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Pigskin Preview: National Football League Week 10

Another week in the books and we are back for the Pigskins Preview for Week 10! After a dominating  51-23 win, the Eagles hold the best record in the NFL at 8-1 and seem to be at the top of the class in the NFL.

But, the two teams right behind the Eagles had impressive blowout victories as well. The Rams beat the Giants 51-17, and the Saints prevailed over the Bucs 30-10. The wins put the Rams and Saints at 6-2.

With tensions high across the league, we saw the Jags defeat the Bengals 23-7 in a game that was missing Jags CB Jalen Ramsey, and Bengals WR A.J. Green after a brawl broke out on the field. It caused both players to be ejected.

In a big NFC South matchup, we saw the Carolina Panthers move to 6-3 on the season, holding off Matt Ryan and Falcons in a 20-17 victory.

To end a wild week, in perhaps the biggest upset of the week, we saw Kirk Cousins throw for 247 yards along with a four-play 75 yard TD drive with 59 seconds left to give the Redskins a 17-14 win on road, in Seattle.

The playoff race is getting tight in the NFC, as there are seven teams with a .500 or better record who are not currently in 1st place in the NFC. As it stands right now, the current Wild Card teams would be the Panthers (6-3), Cowboys (5-3). Also. the Falcons, Lions, Redskins, Packers, and Cardinals who are all sitting at 4-4.

In the AFC, the Wild Card spots belong to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills at 5-3. The Dolphins are a game back at 4-4, with the Ravens, Raiders, and the Jets two games back with a 4-5 record.

Its a crucial week in the NFL, as teams look to make their playoff push, so here are the most intriguing games for Week 10 of the NFL!

New Orleans Saints @ Buffalo Bills

For the season, the Saints are ranked fourth in total offense with a balanced attack. They rank fourth in passing, and seventh on the ground.

This Saints defense has been much improved in 2017 from past seasons. They are led by Cameron Jordan who leads the team in sacks with seven on the season. The secondary has benefited from the play of rookie cornerback Marshon Latimore who has led the Saints to ninth in total points given up for the season.

The Bills will look to expose the Saints on the ground with running back LeSean McCoy, who is averaging 117 yards a game. Opposing running backs are averaging 116 yards per game against the Saints, which is ranked 19th in the league. If the Saints can contain the Bills running attack, they will force Tyrod Taylor to beat them through the air, which he has struggled to do as the Bills rank 30th in passing offense.

The biggest reason for the Bills success this season has been taking care of the football, and their ability to force turnovers. The Bills have 11 interceptions on the season, with a total of 17 turnovers, and have the best take away to give away ratio in the NFL at +11.  They are ranked fifth in scoring thanks to their run defense which is eighth best in the league.

The Bills have given up yards through the air ranking 28th, so it will be pivotal for the Bills to get pressure on Bress, because if given time, he could shred this Bills secondary apart. I could see this game coming out of the gates slow early, but I think its only a matter of time before the offense weapons break out, and this should be one of the best games of the week!

Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons 

The Falcons are reeling, losers of four of their last five. They currently sit at 4-4, and things won’t get any easier against the Dallas Cowboys who have won three in a row and are coming off a big 28-17 win against the Chiefs.

The status of running back Ezekiel Elliot is uncertain once again for this game, with his six-game suspension still up in the air. The Cowboys have relied on Zeke heavy all season, including last week against Kansas City when he had 27 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys offense hasn’t lost a step from a season ago, with second-year QB Dak Prescott. The Cowboys are fourth in points per game. If Elliot is out for this game, the Cowboys will look to Alfred Morris to get the bulk of the carries.

I would expect to see the Cowboys take their shots down the field, and rely on Prescott to spark the offense. The defense, which is ranked 15th, will be matched up with a middling offense in the Falcons. They are ranked 17th in points per game. A big reason for the Atlanta drop off offensively from a season ago has been the lack of a consistent running game, which was evident in their loss to Carolina. Devonta Freeman only had 11 carries for 46 yards, and Tevin Coleman could only muster up five yards in as many attempts.

Turnovers have also been a killer in the Falcons recent spiral, with 10 turnovers on the season, and -4 takeaway to giveaway differential.  This game could potentially be a shootout, as everyone is waiting for this Falcons offense to return to form and a Cowboys team that is red hot and seems to be clicking on all cylinders.

It will all come down to which team is able to take care of the football, and the upcoming ruling on Zeke Elliott could be the deciding factor in this game.

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos 

The Broncos are losers of four straight and finally return home after three straight road games. They get set to host the Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.

The Broncos were destroyed, giving up 51 points to Eagles, and offensively, new starter Brock Osweiler couldn’t produce enough, as he completed 19-38 passing, for only 208 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

The Broncos defense has been what they have relied on to stay in games, as the rank fourth in passing offense and fifth against the run. They are led by All-Pro Von Miller and cornerback Aqib Talib, but neither showed any ability to stop Wentz or the Eagles rushing attack. The Broncos defense will have another huge task at hand when they face Tom Brady, who at 40 years old currently has the most passing yards in the NFL.

The Patriots have won four straight games before the bye last week, and come into this game well rested. If the Broncos want to have any chance of keeping their season alive, they must come up with a big win.

It should be very intriguing to see the two past Superbowl Champs face off and see if the Broncos defense can slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.

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