Welcome to The Coin Toss, where I make bold predictions about your favorite professional sports.
Let’s recap last week’s NFL predictions:
|Prediction||Outcome||Did I get it right?|
|Saints over Rams||Saints 45–35 Rams||Yes!|
|Chiefs beat Browns by 17+ points||Chiefs 37–21 Browns||No|
|Steelers over Ravens||Steelers 23–16 Ravens||Yes!|
I just barely missed a 3-for-3 week, as the Chiefs were one measly point off from my prediction. Still a solid week for bold predictions, with two correct. Now let’s get into NFL’s Week 10…
Browns beat Falcons in Cleveland
This may come as a surprise based on my prediction from last week that almost came true. This is a very different matchup for the Browns; the Falcons are nowhere near the Chiefs’ level. Still, Atlanta opened as road favorites by 3.5 points in Vegas. Maybe they shouldn’t be favored, even against the 2–6–1 Browns.
The Falcons are on a three-game win streak, but they’ve done so against three mediocre teams: the Buccaneers, Giants and Redskins. The Browns may just be the toughest opposing offense they’ve faced in recent weeks. The Falcons have clawed their way back to 4–4, but their defense is still battered by injuries after losing several defensive starters early on. Call me crazy, but I think the Browns can put some points up and pull out a win at home over the Falcons. Bold enough for you?
Colts score 30+ on Jaguars’ defense
If you still believe in Jacksonville’s defense, I don’t blame you. I’ve been a believer too, but it’s gotten to a point where we have to consider that the unit isn’t what we thought. I think they’re about to get lit up by a divisional rival that’s been playing very well this year. This would be only the third time this year (at Chiefs, at Cowboys) that they’ve allowed 30-plus points, but I think it will happen again this week.
The Jaguars’ defense is eighth in points allowed per game, which isn’t awful, but the Colts have also scored the sixth-most points in the league. Their offense has seen strong play from Andrew Luck and the emergence of Marlon Mack. This is propelled by the play of their offensive line, which has turned around since last year and started to look like a cohesive, strong blocking unit. I think the Colts will have plenty of motivation to score on the Jags’ defense, and that will lead to 30-plus points on the board.
Nick Mullens continues breakout against Giants (250+ passing yards)
All aboard the Nick Mullens hype train! The 23-year-old is expected to start on Monday Night Football against the Giants. Mullens looked very good against a weak Raiders defense (it’s okay, Jon Gruden — pass rushing is hard to find), putting up 262 yards and three touchdowns. I don’t think it was a total fluke.
He’ll face another good matchup in his second NFL start. The Giants are 16th in passing yards allowed per game (244), so it’s quite possible that Mullens could go over that and break 250 against their defense. The 49ers like him enough to give him another start, and I think he’ll come through on Monday Night Football.