Playoff bound: Middle of the pack teams hopeful to start pulling away

11/09/14 by Andrea Arden

It's already Week 10 of the NFL Season. Lot's of matchups this week with teams battling for playoff spots. So let's get started:
Kansas City at Buffalo
Two 5 and 3 teams in the hunt for the lead in their respective divisions clash in this one. Kansas City trails Denver by one game in the AFC West, while Buffalo is tied with Miami for 2nd in the AFC East, both behind 7 and 2 New England. Both teams come in hot as the Bills have won 3 of their past 4 games, while the Chiefs have won 5 of their past 6. Led by Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, Kansas City boasts the NFL's 6th best rushing attack, averaging 136.9 yards per game. They'll meet a strong Buffalo run defense, which ranks 8th best in the league giving up just 92.3 yards per game. The Bills recent run of success has come with a change at quarterback, as Kyle Orton has been the starter during the Bills recent run of success. Orton will be facing the NFL's top passing defense, as the Chiefs give up just 199.4 passing yards against per game. The Bills will be without running back C.J. Spillar, who's out for the season. They'll also likely be without his backfield mate, Fred Jackson, who's still recovering from a groin injury. These teams have met each of the past six seasons, with Buffalo winning 4 of the 6 games.

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Miami at Detroit
The NFC Central Division leading Lions will host the 5 and 3 Dolphins who are batting with Buffalo and New England for the AFC East lead. The Lions are 3 and 1 at home on the season, while the Dolphins boast a 3 and 1 road record. Two of the top defenses will be on display in this game as well. Miami has the 2nd best passing defense in the NFL, while Detroit ranks 5th in passing defense and is 2nd against the rush. Mattthew Stafford and the Lions will test the Dolphins passing defense, as the Lions rank 9th in the NFL in passing yards and are expecting Calvin Johnson to return. Johnson has missed the past 3 games with an ankle injury. The Lions also are expecting RB Reggie Bush back for this game as well. An ankle injury has sidelined Bush for 2 of the past 3 games. Detroit's run defense will be tested by the Dolphins and Lamar Miller. Miami ranks 4th in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 137.3 yards per game. Miller has rushed for 518 yards this season, which is 4th best in the AFC. These teams last met in 2010, with Detroit winning that game. However the Dolphins won the last time they played in Detroit, back in 2006.
San Francisco at New Orleans
These former NFC West rivals both come into this game with 4 and 4 records. At 4 and 4, the Saints lead the NFC South, while the 49ers are stuck in 3rd place in the NFC West. These teams come into Week 10 on opposite streaks as well. The 49ers have lost 2 in a row after winning their previous 3 games. After starting 1 and 3, the Saints have won 3 of their past 4 and 2 in a row. New Orleans have the 3rd best passing offense and the 7th best rushing offense in the NFL. They'll go against the league's 3rd best passing defense and 5th best rushing defense in the 49ers. The Saints have won 11 consecutive home games, and the 49ers have lost 7 of the past 8 games played in New Orleans. San Francisco is hoping LB Patrick Willis will be able to play this week, after missing the past 2 games due to a toe injury.
Chicago at Green Bay
This is a key NFC Central Division matchup for these two long time rivals. At 5 and 3, the Packers are one game behind division leading Detroit, while the 3 and 5 Bears are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. Both teams come in off of a bye week, with Chicago losing 4 of their past 5 games and giving up an average of 36.7 points against in those losses. The Packers saw a 4 game winning streak snapped in their last game, but have won all 3 home games this season. The Packers won the first meeting of the season at Chicago by the score of 38 to 17. Aaron Rodgers passed for 302 yards and tossed 4 TD passes in that game. Both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb had over 100 yards receiving and scored 2 touchdowns each as well. Despite the loss, the Bears put up nearly 500 yards in total offense in that first meeting. Matt Forte racked up 171 total yards while TE Martellus Bennett had 9 catches for 134 yards. Bennett however is questionable for this weeks game due to injured ribs. Green Bay has won 8 of the past 10 matchups between these teams.

Carolina at Philadelphia
At 6 and 2, the Eagles sit on top of the NFC East. At 3-5-1, the Panthers are trying to right their ship after winning their first two games to start the 2014 season. The Eagles have scored 30 or more points in 5 of their 6 wins, while their two losses came by a combined 9 total points. Philadelphia has the NFL's 5th best passing offense and 8th best rushing attack. They'll face a Carolina defense that ranks 18th against the pass and 20th against the run. The Panthers offense has had a hard time scoring lately. In their past 3 losses, Carolina has only scored 36 total points in those games. Mark Sanchez will make his first start since 2012 for the Eagles with Nick Foles out due to a broken clavicle. Sanchez passed for 202 yards and threw 2 TD's in relief of Foles in last weeks 31 to 21 win over Houston. Philadelphia is looking to remain perfect at home, winning their first four home games. The Eagles have also won 3 of the past 4 games between these teams, but Carolina won the last matchup back in 2012.

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