Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/8/13
The slate for the coming weekend in the NFL is a lot better than the one we saw in Week 9. With Carolina becoming a postseason threat and the New York Jets moving into playoff position, previous assumptions have been shattered. This isn’t the time in the season to take things for granted. Surprises always lurk around the corner — it’s just that one doesn’t know when or where the surprises will occur. Here’s our rundown for Week 10: Top 3 Must-See Games of the Week: 1. Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers The Chargers have painted themselves into a corner by losing to the Washington Redskins. They’ve yet to play a single game against the Denver Broncos or the Kansas City Chiefs, and since they are currently 4-4, one would have to think that winning at least two of four games against those teams is a must if they want to have any realistic hope of making the playoffs. Winning the two home games against Denver and Kansas City is how San Diego can arrive at that goal. That makes this Sunday’s home game a virtual must-win in terms of significance and that should lead to an inspired performance by the Bolts. Yet, for all that San Diego brings to the table, Denver is coming off a bye week and should be mentally refreshed for the second half of the season. Peyton Manning had a chance to rest his two sprained ankles, which should lead to a sharper and more convincing performance. Denver should be able to outscore San Diego and remain one game back of 9-0 Kansas City in the AFC West. They are favored by seven points at Bovada on the NFL odds. 2. Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints While the New Orleans Saints lead the NFC South division, their lead is not as fat as it once was. The Saints had appeared to have buried everyone in the South, but with Carolina winning four straight games to move to 5-3 on the season, the Saints are now just one game ahead of the Panthers following their loss to the New York Jets last week. New Orleans has to recommit itself to pass protection, which was lacking against the Jets. The Cowboys — who barely scraped by the Minnesota Vikings last weekend after trailing inside the one-minute mark of the fourth quarter — have to be better in all areas if they even want to keep this game close. The Saints are a -7 favorite in Week 10. 3. Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears This is a major NFC North battleground game. The Lions are not a dependable team but Chicago is dealing with so many injuries that the Bears will have a hard time matching up with Detroit at many spots on the field. The Lions have the better, healthier quarterback in this matchup and they also own better receivers. The Bears defense has been atrocious this season, and the first time these two teams met up, the Lions hung 40 on them. They’ll have to play better to win on Sunday. The Biggest Underdog With a Reasonable Chance to Win: Atlanta Falcons The Falcons are only 2-6, but Seattle almost lost at home to 0-8 Tampa Bay this past weekend. The Seahawks’ offensive line is so porous right now that Atlanta can dictate the style of play in this game. Playing at home will help the Falcons cover the spread and possibly win outright. The Best Suicide Pool Pick of the Week: Tennessee Titans The Titans succeed when they’re able to run the ball. This week, they face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the league’s worst-ranked rush defense, giving up 161.8 yards per game. Chris Johnson and company will lead the way to another win.Filed under: Headlines, NFL, Odds, Partner Staff

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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