NFL dominated by mediocrity after 10

November 13, 2007 7:48 AM
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LAST WK SEASON PCT
5-7-1 67-72-4 48.2

The NFL season is past the halfway point with all 32 teams playing nine games and weekly byes now history.

Through the first 10 weeks of play, nearly half the league (15 teams) are within a game of .500 with a record of either 5-4 or 4-5.

Here’s a look at the 16 games to be played this weekend.

SUNDAY

Chargers +3 at Jags (40½): The Chargers were fortunate to dodge the Colts on Sunday night. Jacksonville got a much needed boost with a solid road win at division rival Tennessee, relying on their strong running game and a solid defense. San Diego has won only once on the road in four tries. The coaching change from Marty Schottenheimer to Norv Turner is turning out to be the poor move many predicted. JAGUARS.

Chiefs +14½ at Colts (44½): After showing glimmers of hope that they were improved, Kansas City dropped two in a row at home. The Colts have also lost two straight and QB Peyton Manning had arguably the worst game of his career last week at San Diego. Expect him and the Colts to rebound in a big way against Brodie Croyle. COLTS.

Raiders +6 at Vikings (36½): Rookie RB Adrian Peterson is out for the Vikings after being injured in the shutout loss in Green Bay. This will place even more pressure on what has been an invisible passing game. Oakland has also had problems mounting an offense, scoring 17 points or less in 5 straight. UNDER.

Browns -2½ at Ravens (43½): Baltimore gets a second chance to take on a bottom two defense by facing the Browns after scoring but a single TD against Cincinnati last week. The Browns continue to show improvement even though they lost at Pittsburgh. Cleveland has yet to play an "under" game in 9. OVER.

Steelers -9 at Jets (40½): The Jets are off a bye and have been competitive in all but the opening game loss to the Patriots. Five losses have been by a TD or less. Pittsburgh’s defense showed some vulnerability in their win over Cleveland. JETS.

Bucs -3 at Falcons (35½): Neither team has been especially potent or consistent on offense. Atlanta’s defense has improved over the past month while Tampa’s has been strong all season. Both prefer the run to maintain ball control. UNDER.

Cards +3 at Bengals (48½): Cincinnati got a much needed win at division rival Baltimore last week. Still, the Bengals did face a much better defense than they will see here. Arizona has dropped four of five on the road. BENGALS.

Dolphins +10 at Eagles (40): Despite their 0-9 record Miami has shown steady improvement. Five of the losses have been by exactly a FG. Philly won at Washington last week but still has a losing record. Laying double digits is a problem. DOLPHINS.

Pats -15 at Bills (46½): The Patriots had their bye last week and take their 9-0 record to Buffalo. They defeated Buffalo earlier this season 38-7, outgaining the Bills 485-193. Buffalo is 5-4 and improved, especially defensively.. UNDER.

Redskins +10 at Cowboys (47): Washington let last week’s game with the Eagles slip away, damaging their Wild Card prospects. They catch Dallas at an opportune time, coming off the big game against the NY Giants. Only New England has been able to easily defeat Washington this season. REDSKINS.

Saints -1 at Texans (47): The Texans are off a bye. The Saints have the better overall talent. The defense allowed 133 rushing yards to the Rams after holding seven straight foes below 100. SAINTS.

Panthers +10 at Packers (37½): The once benign Green Bay running game has now eclipsed the century mark three times in the last five games. Carolina has scored 16 points or less in 5 of the last 6 games. UNDER.

Giants -3 at Lions (49½): We saw last week how large a gap exists between the Giants and Cowboys. While Dallas is an elite NFC team, the Giants play well against rather weak competition. At home the Lions are unbeaten in four games. LIONS.

Rams +3 at 49ers: The 49ers did win the earlier meeting 17-16 in St. Louis even though the Rams had a huge 392-186 yardage advantage. St. Louis is finally getting healthy. RAMS.

Bears +4 at Seahawks: The Bears are not playing at last year’s level on either side of the ball. The Seahawks have battled injuries, but have the better QB and running game. SEAHAWKS.

MONDAY

Titans +3 at Broncos (38): This is Denver’s only home game in a five week stretch. Tennessee failed to capitalize on a favorable scheduling situation last week, losing at home to Jacksonville. Now it’s the road for the first time in a month. BRONCOS.