NFL Picks Week 11: Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Predictions
This is where the rubber meets the road.
Week 11 features one of the most intriguing AFC West matchups in recent memory. The undefeated Kansas City Chiefs are set to take on the Denver Broncos—considered by many to be easy Super Bowl favorites out of the AFC.
That isn't the only tantalizing game on the schedule.
The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers game didn't look that great heading into the season, but all of a sudden it has major playoff implications for both conferences. If the Panthers can continue their defensive buzzsaw against the suddenly explosive Patriots offense (now with 100 percent more Gronkowski!), they'll need to be taken seriously as one of the NFL's elite teams.
Our experts will be picking all these games and more. Don't like our picks? Make yours in the comments section below.
Name: Last Week; Overall
Consensus: 7-5; 80-44 (64.5%)
Andrea Hangst: 9-5; 100-47
Matt Bowen: 7-7; 97-50
Matt Miller: 5-9; 95-52
Ty Schalter: 7-7; 95-52
Brad Gagnon: 10-4; 94-53
Zach Kruse: 6-8; 94-53
Chris Hansen: 8-6; 93-54
Tyson Langland: 8-6; 92-55
Michael Schottey: 6-8; 90-57
Erik Frenz: 4-10; 86-61
Knox Bardeen: 5-9; 85-62
Mike Freeman: 8-6; 84-63
To see how Bleacher Report's experts are faring against the best at other media outlets, check out Pickwatch.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans, Thursday Night Football
B/R Consensus Pick: Colts (12-0)
Schottey: Colts, 23-9
The Colts looked terrible last week, so this may be a little bit of a revenge game for them. They're the much better team, and Tennessee won't have Jake Locker.
Bowen: Colts, 20-16
The Colts were whipped at home by the Rams, but I like the matchup here of the Indianapolis defense versus Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Titans offense.
Schalter: Colts, 24-10
The Colts will rebound from their nightmare, and the Titans have lost Jake Locker for the season.
Freeman: Colts, 30-17
No Locker and a pissed-off Colts team leads to a blowout.
Miller: Colts, 21-10
A bad Week 10 might have you sleeping on the Colts. Don't. They're the real deal.
Frenz: Colts, 21-17
The Colts need to get back to disciplined football. That's all that can be said after they allowed touchdowns of 98, 57 and 81 yards to Tavon Austin. They also had better hope Chris Johnson leaves his second gear at home.
Hangst: Colts, 24-13
There's no reason to think the Colts' blowout loss against the Rams was anything other than an unexpected fluke, the very definition of "any given Sunday." That isn't to say the Colts are a flawless team that just got caught, but clearly they're better than they looked in Week 10. They'll rebound nicely against the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Titans on Thursday night.
Hansen: Colts, 24-10
The Titans lost to the Jaguars. Although the Colts have been a bit schizophrenic, they should get an easy win over a team without Jake Locker.
Bardeen: Colts, 31-20
Both teams were embarrassed last week in losses: The Colts were boat-raced by the St. Louis Rams, and Tennessee lost to the previously winless Jaguars. Indianapolis won't lose two in a row.
Gagnon: Colts, 24-21
Man, this is tough. The inconsistent Colts just got crushed by a bad Rams team, while the Titans are in disarray after losing to the terrible Jaguars. But at least Tennessee's at home. Close divisional game, but Indy still has the clear edge in the talent department.
Langland: Colts, 27-23
With quarterback Jake Locker out for the season, the once-competitive Tennessee Titans will have a hard time winning games from here on out. Expect Andrew Luck and Co. to be revved up after an atrocious showing versus the St. Louis Rams.
Kruse: Colts, 27-17
Neither team will feel good about the events of Week 10. The Colts with Andrew Luck are the better bet to bounce back.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
B/R Consensus Pick: Jets (11-1)
Schottey: Jets, 17-10
I chalk up EJ Manuel's performance last week to post-injury rust, but this week it's going to be the fearsome Jets front seven coming after him.
Bowen: Jets, 19-13
Rex Ryan versus EJ Manuel. I'll take the coach over the rookie quarterback who is still working his way back after an injury.
Schalter: Bills, 21-17
It's the Jets' "turn" to lose, having followed wins with losses all season. With EJ Manuel, at home, I like the Bills.
Freeman: Jets, 19-14
Rex Ryan will make EJ Manuel's head spin.
Miller: Jets, 28-24
The Bills offense is dangerous, but the Jets defense is too much for this young Buffalo team to handle.
Frenz: Jets, 28-20
The book is almost out on how to defend the Bills and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel, and the Jets will look to relive their Week 3 meeting with the Bills when they held Manuel to a 45 percent completion rate. The Jets have been leaning on the run a lot more recently, which should take the burden off Geno Smith.
Hangst: Jets, 21-17
Two rookie quarterbacks, and only one of their teams can get a win. EJ Manuel looked rusty and confused against the Steelers last week. Though Geno Smith won't likely have an easy go of things against Buffalo's fierce defensive front, Rex Ryan's Jets defense seems more capable of rattling Manuel while also stopping Buffalo's formidable rushing attack.
Hansen: Jets, 17-10
The Jets continue to win with defense and just enough offense. Eventually, the Jets will run into some teams against which that won't work. But the Bills are not one of those teams.
Bardeen: Jets, 24-14
The Buffalo Bills run well, and that's about it. No one stops the run better than the New York Jets. The Bills won't end their three-game losing streak this week.
Gagnon: Jets, 24-13
I know, the Jets haven't won back-to-back games all season, but that doesn't mean they'll keep alternating wins and losses all year. The Bills are strong at home, but they've lost three straight overall and New York has had two weeks to prepare.
Langland: Jets, 17-13
Even though the New York Jets struggle to win on the road, Rex Ryan's pressure schemes will simply be too much for rookie quarterback EJ Manuel.
Kruse: Jets, 23-17
I think EJ Manuel will be better in his second week back. But the Jets defense—a unit capable of replicating the problems Pittsburgh gave Manuel on Sundaywill force the turnover or two needed to swing the game in New York's favor.
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears
B/R Consensus Pick: Ravens (9-3)
Schottey: Ravens, 20-17
Bowen: Ravens, 23-17
This is the ideal week for the Ravens to establish the run game against a suspect Bears defense that is now missing Charles Tillman. And that leads to play-action opportunities for Joe Flacco to target Torrey Smith on the deep ball.
Schalter: Bears, 20-10
Coming off an emotional home win, the Ravens will have a tough task on the road against the Bears, who are fighting for their playoff lives.
Freeman: Ravens, 21-17
The difference is Flacco and a Ravens team more mentally tough than people know.
Miller: Ravens, 21-17
If the Bears had Jay Cutler, they would be an easy pick here. But no Cutler and a shaky defense leads to a Baltimore win.
Frenz: Ravens, 23-20
The Bears are losing ground in the NFC North, and losing Jay Cutler for Week 11 isn't the way to gain that ground back. Torrey Smith could have a huge game with Charles Tillman out.
Hangst: Bears, 30-20
The Bears won't have Jay Cutler or Charles Tillman this week, but it hardly matters. Josh McCown has been more than serviceable as a fill-in quarterback this season, and Tillman or not, the Ravens barely have a semblance of a consistent offense. Unable to run, the one-dimensional Baltimore offense won't be able to score enough points to win on the road this week.
Hansen: Bears, 24-17
The Ravens aren't the same team on the road. Although they got a tough win last weak, they will find it harder to get one on the road against a scrappy Bears team.
Bardeen: Ravens, 21-10
The Chicago Bears will be without Cutler, who has a high ankle sprain. Without Cutler, the Baltimore run defense should be able to slow Matt Forte and help the Ravens win their second in a row.
Gagnon: Ravens, 13-10
Baltimore is a good enough team to keep its head above water by beating opponents like the Bears, who are running out of players. The Ravens survive a close, sloppy game.
Langland: Ravens, 20-10
Against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens showed real grit. The defense arguably played its best game of the season, which in turn will have to be the story again this week, because Joe Flacco and Ray Rice have failed to consistently help move the chains. Good thing Josh McCown is starting under center instead of Jay Cutler for Marc Trestman and Co.
Kruse: Ravens, 30-24
The Bears just keep losing impact defenders to injury. Now, even the inconsistent and run-deficient Ravens should be able to move the football against the unit. Chicago will need more McCown magic to keep up.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
B/R Consensus Pick: Bengals (8-4)
Schottey: Bengals, 19-14
The Bengals need to start putting up more points if they want to win in the post-Geno Atkins portion of this season. Thankfully, the Browns don't exactly pack a ton of scoring punch either.
Bowen: Bengals, 24-19
Can Andy Dalton correct the turnover issues versus a solid Browns defense? I think he does, and the Bengals win.
Schalter: Bengals, 21-20
The Browns are within one game of .500, but on the road at the Bengals is not that one game. Andy Dalton has followed poor games with strong ones; Jason Campbell will keep it close.
Freeman: Bengals, 17-14
I do wonder how several brutal close losses will hamper the Bengals.
Miller: Bengals, 17-14
The Browns have only lost one game when Brandon Weeden doesn't start at quarterback. Better make it two after this week.
Frenz: Bengals, 28-17
After dropping a winnable game to the Ravens, the Bengals need to get back on the winning track. The Browns have a young and improving defense, though their linebackers are not as good in coverage. Look for Andy Dalton to target tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham early and often.
Hangst: Browns, 23-20
Last year, when the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Miami Dolphins, it sent their Andy Dalton into a tailspin and the Bengals on a four-game losing streak. Rattled to the core for two weeks in a row, the Browns have a chance to make progress toward the division lead with a win in Cincinnati. Their defense is well-equipped to give Dalton another rough time, and their offense, led by Jason Campbell, can pull out the upset.
Hansen: Bengals, 24-17
Cleveland's defense keeps it in games and competent quarterback play gives it a chance, but the Bengals are a balanced team playing at home. Bengals win by at least a touchdown.
Bardeen: Browns, 24-21
When Andy Dalton is flustered, Cincinnati has a tough time winning football games. The Cleveland Browns rank fifth in the league in sacks and have the defense to slow Dalton.
Gagnon: Browns, 20-17
I don't like what's happening to the Bengals right now on either side of the ball, especially considering that Geno Atkins injury. The Browns beat Cincy earlier in the year. No reason they can't do it again coming off the bye.
Langland: Bengals, 24-20
Despite a weak showing last week, the Bengals will return home and garner their seventh win of the season, thanks in large part to All-Pro wideout A.J. Green. Over the course of his three-year career, he has had a couple of monster games against the Browns.
Kruse: Browns, 21-20
Cincinnati will always be an inconsistent club if Andy Dalton remains so uneven week to week. Rebounding against an underrated Browns defense will be a tall task.
Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers
B/R Consensus Pick: Lions (11-1)
Schottey: Lions, 28-20
Pittsburgh is terrible this year, but that Heinz Field crowd is going to be inhospitable for the Lions offense. Look for the veteran Steelers to keep it close.
Bowen: Lions, 33-22
Matthew Stafford should have multiple opportunities to stretch the field and find Calvin Johnson versus this Steelers secondary.
Schalter: Lions, 35-16
The Lions are on a roll, and the Steelers don't match up well against them. Big Ben and Pittsburgh will be in big trouble.
Freeman: Steelers, 24-23
I don't trust the Lions.
Miller: Lions, 31-10
Matthew Stafford is playing like a top-five quarterback, and he could have a career day against the Steelers secondary.
Frenz: Lions, 34-24
The Steelers were devoted to stopping the deep pass in Week 10 against the Bills, but they didn't have to deal with a receiver like Calvin Johnson. The Lions defensive line only needs the smallest of margins to start pinning their ears back and firing off the ball, which doesn't bode well for a Steelers offensive line that's struggled in pass protection.
Hangst: Lions, 35-20
The Steelers might have had a convincing win over the Bills last week, but the Lions are not the Bills. Detroit leads the competitive NFC North, boasts a strong defensive front seven, and of course, have that explosive offense thanks to Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. This is simply too much talent for the Steelers to handle this week.
Hansen: Lions, 28-19
The Steelers might be getting things together a little bit, but the Lions should still win this one easily. It's hard to trust the Lions, but given the circumstances, we don't have a choice.
Bardeen: Lions, 27-17
The last two Detroit Lions wins haven't been terribly convincing, but both have built momentum and put the Lions in a position of power in their division. The Pittsburgh Steelers won't be able to threaten that position.
Gagnon: Lions, 27-23
Something tells me the Lions are going to keep picking up steam. The Steelers have won back-to-back home games, though, and they are good enough to keep this one close.
Langland: Lions, 28-21
Despite the fact that the Steelers have won three of their last five contests, the Lions have proven that they are the more complete football team from top to bottom. Pittsburgh won't have an answer for Matthew Stafford and Detroit's aerial assault.
Kruse: Lions, 27-20
This is the kind of game that needs to be won if the Lions plan on winning the NFC North. The matchup in the trenches should favor Detroit by a significant margin.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
B/R Consensus Pick: Texans (12-0)
Schottey: Texans, 24-13
My initial reaction is that Case Keenum is going to collapse in the second half again, but Terrelle Pryor has been just terrible lately and the Texans still have a good pass defense.
Bowen: Texans, 27-17
The early-season hype has worn off for Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders. Take the Texans in this one.
Schalter: Texans, 28-24
Here are two teams with the talent to win that are consistently underachieving. I'm taking the Texans partially due to home-field advantage, and partially because I'm sick of picking the Raiders and watching them earn "moral" victories.
Freeman: Texans, 28-14
Case Keenum continues to show why he's the future at QB for Texans.
Miller: Texans, 28-14
Case Keenum will have chances to make plays against this Oakland defense. Just ask Nick Foles.
Frenz: Texans, 29-27
Nothing like a home game against the Raiders to give the Texans their best chance yet to snap their (seven-game) losing streak. If Case Keenum can take advantage of a struggling Raiders secondary, the Texans should pick up the victory.
Hangst: Texans, 30-14
The Texans seemingly have new life with Case Keenum at quarterback—so much so that running back Arian Foster has hardly been missed. Oakland's offense has been poor this year, something that's doubly bad when taking the show on the road this week.
Hansen: Texans, 27-17
Oakland's defense rebounded after Nick Foles' seven-touchdowns performance, but the offense has been terrible. Terrelle Pryor hasn't been throwing the ball well the past month, and a sprained MCL limited him to 19 yards on the ground last week. The Texans are playing at home, Case Keenum is playing well, and J.J. Watt is going to have a lot of fun blowing through Oakland's terrible offensive line.
Bardeen: Texans, 27-20
The Houston Texans, once thought to be Super Bowl contenders, have lost seven in a row and have looked bad doing it. Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor fell back down to earth last week and looked absolutely miserable doing so. Houston gets back to winning this week.
Gagnon: Texans, 27-20
The Texans have lost close games to talented opponents the last two weeks. They're due, and that first win since September should come at home against a reeling Raiders team.
Langland: Texans, 23-16
The Raiders may have more wins than the Texans, but that doesn't mean they are the better team. With a hurting Terrelle Pryor, Oakland has become very limited offensively. Expect Houston to jump on Oakland early in front of a home crowd and never look back.
Kruse: Texans, 24-10
It's been three weeks since Terrelle Pryor threw a touchdown pass. The Houston defense will continue to make life difficult for the Raiders QB.
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars
B/R Consensus Pick: Cardinals (12-0)
Schottey: Cardinals, 23-10
Can the Jaguars make it two in a row? No, not against this Cardinals defense.
Bowen: Cardinals, 20-16
The Cardinals will lean on their defense versus the Jags to close this one out late for their sixth win of the season.
Schalter: Cardinals, 24-17
Bask in the glow this week, Jaguars fans, because the Cardinals defense will put a stop to your team's winning "streak."
Freeman: Cardinals, 35-10
The Arizona D will keep the Jags at one win.
Miller: Cardinals, 30-10
The Arizona defense has stepped up over the last few weeks, and when facing an opponent like Chad Henne, that makes all the difference.
Frenz: Cardinals, 27-12
It took Jacksonville 10 weeks to win one game, so it's easy to doubt its ability to win two straight, especially against a Cardinals defense that's among the most underrated units in the league. Look for Bruce Arians' vertical attack to get going early against a suspect pair of Jaguars safeties in John Cyprien and Josh Evans.
Hangst: Cardinals, 21-13
What the Cardinals lack on offense, they make up for on defense, which means a tough go of things for the Jaguars on Sunday. Jacksonville cannot run the ball well, which means plenty of opportunities for Arizona's football-hungry secondary.
Hansen: Cardinals, 24-13
I've said for a while now—the Jaguars would win one even though no one in their right mind would predict it. That's happened now, but it's not going to happen again. The Cardinals also may be starting to find their groove.
Bardeen: Cardinals, 24-13
Don't get crazy just because Jacksonville finally broke into the win column. The Jaguars are still a mostly broken franchise. Arizona will send them back to their losing ways.
Gagnon: Cardinals, 23-20
The Jaguars got their win. Now it's back to reality against a much better Arizona defense. This might remain close, though, because the Jags are at home with nothing to lose and Arizona still has some issues with turnovers on offense.
Langland: Cardinals, 31-14
After two straight victories, the Cardinals are right back in playoff contention with a tough schedule down the stretch. They need this road game in Jacksonville with six additional games left to play. Will we see three NFC West teams in the playoffs?
Kruse: Cardinals, 30-17
Jacksonville's winning streak won't get to two. The Cardinals will consistently attack with the front seven and make life difficult for the Jaguars offense.
Washington at Philadelphia Eagles
B/R Consensus Pick: Eagles (9-3)
Schottey: Eagles, 35-28
As long as Nick Foles is staying away from mistakes, it's hard to pick against the Eagles in evenly matched games.
Bowen: Washington, 34-31
I know Nick Foles and the Eagles are playing good football, but I like RG3 and Alfred Morris versus the Philadelphia defense.
Schalter: Eagles, 35-30
I can't see Washington's defense slowing Foles and the Eagles enough to win.
Freeman: Washington, 24-21
Foles comes down to earth.
Miller: Eagles, 28-21
Nick Foles still hasn't thrown an interception this season. The Washington secondary isn't going to be a threat in that department either.
Frenz: Eagles, 33-24
Washington has begun turning it around in recent weeks, but Nick Foles is on a roll with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions on the year. The Eagles' speed on defense gave RG3 problems in the last meeting, and the crowd noise won't help matters.
Hangst: Eagles, 30-27
Two explosive offenses, two poor defenses. In a divisional battle that could do much to decide how the NFC East plays out, home-field advantage is a big plus for the Eagles. Nick Foles' stretch of 16 touchdowns to no interceptions doesn't seem like a fluke. He may not be a better career quarterback than Robert Griffin III, but he's playing better than him right now.
Hansen: Eagles, 30-23
Foles has a lot of help on offense to help him continue his tear. Washington doesn't exactly have the defense to slow him down. Although Washington is capable of scoring points, it is still struggling to win games. Philadelphia might finally get a home win.
Bardeen: Washington, 30-27
Slowly you can see RG3's game coming back to him. In Week 11, against Philadelphia's weak pass defense, RG3 will have a great game and lead Washington past a surging Nick Foles and the Eagles.
Gagnon: Eagles, 35-17
Nick Foles might eventually come back to earth, but there's little reason to believe that'll happen against a Washington defense that has been horrendous—especially against the pass. Philly crushed Washington on the road to open the season. Now, the Eagles end that home losing streak with another convincing victory to kill Washington's playoff hopes.
Langland: Eagles, 30-28
It doesn't matter that Philadelphia hasn't won a home game this season. Thanks to Nick Foles, the Eagles have quickly become the favorites to capture the NFC East crown. That won't change this week.
Kruse: Eagles, 34-20
Washington's defense is soft at every level, and Nick Foles is as hot as any quarterback in the NFL. Philadelphia should score points in bunches.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
B/R Consensus Pick: Buccaneers (8-4)
Schottey: Falcons, 24-14
Have the Falcons really fallen so far off the cliff that they can't beat the Buccaneers? I'm torn. Look for a slight bounce-back from the Atlanta offense with Roddy White looking healthier each week.
Bowen: Buccaneers, 26-20
I can't buy the Falcons right now. The wheels have come off in Atlanta.
Schalter: Buccaneers, 24-14
The Buccaneers are getting stronger as the season rolls on, and the Falcons have completely fallen apart.
Freeman: Falcons, 17-14
The Falcons can't lose to the Bucs. Can they? CAN THEY?
Miller: Falcons, 17-14
The Bucs got their first win in Week 10, but they'll face a much tougher opponent this time around.
Frenz: Falcons, 24-10
The Falcons are at risk of finishing with eight losses for the first time in the Mike Smith era. They avoid that fate this week thanks to a trip to Tampa Bay.
Hangst: Buccaneers, 20-13
The Buccaneers are not a very good team, but they aren't suffering from a wholesale collapse the way that the Falcons are. It's hard to trust the Falcons at home, and it's even harder to do so on the road against a divisional team, no matter what Tampa's situation is presently.
Hansen: Buccaneers, 17-14
The Falcons aren't playing good football right now, and it's tough to trust them on the road. The Buccaneers are also a disaster, but I'm going with the home team coming off its first win.
Bardeen: Buccaneers, 27-20
The Buccaneers are starting to figure things out on offense and the Falcons aren't in any place to stop them. Tampa Bay will be without Doug Martin and second-string running back Mike James. But the Bucs will still find a way to pound the football on the ground and win the game.
Gagnon: Buccaneers, 30-17
Break up the Bucs, because they'll be riding a two-game winning streak once they're through with an Atlanta team that has given up. Tampa Bay is better than its record, and the Bucs are gaining momentum. At home, they roll.
Langland: Buccaneers, 29-24
With three or four winnable games remaining on their schedule, can head coach Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers salvage their season and finish strong? Absolutely.
Kruse: Buccaneers, 21-17
Maybe a first win can spark Tampa Bay. The 2-7 Falcons hardly have a pulse.
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
B/R Consensus Pick: Chargers (10-2)
Schottey: Chargers, 23-17
The long trip worries me, but the Dolphins don't.
Bowen: Chargers, 23-19
There are too many issues on the Dolphins offensive line versus a Chargers defense that has the opportunity to send pressure all day long.
Schalter: Chargers, 24-14
The Chargers are somehow still in the playoff hunt after two straight losses, and Miami is a disaster.
Freeman: Chargers, 28-17
The Dolphins continue their slide into the toilet.
Miller: Chargers, 28-21
The Dolphins are officially a dumpster fire. They may not win again all season.
Frenz: Dolphins, 27-21
This game will have big implications for the wild-card chances of both teams. This could be Mike Wallace's biggest game of the year against struggling Chargers cornerback Derek Cox. If the Dolphins stay committed to the running game and open things up for Tannehill over the middle, they should pick up the victory.
Hangst: Chargers, 21-14
The Chargers are trying to figure things out on defense, but they are still better on that side of the ball than the Dolphins. On offense, San Diego has found a rhythm. As long as the Chargers can keep the pressure on Ryan Tannehill and the offense keeps humming, a road win is almost assured for them.
Hansen: Dolphins, 24-21
The Chargers are flying across the country, which is rarely a good thing for teams from the West Coast. San Diego's defense is highly suspect and its offensive line is in shambles, so Philip Rivers won't be able to stay on his feet. I don't like their chances.
Bardeen: Chargers, 30-17
The Dolphins have lost five of their last six games, and no one looks really good on this sinking ship. San Diego has dropped two straight, but it is in a much better place than this Miami team.
Gagnon: Chargers, 27-17
Ordinarily I'd be skeptical of San Diego in a road game like this one, but Miami is a mess right now and the Chargers are good enough to avoid a three-game losing streak.
Langland: Chargers, 34-17
On and off the field, the Miami Dolphins are an absolute mess. San Diego will make quick work of a team that is in total disarray.
Kruse: Chargers, 24-18
San Diego has dealt with some problems away from home, but the Dolphins are just too inconsistent. Philip Rivers and some late heat on Ryan Tannehill provide the advantage for the Chargers.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
B/R Consensus Pick: Giants (9-3)
Schottey: Packers, 19-13
I'm betting on the Packers offense figuring things out over the Giants defense continuing to look as good as it did against the Raiders.
Bowen: Giants, 27-24
We all knew the Packers would struggle on offense without Aaron Rodgers, but where did the Green Bay defense go the last two weeks?
Schalter: Packers, 17-14
Remember when I kept saying the Giants were too good to go winless? Well, they're not good enough to win four in a row, either.
Freeman: Giants, 21-17
The Packers without Aaron Rodgers is like peanut butter without jelly.
Miller: Giants, 21-10
No Aaron Rodgers and a banged-up defense is good news for the hot New York Giants. Make that four straight wins for the G-men.
Frenz: Giants, 38-27
The Packers haven't done much of anything right defensively of late, and although the Giants offense has struggled, they still have talent at the skill positions. Look for a few big plays to once again be the deciding factor.
Hangst: Giants, 30-21
The Packers are suddenly on their heels, with injuries mounting at key positions and no Aaron Rodgers for the foreseeable future. The Giants certainly haven't cured what ails them on either offense or defense, but a hobbled Green Bay team is just what the doctor ordered this week.
Hansen: Packers, 28-21
The Giants nearly lost to an Oakland team that could barely move the ball offensively. Maybe the Giants deserve some credit for that, but I'm thinking they are a bad team headed for a loss against the Packers.
Bardeen: Giants, 28-17
Green Bay is a much different team without Rodgers. The New York Giants are starting to find ways to win despite their deficiencies. They will do so again here.
Gagnon: Giants, 30-10
The Giants defense is really coming around. They might be hot enough to hold a depleted, Rodgers-less Packers offense to single digits.
Langland: Giants, 28-14
Can the Giants win their fourth straight game? Without Aaron Rodgers, one has to think the odds are in New York's favor.
Kruse: Giants, 31-20
Scott Tolzien was serviceable in his NFL debut. It's the Packers defense that is more concerning, and the Giants have three good receivers capable of going to work against a struggling secondary.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
B/R Consensus Pick: Seahawks (12-0)
Schottey: Seahawks, 24-16
It's the Percy Harvin Bowl! Will Harvin actually play? Probably! Will he make an impact? We don't know! Either way, the Vikings are terrible, so he'll probably be getting some sort of manufactured "revenge" with this win.
Bowen: Seahawks, 30-13
Schalter: Seahawks, 28-14
If the Seahawks are going to lose at home, it won't be to Minnesota.
Freeman: Seahawks, 35-10
The Vikings don't have the firepower on either side of the ball to keep up.
Miller: Seahawks, 31-13
The Seahawks are the NFC's best team and arguably the NFL's toughest out. The Vikings simply can't match up.
Frenz: Seahawks, 35-12
Ten days will help the Vikings well rested, but that can't help them prepare for the freight train of the Seahawks running game. Even if Adrian Peterson has some success on the ground, the Seahawks pass defense should be the difference-maker.
Hangst: Seahawks, 33-13
Suddenly, the Seahawks appear to be running away not only with the NFC West but also the NFC as a whole. This is a premier team, which likely means the Vikings will be more than ready for such an imposing opponent. However, readiness doesn't mean anything without the talent to back it up. In all phases of the game, the Seahawks are the better team.
Hansen: Seahawks, 28-13
The Seahawks at home are tough, so the only way the Vikings are going to stay in this one is if Adrian Peterson puts the entire team on his back. I guess that's possible. The Seahawks have had some struggles against the run, but I still wouldn't bet on it.
Bardeen: Seahawks, 26-20
The Seahawks are the far superior team here and will win the game. But Minnesota matches up well in a couple areas that will make this interesting: 1) Adrian Peterson should be able to run against Seattle, and 2) Russell Wilson might not take advantage of Minnesota's porous pass defense like many quarterbacks would.
Gagnon: Seahawks, 31-10
Those Vikings quarterbacks hung in against Washington, but it's a whole different ballgame in Seattle. The one-dimensional Vikes stand little chance against a D like this one.
Langland: Seahawks, 35-13
No official word has come from the Seahawks quite yet, but my guess is wide receiver Percy Harvin will prove to be the difference-maker come Sunday. With another win under its belt, Seattle now controls its own destiny from here on out.
Kruse: Seahawks, 38-17
This is a terrible matchup for the Vikings, who don't play defense and struggle to protect their passer. Seattle could really rub it in Minnesota's face by somehow getting former Vikings WR Percy Harvin in the end zone.
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
B/R Consensus Pick: Saints (11-1)
Schottey: Saints, 28-20
Repeat after me: The Saints don't lose at home.
Bowen: Saints, 26-17
The Saints defense will be tested by the 49ers run game, but I'm going with Drew Brees in the Superdome. That's the key.
Schalter: Saints, 24-17
Suddenly the juggernaut 49ers don't look so, uh, juggernaut-y, and the Saints are always a tough out at home. It's hard to see Colin Kaepernick keeping up with Drew Brees.
Freeman: Saints, 24-17
Drew Brees will be slowed, but not by much. He's on a roll.
Miller: 49ers, 28-27
Rarely does Jim Harbaugh lose two straight games. While the Saints are a tough matchup, losing Kenny Vaccaro (concussion) will open up the zone read for San Francisco.
Frenz: Saints, 24-16
The 49ers couldn't have been set up much worse than traveling to New Orleans after coming out flat off the bye week. There's no way the 49ers score enough points to keep up with the Saints if Colin Kaepernick doesn't earn more than 46 yards passing.
Hangst: Saints, 28-17
Mario Manningham helps the 49ers' lagging passing game a little, but he's no Michael Crabtree, who is not expected to be ready for Week 11. Hopefully, Vernon Davis is, but again, the Niners will have to rely on the run to earn points. That won't be so easy against the high-scoring Saints and their good defense on Sunday.
Hansen: Saints, 24-20
The 49ers chewed through weaker competition, but they found out last week what happens when they face better competition. The Saints at home are tough competition. I trust Drew Brees at home more than Colin Kaepernick on the road.
Bardeen: Saints, 24-14
The Saints can't do to San Francisco what Carolina did to it defensively, but they can slow the 49ers down enough for Drew Brees and Co. to put up some serious numbers.
Gagnon: Saints, 33-21
I still don't believe completely in the Saints defense, but it won't matter Sunday. San Francisco is in a bad place at a bad time. The Niners haven't faced an offense quite like this in 2013.
Langland: Saints, 31-21
After dismantling the Cowboys in Week 10, the Saints are primed to do the same versus the 49ers. San Francisco's offense will try and keep the game close, but it won't have enough offensive firepower to do so.
Kruse: Saints, 24-20
The 49ers have the strengths (power run game, pass rush) needed to win in the Superdome. But it's just too hard to bet against Drew Brees at home right now.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, Sunday Night Football
B/R Consensus Pick: Broncos (9-3)
Schottey: Chiefs, 28-20
Look, I know that Peyton Manning isn't Michael Vick, and that a bum ankle isn't going to completely negate everything he does. Still, any loss of pocket mobility against the Chiefs defense is going to end up equalling some hits. They'll be coming. I'll be surprised if he finishes this one.
Bowen: Broncos, 24-20
The Chiefs match up well versus Manning and the Broncos offense, but can Alex Smith make enough plays to win this game on the road? I'm taking the Broncos.
Schalter: Broncos, 21-17
I really struggled with this one, but if the game comes down to a final drive, I'd rather have Peyton versus the Chiefs than Alex Smith versus the Broncos.
Freeman: Broncos, 30-21
The Chiefs finally play a real QB.
Miller: Chiefs, 24-21
A hobbled Peyton Manning will be susceptible to the fierce Chiefs defense. The hits on Manning will be the difference.
Frenz: Broncos, 17-14
The Chiefs defense has all the ingredients to make life difficult for Peyton Manning and Co., but look for Manning to lean on the run to help the play-action game against the aggressive Chiefs.
Hangst: Chiefs, 21-17
A bum ankle is the last thing Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning needs when facing the undefeated Chiefs and their bruising defense. Clearly, Manning is the better quarterback than Alex Smith, but his effectiveness will be heavily tested in this all-important matchup. The Chiefs are more than able to come to town and do just enough to win.
Hansen: Broncos, 27-10
The Chiefs will harass Peyton Manning all day, but this isn't his first rodeo. Manning is probably the best ever at avoiding sacks and hits by getting the ball out quickly. The Chiefs might try to jump routes, but they are going to leave themselves vulnerable to the big play. The biggest question is if the Kansas City offense can muster anything if the Broncos take care of the ball. I don't like their chances.
Bardeen: Broncos, 24-21
So far, nine teams have failed to pull off a win over the Chiefs, and no one has scored more than 17 points. Peyton Manning and the Broncos will erase both those streaks.
Gagnon: Broncos, 20-10
I love that Kansas City defense, and coming off a bye with a matchup against a banged-up Peyton Manning is nice, but these teams still don't belong in the same conversation. Manning sends a message, and that Denver defense puts Alex Smith in his place.
Langland: Broncos, 24-20
A hobbled Peyton Manning or a healthy Alex Smith? I will take a hobbled Manning every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Kruse: Broncos, 30-20
The Broncos offense against the Chiefs defense might be the best matchup of 2013. Round 1 goes to Peyton Manning, who is averaging four passing touchdowns a game at home.
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers, Monday Night Football
B/R Consensus Pick: Panthers (7-5)
Schottey: Patriots, 30-17
I've been a big proponent of the Panthers defense, but this Patriots team has new life with Rob Gronkowski back. Oh, and they still have Tom Brady.
Bowen: Patriots, 20-16
The Panthers might have the best front seven in football. But I like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski versus the Carolina secondary.
Schalter: Panthers, 20-14
Cam Newton and the outstanding Panthers defense are beating everybody right now, and I don't like that matchup for the Patriots. Statement game.
Freeman: Panthers, 17-16
Carolina's defense is frightening even against Tom Brady.
Miller: Patriots, 31-24
The Panthers are for real, but can they keep up with the Patriots in a shootout? I don't think so.
Frenz: Patriots, 21-17
This looked like a pretty nondescript Monday night matchup when the schedule was released, but now, the schedule-makers look like geniuses. It's up-and-coming Cam Newton against future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. The Patriots play exactly the brand of disciplined defense that's needed to slow down Newton and the Panthers offense. And coming off a bye, they should be extra ready for it. If their offensive line can protect Brady from a vicious Panthers front, the Pats should get the win.
Hangst: Panthers, 24-20
The Panthers have been flying under the radar for weeks, but they won't after a statement-making win over the Patriots on national television. Cam Newton and the offense are playing very well, and the defense is one of the NFL's best. They are on a five-game win streak for a reason, something the Patriots will learn on Monday night.
Hansen: Panthers, 21-20
The Panthers got a quality win last week in San Francisco and come home to try to get another one. It's not going to be easy against the Patriots, but I like them to get a close win on the back of their stellar defense.
Bardeen: Panthers, 31-24
Over its last seven games, the Carolina offense has put up 30 points or more five times. The Panthers should do so again against this Patriots defense.
Gagnon: Panthers, 27-23
This is a bit of a gut pick. Honestly, though, the Panthers are just the hotter, healthier and maybe even more talented team right now. Throw in that they're at home and I'm pretty confident.
Langland: Patriots, 26-17
The Panthers sure are a resilient bunch, yet Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski will prove to be too much for Carolina's No. 2 ranked defense.
Kruse: Panthers, 26-20
Carolina hasn't allowed more than 15 points in five straight games. New England will snap that streak, but the Panthers front seven will ensure an uneven performance from Tom Brady.
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