2010 NFL Week 10 Picks and Predictions from Whatifsports.com From WhatIfSports.com image

2010 NFL Week 10 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 10 box scores and stats included

By Joel Beall - Whatifsports.com
Updated: November 12th, 2010

Each Tuesday morning, Whatifsports.com's NFL simulation engine will provide you with predictions, box scores and statistics for every NFL game that week. The NFL simulation engine generates detailed information including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win %), average score and comprehensive box score link. If you want to share your new found NFL knowledge with friends and family, make sure to check out our NFL Widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or click on the social networking share bar located at the top and bottom of the article.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically based player ranking. Roster modifications have been made for injuries and suspensions and those players are not part of their team's game simulation.

To account for injuries and roster moves announced late in the week, we will be re-simulating some games on Thursdays throughout the 2010 NFL season.

Check out our 2010 NFL Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week and find Locks and Upsets of the Week.

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=bac0d453-880c-4e84-848e-bae1a21adc1c" target="_new" title="">WhatIfSports: Game of the Week</a>

Game of the Week: Patriots at Steelers

It's been noted that the NFL's greatest attribute is parity. However, this characteristic only partially enlightens one to the beauty of professional football. For it's not the perceived equality in team performance; rather, it's the uncertainty and ambiguity that begets the league's homology.

Case in point: the New England Patriots. Going into Week 9, the Pats were the prohibitive favorites in the AFC, thanks to five straight wins and a 6-1 record. The continuing implementation of Deion Branch into the offense and return of All-Pro Logan Mankins from his season-long holdout promised to cement New England's status as Super Bowl contenders.

So it was apropos that the Patriots laid the proverbial egg in Cleveland, receiving a spanking to the tune of 34-14. The New England defense made Browns back Peyton Hillis look like the second coming of Earl Campbell as Hillis gained 184 yards on the ground to go along with two touchdowns. Tom Brady looked flustered in the pocket and completed just 52.8% of his pass attempts on the day. Rookie Rob Gronkowski wasn't doing Brady any favors, as the tight-end had some key drops and fumbled near the goal line. To add injury to insult, kicker Stephen Gostkowski suffered a quad injury and is projected to miss the next few weeks of action.

The Steelers can sympathize to the Patriots' plight. Before a Halloween showdown in the Superdome, many pigskin pundits believed Pittsburgh to be the leading candidate for AFC representation in Dallas. The team had gone 3-1 in the league-mandated absence of starter Ben Roethlisberger, with their only loss coming in a hard-fought battle against divisional foe Baltimore. When Roethlisberger returned, the offense appeared to have never missed a beat, as the former Miami Redhawk threw three touchdowns in a 28-10 victory over Cleveland. The Steelers followed this performance with a 23-22 road win in Miami, albeit slightly tainted as Pittsburgh was the beneficiary of a late fumble call by the referees. Sitting at 5-1, employing a defense reminiscent of the Steel Curtain and their signal caller back at the helm, some prognosticated the Steelers to run the table to a 15-1 mark.

Validating that "momentum" is fictitious in the NFL, the Steelers were soundly put to sleep by the Saints 20-10 in Week 8. New Orleans was 4-3 at the time, coming off a discouraging loss to lowly Cleveland. Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense looked discombobulated and out of sync, while the defense could not contain the high-octane aerial attack of Drew Brees.

Yet despite these recent slip-ups, both of these respective squads (along with the Jets and Ravens) find themselves atop the AFC. The Patriots are mirroring their formula for success in the early 2000s; mainly, spreading the ball around on offense, playing "bend-but-don't-break" defense, and grinding out ugly victories. While Brady hasn't put up the dazzling statistics of years' past, the New England quarterback is posting a 95.7 QB rating and has thrown just four picks on the year. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's foundation lies in its D, which is surrendering a league-low 15.4 points per contest. In the absence of Roethlisberger, running back Rashard Mendenhall has emerged as a star, compiling 702 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010.

So who wins the battle of conference contenders? According to the WhatIfSports NFL simulation engine, Pittsburgh comes out on top 87.1-percent of the time, by an average score of 28-14. Check out the rest of this week's projections below:

NFL Week 10
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Dallas Cowboys10.414Boxscore
@ New York Giants89.629Simulate Game
New England Patriots12.914Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers87.128Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams26.113Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers73.920Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks31.117Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals68.923Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings40.719Boxscore
@ Chicago Bears59.322Simulate Game
Carolina Panthers40.716Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers59.318Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals55.320Boxscore
@ Indianapolis Colts44.718Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens57.524Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons42.521Simulate Game
Detroit Lions59.717Boxscore
@ Buffalo Bills40.313Simulate Game
Houston Texans66.330Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars33.724Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles71.526Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins28.518Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs72.326Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos27.719Simulate Game
New York Jets72.924Boxscore
@ Cleveland Browns27.116Simulate Game
Tennessee Titans90.627Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins 9.411Simulate Game

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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