NFL Week 11 Predictions

Wow, after last week who knows how the crazy week ahead in the NFL will go. Last week I finally got back on track with a mark of 11-5 to improve to 87-55 on the season. Lots of critical games to get to this week, so let’s get right to what should be a big week in week 11 of the NFL.

Atlanta at Baltimore – The Ravens are flying high after a comeback win last week in Tennessee, while the Falcons are in a major slump after a road loss to the Lions and then a bust last week at home in a 17-13 loss to the Browns. The Atlanta defense has gone in reverse after early season success, and this week again will be without Pro-Bowl DE John Abraham. The Ravens should have success against their front four, and need to continue to protect Steve McNair and allow him time to throw. All-Pro Ray Lewis will likely miss the game for the Ravens, and that will give the Falcons some success running the ball with Michael Vick and Warrick Dunn. The story here is can the Falcons duplicate the type of game vs the Ravens like they did on the road vs the Bengals three weeks ago? This Ravens team is better, and it will pay off in a Ravens home win. Baltimore 20 Atlanta 16

Washington at Tampa Bay – Joe Gibb’s, who might be coaching his last 7 NFL games, has finally decided its time to make a change at QB, and will give Jason Campbell his first NFL start Sunday as the Skins travel to Tampa Bay. Wild how the NFL changes so much in one-year to think that this is actually a playoff wild card rematch from a season ago, and now both teams are a combined 5-13. Campbell will not have much support in the running game Sunday, as Clinton Portis is now on the IR with a broken hand. That alone will spell trouble for the Skins, who have a hard time scoring even with Portis. Look for the Bucs defense to rise to the occasion against the new starter, and for the Tampa offense to play it safe, but have enough to grab their third win of the year. Tampa Bay 17 Washington 10

Tennessee at Philadelphia – The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a decisive win over Washington, and this week look to make it two-in-a-row vs the young Titans and QB Vince Young. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg took control of the play calling and it paid off with 27 points for the Eagles. This week the Titans will continue to try and run the ball, as they did have success last week vs the Ravens at home, but the defense gave up what looked to be a safe lead in a 27-26 heartbreaker. The Titans can run, and that has to be the concern for the Eagles, who allow 120 yards a game on the ground. McNabb and co. will have to keep the pressure on the Titans 32nd ranked D, and with it should come their 6th win of the season. Philadelphia 29 Tennessee 17

St.Louis at Carolina – The Panthers were sleepwalking on Monday night for the first half, then Tampa Bay decided to give the ball away on four of five second half possessions and it paid off for a Carolina 24-10 win. Carolina is in position to make a run at the Saints, and at 5-4 trail them by just one game. They have already dropped two games at home, and against a limping Rams team cannot afford another slow home start here. The Rams are in a major tailspin after another close loss last week in Seattle, and after a 4-1 start have dropped 4 straight to sit at 4-5 and two back of the Seahawks. Their offense is still 8th in the league, and can give the Panthers fits if Marc Bulger has time to throw. The Panthers 23rd ranked offense is going to have to get off to a good start and put some points up, and the defense is going to have to step up. John Fox and the Panthers staff realize how important this game is with two straight games on road coming up, and they have made that message clear to the team this week. Carolina 24 St.Louis 21

Oakland at Kansas City – The storyline here is the return of Trent Green to under center for the Chiefs, this after taking a vicious hit in week one that has kept him out. Green has the benefit of playing his first game vs the Raiders, a team that despite a decent defense, is not very good and even worse on the road. KC has beaten Oakland six straight times, and with Larry Johnson carrying the rock, this should be seven. The Raiders have a decision to make themselves at quarterback, as Aaron Brooks is ready go to after being injured back in week one. Oakland should make the move to put Brooks in, as their 32nd ranked offense can’t do much worse with him over Andrew Walter. The Chiefs cannot afford to lose here, and the combo of Johnson and Green won’t let them. Kansas City 23 Oakland 7

New England at Green Bay – Interesting game here as the Packers have started playing well after a 1-4 start, winning three of four, including a tough win last week in Minnesota. The Pats are reeling a bit after two straight losses at home, and have not lost thre in a row since 2002. Tom Brady has struggled the last two games, throwing five int’s and just one TD in two losses, and this week he should be able to get back to form against the 31st ranked pass defense in the Packers. Bret Favre has been like his old self again, throwing for over 1,000 yards and 6 TD’s with just two picks in the last four games. Ahman Green’s running has helped as well, putting up just over 100 yards per average the last four games as well. Despite that, the Pats have their backs against the wall, and simply have to win this game to get back on track. It won’t be easy. New England 27 Green Bay 26

Buffalo at Houston – Two teams that have shown promise meet up Sunday in Houston, as the 3-6 Bills take on the 3-6 Texans. Houston has only won one game minus their two upsets of the Jaguars, the latest coming last week in J-Ville. Buffalo started 2-2, but lost three of four including a tough 17-16 decision last week in Indianapolis. The offense is still poor, ranked 31st in the league. They catch a break here, as the Texans are still allowing over 345 yards a game, and you can look for J.P. Loseman and Anthony Thomas to try and mix up the pass and run with success vs the Texans D. Houston put up 148 yards last week on the ground, and will try and pound the Bills this week along with some efficient passing from David Carr, who was 16-for-32 last week for 167 yards and was only sacked once. Buffalo has won two of three, and for some reason I think they will have success here against a short-handed Texans D. Buffalo 23 Houston 14

Minnesota at Miami – The last two weeks the Dolphins have played like the team that many felt would challenge the Patriots for the top spot in the AFC East. With wins over the Bears and Chiefs, this team has shown it does have the ability. That’s why this week I think they will make it three in a row at home vs a Vikings team that is simply put – reeling. Minnesota looked strong the first six weeks of the season, starting 4-2, but since a 31-13 win in Seattle on 10/22 have scored just 27 points in three games and have lost all three – two at home. After a strong start, Chester Taylor has begun to struggle for the Vikings, rushing for just 193 yards in the last three games. If Minnesota wants to win here, they have to get him going, and Brad Johnson has got to play better. The veteran QB has a QB rating of just 68.8 the last four games. Both offenses will struggle here, but I think the Dolphins D has played the better of the two the last few weeks. Miami 13 Minnesota 10

Chicago at New York Jets – The Bears quickly got back on track last week in the Meadowlands vs the Giants, and this week can make it two in a row there when they play the Jets. They started slow last week, but overcame a 10-point deficit and ended up putting up 38 in a 38-20 win. Rex Grossman also overcame a bad game the week before vs the Dolphins, and even without leading receiver Bernard Berrian was able to be effective. The Jets continue to surprise, winning in Foxboro last week over the Pats, New York is now 5-4 and right in the thick of things for a wild card spot in the AFC. New York has won three of four, but will need a strong game to overcome the Bears here. Look for Chicago’s offense to pound the ball and wear down the smaller Jets D for another road win. Chicago 27 NY Jets 17

Cincinnati at New Orleans – The Bengals are a mess right now, and after a 3-0 start have dropped four of five. Last week their defense imploded in giving up 49 points, 42 in the second half, and over 500 yards in a home loss to the Chargers. Cincy’s D has allowed 217 points, second most in the AFC. The Saints offense is explosive as well, and can make this game a shootout at the SuperDome as they try and rebound after a road loss to the Steelers 38-31. New Orleans probably would have won in Pittsburgh if it were not for three costly turnovers, the last of which stopped a drive in Steelers territory that could have led to a game-tying score in the final minute. The Bengals cannot afford to allow more than 30 points, but after the last few weeks, that looks unlikely to happen. Cincy is in a tailspin, and the Saints should bounce back at home. New Orleans 35 Cincinnati 27

Pittsburgh at Cleveland – The Steelers have dominated their rival over the last few years, winning 11 of 12, including five straight in Cleveland. The Browns, despite winning in Atlanta last week, have issues on the injury front, and are likely to be without RB Ruben Droughns and CB Leigh Bodden. Pittsburgh should be able to move the football on Cleveland, as they are touting the leagues 5th ranked offense. The major storyline here is the revenge factor for Cleveland, as they were pounded last year 41-0 at home on Christmas Eve to the eventual Super Bowl champs. Cleveland says it won’t happen again, but are going to need turnovers and some big plays with their 29th ranked offense to pull off the win here. Despite identical 3-6 records, the Steelers are still the better team and should be able to get their first road win. Pittsburgh 27 Cleveland 16

Detroit at Arizona – The Cardinals continue to be a mess, and last week once again were outplayed in every phase by Dallas in a 27-10 home loss. The Lions failed to build off a big win the week before against the Falcons, and lost a winnable game at home 19-13 to the 49’ers. Detroit has played well against the Cards over the last few years, winning four straight, and usually can put up big numbers on offense against Arizona. Last week they went backwards against the 49’ers gaining just 251 yards after putting up 435 a week before. The Cards should be able to get Edgerrin James going against a Lions D that allows 127 yards per game on the ground, and Matt Leinart has got to avoid costly mistakes and turnovers. Both teams are bad, and the Lions seem to have a little more on both sides of the ball to be able to get their third win. Detroit 24 Arizona 17

Seattle at San Francisco – The Seahawks seem poised for another Super Bowl run after winning last week at home over the Rams to extend their NFC West lead to two games. Word is this week the team will get back star RB Shaun Alexander, but QB Matt Hassleback will sit one more week. Just the presence of Alexander will help out the Hawks, and this week they should be able to continue to dominate the 49’ers, a division foe they have beaten six straight times. The 49’ers have played much better over the last few weeks, and have the shot here at their first three-game winning streak in four years. Seattle’s defense has owned the 49’ers, helping them outscore the 49’ers 188-91 since their last loss to San Fran in 2002. The Hawks should be able to hold off a much improved 49’er team here. Seattle 21 San Francisco 17

Indianapolis at Dallas – Best afternoon game on the slate has the undefeated Colts heading into Big D to try and make it 10 straight. Indy just got by the Bills last week 17-16, and are going to have to score more this week against a more high powered Cowboys offense. Dallas put up 27 on the Cardinals in Arizona last Sunday, and will have to put up at least that against Peyton Manning and the Colts. The key for the defense of Dallas is to try and pressure Manning and hold Indy to 3 instead of 6 when they do get inside the red zone. Dallas with Tony Romo must not panic if they get behind early, and Romo cannot afford to give the Colts short fields to play on with interceptions or fumbles. I like the matchup for the Cowboys offense against the Colts D, but these are the types of games where Peyton and co. always step up. Indianapolis 31 Dallas 27

San Diego at Denver – Invesco will be rocking for this first place AFC West showdown between the Chargers and Broncos. San Diego scored 42 in the second half last week in Cincy, and while they won’t do that again, their offense seems to have the advantage here. Phillip Rivers might be the key in this showdown, as he has to play well to open up the running game for the Chargers and LaDainian Tomlinson. Denver may have to open up their offense like two weeks ago in Pittsburgh, and try to score at least 24-27 to take the pressure off their defense. Invesco is not an easy place to play, and the Broncos defense will lead them to the win here. Denver 21 San Diego 13

New York Giants at Jacksonville – A must win for the Jags, who have dropped 4 games already, which is all they lost a season ago en route to the playoffs. The Giants can’t exactly afford a loss here either, as after losing last week to Chicago they are now just a game up on the Eagles and Cowboys in the NFC East. The Giants are a bit banged up, and Eli Manning is going to have to step his game up against a solid Jags front four and make some plays to get the win here. Jacksonville was stunned last week 13-10 by Houston, and while David Garrard gets the start despite playing poorly last week, his legs will need to help carry the Jags to a big home win here. Jacksonville seems to get up for the bigger games, as they have lost four games to teams with losing records. Jacksonville 23 NY Giants 17


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One Response to “NFL Week 11 Predictions”

  1. Rockwell says:

    After some lead changes this season, I’m back behind by a game. Maybe I pick better as an underdog. I’m mostly in agreement here except in three or four key spots. (As usual, for those who wish to see all my picks and reasons, please check: “The Office Pool”.)

    The Giants-Jaguars game is a big one. Both teams are banged up a bit. I think Manning and Barber will get the rest to rise to the occasion.

    My upset pick of the week is the Bengals winning in a shootout in the Dome.

    Good luck on the rest!