Week 11 NFL Predictions: Bold Predictions for Sunday's Action
It's Week 11 of the 2012 NFL season, and among the many compelling storylines around the NFL this week is a battle between youth and experience, as rookie quarterback Andrew Luck leads the Indianapolis Colts against grizzled veteran Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
If there's one thing we've come to expect in the National Football League, it's the unexpected. While the very fact that it's unexpected makes it hard to predict, that won't stop me from giving it a shot with a handful of bold predictions for Week 11.
1. Two More Backs Will Join the 1,000-Yard Club on Sunday
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So far in the 2012 season, a pair of running backs have topped 1,000 yards, but neither of those players will be able to add to their total on Sunday. Both Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings and Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks are among the players taking Week 11 off in the last of the byes.
However, by the time the week is over, Lynch and Peterson will have some company in the millennium club.
Both rookie Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arian Foster of the Houston Texans will top 150 yards on the ground against the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively.
2. The Cleveland Browns Will Defeat the Dallas Cowboys
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Some naysayers may chalk this prediction up to the wishful thinking of a Cleveland Browns fan, but—given that at this point in the season all a win does is cost Cleveland draft position—I don't know that I even want them to win.
With that said, I just can't wrap my head around the idea of this Dallas team being only one game out of first place. With a short turnaround before their Thanksgiving showdown with the Washington Redskins, the Cowboys will get caught looking ahead and fall at home to the hapless Browns.
Despite Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur's best efforts to screw things up.
3. Nick Foles Will Top 300 Passing Yards in His First NFL Start
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The 2012 season has been nothing short of a nightmare for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fans of the Eagles will get a glimpse into what could be the future of the franchise this week when rookie Nick Foles makes his first NFL start for the team. For one week at least, the former Arizona standout will please the Eagles' notoriously surly supporters, throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns against a leaky Washington Redskins secondary.
4. Andrew Luck Will Outduel Tom Brady
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For the past decade, fans of the National Football League were treated to a number of fantastic showdowns between quarterbacks Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, including a pair of AFC Championship games.
With Manning now in Denver, the torch in that rivalry has been passed to rookie Andrew Luck. The first overall pick in April's draft will reignite the rivalry's ferocity by outperforming Brady in an upset win by the surprising Colts.
5. Charlie Batch Will Lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to Victory
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This final prediction may seem the craziest of all.
Even with starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sidelined by shoulder and rib injuries, it will be Byron Leftwich, and not Charlie Batch, who starts under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.
That's precisely my point.
After an ineffective first half and with the Steelers staring at a 10-point deficit in a huge AFC North showdown, head coach Mike Tomlin will bring Batch in from the bullpen, and the 37-year-old will respond by leading the team to a comeback victory that includes a pair of second-half touchdown strikes.