In comparison with other major fan bases, the Dallas Cowboys own a very optimistic bunch at the beginning of each season. Although the team has only won their division once during the 2000s, playoff and Super Bowl aspirations seem to always be on the horizon. Like any other team, Dallas has several key weaknesses, but has been relatively strong for the most part this season. In fact, the Cowboys have lost their last three games by only six points or less, and in the final moments of the fourth quarter.
Whether it may be due to a poorly thrown pass or a pass being bobbled by the intended target, Tony Romo is currently adorned with the notorious crown of leading the league in interceptions with 13.
Last year’s sleeper, DeMarco Murray, struggled early this season, then inured his foot in Week 6. Nonetheless, it has been Dez Bryant that has received much of the blame for Dallas’ struggles this season. Hype has not been a stranger to Bryant since he debuted in the NFL.
However, his off-the-field issues during the offseason mixed with inconsistency week-to-week has resulted in heightened doubt for his owners. After apparently saving Dallas with a diving end zone catch as time expired in Week 8, he suffered an injured hip while watching the referees reverse their decision on his score, thus awarding the victory to the New York Giants. After dancing late into the night at a club before Week 9 to celebrate his birthday, it was assumed that the receiver was healthy. Whether his hip hindered him or not, Bryant disappointed again with one catch for the game. He is a must-start, but good luck dancing with Bryant this season.
Week 9 was packed with amazing performances from Andrew Luck, Doug Martin, Brandon Marshall, Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson. Who will step up in Week 10? Take a dive with me as we review several intriguing matchups.
Lackluster is an understatement when describing San Diego’s offense lately. After losing three games in a row, San Diego rebounded by pounding the offensively handicapped Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9. Rivers has lacked consistency and fallen from “must-start” status. As terrible as Rivers has been, he has four multi-touchdown performances over the last five games. This weekend, Rivers and the Chargers visit Tampa Bay, who have allowed nine passing touchdowns over the last three games and a 510-yard outing to Eli Manning in Week 2. Week 10 will help Rivers’ owners maintain hope for the future.
Week 10 forecast: 250 passing yards, 2 TD
RB Stevan Ridley
In the offseason, it was difficult to determine which New England running back would receive the bulk of carries this season. Ridley has risen head and shoulders above Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden. He has averaged almost five yards per carry and eclipsed 100 yards four times this season. The only knock on him is his pass-catching ability. Regardless, start Ridley against Buffalo this week as the Bills have allowed the most touchdowns to opposing backs, including more than 200 rushing yards in three games this season. His matchup for Week 10 could not be more favorable!
Week 10 forecast: 120 rushing yards, TD
WR Malcom Floyd
Apparently, I am “all in” with San Diego this weekend. After the departure of Vincent Jackson, Floyd has been Philip Rivers’ most consistent receiver. With only two scores and two games with more than 100 receiving yards, Floyd has been a mild disappointment in the first half of 2012. Nevertheless, Tampa Bay has allowed more than 200 receiving yards to wide receivers in every week except for one.
Floyd should be in line for solid production this weekend in a potential shootout.
Week 10 forecast: 100 receiving yards, TD
TE Zach Miller
Miller has not found his name among top tight ends in a couple of seasons, but he is a nice fill-in if your tight end is on bye this week. He faces the New York Jets, which guard wideouts well but struggle against tight ends. In fact, they have allowed four touchdowns and two 100-plus yard games over the last four games.
Miller is not near the same tier as Owen Daniels and Rob Gronkowski – who have succeeded against the Jets – but he should still be a key target for rookie quarterback Russell Wilson this weekend.
Week 10 forecast: 50 receiving yards, TD
The formerly intimidating Pittsburgh defense has been non-existant this season. One of the most consistent defenses over the last few years, Pittsburgh ranks in the mid-20s in most leagues this season. With that being said, the Steelers could not have a more attractive matchup for Week 10 when they battle Kansas City. The Chiefs have struggled mightily offensively and are even worse on the road. With Kansas City averaging just better than 11 points over the last four games, grab Pittsburgh’s defense for a valuable plug and play.
Week 10 forecast: 13 points
Week 9 Results
QB Michael Vick
Week 9 Forecast – 250 passing yards, 40 rushing yards, 3 TD
Week 9 Results – 272 passing yards, 53 rushing yards, TD (decent call)
RB Rashad Jennings
Week 9 Forecast – 110 total yards, TD
Week 9 Results – 52 total yards, 2-point conversion (bad call)
WR Steve Smith
Week 9 Forecast – 110 receiving yards, TD
Week 9 Results – 41 receiving yards, TD (decent call)
TE Greg Olsen
Week 9 Forecast – 50 receiving yards, TD
Week 9 Results – 52 total yards, 2-point conversion (decent call)
D/ST Denver Broncos
Week 9 Forecast – 12 points
Week 9 Results -7 points (decent call)
Good luck in Week 10!