DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA, November 10, 2016 — When told that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, many football fans had the same reaction. To quote Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, “I don’t see how this helps us become a better football team.”
In politics, anybody can fake their way to the top. Whether one is a Republican, Democrat or independent, a cult of personality can lead to victory. Republicans made that charge in 2008, and now Democrats are flipping the script. In football, everything is decided on the field. Polls mean nothing. Success or failure does not happen behind closed doors. Everybody sees the results, live streamed to the world.
In politics, repeated failures can be spun as successes and vice versa by media personalities with their own agendas. In football, to quote Parcells again, “Your record is what it is.”
The best quote in the history of football can also be applied to politics. For those who make excuses, Parcells has one simple message. “Don’t tell me about the pain. Just deliver the damn baby!”
One mentor to Parcells was the late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. His slogan was, “Just win baby.” Politicians survive on intentions and rhetoric. In football, the only thing that matters is results.
Parcells protege Bill Belichick honed a phrase that he paraphrased from what originally started from Davis and was passed on through Parcells. Belichick’s mantra is a simple one. “Do your job.”
As the NFL barrels toward the second half of the season, many teams will be exposed as pretenders.
Whether a team ends up 4-12 or 12-4, one thing is certain. The presidential election is over. The world can now focus on the National Football League without interference. The Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy cannot be bought. It must be earned. With that, here is the NFL 2016 Week 10 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, November 10, 2016, 8:30 p.m.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-9) — The Ravens are average, but the Browns are winless. On the road, their chances appear to be slim close to none. Ravens cover.
Sunday, November 13, 2016, 1:00 p.m.
Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers (-3) — Last year the Chiefs started 1-5 before wining 10 straight. The Chiefs defense has been winning games for them this year, but the Panthers seem to have recovered from their 1-5 start. Panthers cover.
Houston Texans (-1.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars — The Jaguars last week appeared to quit. That is the worst thing to say about a football team, but it is what it is. Texans cover.
Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints (-2.5) — The vaunted Broncos defense was gashed on the ground last week for over 200 yards in Oakland. Now they face pinball wizard Drew Brees. Saints cover.
Los Angeles Rams at New York Jets (-1.5) — Los Angeles and New York may be the two most exciting cities in America, but they sure produce some boring, mediocre football teams. Jeff Fisher’s defense has the perfect opponent to help them stop their four-game slide. Upset special, Rams win outright.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (Pick) — Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have the Atlanta office clicking on all cylinders. That should be enough to get past an Eagles team that still has not discovered its identity. Falcons win.
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Pick) — For some reason, this game has to be played. Jay Cutler will throw touchdown passes, but we do not know to which team. Count on Chicago turning the ball over in crunch time. Buccaneers win.
Green Bay Packers (-2.5) at Tennessee Titans — After a stunning home loss to Indianapolis, the Packers will take out their frustrations on an overmatched Tennessee team. The Titans have been improving, but Aaron Rodgers is poised to have a big day. Packers cover.
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins (-3) — Minnesota has lost three straight after a 5-0 start. Their offense is giving no help to their defense, and kicker Blair Walsh is missing critical kicks. Redskins cover.
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (-4) — Philip Rivers is playing at a high level. Miami’s defense is not too shabby, but it may not not have the firepower to stop him. Chargers win but fail to cover
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-13.5) — The 49ers have lost 7 straight. The Cardinals have corrected some early season struggles. This could be a carpet-bombing, but a late garbage touchdown may keep the score close enough to beat the high spread. Cardinals win but fail to cover.
Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) — Dallas has won seven straight. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant could be the new triplets. However, Ben Roethlisberger is back. Give the Steelers a chance at home. Steelers cover.
Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots (-7.5) — The rematch from the thrilling Super Bowl two years ago features a Seahawks team that is not what it was and a Patriots team that might be even better. However, the spread is too high given Seattle’s defense. Patriots win but fail to cover.
Monday, November 14, 8:30 p.m.
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants (-2.5) — A pair of average teams face off. These teams are inconsistent, but give the Giants at home a chance to make one more play than Cincinnati. Giants cover.