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Week 10 NFL staff picks: Can struggling Falcons keep pace with Cowboys offense?

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Our staff writers pick the winners and losers for the Week 10 NFL action.

Kansas City Chiefs v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

If you like your football with an Arena League flavor, you'll probably love the NFL matchups this weekend. One of the stats I like to look at the most closely over the season is passer rating differential, the difference between a team's offensive passer rating and its defensive passer rating. Good teams consistently have a positive differential, bad teams consistently have a negative differential. This weekend features an exceptionally high number of games in which there's a significant gap between the passer rating differential of both teams, as the table below illustrates:

Passer Rating Differentials (PRD) 2017
Game PRD Away Team PRD Home Team Difference
CLE @ DET -46.9 9.8 56.7
NE @ DEN 5.5 -18.9 24.4
HOU @ LAR -1.0 22.7 23.7
LAC @ JAC -1.8 21.9 23.7
SEA @ ARI 17.3 -3.2 20.5
NYJ @ TB 5.3 -13.3 18.6
PIT @ IND 9.0 -9.3 18.3
NYG @ SF -16.1 -26.1 10.0
CIN @ TEN 3.8 -3.3 7.1
MIA @ CAR -22.5 -15.5 7.0
NO @ BUF 25.8 19.2 6.6
GB @ CHI -7.5 -11.5 4.0
MIN @ WAS 12.8 16.7 3.9
DAL @ ATL 2.0 -0.2 2.2

Take the first game game in the table, Cleveland @ Detroit: The Browns have the worst offensive passer rating in the league with a subterranean 56.1 and the second-worst defensive passer rating of 103.0 for a passer rating differential of -46.9, dead last in the league. The Lions on the other hand have the 11th-best offensive passer rating of 94.4 and the 13th-ranked defensive passer rating with 84.6, which results in a passer rating differential of 9.8. The difference between the two PRDs is 56.7, the highest such value this weekend.

The difference in PRDs is fairly pronounced in 11 out of 14 games, an indication that we could see some fairly lopsided games this weekend. One of the games that promises to be a little more tightly contested (at least on paper) is the Cowboys @ Falcons game, where the two teams are separated by just 2.2 points in the PRDs.

But what the numbers don't show is that the Cowboys and Falcons are two teams on very different trajectories.

Over the last three weeks, the Cowboys are 3-0 and have a PRD of 21.6, while the Falcons are 1-2 with a PRD of -4.8. The difference in PRDs of 26.4 points would catapult the Cowboys @ Falcons game from the bottom of the table to second place on the table, suggesting the game could be just as lopsided as you expect the Patriots @ Broncos or Texans @ Rams games to be.

Here are our picks for Week 10, 2017.

Danny_medium Joseph Michael_medium Captain_medium RJ Strawn Tom VA BTB Logo
Cole Dave Danny Joseph Michael OCC RJ Strawn Tom VAfan Consensus
Season Results 85-47 84-48 72-60 88-44 83-49 83-49 70-62 72-60 78-54 75-57 83-49
Last Week 9-4 7-6 7-6 9-4 9-4 9-4 9-4 7-6 9-4 7-6 9-4
SEA (-6) @ ARI Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium Sea_medium
MIN (-2) @ WAS Min_medium Was_medium Was_medium Min_medium Was_medium Was_medium Was_medium Was_medium Min_medium Min_medium Was_medium
GB @ CHI (-3) Chi_medium Chi_medium Gb_medium Chi_medium Chi_medium Chi_medium Chi_medium Chi_medium Chi_medium Chi_medium Chi_medium
PIT (-10) @ IND Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium Pit_medium
LAC @ JAC (-4.5) Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium Jac_medium
NYJ @ TB (PK) Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium Nyj_medium
CIN @ TEN (-5.5) Ten_medium Ten_medium Ten_medium Ten_medium Cin_medium Ten_medium Ten_medium Ten_medium Ten_medium Ten_medium Ten_medium
NO (-2) @ BUF No_medium Buf_medium Buf_medium No_medium No_medium Buf_medium No_medium No_medium No_medium Buf_medium No_medium
CLE @ DET (-9.5) Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium Det_medium
HOU @ LAR (-11) Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium Stl_medium
DAL @ ATL (-3) Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Atl_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium Dal_medium
NYG @ SF (-1) Sf_medium Sf_medium Nyg_medium Nyg_medium Nyg_medium Sf_medium Nyg_medium Sf_medium Nyg_medium Nyg_medium Nyg_medium
NE @ DEN (-7.5) Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium Ne_medium
MIA @ CAR (-8) Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium Car_medium