NFL Week 10 2015 Alerts
Great teams make winning football games look easy, but don’t be fooled. There are few things tougher than getting the W in a National Football League game, and it doesn’t get much easier when you’re the favorite. In fact, favored teams have a target on their back from the moment they show up to play. Their opponents will scratch and claw to steal a win, and there’s always the concern that a great team will overlook the opposition and drop a winnable game. So which favored teams should be extra-careful in Week 10 of this NFL season? Here are our picks.
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills, 8:25 PM on Thursday
The Bills have not looked strong this season, and the surprising Jets are on track to earn a Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs. But this divisional matchup is fraught with danger for the Jets. The Bills still have talent on defense, and Rex Ryan is a great motivator who will be pumped up to duel with his former team. Besides, this is a Thursday Night Football game, and the Thursday matchups tend to be sloppy affairs. A few bad bounces, and this Jets team could enter a long practice week wondering how they let a winnable game slip through their fingers.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, 1:00 PM on Sunday
Winning a game at home against the Cleveland Browns shouldn’t be too tough for this Steelers team, but this one may not be as easy as it looks. The Steelers will be without QB Ben Roethlisberger, who was injured (yet again) last week. Plus, Pittsburgh may be tempted to look ahead: they have a huge four-game stretch coming up right after this game. The Seahawks, Colts, Bengals, and Broncos lie in wait, but the Steelers need to stay focused on their divisional rivals right now. With their injuries and their competition for the AFC Wild Card spots, they cannot afford to drop a game to this Browns team.
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 PM on Sunday
The Broncos just suffered a tough loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but they can’t afford to wait around and think about it. They need to prep for a tough divisional battle against the Kansas City Chiefs, who know these Broncos well and would love nothing more than to hand them a second consecutive loss. It’s always tough to beat a team twice in one season, even when that team is 3-5. And the Chiefs aren’t your typical 3-5 team: four of their losses came against very good teams (Denver, Green Bay, Cincinnati, and Minnesota).
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans, 8:30 PM on Monday
Cincinnati will face elite competition next week when they take on the Arizona Cardinals. That’s the kind of game that gets players fired up, but it’s also the kind of game that may get players and staff thinking too far ahead – especially with just a short week to prepare. Will the Bengals remain focused on the 3-5 Texans, or will they overlook them? The Texans defense has been hit and miss, but they have great talent (J.J. Watt, anyone?) that could make trouble for the offensive-minded Bengals. Nobody wants to get upset in prime time. The Bengals will have to be careful to make sure that it doesn’t happen to them.