The 2013 NFL Big 5: Week 10

Cincy is tough, Green Bay is in a pinch, and Jacksonville is still awful.

The new NFL week is here and with it comes chaos. Fortunately, Maxim is here to help you navigate these uncharted waters with five predictions that will undoubtedly (or just maybe) come true.

Big Upset – Carolina over San Francisco

Coming into the season with the hardest strength of schedule of any team in the league, it seemed like Ron Rivera’s team was destined for another under .500 season, but they’ve embraced the challenge and laid out four straight wins after starting 1-2. Who chose to throw the poor Panthers under the bus, by the way? You know you could have given that to Bill Belichick or Greg Schiano, right?

Big Performance – Cincinnati Bengals Defense

The Bengals travel to Baltimore on Sunday, and their divisional pals have all the symptoms of a hangover from a championship season (not that the post-season run was anything short of a fluke). They are putting the ball in Ray Rice’s hands marginally more, but it doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. And the considerably wealthier Joe Flacco is having trouble connecting with anyone while being flushed from the pocket over and over. Both of these problems stem from the offensive line struggling against mediocre D-lines. And guess what, Ravens fans? Cincy’s got a good one.

Big Flop – Case Keenum

In both of the Texan’s (the guy, not the team) first two NFL starts, he’s thrown 621 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks (how does that taste, Matt Schaub?). However, he’s also yet to log a win for his squad, and at some point that worms its way into your performance. When you feel like your team (or your kicker, in this instance) isn’t playing to win, you eventually stop, too. The Cardinals defense is probably a cut above a Clay Matthews-less Packers too, so Case might have a rough afternoon away from home.

Big Storyline – Aaron, NOOOO!

Last week, the Josh McCown-led Chicago Bears didn’t waste much time in evening the field, fracturing Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone and sidelining him for 3-4 weeks. In Green Bay seasons past, this would only amount to an extended pre-playoff rest, but with the Lions and the Bears putting in the work, Seneca Wallace might just be the stinky cheese that keeps the Packers out of the playoffs for the first time in five years.

Big Stinker –Tennessee at Jacksonville

The Jacksonville season has gone from hilariously bad to depressingly bad. It’s starting to look like the ’08 Lions are going to have some company…

Photos by (Photo: Mike McGinnis/ Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013)