By Tony McClean
Updated: November 10, 2004
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Now that we’ve reached the midway point for some teams, Week 10 offers some important divisional games that could have a bearing on the early playoff picture in both conferences.
Among those games: Tampa at Atlanta, Houston at Indianapolis, Seattle at St. Louis, and on Monday Night Football: The Tuna Helpers hosting the Eagles.
Speaking of MNF, it’s the focus of our factoid of the week. Winning in front of Al and John has proven to be fatal for most teams this season. With the exception of the Eagles in Week 3, every team that has won on Monday night has been beaten in their next game. Indianapolis, you’ve officially been put on notice.
LAST WEEK: 6-8 (73-58 on the season)
Ugh! It took nine weeks to finally to have a below .500 week. The Giants, Chiefs, and the boys from Motown let me down. We did have the Steelers winning along with the surging Chargers.
BUCS at FALCONS
Was that really the Bucs not only winning but scoring 34 points last week against the Chiefs? Brian Griese has helped spark a small Pewter revival? The Falcs have had two weeks to get ready for this important divisional game. With the Saints and Panthers on the outside looking in, a win against Tampa should give Atlanta a decent cushion in the South.
SEAHAWKS at RAMS
The return of Mike Holmgren’s worst nightmare. Way back in Week 5 at Seattle, the Birds blew a large lead and eventually lost to the Rams in OT. They in turn lost at New England the next week and have been up and down since. As for the Rams, they had their own nightmare in Week 7 in handing the Fish their lone win. It may be safe to say that the winner of this game should control the West and the loser will fight for a wild card.
TEXANS at COLTS
I probably showed too much faith in the Texans last week as they made Jake Plummer look like Johnny Unitas on Sunday. Now they face Johnny U’s former team in a key AFC South battle. Indy survived a predictable Monday Night shootout with the Vikings. Since neither teams defense is up to par, the difference will be which offense rises to the occasion. But then again, there’s that Monday Night thing to.
VIKINGS at PACKERS
The balance of power in the NFC North will be decided at the “Frozen Tundra” of Lambeau Field, a place that has been kind to the Cheesheads this season. But the Pack may be catching the Vikes at the right time. Minny has lost two of its last three and are playing without Randy Moss. This appears to be another offensive show considering each team’s porous defense. Last man standing takes control of the division.
EAGLES at COWBOYS
Now that Philly has finally lost, how will they respond against the Tuna Helpers? If you listen to Coach Parcells, Dallas will do something stupid to lose it. Remember the last coach to call his team stupid that many times. He’s now sitting somewhere in Nebraska freezing his Big Red N off. This has all the makings of a trap game for the Iggles, but you get the feeling they wont let this happen.
Bills over Patriots: This week’s upset special. Just a hunch and plus they played them very close in Buffalo on Week 4.
Steelers over Browns: Pittsburgh should win, but they can’t afford to look past the Brownies.
Lions over Jaguars: Only because the Lions are good on the road and Lord Byron appears to be out for this game.
Chiefs over Saints: First, Dave Wannstedt…..Jim Haslett could be next.
Jets over Ravens: Not without a dogfight from the Lewis boys.
Titans over Bears: If they have any pride left, Tennessee should bury this team.
Bengals over Redskins: Daniel Snyder gets to see the head coach he could have had a long time ago.
Cardinals over Giants: Again, just a hunch. This will just add to the growing “We Want Eli” bandwagon.
Panthers over 49ers: Only watch this game if you have to.