Week 10 Football Picks: Mascot Face-Off II

Suburban Underground's Week 10 Football Picks

Here in Week 10, our teams find themselves at the midpoint of their seasons. Behind them are 9 weeks of toil and strife, of heady victory and bitter loss. But these stories have already been told, in these pages and in the sports bars and living rooms of America. What stories lie ahead? It is the pleasure of the football fan to take in a new chapter each week. Here, we provide our best guess at what Week 10 will bring.

This week, we'll be returning to the Mascot Face Off last seen in Week 8. Though it dropped our pick record to 3-5, we still believe in the power of team emblems to inspire the men of football. And now, without further ado, SuburbanUnderground's Week 10 Football Picks!

Minnesota (3-5) at NY Giants (6-2)
The Giants look to extend their perfect home record this week as they take on the Minnesota Vikings at the Meadowlands. Though the Vikings have killer instinct on their side--their Norse namesakes are remembered for the ferocity of their pillaging--they are without quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who is out indefinitely with an injured right knee. The Giants, meanwhile, must take their inspiration from a more diverse cast of characters, ranging from the people-eaters of Jack and the Beanstalk fame to the more gentle creatures of modern children's literature. Giants appear in the mythology of nearly every culture; early Europeans credited giants with the construction of the stone walls and monuments actually built by the Romans. But what all giants, including Eli Manning's clan, know is that the best offense is a good defense. If the Giants can line up their five-star defense for a third week, the Vikings will find themselves falling down the beanstalk.
SU Pick: NY Giants
Cleveland (3-5) at Pittsburgh (6-2)
The Browns are hoping that a win over the marquee Steelers could spark some energy into what has so far been a lackluster season, and the weakened Pittsburgh squad (Ben Roethlisberger is still out, and leading rushers Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis are questionable), may not have the goods to defend against the Browns' playoff hopes. Cleveland also has Paul Brown, the team's eponymous coach, on its side. Brown, the hall of fame coach who built the fledgling team into a dynasty in the middle of the 20th century, had a reputation as a disciplinarian and pioneered a scientific approach to the study of the game, running statistical studies of film clips and making players complete IQ tests. The Steelers' offense, just barely adequate last week, will find little inspiration in the rust-belt reality that plagues the industry for which they were named.
SU Pick: Cleveland
Dallas (5-3) at Philadelphia (4-4)
Two great American symbols meet this week as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Like their namesake, the Eagles perform best in the air, with a league-leading passing offense that has racked up almost 300 yards a game this season. But the Cowboys' defense will be looking to clip the Eagles' wings, and without a perked-up rushing game, the Eagles may find themselves on the brink of extinction Monday night.
SU Pick: Dallas
New England (4-4) at Miami (3-5)
After flopping their way to four losses in their last five games, the fish-out-of-water Dolphins will have a chance to capture the top spot in the AFC East--or at least to share it with their opponents, the New England Patriots. In this beast-of-land, beast-of-sea battle, the Patriots will find themselves wishing for the solid ground of their home field, as the speed and endurance of Dolphins running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams leaves them gasping for air.
SU Pick: Miami
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