NFL picks and predictions, Week 10: AFC West rivals face tough tests

Week 10 of the NFL slate is officially here, and we'll be here every week of the season to bring you picks for not just your Kansas City Chiefs, but the entire Sunday and Monday slate of NFL action!
Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

We haven't gotten to this point in the season without a fair amount of question marks for the Kansas City Chiefs, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Should we be concerned that nine weeks in, the receiving corps appears to be still in the infantile stages of gelling with quarterback Patrick Mahomes? Should we have our doubts about the performance of offensive tackles Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor? How much of the offensive struggles can be placed on coaching inexperience on the offensive side of the ball?

These are questions that will undoubtedly be answered in one way or another over the course of the next nine weeks. Will they all pan out the way we want them to? Almost certainly not. But will each of those aspects improve as time moves forward? For Mahomes's sake (and ours), we can only hope.

While some of us will only be passively tuning into the action this weekend with the Chiefs taking the week off, others will be dialed into several key matchups across the league—including those of our rivals in the AFC West. The Chargers, Raiders, and Broncos all face unique tests with the Lions, Jets, and Bills looming in Week 10. The Ravens and Browns square off in a matchup that could go a long way in determining the AFC North standings, and the AFC South's best team—Jacksonville—has a tough home test against one of the NFC's best teams in the 49ers.

With a 10-5 mark (and a completely egregious pick against the Chiefs) we moved to 91-45 on the year last week. For all those out there tailing these picks, you're welcome. If you're a unit bettor, you'd be up 46 units so far in the 2023 season. Not bad. Let's try to move that mark even further in the win column this week.

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
The three stand-alone games this weekend are Panthers at Bears, Jets at Raiders, and Broncos at Bills. That's 15 wins between 6 teams against 32 losses. The Panthers and Bears drag these numbers way into the mud. This one could be interesting because both teams are so, so bad. But this one could go a long way in determining who picks first in the 2024 NFL Draft. Bears 24, Panthers 21

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
This is the Lance Armstrong of NFL matchups. Once a great rivalry sporting the two best quarterbacks in the game, you could almost bank on the Colts and Patriots meeting every year for the AFC Championship. Now? Disgraced and cast aside. I keep waiting for New England's defense to be a juggernaut and it keeps not happening. Indy, on the other hand, has remained spunky and has been putting up decent point totals in the last 3 weeks. Colts 27, Patriots 20

Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
CJ Stroud only needs a little over 89,000 passing yards this weekend the become the league's all-time leading passer. Obviously saying this in jest, but after last week's 470-yard, 5 TD performance in a chaotic come-from-behind win against the Bucs, anything is possible for the rookie. Except for beating the suddenly incredible Bengals in Cincinnati. Bengals 28, Texans 21

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Josh Dobbs literally didn't even know his offensive linemen's names before coming into the Vikings' Week 9 game against the Falcons and engineering a come-from-behind victory. This team feels like they have some voodoo magic working right now, but how long will it last? The Saints are from the home of voodoo, and I think the carriage turns into a pumpkin this weekend for Minnesota. Saints 27, Vikings 13

Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers
You could tell me the Steelers suck and that the Steelers are the best team in the AFC North and I'd believe both. One thing that I don't believe? That Jordan Love can put enough points on this Steelers defense to win on Sunday. Steelers 17, Packers 13

Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have drawn the short straw the last two weeks with a Chris Godwin mental fumble against Buffalo on the game's last play and a miracle from CJ Stroud last week against the Texans. I have a feeling Lady Luck (and Will Levis's regression) will be on Tampa's side this weekend. Bucs 24, Titans 16

San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Game of the week. The 49ers absolutely have to have this game, but Jacksonville has looked like one of the league's best teams since back-to-back losses to the Chiefs and Texans in Weeks 2 and 3. You have another matchup of Mr. Irrelevant (Brock Purdy) and a former number 1 overall draft pick (Trevor Lawrence) - the second time that has happened this season and the second time it has happened ever. The Jag's defense has done a fantastic job of getting after opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks with the other Josh Allen wreaking havoc, I think they stymie the 49ers' offense enough to raise some maroon-colored flags in the Bay Area. Jags 23, 49ers 21

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
This is an unstoppable force (Baltimore's offense) meeting an immovable object (Cleveland's defense). The forgotten piece of the pie? Baltimore's defense. The Ravens, behind soon-to-be All-Pro middle linebacker Roquan Smith, are holding teams to under 14 poi ace with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore offensive attack. Ravens 28, Browns 14

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals
I was just in Phoenix for a wedding, and I have to say - State Farm Stadium is very nice. That is the positive thing I have to say about this game. Falcons 13, Cardinals 10

Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Chargers
,sdbThe Chargers are 2-0 since their Week 7 loss in Kansas City, creeping back to the .500 mark after a 2-4 start. Detroit looked bad against Baltimore a few weeks back, but Jahmyr Gibbs went off in the Lions 26-14 win over the Raiders on dsab in Week 8. If that Lions' rushing attack shows up against the Chargers and Detroit can control the clock, the Lions should usher the Chargers back to below the .500 mark. Lions 27, Chargers 24

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
The buzz surrounding the Giants has all but left the building following the thud that has been a 2-7 start for Brian Daboll's club. These two teams faced off in Week 1 in New York and the Cowboys embarrassed the Giants to the tune of 40-0 in front of the whole country. This one won't be much better. Cowboys 33, Giants 3

Washington Commanders at Seattle Seahawks
I don't give Washington much of a chance here, Ssdmfeattle is one of the best teams in the NFC even if they did lay an egg last week against the Ravens. Seahawks 23, Commanders 10

New York Jets at Las Vegas Raiders
This one is actually quite interesting. The Jets defense can definitely put the Raiders in a stranglehold, especiallly with Aidan O'Connell at quarterback. But the Raiders have some major interim head coach energy flowing with Antonio Pierce taking over for noted scumbag Josh McDaniel, and that's a powerful wave to ride. A team that resembled two Bugatti's (Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby) parked next to a double wide trailer now actualy has some fight. I like the Raiders to win at home here and get back to breakeven on the season. Raiders 23, Jets 17

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills
If the Bills lose this game at home it is time to take the hammer out of the holster and absolutely smash the panic button. Buffalo simply can'f afford a loss to a not very good Denver team here. If the Broncos hit the Bills in the mouth like they did the Chiefs in Week 8, this could be interesting. I think Buffalo fires out of the gates and makes a statement in this one. Bills 27, Broncos 13

Byes: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles