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Game Capsules: 2007 NFL Game Capsules-Week 10

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

NFL Game Capsules

By Dalton Del Don
RotoWire Staff Writer

Buffalo (-2.5) at Miami, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Dolphins enter in the midst
of a franchise-worst 11-game losing streak. The Bills, meanwhile, have
won three straight and four of their last five. The defense has shown
great improvement of late, especially against the run. Moreover, the
offense has gotten a spark with J.P. Losman back under center.
No one was happier to see the QB change than Lee Evans, who has caught
14 balls for 303 yards and two TDs over the last two games. He had 17
catches, 211 yards and zero TDs over his first six games. Marshawn Lynch

gives the team a solid running game, making the Bills no longer a doormat… The
Dolphins haven’t won a game this season and have been outscored by
nearly 20 points per game in Miami. Still, they are statistically ranked
better on both offense and defense than this week’s opponent, and
beware the home underdog playing a division rival. They should be rested
and prepared coming off a bye, although Zach Thomas’ (concussion)
status remains questionable. Cleo Lemon remains the starting QB, but
John Beck should take over fairly soon. As for Sunday, expect Jesse
Chatman to be heavily involved in the offense, and the defense to make
just enough plays to get the team into the win column for the first
time all season.



Predictions: J.P. Losman throws for 230
yards and a TD to Lee Evans, while Marshawn Lynch totals 125 yards and
scores. Jesse Chatman answers with 110 combined yards and a TD run,
while Cleo Lemon adds 180 passing yards with a score on the ground as
well, as Miami ends its losing streak. Dolphins 23-20.

Cleveland (+10) at Pittsburgh, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: Cleveland may very well be
the most surprising team in the NFL this season, highlighted by the
league’s fourth ranked offense. The defense still leaves a lot to
be desired – currently ranking dead last in the NFL – but there’s
clearly a bright future ahead for this young offense. The offensive
line has really improved, and Derek Anderson has emerged as one of the
league’s best signal callers. He’s been sacked just seven times
over his seven starts; Charlie Frye was brought down five times during
his lone half of football during the Browns’ season opener. However,
the Steelers have allowed just 98 total points this season – 26 points
fewer than the second-best defense. They also rank first in yards-against,
allowing just 237.8 ypg this season. Needless to say, the Browns have
their work cut out for them this week… After the big two, the Steelers
look like the NFL’s next best team, especially when playing at home;
they’ve outscored their opponents 126-22 during four wins at Heinz
Field this season. Ben Roethlisberger is playing fantastic football,
getting 8.4 YPA and already setting a career-high with 20 touchdown
passes. He hasn’t had a QB rating less than 108.0 in a game since
Week 4. Facing a Cleveland secondary that has ceded a league-high 20
touchdown passes this week, expect another fine performance from Roethlisberger
Sunday.



Predictions: Derek Anderson throws for
275 yards and TDs to Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards, while Jamal
Lewis musters just 60 rushing yards without a score. Ben Roethlisberger
answers with 250 passing yards and scoring strikes to Hines Ward, Santonio
Holmes and Heath Miller. Willie Parker runs for 150 yards, and the home
team prevails. Steelers 27-20.



Denver (+3) at Kansas City, Sunday 1 p.m.



Comments: After starting the season 2-0,
the Broncos have lost five of their last six games and enter Sunday
with a hobbled Jay Cutler (leg) and Travis Henry (knee). The former
is more important, and it sounds like he’s going to be able to suit
up this week. Cutler’s 8:8 TD:INT ratio this season is mediocre at
best, but his 65.8 completion percentage and 7.7 YPA reveal a special
player in the making. If the 2006 NFL Draft were done over, he’d almost
certainly be taken ahead of Matt Leinart (no-brainer) and Vince Young

(closer call). This week he faces a Kansas City secondary that's playing well
this year, with more picks (10) than TDs allowed (8). Henry
(knee) is questionable to play, but Selvin Young has been the more explosive
running back this season anyway. Brandon Marshall, who received 18 targets
last week, is fast emerging as a No. 1 receiver in this league… After
going 13-3 over the last two seasons playing at home, the Chiefs are
just 2-2 at Arrowhead this year. Still, the home team has won the previous
nine regular season meetings between these two teams, and Denver’s
defense has really struggled of late. The 161.5 rushing yards allowed
per game this season by Denver ranks last in the NFL, but the Chiefs
will be without Larry Johnson (foot) this week. 34-year-old Priest Holmes
will get the start, but don’t be surprised if Kolby Smith is also
heavily involved, since he’s got the younger legs and has practiced
in this offense far longer than Holmes this season. Damon Huard’s
hold on the starting QB job is tenuous at best, but the team will likely
focus on the ground game Sunday anyway.



Predictions: Jay Cutler toughs it out
and plays, resulting in 225 yards passing with a TD to Brandon Marshall.
Selvin Young starts at RB and totals 80 yards with a score, while the
Chiefs’ running back tandem combines for 140 yards and two TDs, in
a fairly even split. Damon Huard’s day is pedestrian, throwing for
170 yards with a TD to Tony Gonzalez, as Kansas City wins it. Chiefs
21-17.



Jacksonville (+4.5) at Tennessee, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The schedule makers haven’t
done the Jaguars any favors, as the team travels this week for their
third straight road game – the only team in the NFL that has to do
so this season. Sunday pits them against a Titans team with the second-best
defense in the league, and Jacksonville’s QB situation remains murky,
with David Garrard (ankle) practicing only on a limited basis this week.
The once-feared Jaguars defense has allowed 31 points per game over
the last three contests and will be missing Marcus Stroud (suspension)
for the next four. Poor tackling led to the team giving up a franchise-worst
538 total yards last week in New Orleans. With an offense likely led
by Quinn Gray, the defense is going to have to improve dramatically… Vince
Young is 13-3 over his last 16 starts but hasn’t thrown a touchdown
pass since September. The Titans are one of the few teams in the NFL
rushing for more yards per game (149.5) than passing (149.1). After
a lost rookie campaign and a lackluster preseason, LenDale White (toe)
has emerged as the team’s clear featured back; in fact, he has the
most touches in the NFL over the last three weeks. Expect a physical,
defensive-minded game with home field being the difference.

Predictions: Quinn Gray starts and throws
for 150 yards but no TDs, while Fred Taylor runs for 60 yards, and Maurice
Jones-Drew punches in a goal line score. Vince Young throws for 160
yards and scores only on the ground, while LenDale White adds 80 rushing
yards with a TD of his own, as Tennessee comes out on top. Titans
17-13.



Minnesota (+6) at Green Bay, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Vikings’ defense isn’t
bad, but team's story is Adrian Peterson. Peterson
is coming off one of the best games by a running back in the history
of the league, rushing for an NFL-record 296 yards last week. He’s
averaging 6.6 YPC and is on pace to finish his rookie year with 2,484
total yards and 18 touchdowns. The NFL has never seen his truly unique
combination of speed and strength, and the 22-year-old may actually
see an increase in touches during the second half of the season. The
Packers’ run defense has been very good this year but will be playing
without run-stuffing safety Nick Collins (knee) this week, which could
lead to another big day for Peterson… Minnesota has the best run defense
in the league, but the Packers have the worst rushing offense in the
NFL, so it might not hurt Green Bay’s game plan all that much. The
Vikings’ secondary is beatable, and Brett Favre has been playing extremely
well this season, showing terrific touch on the deep ball. Greg Jennings

has scored six times during six starts this year and has emerged as
one of the league’s better deep threats. The Packers return home for
the first time since Week 6 and have their sights set on the No. 1 seed
in the conference, but the Vikings should be able to at least hang around
Sunday.


Predictions: Brooks Bollinger starts
at QB for the Vikings, and he throws for 140 yards with a couple of
picks. Adrian Peterson responds with 110 rushing yards and a score,
while the Packers’ ground game is virtually non-existent. Brett Favre
counters with 275 passing yards and scoring strikes to Donald Driver
and Greg Jennings, as Green Bay wins again. Packers 20-16.

Philadelphia (+2.5) at Washington, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Redskins have a solid 5-3
record, but they don’t excel in any one particular area, and half their
games this season have been decided by three points or fewer. Jason
Campbell hasn’t taken the necessary steps forward during his second
year as starting quarterback, leaving the team’s future at the position
in some doubt. Campbell hasn’t gotten more than 6.2 YPA in a game
since Week 5, has thrown more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (6)
this year and has also fumbled eight times. Clinton Portis had by far
his best game of the season last week, but that came against a soft
Jets team. The Eagles have allowed just 3.6 YPC in 2007, so expect a
closely contested battle throughout… The only NFC East team with a
losing record, this Eagles squad will be playing with desperation Sunday.
There’s no doubt that Philadelphia has been one of the league’s
most disappointing teams this season, and Donovan McNabb has been a
big reason why. He’s been able to move the chains effectively enough,
but when it comes to putting points on the board, the team has come
up short far too often this year. Removing a Week 3 outburst versus
the Lions, McNabb has thrown for a paltry five touchdowns over seven
games this season. Brian Westbrook remains a huge threat, however; he
was targeted an amazing 18 times in the passing game last week. Despite
missing one game, Westbrook is on pace for 2,220 total yards with 105
catches and 13 TDs this season.



Predictions: Jason Campbell throws for
200 yards with a TD to Chris Cooley, while Clinton Portis gains 75 rushing
yards with a score. Donovan McNabb responds with 250 passing yards and
a score to Kevin Curtis, while Brian Westbrook totals 130 yards with
a TD run, as Philadelphia keeps its slim playoff hopes alive. Eagles
20-17.



St. Louis (+12) at New Orleans, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: Both teams are no strangers
to streaks this season, as the Saints have followed up a four-game losing
skid by winning four straight, while the Rams have opened the year with
eight consecutive losses. Coming off their bye, St. Louis hopes to return
healthier than they’ve been all season long, with Marc Bulger’s
ribs healing and Steven Jackson set to return to the lineup. Still winless, they’ll
be hungry, and the Rams are used to playing in a dome,
so the road factor here isn’t as great as others. Still, the offensive
line and defense in general are big concerns, so the Rams enter as significant
underdogs… After beating the Jaguars last week, the Saints have become
just the fourth team in NFL history to win four straight after starting
the season 0-4. Drew Brees has been a huge reason why, posting an 11:1
TD:INT ratio during the winning streak. After failing to score more
than 14 points in any of the team’s first four games, New Orleans
has averaged 30.5 points per game over the last month. Reggie Bush is
one of the most overrated players in the NFL. He’ll accumulate nice
overall numbers this season if he stays healthy; after all, he’s getting
all of the team’s touches, but he’s not very good on a per play
basis. His subpar 3.8 yards per carry is one thing, but the 5.5 yards
per catch is even more disconcerting. For someone so speedy and seemingly
elusive, that number should be higher on plays designed in open space.
Bush has 50 catches this season, and just one of them has gone for more
than 20 yards.



Predictions: Marc Bulger gets 250 passing
yards with a touchdown toss to Torry Holt, while Steven Jackson totals
80 yards with a score. Drew Brees throws for 300 yards and three scores,
with Marques Colston, David Patten and Reggie Bush the recipients. Bush
also adds 120 total yards, helping the home team win handily. Saints
28-17.



Atlanta (+4) at Carolina, Sunday 1 p.m.


Comments: The Falcons are 0-4 on the
road this season, but the Panthers are 0-3 at home, so something’s
got to give Sunday. Atlanta is coming off a win against the 49ers, but
the team ranks in the bottom half of nearly every statistical category.
Joey Harrington hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 4, but at
least Roddy White is looking like a true No. 1 wide receiver. Jerious
Norwood is explosive, but his inability to block
or stay healthy has lengthened Warrick Dunn’s tenure as starter… Dating
back to last season, Carolina has lost its last five home games by an
average score of 30-10. At 4-4, the team isn’t completely out of the
playoff race in a watered-down conference, but the fact the Panthers
are pining for a healthy Vinny Testaverde to start at quarterback reveals
just how dire this year’s situation has become. With David Carr (concussion)
the alternative, Testaverde looks like Steve Young. Testaverde
can get the ball into Steve Smith’s hands with some consistency, but
the team will likely concentrate on the ground game either way.

Predictions: Joey Harrington throws for
180 yards and a TD to Roddy White, while Warrick Dunn gets 60 yards
and a score. Vinny Testaverde answers with 210 passing yards and a scoring
strike to Steve Smith, while DeShaun Foster adds 75 yards and a TD run,
as Carolina triumphs. Panthers 20-17.



Cincinnati (+4) at Baltimore, Sunday 4:05 p.m.


Comments: Since beating the Ravens in
the opener, the Bengals have gone 1-6. They haven’t won on the road
since Week 12 of last season. The return of Chris Henry will help, but
skill position players on offense were hardly this team’s problem.
The defense ranks 31st in the league, and the ground game
has been stagnant. T.J. Houshmandzadeh has scored in every game this
season, and he faces a Baltimore secondary that was torched last week.
However, Chris McAlister (knee) is supposed to return to the lineup,
and the Ravens play much tougher at home… Baltimore should be motivated
after being embarrassed in front of a national audience Monday night
and returns home for the first time in a month, where they are 3-0 this
season. Steve McNair has played the worst football of his career this
season, getting a miniscule 5.5 YPA and committing four times as many
turnovers (8) as he has touchdowns (2). Still, the Bengals have allowed
a league-high 20 passing scores this season, so the matchup this week
is highly favorable. After failing to rush for a touchdown during the
first five games of the year, Willis McGahee has ran in a score in three
straight and should have a big game Sunday.



Predictions: Carson Palmer passes for
250 yards and finds both Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the
end zone, while Cincinnati’s running game remains stuck in neutral.
Steve McNair counters with 200 yards and TDs to Derrick Mason and Mark
Clayton, while Willis McGahee totals 125 yards and a score, as the Bengals
continue to slide. Ravens 24-17.



Chicago (-3) at Oakland, Sunday 4:15 p.m.


Comments: Two of the league’s most
dreadful teams square off in a battle of ineptitude. After scoring 20
points or more in each of the first four games this year, the 2-6 Raiders
have failed to do so in any game since, losing all four contests in
the process. Sadly, it looks like Daunte Culpepper will never be the
same after multiple knee surgeries, and Josh McCown is hardly the answer
at quarterback either. LaMont Jordan almost certainly won’t be back
with the team next year, so a look at the future appears to be in the
cards. Expect JaMarcus Russell, and maybe even Michael Bush, to see
the field before too long… Chicago is suffering from a full blown Super
Bowl loser hangover this season. The team is struggling both on defense
(allowing the highest completion percentage (67.1) in the NFL) and on
offense (only team in the league without a 20-yard run). The Raiders
bring with them the worst run defense in football, allowing the highest
YPC (5.1) and the most rushing scores (12). Although still an above
average pass rusher, Warren Sapp is currently the league’s worst defender
against the run. However, if Adrian Peterson doesn’t see the field
more Sunday, it’s doubtful the Bears can take advantage of this, because

Cedric Benson might be the softest ballcarrier in the NFL. The Bears
aren’t any good and should hardly be laying points on the road, but
Oakland’s incompetence trumps that.



Predictions: Josh McCown throws for 225
yards, a couple of picks and a TD to Jerry Porter. Justin Fargas adds
100 rushing yards with a score, while Cedric Benson begins losing more
touches to Adrian Peterson, who gains 60 yards and a TD. Brian Griese

contributes 230 yards and finds Bernard Berrian and Greg Olsen for scoring
strikes, as the road team prevails. Bears 21-17.

Dallas (-1.5) at New York Giants, Sunday
4:15 p.m.


Comments: The Giants have come a long
way since giving up 45 points in a season-opening loss to the Cowboys
and enter Sunday looking for their seventh straight victory. The team
leads the NFL in sacks and has been able to run the ball effectively.
Coming off the bye and playing at home, it’s easy to see why this
game is essentially a pick ‘em, but Eli Manning is the wild card.
He had a big game against these Cowboys Week 1, but the Dallas
secondary has really improved since then and is allowing just 6.4
YPA on the year. Manning’s 6.4 YPA for the season is simply an unacceptable
number, and if the Giants want to go deep into the playoffs, he’ll
need to improve his play pretty dramatically. New York is 8-24 during
the second half of seasons over the last four years… The Cowboys may
be a little overrated being “America’s Team” and all, but the
fact remains their only loss this season came against the undefeated
Patriots. They boast the NFL’s second-best offense (406 ypg) and a
fast improving defense. Clearly, this is one of the five best teams
in football. Terrell Owens on the outside and Jason Witten down the
seams is a deadly combination, while Marion Barber is as physical
a runner as you’ll find. Tony Romo is on pace for 4,612 passing
yards and 42 touchdowns this season.



Predictions: Eli Manning gets 250 passing
yards with a TD to Plaxico Burress, while Brandon Jacobs adds 80 yards
with a score. Tony Romo answers with 275 passing yards and scoring strikes
to Terrell Owens and Jason Witten, while Marion Barber tacks on 80 yards
and a TD of his own, as Dallas takes control of the division. Cowboys
27-20.



Detroit (+1) at Arizona, Sunday 4:15
p.m.


Comments: While the Cardinals enter losers
of three straight, the Lions have won their last three contests,
led by their surprisingly effective defense. Detroit leads the NFL with
14 interceptions and 24 takeaways. Their plus-8 turnover margin ranks
behind only the Colts and the Patriots. Especially in the NFC, this
team has to be taken seriously, at least as a playoff contender. After
throwing at least 32 times in each of the first three games this year,
Jon Kitna has done so only once over the team’s past five games. He
hasn’t committed a turnover since Week 5, as the team has transitioned
to a more balanced attack, led by Kevin Jones at running back. However,
the Cardinals’ defense has played much better than their record indicates… The
Lions are still vulnerable outdoors and on the road, and Arizona is
coming off a difficult stretch in its schedule, so judging this matchup
based solely on season records would be a mistake. A healthy Kurt Warner,
Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald make the Cardinals dangerous on offense,
although Edgerrin James lacks explosiveness. Since they haven’t won
in more than a month, expect a motivated performance from Arizona Sunday.



Predictions: Jon Kitna throws for 235
yards with TDs to Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson, while Kevin Jones
adds 100 total yards and a score. Kurt Warner responds with 250 yards
and two touchdowns, with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald the recipients.

Edgerrin James gets just 60 rushing yards, but he does find paydirt,
as Arizona wins it. Cardinals 24-21.



Indianapolis (-3.5) at San Diego, Sunday 8:15 p.m.


Comments: Both teams are coming off disappointing
losses, but only the Chargers are having a disappointing season. San
Diego’s defense ranks 25th in the league, and the team
gave up 378 yards rushing last week. After getting 28 rushing scores
last season, LaDainian Tomlinson is on pace for half that amount this
year. Philip Rivers has really regressed this season, and it’s safe
to say the team miscalculated in choosing him over Drew Brees. The Chargers
find themselves in the enviable position of playing in the AFC West,
so the playoffs are likely, but this team is far from elite right now.
They’ve pretty much only beaten doormats this season… Coming off
a highly emotional loss to New England, Indianapolis finds itself in
a difficult position traveling to San Diego as road favorites. Still,
the team will be hungry to get back into the win column, and the defense
figures to really give Rivers problems Sunday. Joseph Addai should be
in store for another big game facing a defense allowing 4.7 YPC this
year, while Peyton Manning should have his way against a beatable secondary.
The offense does miss Marvin Harrison (knee); not necessarily because
he’s some game-changing receiver at this stage of his career, but
mostly because the team lacks any alternative in the passing game, especially
with Anthony Gonzalez (thumb) also out. Still, the Colts are in a completely
different class than these Chargers, so there would have to be major
turnover problems for Indianapolis not to win. One caveat: Indy has
the worst punt coverage in the league.



Predictions: Philip Rivers throws for
230 yards and a TD to Antonio Gates, while LaDainian Tomlinson runs
for 90 yards and a score. Joseph Addai counters with 120 total yards
and a TD run, while Peyton Manning gets 260 yards passing and finds
Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark for scores, as Indy gets back on track.

Colts 27-20.



San Francisco (+10) at Seattle, Monday
8:30 p.m.


Comments: It’s safe to say ESPN was
hoping for a better matchup when the network scheduled this NFC West
battle before the season began. Instead, they are left with a terrible
team versus a middling one. The 49ers entered 2007 as everyone’s favorite
sleeper pick; for most of the season, they’ve just plain looked asleep,
as the team enters with the last-ranked offensive unit. The 132.8 passing
yards per game is especially embarrassing, although Vernon Davis is
finally living up to the hype. Still, Alex Smith looks like a full-fledged
bust, and Frank Gore’s gimpy ankle has really hindered the team’s
most important offensive weapon… With Shaun Alexander ready for the
scrap heap, Seattle is planning a shift in offensive philosophy, moving
to a more pass-heavy scheme. Bobby Engram was targeted an NFL season-high
21 times last week, and D.J. Hackett will only get better as he returns
to game shape. Matt Hasselbeck has played well this season, and if Maurice
Morris can provide a spark in the running game, the Seahawks should
have little trouble disposing of the lowly 49ers, especially while playing
at home.



Predictions: Alex Smith throws for 180
yards but for no scores, while Frank Gore guts it out and suits up,
resulting in 80 yards with a TD run. Matt Hasselbeck answers with 250
passing yards and TDs to Bobby Engram and D.J. Hackett. Maurice Morris

replaces an injured Shaun Alexander in the starting lineup, and he responds
with 100 total yards and a score, as Seattle wins in a rout. Seahawks
27-13.




Article first appeared 11/9/07