NFL Week 10: A rematch of familiar foes and a rookie quarterback seeking to end a winning streak

Week 10 of the NFL season kicked off on Thursday with the Chicago Bears’ victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Though some of the NFL’s top teams are on the bye this week, the action continues through the weekend with a slate of great matchups across the league.

Here’s what to look for in Week 10 of the 2023 season.

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET

Sunday afternoon features an AFC North rematch between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

The familiar foes faced off back in Week 4 when Baltimore took home an emphatic 28-3 victory. However, the Browns had to play without their starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, who suffered a rotator cuff strain in late September.

Watson played his first full game back in Week 9 against the Cardinals and is slated to play this week against the Ravens.

Though Watson is not listed on the injury report ahead of Sunday’s matchup, he told reporters earlier this week he still does not feel “100%.”

“Every day it’s a work in progress,” Watson said. “So, it’s just a deal that I’m going to continue to have to work and focus on each and every day to make sure that I just try to get as strong as possible and as healthy as possible as I possibly can.”

Deshaun Watson runs with the ball during last weekend's victory over the Arizona Cardinals. - David Richard/AP
Deshaun Watson runs with the ball during last weekend's victory over the Arizona Cardinals. - David Richard/AP

What else makes Sunday’s matchup significant? The overall strength of the AFC North.

Statistically speaking, the AFC North is the best division in football. Entering Week 10, all four teams (the Ravens, Browns, Steelers, and Bengals) are at least two games above .500. They would all make the playoffs if the season ended today.

In Week 11, both the Ravens and the Browns will have their second straight matchup against a divisional opponent, with the Ravens hosting the Bengals and the Browns hosting the Steelers.

Although there are added pressures that come along with these divisional contests, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson emphasized that every game is equally as important.

“[When] it’s a division game, we know our opponents, but at the same time, all of us are trying to make it to the playoffs,” Jackson said. “All the games are going to be aggressive – Steelers, Cincinnati, Browns. We’ve just got to go in locked in. But I treat every game the same.”

Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m. ET

The Cincinnati Bengals will look to uphold their four-game winning streak against the Houston Texans.

After a less than ideal 1-3 start to the season, Joe Burrow’s Bengals seem to have found their footing entering the season’s second half. With last week’s primetime win over the Bills, they now hold a four-game win streak at Paycor Stadium, including three wins against opponents with winning records.

“We’ve still got a lot to play for,” Burrow said. “Still got nine games left, so we’re in a good spot. That’s all you can say.”

Cincinnati shows no signs of slowing down. But if anyone can snap the streak, it’s Texans quarterback and Ohio-native C.J. Stroud. Through nine weeks of play, the 2023 second-overall draft pick makes a convincing campaign for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

C.J. Stroud has had an impressive start to the season. - Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
C.J. Stroud has had an impressive start to the season. - Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

He boasts an impressive 14-1 touchdown to interception ratio and ranks top-ten in the league in both touchdowns and passing yards.

Just last week, he threw for 470 passing yards with five touchdown passes on 30 of 42 passing, earning the league’s single-game, rookie record for most passing yards in a game.

“I think trust is earned, and C.J. [Stroud] has earned that trust by showing it on the practice field, proving it to his teammates,” Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans said of Stroud.

“He’s still a rookie, still has things to learn and things to grow from each and every week, but he’s doing a really good job of just growing throughout the year. So, I’m pleased with that growth process.”

San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. ET

One of the most highly-anticipated matchups of the week features the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Both teams began this year as postseason hopefuls. Now halfway through the season, one team is progressing closer towards that goal and the other is falling behind.

The Jaguars are the hottest team in football right now, coming off their bye week boasting a league-best five-game win streak. Their challenge will be to carry that winning-momentum into the next week.

“We still feel that momentum, that energy that we left with when we took the week off, but you got to find a way to get that edge back,” Quarterback Trevor Lawrence said.

“It is relaxing and getting your body back underneath you, you have to. It’s a long season, we played eight tough games in a row and then now we’ve got a nice stretch.
You’ve got to give your body a chance to rest.”

Trevor Lawrence's Jacksonville Jaguars are the hottest team in football at the moment. - Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images
Trevor Lawrence's Jacksonville Jaguars are the hottest team in football at the moment. - Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images

The 49ers are also fresh off the bye week, but haven’t won a game since Week 5. Their most glaring issue has been injuries, with left tackle Trent Williams and receiver Deebo Samuel both spending time on the sidelines during the losing skid.

Quarterback Brock Purdy also suffered a minor concussion in Week 7 and hasn’t performed well since. Needless to say, their bye week could not have come at a more perfect time.

“For myself, especially, it was huge,” Purdy said. “But to be able to like step away from the game, take a breather, understand where we’re at, what we have to do, it was huge for me to clear my mind and then come back like excited for the second half and for the stretch of some good football that we have to play.”

Both teams have the opportunity to make a statement on Sunday. For Jacksonville, a win would further prove their status as one of the AFC’s elite teams. For San Francisco, a win would put the last month further in the rearview and put them back on track towards their postseason goals.

Schedule

Sunday 

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens, 9:30 a.m. ET

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET

Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m. ET

San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars. 1:00 p.m. ET

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 p.m. ET

Tennessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. ET

Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. ET

Detroit Lions @ Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET

Washington Commanders @ Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET

New York Jets @ Las Vegas Raiders, 8:20 p.m. ET

Monday

Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills

How to watch

Here’s how to catch these teams in action, from wherever you are.

Australia: NFL+, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL+, ESPN

Canada: NFL+, CTV, TSN, RDS

Germany: NFL+, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL+, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports

UK: NFL+, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL+, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, Amazon Prime

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