NFL week 10 preview

Week 10 in the NFL started Thursday with an impressive showing by the Browns defeating Cincinnati 24-3 on the road to claim victory in the battle of Ohio. The Bengals have some serious soul-searching to do after another prime time defeat and a road trip to New Orleans looming. It’s early November and the Browns are in the thick of the playoff hunt. As I said all year long, the Steelers will win this division. However, the Browns have a real shot at a wildcard, as does the rest of the division. It will be interesting to see how Cleveland handles prosperity this late in the season. Here are my thoughts on the rest of the NFL’s biggest week 10 games.

Miami at Detroit- Who would’ve thought this would be arguably the biggest game of week 10? Miami sure did shut me up last week throttling San Diego at home. Detroit is coming off a bye and should get Calvin Johnson back. Detroit has statistically the best defense in the league. However, their offense remains turnover prone and at times too reliant on the pass. They have gotten lots of help and crazy bounces to win their last two games against New Orleans and Atlanta. In recent years, every time the Lions have had an opportunity to be I put a stranglehold on playoff spot or division title, they have screwed it up. I still think Miami is limited offensively, but I think they are the more predictable and consistent team. I’ll take them to pull the small upset. Mia 24 Det 20.

Steelers at Jets- The Steelers keep winning and the Jets keep losing. However, this game is not a walk over for Pittsburgh. The Jets defense may be the best the Steelers have played all year. Also, the Jets looked like a real NFL offense with Mike Vick at the helm last week. I think the Steelers have too much firepower, but they will have to earn it. The Steelers move to 7-3. Pit 27 NYJ 17

Kansas City at Buffalo- This is the sneakiest good game of the week. Both teams are 5-3 and need this one to stay in the thick of the playoff race. Kansas City is doing what it usually does, winning games with great coaching, a solid running game and defense, and the steady hand of QB Alex Smith. Buffalo is doing things much the same with veteran Kyle Orton calling the signals. However, Buffalo’s backfield remains banged up with injuries to CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. For that reason, I’ll take the road team. KC 20 Buf 14.

San Francisco at New Orleans- My last preview of the week contains two teams with identical records, but in completely different spots. The Saints are finally rounding into form with consecutive wins over Green Bay and Carolina. Despite, their 4-4 record, they lead their division. San Francisco is fading fast. After an ugly loss to the Rams last week, a trip to New Orleans is the last thing this group needs. New Orleans could become a really dangerous team. Expect them to throw San Francisco’s season off a cliff in a big way. No 35 SF 17.

Enjoy your Sunday a football everyone, but before I sign off, an extra pick for you. I like Chicago to go in to Green Bay and save their season by upsetting the Packers. I will continue to trying to post on a more consistent basis.

London Calling: 2014 ATP World Tour Finals preview

London becomes the epicenter of the tennis world tomorrow morning. As the worlds’ top 8 men gather for the 2014 ATP World Tour Finals. It should be a gripping season finale. The only man missing is world number 3 Rafa Nadal who is recovering from an appendectomy.

The format here is different from any other event. The players are split into 2 groups of 4. They engage in round-robin play for the first 5 days of the event, each player plays everyone in their group. The top two players from each group advance to the semifinals where traditional single elimination decides a champion. Here are my predictions.

Group A- For me, this is easily the weaker of the two groups. It is headed by World number 1 Novak Djokovic. He is joined by Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, powerful Czech Thomas Berdych, and surprise U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic. Djokovic has maintained strong form since winning Wimbledon in July. The changes of marriage and fatherhood had seemingly no negative effect on his game. He defended a big title at the Paris Indoors last week His return game and movement remain unmatched. He also enjoys a considerable head-to-head edge over the rest of the group. What happens with the rest of this group is anyone’s guess. Cilic had played sparingly since claiming victory at the U.S. Open in September. He is Nadal’s replacement. His only taste of success this fall has been winning a small indoor event in Moscow. Berdych possesses a powerful game that can cause anyone problems. However, he can be erratic and tends to struggle against the other top guys. He’s been a mainstay in the top 10 for many years now, but titles at big events remain hard to come by. He does his damage by beating everyone he is supposed to beat. Wawrinka started the year by surprising everyone in Australia. However, since winning the Monte Carlo Masters in late spring, he is under .500. However, he’s capable of hitting winners with every shot and can get hot at any time.

Semifinalists- Djokovic and Wawrinka

Group B- This group is led by Swiss master Roger Federer. His adversaries include former Wimbledon champion and hometown favorite Andy Murray, rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori, and big serving Canadian youngster Milos Raonic. After narrowly missing out on an eighth Wimbledon title, Roger continued to show that age is just a number reaching the semis at the U.S. Open, winning titles in Shanghai and his hometown of Basel, and the quarterfinals of Paris last week. The three other men all possess relatively recent wins over Federer, but he is the favorite in this group. I think his net game will be the difference. Murray spent much of the first half of 2014 trying to find his form again after missing the latter part of last year with a back injury, and he struggle to do so, but added to his schedule in the fall picking up three titles during five consecutive weeks of play. If he has gas left in the tank, to run down every ball like he normally does, he has a shot here. The home crowd could also do him some favors. Raonic and Nishikori have each had fantastic years, but both come in w/ nagging injuries and have abysmal records against Federer and Murray. Raonic could get to the semis on his massive serve and not much else. That’s the only shot either one of these two has in this group.

Semifinalists- Federer and Murray

Semifinals- Federer d. Wawrinka, Djokovic d. Murray

Final- Federer d. Djokovic

The tournament will be televised on Tennis Channel every morning starting Nov. 9 at 7 a.m. ESPN3 will have live streaming online throughout the tournament as well. I encourage you all to watch.