Week 10 is upon us! We saw the Carolina Panthers pick up a huge victory against their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons, on Thursday Night Football. Now we can look ahead to the weekend slate of games. The TWSN game preview crew is here to break it all down.
Seattle Seahawks vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Seahawks and Buccaneers are set to square off in Germany as part of the global series. This should give fans across the globe a chance to see some of the games biggest stars. None get bigger than Tom Brady and he has a chance to put on a show. While it has been a struggle for the Bucs this season, they seemed to have possibly figured some things out. A win here against a good Seahawks team could go a long way for their season.
For Seattle, they have been the surprise of the year so far. They sit atop the NFC West and are looking to gain more ground. If they can take down the Bucs, it could be huge for their division winning chances.
This should be a good matchup and fans in Germany will likely get a good game. I see Tom Brady doing just enough to get his team another needed victory. Give me Tampa Bay here. — Matt Levine
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs
After their thrilling comeback against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Jacksonville Jaguars now head to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are coming off their own close victory against the Tennessee Titans on Monday night. The Jaguars will need a better performance out of the gate from their defense after allowing 20 points in the first half. They did pull things together and hold the Raiders scoreless in the second half, but this Chiefs’ offense does not take their foot off the pedal. The Chiefs lead the NFL in points per game with 30.4, and Patrick Mahomes has another new receiver in Kadarius Toney to go along with Mecole Hardman, Travis Kelce, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and JuJu Smith-Schuster to name a few. The Jaguars secondary, while only allowing a 62.7% completion percentage, have allowed the seventh most passing yards with 2,145.
So, against a high-powered Chiefs offense, the Jaguars will need a great game from Trevor Lawrence. Against the Raiders he had one of the best games of his career, completing 80.7% of his passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. It helps that the Jaguars have a young star at the running back position in Travis Etienne who had his third game with over 100 yards rushing. The Chiefs run defense is the fifth best in the league, allowing only 102 yards per game. If they take the ground game away from the Jaguars, it truly will be on Lawrence to have another consistent game to match the Chiefs.
The Jaguars have a young team with potential, but against this Chiefs team with the talent they have will be too much. — Marissa Myers
Houston Texans @ New York Giants
Both teams are coming into this game off a little extra rest. The Texans played on Thursday night last week, while the Giants had their bye week. New York has been one of the NFL’s biggest surprises thus far, sitting at 6-2 with a real shot for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Texans sit at 1-6-1, although they played the undefeated Eagles closer than expected last week until a pair of Davis Mills interceptions cashed things in. Expect plenty of Saquon Barkley, as he’s the Giants best playmaker, and the Texans have the leagues worst run defense. The Giants are the better team, at home, coming off more rest, and I like this matchup. The Big Blue keeps rolling. — Aidan Maher
Indianapolis Colts @ Las Vegas Raiders
The Indianapolis Colts are a mess. Owner Jim Irsay said the benching of Matt Ryan was for his own safety, because the offensive line cannot block. They turned to Sam Ehlinger who has been downright awful. Now, they just hired former player Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach. There is one major problem: Saturday has never even coached at the collegiate level, nonetheless in the NFL. You have to wonder what is going on over in Indianapolis but they are still second in the AFC South. With the first week of the Saturday Era on the horizon, eyes will be on the Colts. Will this obscure hire work out? Or will Staurday go down with the ship over the course of the season? The Colts have dropped three games in a row, but the Las Vegas Raides are up next.
The Raiders have had their own conundrums throughout the season. Josh McDaniels has been a disastrous experiment at head coach. Two ugly losses in a row to the New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars have the Raiders in the basement of the AFC West at 2-6. This is a huge downfall for a team that was supposed to be a top competitor in an AFC West division that was talked about being one of the best divisions in football history. Neither of those takes have come true. Star wide receiver Davante Adams told Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week that “I’ve got no business being in this building” if things do not change. Two dysfunctional teams will meet on the field this week, and a lot of implications will come to light depending on the outcome of this game. — Tyler Paluzzi
Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have been one of the better teams in the AFC this season and have a chance to make some strides if they can take down Cleveland. They are at home and that should give them some advantage here, especially as we get into mid-November. Their offense is explosive and can make life really tough for opposing defenses.
As for the Browns, they need to win here. They will be getting Deshaun Watson back soon but want to be in a position to make a playoff run when that happens. Another loss here and it will be very difficult for them.
This is a tough game against a good Miami team. I think the Browns will make it close but in the end, give me Miami to win the game. — Matt Levine
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
The Detroit Lions are coming off a game in which they defeated one divisional rival in the Green Bay Packers, and now have to face another in the Chicago Bears. For the Lions to take down the Packers, it was their young defense that had to step up, holding Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon to under 50 rushing yards each. They even picked off Aaron Rodgers three times, Kerby Joseph hauled in two of them while Aidan Hutchinson had the other. Yet, they allowed Rodgers to run for 40 yards, and now get Justin Fields. Ever since the game against the New England Patriots when the Bears implemented more designed runs to utilize Fields’ strengths, the offense has improved. Against the Miami Dolphins, his ability to avoid pressure and sacks led to him rushing for 178 yards while also throwing for 123 and two touchdowns. The Lions will also have to heavily prepare for Chase Claypool who should see more involvement.
While the Lions defense saw a boost, their offense did not. Jared Goff only threw for 137 yards, he did have two touchdowns, but also an interception. The run game also ran into a brick wall as D’Andre Swift was limited to only two carries and Jamaal Williams had 24 carries go for only 81 yards. The Bears run defense allowed 77 yards on 23 carries against the Dolphins, one of their better performances of the season, but still are third in rushing yards per game allowed with 147.2. Their pass defense, on the other hand, had one of their worst performances allowing Tua Tagovailoa to throw for 302 yards and three touchdowns. Luckily for them, they go from facing Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond.
With how the Lions have struggled to contain quarterbacks on the ground, this should set Fields up for another huge game. A game in which he leads the Bears to a victory over the Lions. — Marissa Myers
New Orleans Saints @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Both the Saints and Steelers have had disappointing starts given their expectations to make the playoffs. Luckily, the Saints find themselves in a wide open division, but nonetheless, this feels like a very important game for both sides. Both offenses have been two of the worst in football, but I think this is a spot where both teams can pick up the pace, at least a little bit. I’m anticipating a really nice game from rookie receiver Chris Olave, going up against this poor Pittsburgh pass defense. However, that won’t be enough to get things done. The Saints are coming in on a short week, while the Steelers are fresh off a bye week. Add far more rest with the advantage of a better head coach and home field advantage, I’m going with the Steelers. — Aidan Maher
Minnesota Vikings @ Buffalo Bills
Two of the best in their respective conferences will meet this week. One of the NFC’s best in the Minnesota Vikings will take on the AFC’s crown jewel Buffalo Bills. This game will feature stout defense and explosive offenses. The Vikigs come in at 7-1 and own some quality wins. Justin Jefferson has had big games every week, and the run game compliments a great air attack. The Vikings control their own destiny as they have an iron-clad grip on the NFC North already. A win this week against Buffalo would firmly plant them in the Super Bowl conversation.
The Buffalo Bills are coming off a loss to the upstart New York Jets. The Jets’ dominant defense severely limited what the Bills could do on offense. Josh Allen has a slightly torn UCL, and his status is up in the air. Thankfully for the Bills, if he misses any time it will be minimal. Expect fireworks from this matchup on offense, even if Allen cannot play. Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs are so explosive that playing a short-route package with Case Keenum still has big-play potential. — Tyler Paluzzi
Denver Broncos @ Tennessee Titans
The Broncos head to Tennessee in need of another win. It has been a struggle for Denver on offense this season and now facing a tough Titans defense will make things even harder. Quarterback Russell Wilson will need to play turnover free football otherside they will likely lose this game.
For the Titans, they can’t overlook the Broncos. Even with rookie quarterback Malik Willis, the Titans look like the better team. They are at home as well which grants them some advantage. Give me the Titans to win this game. — Matt Levine
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
This NFC West matchup will be between two teams that have disappointed to this point. After giving Kyler Murray a big extension that had a lot of controversy surrounding it, the Arizona Cardinals have not done much this season. The return of DeAndre Hopkins has certainly helped, but the team has yet to click and frustrations are mounting. Sitting last in the NFC West, their remaining schedule does not benefit them at all. At 3-6, the playoffs seem very unlikely but this team still has their pride to play for. Taking on a divisional opponent this week should stir up the competitiveness on the Cardinals and we may see another barnburner like their game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Matching up with the Cardinals will be the Los Angeles Rams. The defending Super Bowl champions have heavily disappointed this season, sitting at 3-5 and towards the basement of the NFC West. Cooper Kupp is having another stellar year, but the rest of the offense has been lackluster at best. Being they won it all last year, I would not say this team is out of contention yet. However, they will need to win some tough games down the stretch to sneak into the playoffs. It will all start this week against the Cardinals. Looking at the matchup, this game will probably come down. — Tyler Paluzzi
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers
Mike McCarthy makes his return to Wisconsin to face the Green Bay Packers, who are in the midst of a five game losing streak. Aaron Rodgers played below par against the Detroit Lions as he threw three interceptions and once again they could not get the ground game going. The offensive line hasn’t helped matters, allowing 65 pressures, 22 hits, and 18 sacks. They may be without David Bakhtiari as he sustained an injury against the Lions, as well as Aaron Jones, and Romeo Doubs for the offensive side of things. The potential loss of Bakhtiari is huge for this matchup as the Packers need to slow down this defensive line of the Cowboys with Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Dorance Armstrong.
On defense, Eric Stokes and Rashan Gary were injured in the loss for the Packers. Now this Packers defense has to face a Cowboys’ offense that before their bye week saw Dak Prescott find a rhythm again passing for 250 yards and Tony Pollard rush for 131 yards. Between Pollard on the ground and CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, and Michael Gallup through the air, they will have ways to exploit the Packers defense.
On both sides of the ball, the Cowboys have multiple advantages, especially on the lines of scrimmage. That advantage will lead the Cowboys to the victory and a Packers’ sixth straight loss. — Marissa Myers
Los Angeles Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers
The Chargers run defense that has struggled, and struggled again against the Atlanta Falcons allowing 201 yards, now has to face the 49ers. The Chargers still lead the NFL in rushing yards allowed with 5.7. Kyle Shanahan now has had a bye week to scheme up new plays for Christian McCaffrey. Since being traded to San Francisco, McCaffrey already has 132 rushing yards and 79 receiving yards. If McCaffrey wasn’t bad enough, the Chargers also have to find a way to defend against Deebo Samuel who also has that ability as a rusher.
The best-case scenario for the Chargers would be to slow things down on offense to keep the ball out of the 49ers hands. Justin Herbert has been trying to lead the offense as best as he can, but with the lack of talent, it is truly holding the offense back. The Chargers receivers are currently tied for second in the NFL with drops, as they have 21. The key on offense with Mike Williams and Keenan Allen out has been Austin Ekeler, who has averaged 53.4 rushing yards per game while also averaging 47.6 receiving yards per game. The 49ers defense is allowing the least amount of yards to opposing running backs on the ground (537), and the eighth least amount of receiving yards to running backs (228).
If the 49ers take away Ekeler, it could mean a long day for the Chargers on offense. With that, the 49ers have the advantage on both sides of the ball to end up with the victory. — Marissa Myers
Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles
These two teams squared off back in week three, where the Eagles picked up a convincing 24-8 victory. However, Washington is starting to get healthier, they’ve made a quarterback change, and ultimately, we’ve seen them win three of their last four. If I’m Washington, getting guys like Curtis Samuel and Antonio Gibson involved via screens, misdirections, and end-arounds will be key. Get the ball in the hands of two of your best playmakers, while also neutralizing that Eagles pass rush to set up a bit of an easier day for Taylor Heinicke on passing downs, where he’ll already be tested by the Eagles elite secondary. With that being said, I believe the Eagles stay hot off a week and a half of rest, getting the seasonal series sweep over Washington. — Aidan Maher