Sunday, November 18, 2012

NFL Picks - Week 11

Week 10 Results (8-4-1) – Overall (90-45-1)

Last week felt a lot uglier than 8-4-1.  The Cowboys and Saints were good calls, but I should have known better with the Giants.  They’re a very tired team at this point and are definitely in need of a bye week.  Oh well, on to the next one…

Cardinals @ Falcons
Atlanta finally tasted defeat last week in New Orleans but are back home to take on the struggling Cardinals.  Arizona had two weeks to prepare for this one, and Julio Jones is likely to miss the game for Atlanta.  I think Matt Ryan is going to have to work to get this win.  Closer than the experts think, but Atlanta bounces back and moves to 5-0 at home.

Browns @ Cowboys
Here’s another game where I think the big home favorite needs to be on upset alert, even more so than AtlantaDallas survived a tough division game in Philly last week and faces a Cleveland team coming off its bye.  A big factor for me is Joe Haden.  He’s questionable to start, and even if he does, he’ll be at far less than 100%.  Dallas squeaks by at home.

Packers @ Lions
Green Bay is coming off a bye and riding a four game win streak.  Detroit is coming off a loss at Minnesota and sits firmly in the basement of the NFC North.  They’ve yet to win a division game, and I don’t think they get it against the Packers.  Slight upset alert here, but I’ll trust Aaron Rodgers on the road. 

Bengals @ Chiefs
I don’t think the Bengals are anything special, but I don’t expect the Chiefs to be very up for this one after coming up just short on MNF in Pittsburgh.  KC is far and away the league’s worst team in turnover differential with a -20 (next closest is Philly at -11), and Cincinnati forced a total of 6 turnovers in their last two games, against both Mannings. 

Jets @ Rams
The Rams shocked the football world last week by tying the Niners.  The Jets continued to look awful by getting housed in Seattle.  If it was any team other than the Jets, I’d probably take them over the Rams due to a bit of a letdown factor, but who will the Jets turn to to score points?  I like what the Rams are doing on defense, and they’re offense is developing by the week.  It might be ugly, but the Rams get the win. 

Eagles @ Redskins
Have the Eagles given up yet?  They’re not going to the playoffs, and Andy Reid is likely on the way out.  Rookie Nick Foles gets the start in DC, and fortunately for him, he’ll be facing the pathetic Redskins’ pass defense.  Call me crazy, but I think the Eagles get the road upset here.  Look for a big day from LeSean McCoy and for the Eagles defense to do just enough to escape with a 4 point win. 

Bucs @ Panthers
Tough to take road teams in division matchups, but the directions of these two franchises are clear.  The Bucs are playing big time football on offense and getting by defensively, while the Panthers are struggling on both sides of the ball.  With Tampa Bay holding the league’s best run defense, Cam Newton will be forced to make plays, and that hasn’t exactly worked out so well for the Panthers this year.

Jaguars @ Texans
I can’t even find an angle that makes this one close.  Houston rolls.

Saints @ Raiders
Here’s a spot where the Saints are prone to lay an egg.  They’re traveling, not only out of the dome, but to the west coast.  Fortunately, they’ll be facing a one dimensional Raiders team that can run the football.  Carson Palmer may put up some points, but the Raiders aren’t a team I would take to win a shoot out with Drew Brees and the Saints. 

Chargers @ Broncos
Philip Rivers looks completely lost on the football field, and Peyton Manning is a man on a mission.  This isn’t setting up well for the Chargers in any phase of the game.  They’ll need a few Willis McGahee fumbles and Manning INTs to pull off the upset.  They don’t get them. 

Colts @ Patriots
The Andrew Luck bandwagon is at full capacity, and the Patriots struggled to hold off the Bills last week.  The Colts pull off the stunner right?  This one smells like a New England blowout in the making.  Aaron Hernandez looks like he’ll be out again, but it won’t matter as Indy struggles to keep up with Tom Brady and the Patriots. 

Ravens @ Steelers
There’s blood in the water.  Can the Ravens capitalize?  They get the Steelers in two of the next three weeks, and it’s likely that they’ll get to avoid Ben Roethlisberger both times.  Pittsburgh’s only chance is to run the football and get a huge game from their defense.  It could certainly happen, but how in the world can I back a Byron Leftwich-led offense against the Ravens? 

Bears @ 49ers
This will be a battle of teams dealing with concussed QBs.  Chicago will head west without Jay Cutler, but the Niners are expected to have Alex Smith under center on MNF.  I’m not a huge Jason Campbell guy, but I like him better with a week to prepare for a football game.  Great defenses travel, and the Bears have a great defense.  I don’t like the way the Niners have looked since that Giants whooping.  Chicago is a team that can make them look as bad as the Giants did, and I think they will. 

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