NFL week 10 preview: Green Bay Packers need Aaron Rodgers back fit to compete with the Seahawks

COVID-19 controversy still surrounds Aaron Rodgers at Green Bay, but they need him back to maintain their playoff push. Elsewhere the Arizona Cardinals look to keep up their form against the Panthers.

We start the second half of the season with another handful of important games, yet the major talking point still seems to be the status of Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.

If Rodgers is fit to play then his clash with Seattle's Russell Wilson will be a blockbuster meeting given the effect it can have on their NFC standings.

Currently, the Tennessee Titans are the form team in the NFL and they face a New Orleans Saints side that beat the defending champions Tampa Bay two weeks ago - another victory for the Titans will make them just the second team to win five straight games against play-off teams from the previous season.

Arizona still have the best record in the NFL at 8-1 and even with key injuries they're big favourites to beat struggling Carolina, while the Chargers and Vikings could serve up a thriller in LA.

Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers

Seattle Seahawks, DK Metcalf, NFL

Another week and another huge game for the Green Bay Packers, who still face uncertainty over the availability of Aaron Rodgers. However, their opponents Seattle Seahawks have concerns of their own regarding their starting QB, Russell Wilson.

Rodgers vs Wilson is a box office showdown on its own - the fact that Rodgers is fresh from his COVID-19 drama, and Wilson is coming back from finger surgery has only heightened the tension.

After suffering from COVID-19 in the last week or two, Rodgers is set to return on Saturday, meaning Jordan Love has had to prepare as a starter, despite the Packers being hopeful Rodgers can return on the Sunday. Wilson is also due to be back after missing three games with a finger injury.

Both men could start, but whether their game will suffer from their respective injuries/illnesses adds another layer of curiosity. It's a huge game for both teams, with the 7-2 Packers needing to respond to last week's loss in Kansas, while the 3-5 Seahawks can't afford another defeat if they are to make the postseason.

Defeats are the only results Seattle have known of late at Lambeau though, with the Seahawks losing nine games in Green Bay since their last victory in 1999.

If Rodgers and Wilson are firing on all cylinders this could be a barn burner, however if they are even slightly affected by their inactivity then it'll have a huge impact on the outcome.

Green Bay's defence looked much improved against Kansas City, and if we're using that as evidence combined with their run game's positive match-up against Seattle, then we can back them as the better all round team.

Best bet:

New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans, David Long, NFL

The Titans have risen to the top of the AFC standings after an incredible run of five straight wins including back-to-back victories over the Bills and Chiefs and last week's mauling of the Rams. They'll look to maintain that momentum against a strong Saints defence.

Tennessee are 6-0 this season against last year's play-off teams, while the Saints themselves are 4-0 in such games, including a win over champions Tampa Bay two weeks ago - before a loss against Atlanta showed that they've still got issues to tackle.

The loss of star running back Derrick Henry didn't bother Tennessee in LA as their defence took charge, and with New Orleans struggling to replace QB Jameis Winston, that could again be an avenue for success.

A 36-year-old Adrian Peterson and Jeremy McNichols will lead the charge against the Saints' top-ranked rush defence, so QB Ryan Tannehill may be given more licence to throw the ball for Tennessee as New Orleans give up plenty of yards in the air.

The Bucs and Falcons both scored 27 points against this Saints defence and the Titans can at least match that here while their own defence should limit New Orleans' threat.

Best bet:

Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert, LA Chargers, NFL

Victory over Philadelphia lifted the Chargers to 5-3 and a share of top spot in the AFC West, while the Vikings lost out in a wild game against Baltimore for their second overtime defeat of the season.

Close games have been a theme for Minnesota, who have been on the wrong end of them more often than not - with two overtime defeats and their five losses combining to just 18 points. Bad luck? Yes, but it's a trait that can follow a team around.

The Chargers had a similar story last season, and the similarities continue this year with both teams having quality running backs while not being able to stop the run themselves. The Vikings rank 30th in run defence while the Chargers are dead last.

So the battle on the ground could settle this even if both teams have plenty of talent at quarterback and in their receiving corps.

Both sides have been involved in some high-scoring games this season and although the running game can take centre stage, these two teams could well get drawn into another slugfest. However, at home and with Chargers QB Justin Herbert in great form, the Bolts are likely to come out on top.

Best bet:

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals, Colt McCoy, NFL

The best team in the NFL is currently the 8-1 Cardinals, and if there was any doubt about their Super Bowl credentials, then dominating divisional rivals San Francisco last week without QB Kyler Murray and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins silenced their critics.

Murray and Hopkins may again miss out along with running back Chase Edmonds, but the Cards are still 11.5-point favourites here after their back-up QB Colt McCoy showed he can handle things in Murray's absence.

Carolina are bringing back their former MVP quarterback Cam Newton after an injury to Sam Darnold, but PJ Walker will likely start on Sunday, while their star man Christian McCaffrey is being eased back in at running back after being out for five weeks.

The Panthers have lost five of their last six behind an offence that has scored just one touchdown on their last 36 drives. Against Arizona's defence that just won't cut it.

Carolina still have a good defence and the possible lack of Murray still makes it a bit dodgy backing the Cardinals as 12-point favourites. Plus, given the Panthers scoring struggles, going high on overall points also lacks conviction.

But, with or without Murray, the Cards have proved they could stick points on anyone so this bet represents a decent bit of value in a game with such big favourites.

Best bet:

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