A guide to the best and worst of the NFL slate (and to which fans are stuck with the most of worst). Maps via 506sports.com.
After a rough two weeks with lots of byes, Week 10 finally sees some potentially great match-ups (and I say "potentially" because a lot of the seemingly crappy games last Sunday ended up being a blast to watch), especially in the NFC. Here are your NFL viewing maps:
Oakland at NY Giants: Okay, I promise there are good match-ups this week, they just aren't on CBS in the early slot. The Raiders have scored just 18.2 points per game (28th in the league), but somehow the Giants have been even worse, scoring just 17.6 (30th in the league). On the other hand, the Raiders just gave up seven touchdowns to Nick Foles, so New York might have a shot at topping 23 points for the first time since Week 1.
Jacksonville at Tennessee: Not only is Jacksonville 0-8 this year, they haven't even come close to winning a game. They've lost by 10, 14, 16, 18, 26, 28, 32, and 34—to compare, the 2008 Lions lost eight of their games by 2, 4, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 10. In this ugly season, the best that Jaguars fans can root for is to someday lose by an odd number of points.
Cincinnati at Baltimore: A few weeks ago this would have been a plum match-up between the best teams in the AFC North, but now the Ravens have lost three straight, and the Bengals have lost Geno Atkins for the season.
Buffalo at Pittsburgh: Two pieces of good news for Bills fans. First, E.J. Manuel might be back! He wasn't amazing when he was playing (Football Outsiders gives him a -5.9% DVOA) but he's way better than Thad Lewis (-24.2%) or Jeff Tuel (-40.4%). Second, Buffalo gets a very weak schedule to close out the season—their opponents have won just 33 percent of their games. The Jets, at 5-4, would be the second AFC wild-card if the season ended today, so the Bills still have a shot.
Houston at Arizona: NFL kickers have been lights-out this year, hitting 86 percent of their field goals overall and 77 percent from 40+ yards. Kudos to Randy Bullock for keeping things tense and interesting: The rookie is 13 for 21 overall (62 percent) and 7 of 15 from 40+ (47 percent).
Denver at San Diego: The Chargers' offense has been slacking its last four games, averaging just 21 points, but San Diego still ranks sixth in yards per game, fourth in yards per play, and second in first downs per game. The Broncos rank first in all of those categories.
Philadelphia at Green Bay: The last time Aaron Rodgers didn't start, his replacement threw for 6 touchdowns and 480 yards. That replacement grew up to be Matt Flynn, so let's just cool it on Nick Foles and his seven touchdowns for a second.
St. Louis at Indianapolis: The Rams are without their starting QB and have the hardest remaining schedule in the NFC, so this season's probably a wash. Rookie RB Zac Stacy, picked in the fifth round out of Vanderbilt, has been a bright spot for St. Louis—his 4.6 yards/attempt is fifth in the NFL for backs with at least 100 carries, behind Alfred Morris, Matt Forte, C.J. Spiller, and LeSean McCoy.
Seattle at Atlanta: The 2-6 Falcons have no rushing (64.4 yards per game, worst in the league), just one useful receiver (Harry Douglas), and a terrible defense (10.9% DVOA, fourth-worst in the league). After the Seahawks, they still have to face the Saints, Packers, 49ers, and Panthers. They could easily end the season with 12 or 13 losses.
Detroit at Chicago: By win probability, five of Detroit's eight games have been coin-flips at some point in the fourth quarter. Just one of their eight games has seen a combined score below 45 points. I fucking love watching the Lions.
Carolina at San Francisco: The Panthers have been on an absolute tear lately, winning their last four by an average of 20.5 points. While they've gotten less press about it, the 49ers have, arguably, been on an even better streak, winning their last five by an average of 22.6 points.
This week's winner is Tupelo, Mississippi, which gets Jacksonville at Tennessee, Denver at San Diego (like most of the rest of the country), and Seattle at Atlanta, which sounds like it would have been a good match-up at the start of the season but is now just kind of sad. Tupelo is three-and-a-half hours from Nashville and four hours from Atlanta, but the city, like pretty much all of Mississippi, roots for the Saints.