NFL Predictions Week 11: Road Teams That Will Earn Huge Victories

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 08:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 8, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With the second half of the NFL season underway, playoff positions are up for grabs.

Outside of a few elite teams, many postseason berths will be up for grabs. That makes every win important, especially when a team has its home crowd at its back.

Home-field advantage should mean something this time of year, but for some teams in Week 11, it won't. A few road teams will be more hungry, more talented or just in the perfect position to grab a huge win.

Let's take a look at three teams that will score huge road wins in Week 11.


Baltimore Ravens

With Ben Roethlisberger out Sunday night (according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer), Baltimore should be able to score a huge road win over its heated AFC North rivals. 

Granted, the Ravens are much better at home, but Pittsburgh without Roethlisberger is like Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant. It's just not going to work. The team will have no direction. Do you really expect Byron Leftwich to deliver a big game? Baltimore's defense has been bad, but come on.

Pittsburgh's defense will still get pressure on Joe Flacco, but the right side of its defensive line showed weakness against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday night. Jamaal Charles was able to clear the 100-yard mark, making Ray Rice's task look that much easier.

Discard the Ravens' struggles this season. Pittsburgh, as a rival, will get the Ravens' best shot. The emotional letdown of Big Ben's injury will leave this team damaged, and the Steelers won't be ready to defend their home turf when it matters most.


Green Bay Packers

The Detroit Lions have been playing better lately, but not as well as the Packers. As winners of four straight, Aaron Rodgers and Co. appear ready to take over the NFC's top spot once again.

That begins with a win over Detroit on Sunday. Rodgers should have no trouble moving the ball on this pass defense, assuming that his offensive line keeps him upright in the pocket.

Passing the ball comes easy to Detroit, but, even for a weaker defense, Green Bay will stifle that. Even if the Packers can't stop every play, it's going to be tough for Detroit to keep up with their high-powered attack.

Look for Green Bay to deliver a big win, putting more pressure on Chicago Monday night. The Packers are still the NFC's best offensive team, and they're still a major Super Bowl threat.

If this game isn't close, I won't be surprised.


Indianapolis Colts

Don't look now, but the Colts are 6-3. Andrew Luck is that good, and the Colts have turned it around mostly because of his presence behind center.

Rolling into Gillette Stadium isn't easy, but Luck has the chops to withstand the pressure.

On top of that, the Colts can defend the pass. Currently ranked 15th in the league, Indianapolis has managed to keep big plays at a minimum. Beating New England has a lot to do with keeping Tom Brady's long passing plays to a minimum, which Indy should be able to do.

This game all comes down to Luck. He's proven himself to be a poised pocket passer, and he's poised beyond his years. The Patriots struggle to stop the pass, and he is completely capable of stringing together a few huge plays through the air.

The Colts are used to being overlooked, but it would be a mistake in this one. Calling any upset over New England is going out on a limb, but Luck has what it takes to make it happen.