Week 11 NFL Picks: Power Ranking Best Upset Specials

Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 17, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 01: DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Looking to be the envy of your prognosticating pals? You've come to the right place. There is no greater glory in the forecasting business than nailing an upset. 

Week 11 is not loaded with upset possibilities, but here are three games that are rife with them. 

*Point spreads according to Football Locks on Nov. 17.


No. 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

Spread: Bucs -1.5

This is actually the lowest point spread on the board, which I guess makes sense, given that the Bucs are on the road, and it is still hard to believe they can consistently be the offensive powerhouse that has propelled them to winning three straight. 

Still, I'm not buying this one as the best upset special. Tampa is terrible in pass defense at No. 32 in the league, but it is No. 1 in run defense, and if it can turn Carolina into a one-dimensional team, it will slow them down. 

Defensively, Carolina is No. 16 in both passing and rushing, and the Buccaneers have been doing both very well as of late. 

However, as mentioned, the Panthers are at home, and while their 2-7 record and stats don't measure up to the Buccaneers, they have played a far tougher schedule. 

I wouldn't rush to bet money on this one, but if you are desperate for a third upset, this is a good place to turn. 


No. 2: New York Jets at St. Louis Rams

Spread: Rams -3.5

This one is in St. Louis, and the Jets are a talentless team. However, New York is desperate for a win, and the Rams are not exactly world-beaters.

St. Louis has a budding defense with a great defensive line, but look for the Jets to utilize some quick-hitting passes and screens to buy Mark Sanchez some time, and also the occasional cameo by Tim Tebow

Still, it is the other side of the ball that makes me identify this one as the week's second-best upset possibility. The Jets' slow defense has been exposed and exploited this year, but the Rams lack the big-time playmakers to do that.  

The Jets will be able to limit the Rams No. 28-ranked scoring offense and give their offense the luxury of playing with the lead. 


No. 1: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

Spread:  Redskins -3.5

The Eagles are going through a well-publicized disintegration, and they have lost five straight. They will also be rolling with a backup, rookie quarterback in this one with Nick Foles. 

I am of the belief that if Foles has to start any considerable amount of time this season, it will all but ruin his career. Philly's line is just too bad for a tall, rookie pocket passer to do anything but regress. 

However, Washington's pass defense is terrible, and it is No. 30 in the league in sack percentage. Foles should be able to get into a rhythm in this game and make us all remember that this Eagles team does have its share of playmakers. 

Meanwhile, Robert Griffin does not have the luxury of having the same kind of playmakers. The Redskins are getting it done on the ground this year, but the Eagles have a decent rush defense, and the 'Skins will not have enough success rushing the ball to keep pace with the Eagles.