NFL: Week 11 Picks

Bye Weeks: Jets, Falcons, Broncos and Chargers.

Thursday Night Football

  • Saints @ Panthers: An NFC South match-up featuring two teams coming off last second losses takes center-stage to open up week 11. New Orleans was primed to move above .500 when they had a PAT blocked and returned for a safety with just over a minute left.  Carolina was in full control all game, up 17-0 at one point, would eventually lose to Kansas City on a field goal as time expired. So now two teams i had making the playoffs can ill afford to lose many more games if they want to make a second half run.  There’s something off about the Panthers this season, and I think Drew Brees and company exploit that and pick up a road win Thursday. NEW ORLEANS WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Steelers @ Browns: Pittsburgh was 30 seconds from snapping Dallas’ win streak when Ezekiel Elliot ripped a long, game winning touchdown run. As for Cleveland, week 10 brought more of the same, another loss, without much to be hopeful about. The Steelers offense looked as good as it has all season last week, and against a good Cowboys defense.  So while anything can happen on the gridiron, I can’t see the Browns getting their first win of the season this weekend. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Ravens @ Cowboys: Baltimore is atop the AFC North, but I still don’t know how to feel about them. The Ravens have been the definition of streak this season, as they started out 3-0, then lost four straight, and are now on a two game upswing.  Dallas is comfortably atop the NFC East, and are the best and biggest surprise in the league.  They’re being carried by two rookies at key positions who aren’t making mistakes.  The Cowboys have already won twice as many games as a season ago, and their consistency will help them make it nine straight wins. DALLAS WINS
  • Jaguars @ Lions: Jacksonville showed their age last week, with bad turnovers in a close game that sealed the loss.  Detroit is coming off their bye week and moved into a tie for first place in the NFC North thanks to everyone else losing in week 10.  This game can absolutely go either way, and can also be a shoot out. But it should go the Lions way at home. DETROIT WINS
  • Titans @ Colts: Don’t look now, but the Tennessee Titans are figuring things out. Marcus Mariota is on fire, and with DeMarco Murray doing huge things on the ground, the defense hasn’t needed to be on point of late.  That’s big with a rested Colts team ahead.  Indianapolis can put up points with the best of them, but their defense isn’t good.  So while I had the Colts winning the AFC South, I’m going with the Titans on the road to get above .500 and put more pressure on the Texans to keep a hold of the division. TENNESSEE WINS 
  • Bills @ Bengals: Buffalo was feeling good about themselves early in the season, with a strong defense that shutout the Pats (sans Tom Brady) at home, and LeSean McCoy producing big numbers on the ground. But injuries have sent them crashing back down the AFC East standings in the form of a three-game losing streak.  Cincinnati continues to disappoint, losing a one-point game on Monday night after a tie in week 9. So who gets back on track and tries to stay relevant in the AFC playoff picture? Give me the road team and that defense to stop a possibly hobbled AJ Green and company. BUFFALO WINS
  • Buccaneers @ Chiefs: Tampa Bay exercised some demons after a couple bad losses and picked up an easy win over the Bears in week 10. Kansas City rebounded from a poor first half to take down the Panthers and stay with the Raiders and Broncos in the ultra-competitive AFC West. Both teams have had their moments offensively, but in a league where defense wins championships, give me the home team to win this game. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Bears @ Giants: Chicago’s season wasn’t bad enough already, now they’ll be without their best offensive weapon as Alshon Jeffery has been suspended for violating the leagues substance policy. Jay Cutler has looked okay in his return from injury, but good enough to outplay their poor defend. As for New York, they continued their trend of winning close games on Monday, something they couldn’t do last season. On a four game winning streak, the Giants are being carried by their defense. The offense had its moments, and if the running game can do it’s part as it did in week 19, that’ll only open up the passing game. There are no easy games for the Giants this season, but this week should be another one they can close out. NEW YORK WINS
  • Cardinals @ Vikings: Arizona picked up a much-needed win this past week against San Francisco, but it wasn’t impressive. Carson Palmer struggled and while the defense held the Niners to 13 points, they left them too many opportunities. Minnesota on the other hand saw their losing streak grow to four after they started the season 5-0. The offense, particularly the running game, has been non-existent, while the defense hasn’t been what it was earlier in the year. The Vikings now have company atop the NFC North after comfortably sitting alone early.      The Cardinals run game this season has been very good, and that, coupled with a bounce back game from Palmer, will keep the birds on pace with the division leading Seahawks. ARIZONA WINS

Sunday 4/425 PM Games

  • Dolphins @ Rams: LA has been very up and down this year; which is to be expected with a young team. But they’ve shown they can shut anyone down, winning two different games without scoring a touchdown themselves! Miami  picked up a big win to move into second place in the AFC East last week, on the strength of their offense. So while the Rams offense hasn’t gotten what it hoped for out of Todd Gurley, and now that the change from Case Keenum to Jared Goff had come, I still like LA to hold down the Dolphins enough to get another win this Sunday. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Patriots @ 49ers: New England saw their winning streak end this past Sunday night, while San Francisco saw their losing streak continue. The Patriots have lost two games this year, both at home; an oddity in the Brady-Belichick era. But with the way LeGarrette Blount is running, and the way the Niners have played all season, they won’t lose back-to-back games. NEW ENGLAND WINS 
  • Eagles @ Seahawks: The Eagles got back on track Sunday, while the Seahawks handed the Pats their second loss off the season. Philadelphia’s defense showed up again, slowing down the Falcons high-powered offense. They also got a much-needed boost on the ground from Ryan Matthews. Seattle has to worry about that after allowing LeGarrette Blount to find pay dirt three times in their win over New England. That being said, their offense saw Doug Baldwin put up three scores of his own.  The Eagles offense still wasn’t as crisp as you’d like going up against the Hawks. SEATTLE WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Packers @ Redskins: Green Bay is struggling with no end in sight.  The defense allowed the Titans to score 47 points in every way possible.  The Packers are now below .500 for the first time since Aaron Rodgers first year in 2008.  The Redskins picked up their 5th win of the season against the Vikings. The defense let Minnesota get their yards but were able put good pressure on Sam Bradford, and Kirk Cousins was solid. I want to pick the Packers, but there are so many issues with this team right now that I don’t see them winning on the road this week. WASHINGTON WINS

Monday Night Football

  • Texans @ Raiders: Houston is lucky they play in the AFC South, who they’re now 3-0 against this season. They’ve been very up and down this year, but in fairness to the Texans, their sixth win was their most complete of the season. They played well in all three phases. Oakland is coming off their bye week on a three game win streak, and tied for the best record in the AFC. The Raiders are getting huge performances from Derek Carr and there no reason it shouldn’t continue. The Texans defense can be very good, but Oakland is simply the better team. OAKLAND WINS

 

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