Week 9 of the NFL season proved once again that what we think we know is often not true at all. The best example of that was a depleted Washington Redskins team going into Seattle and beating the Seahawks 17-14 in front of the 12th man. Who anticipated that? And who anticipated that Russell Wilson — in the midst of a potential MVP season — would throw two puzzling interceptions against a subpar defense, at home?
With that in mind, let’s dive into our five bold predictions for a loaded Week 10 slate.
Orleans Darkwa rushes for 100 yards against San Francisco
Darkwa has the lone New York Giants’ 100-yard rushing game this season and has quietly been productive for a disappointing offense. The 25-year-old running back is averaging five yards per carry this season, and has a 20-yard rush in four of his last five games. Plus, he’s getting the rock. Darkwa has 46 carries over the last three games. San Francisco meanwhile, ranks dead last in the league in rushing defense, having been torched by Arizona’s Adrian Peterson for 159 yards just last week.
2. Michael Thomas eclipses the century mark for the first time all year
Plenty of big name wide receivers have underperformed in 2017: Think Mike Evans, Amari Cooper and Julio Jones. Add Thomas to the list. The second-year pro has yet to amass a single 90-yard game all season, and has just two touchdowns. Buffalo hosts New Orleans, which means Thomas draws the subpar Bills passing defense. Evans accumulated 88 yards and a score against them, while A.J. Green went off for 189 yards and a scores. Look for Drew Brees and Thomas to finally get on track this weekend in Orchard Park.
3. Matt Ryan goes for 300 yards and three scores
Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive struggles have been well documented. Hosting Dallas Sunday however, feels like a good spot for them. Ryan was better in last week’s 20-17 road defeat to Carolina (313 yards, two TDs, one INT) and the Cowboys appear vulnerable against the pass with their 15th ranked pass defense. This is a do-or-die game for the Falcons at home.
4. Tom Brady held to 250 yards, two scores in Denver
Generally, the rule is don’t bet against Brady coming off a bye week. But Brady has thrown two or fewer touchdowns in five consecutive games, and now gets an angry and desperate Denver defense. The 3-5 Broncos have become a full fledged dumpster fire, but their defense is too talented and too motivated not to show up in this game. Brady will be good, but not great.
5. Miami Dolphins upset the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night
Miami and Carolina have both been a bit Jekyll and Hyde. Much of that is due to the enigmatic quarterback play of Jay Cutler and Cam Newton, neither of whom have lived up to lofty expectations this season. Newton has more interceptions (11) than touchdown passes (10) while Cutler (5.88 yards per attempt) has yet to find any tangible success down the field. The Panthers have won two straight — partially in spite of Newton — and are set to host a Dolphins team in need of discovering an identity. Head coach Adam Gase simply will not tolerate another lackluster performance — on either side of the ball — and the result will be a massive upset Monday night in Charlotte.
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