing time in a big way with 100 yards and two scores while leading the Patriots to a 45-7 blowout victory over Cleveland. Stevenson filled in for the injured Damien Harris, who might return against Atlanta. Kendrick Bourne led the team in receiving with 98 yards on four catches. Jakobi Myers found the end zone for the first time in his three-year career on an 11-yard pass from Mac Jones. Myers had 49 yards on four grabs. Jones threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns.
If only defenses giving up points were a good thing. The Falcons defense couldn’t stop Dallas in a 43-3 blowout loss. It wasn’t even the most points Atlanta has surrendered in a game this season – the Falcons lost 48-25 to Tampa Bay in Week 2. Matt Ryan completed only nine of his 21 pass attempts for 117 yards and was intercepted twice. Kyle Pitts had 60 yards on four catches, while Wayne Gallman netted 55 yards on 15 carries. Younghoe Koo’s 35-yard field goal cut Atlanta’s deficit to 7-3 midway through the first quarter.
New England is hot, Atlanta is not… we’re obviously not talking about the weather here.
Pick: Patriots 40, Falcons 17
Indianapolis (5-5) at Buffalo (6-3)
Jonathan Taylor keeps rumbling, and the Colts have now won four of their last five games. Taylor took 21 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown in Indianapolis’ 23-17 win over Jacksonville. He also had another 10 yards on six catches. Michael Pittman Jr. led the team in receiving with 71 yards on five grabs. Carson Wentz threw for 180 yards on 22-of-34 passing. EJ Speed returned a blocked punt 12 yards for a score midway through the first quarter that put Indy up 10-0.
Stefon Diggs’ season-high 162 yards helped the Bills to a 45-17 rout of the Jets. Diggs had a 12-yard touchdown on one of his eight catches. Gabriel Davis also crossed the century mark in receiving with 103 yards on three grabs. Josh Allen threw for 366 yards, two scores, and an interception. Perhaps most surprisingly, Allen only ran twice, netting three yards. The Buffalo defense came away with four interceptions and a fumble recovery.
This one will be closer than many think, but in the end, it will be up to Wentz to win it, and I don’t see that happening.
Pick: Bills 27, Colts 23
Baltimore (6-3) at Chicago (3-6)
To continue the last two weeks’ bizarre theme, the Ravens inexplicably fell 22-10 to Miami. Lamar Jackson threw for 238 yards, a touchdown, and an interception while adding 39 yards on nine carries. He found Mark Andrews for Baltimore’s only TD from five yards out. Andrews finished with 63 yards on six catches. Rashod Bateman also had six receptions, but for 80 yards.
The Bears were on a bye in Week 10. Chicago nearly pulled off an upset in Pittsburgh as Cairo Santos’ 65-yard field goal attempt fell short as time expired, and the Bears lost 29-27 in Week 9. Justin Fields threw for a career-high 291 yards to go along with one touchdown and an interception. Cole Kmet had 87 yards on six catches while Darnell Mooney came down with Fields’ second-ever TD pass from 16 yards out. Mooney finished with 41 yards on three grabs and added a 15-yard scoring run. David Montgomery led the rushing attack with 63 yards on 13 carries.
The Ravens looked awful on Thursday, but the long week – and pride – will allow Baltimore to escape the Windy City with a win.
Pick: Ravens 20, Bears 18
Detroit (0-8-1) at Cleveland (5-5)
D’Andre Swift ran for 130 yards on 33 carries to lead the Lions to their first non-loss of the season – a 16-16 tie with Pittsburgh. Weather conditions weren’t exactly ideal, as the wind and rain arguably made up the most exciting storylines during the contest. Detroit’s defense used the poor conditions to its advantage in coming away with a pair of fumble recoveries and an interception. Jared Goff threw for a mere 114 yards on 14-of-25 passing. The Lions could have potentially won had Ryan Santoso made his PAT following the team’s final touchdown with 12:09 remaining in the third quarter, which put them up 16-10.
The Browns received an absolute shellacking from New England, getting embarrassed 45-7. D’Ernest Johnson was essentially Cleveland’s entire offense as he ran for 99 yards on 19 carries and added 58 more on seven catches. Baker Mayfield, who left the game due to injury, found Austin Hooper for a 2-yard score to give the Browns a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. Mayfield finished with just 73 yards, the TD, and an interception.
Who knows if the weather will affect this one, but Detroit has a way of squandering winnable games nonetheless.
Pick: Browns 22, Lions 17
Houston (1-8) at Tennessee (8-2)
The Texans were on a bye in Week 10. Houston came away with five – FIVE – turnovers (three fumble recoveries, two interceptions) but still managed to lose 17-9 to Miami in Week 9. The Texans also out-gained the Dolphins (barely) 272 yards to 262. Tyrod Taylor was picked off thrice on his way to 240 yards through the air. Brandin Cooks came down with six catches for 56 yards. Phillip Lindsay led the paltry rushing attack with 28 yards on eight attempts. Ka’imi Fairbairn hit three field goals to score all of Houston’s points.
The Titans are now 2-0 without Derrick Henry following their 23-21 win over New Orleans. However, Tennessee’s run game is struggling. Following Week 9’s rushing total of 69 yards, the Titans managed just 66 yards in Week 10. It would be a vast understatement to say Tennessee misses its best player – who is arguably the most dominant player in the game right now. Despite missing the last two games, Henry still leads the NFL in rushing yards as he is tied with Indianapolis’ Jonathan Taylor with 937. Ryan Tannehill threw for 213 yards and a touchdown while adding another score on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. Marcus Johnson had 100 yards on five catches.
Perhaps a matchup with Houston is just what Tennessee needs to fix its rushing woes.
Pick: Titans 33, Texans 16
Green Bay (8-2) at Minnesota (4-5)
Justin Jefferson hauled in nine catches for 143 yards to lead the Vikings to a 27-20 road win over the Chargers. While Jefferson had the yards, Tyler Conklin had the touchdowns as the latter had just 11 yards on three catches but found the end zone twice. Dalvin Cook also found pay dirt on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter en route to 94 yards on 24 carries. Kirk Cousins netted 294 yards, and the pair of Conklin scores.
It wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Packers blanked Seattle 17-0. Aaron Rodgers threw for 292 yards and was picked off once after returning from a one-week absence due to COVID. Starting running back Aaron Jones suffered a sprained MCL and will miss 1-2 weeks, but A.J. Dillon shined in his place, rushing for 66 yards and two touchdowns while adding 62 yards on two catches. Davante Adams finished with 78 yards on seven grabs. The defense came away with two interceptions.
Cousins has had issues with consistency, and a Green Bay defense that’s playing well doesn’t bode well for the guys in Purple.
Pick: Packers 26, Vikings 19
Miami (3-7) at New York Jets (2-7)
Jacoby Brissett started in place of injured Tua Tagovailoa, who replaced an injured Brissett in the third quarter to lead Miami to an unexpected 22-10 win over Baltimore on Thursday. The Dolphins were clinging to a 6-3 lead when Brissett was forced to the sideline. He finished with 156 yards passing. Tagovailoa led two scoring drives, including one capped by his own 1-yard touchdown run with 2:19 left to seal the win. TT threw for 158 yards, completing eight of his 13 attempts. Xavien Howard returned a fumble 49 yards to give Miami a 15-3 lead early in the fourth. Albert Wilson had 87 yards on four catches, while Isaiah Ford added 84 yards on his four grabs.
Mike White threw four interceptions and was eventually benched in the Jets’ 45-17 loss to Buffalo. White finished with 251 yards and didn’t throw a touchdown pass. Joe Flacco stepped in and completed all three of his pass attempts for 47 yards and a 15-yard scoring strike to Elijah Moore with just over two minutes to play. Moore finished with 44 yards on three catches, while Corey Davis had 93 yards on five grabs. Michael Carter also found the end zone and had 39 yards on 16 carries.
There’s a good chance New York’s Zach Wilson returns under center, but Miami’s defense should keep clicking in this divisional showdown.
Pick: Dolphins 24, Jets 14
New Orleans (5-4) at Philadelphia (4-6)
Trevor Siemian nearly pulled off another upset but came up just short in the Saints’ 23-21 loss to Tennessee. Siemian threw for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Deonte Harris led the team with 84 yards on three catches. In Alvin Kamara’s absence, Mark Ingram II netted 47 yards and a TD on 14 carries. Marcus Davenport came away with both of New Orleans’ sacks.
Darius Slay’s 83-yard scoop-and-score fumble return touchdown led the Eagles to a 30-13 win over Denver. With the Broncos threatening to tie things up at 20-20, the Philly defense forced a fumble, and Slay turned it into a potential 14-point swing. Devonta Smith came down with two scoring catches en route to 66 yards and four total grabs. He now has three career touchdown receptions, all coming in the last two weeks. Jalen Hurts threw for 178 yards, the two TD tosses, and an interception. Jordan Howard led the Eagles in rushing as his 83 yards edged out Boston Scott’s 81.
Consistency has plagued Philadelphia, but this feels like the perfect setup for the team’s first back-to-back wins in 2021.
Pick: Eagles 23, Saints 19
Washington (3-6) at Carolina (5-5)
Antonio Gibson found the end zone twice and ran for 64 yards on 24 carries to lead Washington to a 29-19 upset win over Tampa Bay. Taylor Heinicke went 26-of-32 passing for 256 yards and a touchdown. The defense made a statement early by picking off Tom Brady twice in the first quarter. Those two interceptions led to 10 points for the Football Team. Terry McLaurin caught six passes for 59 yards.
Cam Newton returned to the Panthers – the team that drafted him first overall in 2011 – and accounted for two touchdowns in helping Carolina to a 34-10 win over Arizona. Newton first scored on a 2-yard run with just over 11 minutes to play in the first quarter, then found Robby Anderson for a 2-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes later. Cam finished with 14 yards on three carries while completing three of his four pass attempts for eight yards. Christian McCaffrey netted 95 yards on 13 totes while adding 66 more on 10 receptions.
Even if he doesn’t start, look for Newton to be more involved for Carolina.
Pick: Panthers 25, WFT 20
San Francisco (4-5) at Jacksonville (2-7)
Who saw that coming? The 49ers completely humiliated the Rams in a 31-10 drubbing. Deebo Samuel found the end zone twice – once on the ground and once through the air – on his way to 97 yards on five catches and 36 yards on five carries. George Kittle finished with 50 yards on five grabs while Eli Mitchell ran for 91 yards on 27 totes. Jimmie Ward came away with two interceptions, including a 27-yard pick-six that put San Francisco up 14-0 late in the first quarter. Jimmy Garoppolo had 182 yards and two TDs through the air.
The Jaguars fought back from a 17-0 hole but ultimately lost 23-17 to Indianapolis. Trailing 17-0 late in the first quarter, Jamal Agnew put Jacksonville on the board with a 66-yard scoring run. Agnew finished with 79 yards on three carries. James Robinson also scored for the Jags – a 1-yard plunge in the fourth to cut Jacksonville’s deficit to 20-17 – and tallied 57 yards on 12 totes.
It’s not easy to travel across the country on a short week and get a win, especially after upsetting a team like the Rams. I see this as a letdown game for San Francisco.
Pick: Jaguars 23, 49ers 21
Cincinnati (5-4) at Las Vegas (5-4)
The Bengals were on a bye in Week 10. Joe Mixon scored both Cincinnati touchdowns in a 41-16 loss to Cleveland in Week 9. Mixon finished with 64 yards on 13 carries. Joe Burrow had 282 yards through the air but was picked off twice. Tee Higgins led the Bengals in receiving with 78 yards on six catches.
The Raiders suffered an embarrassing 41-14 blowout loss to Kansas City. Derek Carr threw for 261 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He also led the team with 18 rushing yards on three carries. Bryan Edwards had 88 yards and a TD on three catches, while Hunter Renfrow added 46 yards and a score on seven grabs. The Las Vegas defense surrendered 516 total yards, including 422 through the air.
Cincy had an extra week to prepare, and Las Vegas is reeling.
Pick: Bengals 34, Raiders 23
Dallas (7-2) at Kansas City (6-4)
CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott each had two touchdowns in the first half en route to the Cowboys’ dominant 43-3 win over Atlanta. Lamb finished with 94 yards on six catches, while Elliott had 41 yards on 14 carries. Dak Prescott threw for 296 yards, and the pair of scores to Lamb. He also found the end zone on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter. The Dallas defense surrendered a mere 111 yards through the air and 214 total. The Cowboys came away with three interceptions, including one from rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs, who now has a league-leading eight on the season.
Are the Chiefs back? They embarrassed Las Vegas 41-14 in Week 10 behind Patrick Mahomes’ 406 yards and five touchdowns through the air. Travis Kelce hauled in eight catches for 119 yards while Darrell Williams netted 101 yards on nine receptions and 43 yards on 11 carries. Williams also found pay dirt on a 38-yard scoring strike from Mahomes in the fourth quarter. Tyreke Hill found the end zone twice en route to 83 yards on seven grabs. Kansas City out-gained the Raiders 516 yards to 299.
I’m not one to overreact to one big win, but the KC offense is arguably the toughest to stop when it’s in sync. Expect a high-scoring affair.
Pick: Chiefs 38, Cowboys 34
Pittsburgh (5-3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)
Without Ben Roethlisberger (COVID), the Steelers played to a 16-16 tie at home against winless Detroit. Weather conditions were miserable, no doubt aiding in Pittsburgh’s two lost fumbles. Mason Rudolph completed 30 of his 50 pass attempts for 242 yards, a touchdown, and was picked off once. Rookie Najee Harris took 26 carries for 105 yards, and Dionte Johnson had 83 yards on seven catches. Chris Boswell’s three second-half field goals – including a 51-yarder that tied things up midway through the fourth quarter – saved the Steelers from suffering their fourth loss this season.
Justin Herbert threw for 195 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in the Chargers’ 27-20 loss to Minnesota. Herbert’s lone TD toss was a 2-yarder to Austin Ekeler in the third quarter. Ekeler totaled 59 yards, 44 of that coming on 11 carries. He also had three catches. Keenan Allen led the aerial attack with 98 yards on eight grabs.
LA should be able to rebound from an off day and take this one at home against Pittsburgh.
Pick: Chargers 31, Steelers 28
New York Giants (3-6) at Tampa Bay (6-3) – Monday
The Giants were on a bye in Week 10. Xavier McKinney came away with a pair of picks, including a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown, to lead New York to the 23-16 win over Las Vegas in Week 9. New York forced three turnovers in all. Devontae Booker ran for 99 yards on 21 attempts while adding 23 more yards on three catches. Evan Engram led the receiving corps with 38 yards and a touchdown on three grabs. Daniel Jones had a meager 110 yards and the TD toss to Engram through the air.
Tom Brady threw two interceptions, and the Buccaneers fell 29-19 in upset fashion to Washington. Brady finished with 220 yards and a pair of scores. Mike Evans came down with one of those scores from 40 yards out en route to 62 yards on just two catches. Tampa’s defense recorded five sacks, including two from Devin White, and had a fumble recovery in the loss.
The Bucs underperformed (to say the least) in Week 10, but Tampa should rebound at home against New York.
Pick: Buccaneers 29, Giants 25
Teams on bye: Denver Broncos (5-5), Los Angeles Rams (7-3)