Kickoff: Examiner Week 10 NFL preview

Here is how The Examiner breaks down this week in the NFL.

WEEK 10 STORY LINES

1. Every time a team reaches the halfway point of the season undefeated, members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins get really uncomfortable and come out of the woodwork to bad-mouth them. This time, the only undefeated team in NFL history, led by the rips from legendary coach Don Shula, is targeting the New England Patriots and Spygate. The Patriots dismiss Shula’s request for an asterisk next to their record as the ramblings of an old man.

2. Adam “Pacman” Jones has been chased down by the long arm of the law for more than a year now and, as a result, he will officially not be chasing down any receivers this season. The Tennessee Titans’ defensive back found out this week that the NFL will not shorten his seasonlong suspension due to his off-the-field troubles. Commissioner Roger Goodell remains the biggest disciplinarian in the history of the NFL.

3. Is this Andy Reid’s last stand? He is being overloaded with family problems and his Philadelphia Eagles are in a freefall. There’s no chance that Reid can reclaim a team that has apparently tuned him out. Reid’s run in the City of Brotherly Love featured the NFC’s most dominant team. Their window has closed.

— Matt Palmer

GAME OF THE WEEK

Cowboys (7-1) at Giants (6-2)

It’s turn-back-the-clock weekend in the NFC East as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants battle for NFC East supremacy. They might just be the best two teams in the underwhelming NFC. If the Cowboys win convincingly, look for Tony Romo — he of the recently padded bank account — to roll the rest of the way, maybe all the way to Glendale, Ariz., and the Super Bowl. If the Giants win, there could be a power shift back toward New York in the conference, saving Tom Coughlin’s job for yet another season.

WEEK 10 PICKS

RAMS AT SAINTS The NFC’s version of the Dolphins has no chance against the Saints. Saints 31, Rams 9

BILLS AT DOLPHINS Very quietly, the Bills are becoming a thorn in the AFC’s side. They’ll move into playoff contention this week. Bills 23, Dolphins 10

JAGUARS AT TITANS Neither team can afford to lose because both have shots at the playoffs with a win. Titans 17, Jaguars 14

BROWNS AT STEELERS The Browns are in the hunt to win the AFC North?!?Wow. This rivalry is finally relevant again. Browns 26, Steelers 24

EAGLES AT REDSKINS The Redskins could slide into second place in the NFC East if the Giants lose. Redskins 20, Eagles 17

FALCONS AT PANTHERS The Panthers are so in need of a QB that they are pondering signing you at this point. Panthers 9, Falcons 6

BRONCOS AT CHIEFS The Chiefs are sitting atop the AFC West at 4-4. Yep, that’s a good division. Broncos 17, Chiefs 16

VIKINGS AT PACKERS Rookie running back Adrian Peterson has been eyeing a 300-yard game all season. Vikings 30, Packers 28

BENGALS AT RAVENS Bengals’ dangerous WRs are licking their chops at the sight of the banged-up Ravens secondary. Bengals 27, Ravens 13

LIONS AT CARDINALS The Lions are 6-2. Think about that for a second. They will be 7-2 by Sunday evening. Lions 27, Cardinals 21

BEARS AT RAIDERS You know things are bad in Chicago when the Raiders have a legit shot at beating the Bears. Raiders 16, Bears 15

COWBOYS AT GIANTS America’s most hated team becomes the runaway leader in the NFC East. Cowboys 34, Giants 24

COLTS AT CHARGERS The Colts are mad and the passion-less Chargers are their next victims. Colts 38, Chargers 21

49ERS AT SEAHAWKS Can we just give the NFC West championship to the Seahawks now and get it done with? Seahawks 21, 49ers 13

— John Keim

PLAYER TO WATCH

After throwing five touchdowns in the first half of Monday’s rout of the Baltimore Ravens, all eyes will be on Ben Roethlisberger. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback is playing with confidence again and he can help his team put serious distance between itself and the rest of the AFC North. A win over Cleveland would put the Steelers two games up on the nearest competition.

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