The possible resurgence of Odell Beckham Jr at the LA Rams – having been in the wilderness for a few years at Cleveland – is one of the focusses this week as we outline our predictions for Week Ten.
In his main column this week, our NFL expert Nat Coombs assesses the postseason hopes of all 32 teams, with the Bucs the ‘team to beat’.
For more on those and the rest of Week Ten’s games, check out Nat’s predictions below.
NFL Week 10 predictions
San Francisco 49ers vs LA Rams
We’ve been hearing for a while that the Rams are going all-in on this season, the poker analogy predicated on LA giving up future high round Draft picks in return for win-now players like Matthew Stafford and, more recently, Von Miller. Which presumably means that their latest superstar acquisition – Odell Beckham Jr, signed on a 1-year deal worth up to $4.25 million this week – is the equivalent of Les Snead and Sean McVay asking the pit-boss to extend them credit. “I’m good for it!” you can just hear McVay protest, and given his astonishing memory, he’s probably also the NFL coach I’m least likely to beat at hold-em (honourable mention to Mike Tomlin).
Beckham has been anonymous for a few years in Cleveland but, much like the Bucs recruitment process of the last few seasons, grab established veteran talent on a slide at a fraction of the price (Playoff Lenny Fournette or Antonio Brown) slot them into a team with identity and away we go. I love the move, and Beckham may even suit up on Monday Night Football against a struggling San Francisco team. Could be a primetime debut for the ages. Or he could snag 1 catch for 7 yards. Either way, the 49’ers despite their strong record against their divisional rival in recent years, – they’ve won 4 straight remain banged up, a shadow of the Super Bowl bound Shanahan team of a few years back. The elite pass blocking of LA gives Stafford all the time he needs & the Rams take it on the road.
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Tennessee Titans vs New Orleans Saints
Are the Titans the number one in the AFC after the Ravens shock defeat to Miami on TNF? Very few would call them the best in conference, despite their record and some big-time performances, most notably a dismantling of the Rams, which stood out for two reasons. Firstly, and most notably their much-maligned defense was superb – and their pass rush is now into the Top 6 in total sacks on the season. Furthermore, whilst their offense wasn’t exactly humming post Derrick Henry – just 194 total yards – there is light at the end of the tunnel that, particularly when supported by an impactful D, there is enough variation to contend with the woefully underrated Ryan Tannehill hooking up with AJ Brown & Julio Jones.
This Saints team has a strong run defense that shouldn’t have too much trouble with the new rotation of Adrian Peterson, Jeremy McNichols, and D’Onta Foreman and Marshon Lattimore may well keep AJ Brown in check for much of the game, but it’s the offense that’s a concern for New Orleans, principally because of injury. Alvin Kamara is touch and go at the time of writing, and his involvement is obviously crucial in the trajectory of this one. Trevor Siemian has been competent, if not exceptional, like the solid back up he is, but this is an offense than rolls through Kamara (840 total yards, 7 TDs on the season. Sean Payton has done a remarkable job to keep New Orleans in contention given the injury issues he’s faced, but no Kamara and the Saints may hit a wall here.
Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons
On my podcast this week, Prop O & I were suggesting that Matt Ryan could pull a “Stafford” and land in a contending spot (Pittsburgh? Denver? New Orleans?!) next season as a reward for his superb season. He has been balling, despite the adversity, and his underdog status fuelled by guts and fight make the Falcons a very watchable, if flawed unit. They’re meeting Dallas at the worst possible time after one of Dak Prescott’s weakest starts as a pro, leaving the Cowboys hungry for a big status win to silence the critics. Indeed, in a season of upsets followed by wild overreactions, don’t be unduly concerned about the Cowboys championship credentials despite the heavy loss to Denver. Their offensive line has been superb – though the injury status of Tyron Smith is a concern – and their ground game should be able to get back in the groove against this Falcons D.
More on Squawka NFL
The rest of Nat’s Week Ten predictions
(winners in bold)
Jets vs Bills
Washington vs Buccaneers
Colts vs Jags
Steelers vs Lions
Patriots vs Browns
Chargers vs Vikings
Cardinals vs Panthers
Broncos vs Eagles
Packers vs Seahawks
Raiders vs Chiefs
|NFL Week 10 accumulator|
|Selected three-fold @ 2.19/1 with SkyBet|
|Full predictions @ 94.16/1 with SkyBet|
|Odds correct at time of publication.
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Nat Coombs is a British writer, broadcaster and NFL expert who has been anchoring live sport across UK TV & radio for over ten years. Nat will be providing Squawka with predictions for the 2021 NFL season.