After bringing you a midseason awards show last week, Dave and Cooper return to their normal schedule.
They are providing you with survivor and upset picks as well as previewing what to watch and the game of the week.
There are a few big games on tab this week, many of which have big playoff implications. It is still a little bit early, but every game is getting more and more important with each passing week.
Here is your first and 10 Week 10 preview.
What to Watch
Is Case Keenum Legit?
After starting the season as Houston’s third-string quarterback, Case Keenum has taken the league by storm over the past couple of weeks. Despite losing both games, the sophomore has kept the Texans in each game against two playoff teams. He will face another very tough defense in Arizona this Sunday and will make me a believer if he can continue to have success.
Green Bay Without Aaron Rodgers
The Packers looked lost on Monday night after Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury. They would end up losing a game they were favored by over 10 points in. With a full week to prepare without him, can this team rally around their new quarterback or will they collapse?
Is Nick Foles Legit?
Similar to what Cooper said about Keenum, fans are wondering if Nick Foles is more like the seven touchdown quarterback against Oakland or the 11-for-29 and 80 yards quarterback against Dallas. The easy answer is somewhere in the middle, but that is a pretty big area. Philadelphia travels to Green Bay to play the Rodgers-less Packers. Whether Foles is legit or not, the Eagles are in the weak NFC East.
Chicago hosts Detroit and Cincinnati visits Baltimore for two great matchups in the north divisions. It is a must win for Baltimore with its record at 3-5 and two losses already in the division. To answer Cooper’s question, I personally do not expect Green Bay to survive without Aaron Rodgers and all the other playmakers that are injured, so the Bears/Lions game will go a long way in deciding the NFC North.
In the AFC West, Denver goes to San Diego where it took an amazing comeback last year on Monday Night Football for Peyton Manning and the Broncos to defeat the Chargers. With a showdown with the Chiefs next week and no John Fox, do the Broncos come in flat and give the Chargers a chance at the upset.
How do Jack Del Rio and Wade Phillips do in their returns to head coaching? Both were fired from head coaching positions in the last three years and now coach the defense of their respective teams.
After just barely getting by with Seattle last week, I am going with Tennessee this week in hopes of moving to 8-2 with survivor picks on the year. The Titans will host Jacksonville this Sunday in a game that they should win easily.
They picked up a big win in St. Louis in Week 9 to get to .500 and need this win to stay in the wild card hunt. This is one of the safer bets you will see this week.
Previous teams used: Indianapolis, Houston, Denver, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle.
I am also going with the Titans for all the reasons Cooper said; especially because they are playing Jacksonville. At some that could burn me though, this is my fifth time picking the Jaguars opponent in survivor; four-for-four so far.
If you are looking for another team besides Tennessee, Miami could be a go pick against Tampa Bay, but who knows how the team reactions to all the media attention this week. Indianapolis hosting St. Louis could be a solid pick too.
Previous teams used: New England, Cincinnati, Seattle, Kansas City, Atlanta, Denver, San Diego, San Francisco, Dallas.
Cooper: Atlanta over Seattle
I was originally leaning towards taking Philadelphia over Green Bay now that Aaron Rodgers is out with an injury. With the way Seattle has been playing, though, this team is due for a loss sooner rather than later.
The Seahawks needed overtime to get past the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home and barely edged out a St. Louis squad playing without its starting quarterback. This team has won ugly in back-to-back games and does not play well on the road. Atlanta still has some talent on both sides of the ball despite a rough season thus far. The Falcons may surprise some people this week.
Dave: Philadelphia over Green Bay
I will go with what Cooper was originally thinking. Foles off the hot game in Oakland, and quarterback Seneca Wallace with a short week to prepare, don’t be surprised if Philadelphia gets to the .500 mark this weekend.
Game of the Week
Cooper: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
With Aaron Rodgers breaking his collarbone on Monday night, the NFC North race is now wide open. Both Detroit and Chicago are tied with Green Bay for the division lead at 5-3, making this a huge matchup for both teams.
These two teams already faced each other back in September, with the Lions winning 40-32 on home turf. This is a must-win game for the Bears if they want to contend for the division title as a loss would give Detroit both a one-game edge and the tiebreaker.
Even with Josh McCown at quarterback, these two teams are almost evenly matched. If Cutler is able to return for this one, then that may be the boost Chicago needs to come out on top. This should be a fun one to watch.
Dave: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
For the sake of being different, I will go with the AFC West battle. Like I mentioned before, the Chargers should be red hot for blowing that huge lead on Monday night last season. This one should be a dandy, and the best game on during the 4 o’clock slot.
That is all for this edition of the First and 10 series. Be sure to check out the Monday Morning Huddle podcast this week as Cooper will join Dave to discuss their predictions for the NFC.
To see their AFC predictions, listen to last week’s podcast here.