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2013 NFL Week 10 Preview — 5 Intriguing Storylines to Watch

Colin Kaepernick Cam Newton
Getty Images

The NFL enters the second half of its 2013 season this week. Some teams must win now or forget about their postseason hopes. Here are five storylines we’re watching this week:

The Packers Face Life Without Aaron Rodgers

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc. — 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 10

Aaron Rodgers
Getty Images

After suffering a broken left collarbone in Monday’s loss to the Bears, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss several weeks while he recovers. Meanwhile, Green Bay (5-3) will miss Rodgers against the Eagles this week, especially if backup quarterback Seneca Wallace is as bad as he was in relief on Monday. Philadelphia (4-5) hopes to continue to benefit from quarterback Nick Foles’ golden touch. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and no interceptions so far this season, including an NFL record-tying seven scoring passes against Oakland last week.

Can the Ravens Stay in the AFC Playoff Picture?

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore — 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 10

Joe Flacco
Getty Images

AFC North-leading Cincinnati (6-3) travels to Baltimore (3-5), where the defending Super Bowl champs find themselves trailing the Jets, Dolphins, Titans and Browns for the final AFC playoff spot. That’s not good. If Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense can’t get its act together against the Bengals, it could mean that they won’t need to worry about postseason plans this January.

The Battle for the NFC North

Soldier Field, Chicago — 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 10

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions
Getty Images

With a win over the Packers (5-3) on Monday night, the Bears (5-3) knotted up the NFC North race into a three-way tie, with Detroit (5-3) as the third team. Chicago will host the Lions this Sunday. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the Lions’ high-powered offense could be a challenge for the Bears. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler may be recovered enough from his groin injury to face the Detroit defense, but backup Josh McCown has done a solid job of guiding the team in Cutler’s absence. Who will head coach Marc Trestman choose? The Bears’ future depends on it.

Athletic Quarterbacks on Display in San Francisco

Candlestick Park, San Francisco — 4:05 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 10

Colin Kaepernick Cam Newton
Getty Images

San Francisco (6-2) and Carolina (5-3) are both NFC playoff contenders. Sunday’s intra-conference match-up will pit each team’s versatile quarterback against the other’s aggressive defense. Panthers signal-caller Cam Newton has a better QB rating than the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, but the San Francisco QB has run for more yards and led his team to more wins. Each player has been given the NFL’s ‘Quarterback of the Future’ tag in the past. It’s time for both of them to prove they deserve it.

Interim Coaches Take Over

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego — 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 10
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. — 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 10

Wade Phillips
Getty Images

Head coaches John Fox of the Broncos and Gary Kubiak of the Texans each suffered serious health scares last week. Jack Del Rio and Wade Phillips will continue to guide Denver (7-1) and Houston (2-6) respectively in the interim. Del Rio’s job is much easier, thanks to Peyton Manning and a defense that is slowly taking shape after being porous earlier this season. Phillips knows all about bad defense. The Texans gave up a 21-3 halftime lead in last week’s loss to the Colts. Arizona (4-4) isn’t as formidable, but it may not matter against a shell-shocked Houston team.

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