NFL Week 11 Picks: Early Breakdowns for Biggest Games of the Weekend

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 25:   Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is pressued by  Isaac Sopoaga #90 of the San Francisco 49ers  at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

After a few weeks of nothing but mediocre matchups, NFL fans are in for a real treat in Week 11.

Not only are there three different games between teams with at least six wins, but there are four more where both squads are within at least one game of a playoff spot. This week's matchups are certain to clear up a lot in the standings.

While the battle between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be one to miss, the rest of the slate should be thrilling to watch. Here is a look at the best battles, along with full picks for the week of play.


San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints

These two teams had very different performances in Week 10, especially on the offensive end.

The Saints torched the Dallas Cowboys for 49 points and 40 first downs, while the 49ers could muster only nine points in a loss to the Carolina Panthers. 

However, things should be different facing each other. While New Orleans has an aggressive defense that is good against the pass, it is nowhere near as good against the run. This is the 49ers' strength, and running back Frank Gore should have a big game.

On the other hand, the 49ers defense could struggle if rookie safety Eric Reid is unable to play. He sustained a concussion in his last game, which might keep him out for some time considering it was his second of the year.

Drew Brees will be able to take advantage of this loss with an array of weapons that are just getting healthy at the right time. Playing at home, he should be able to put up enough points to come out on top in this surprisingly high-scoring game.

Prediction: Saints 31, 49ers 28


Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos runs to the sideline during the game against the San Diego Chargers on November 10, 2013 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Not many people have been giving the Chiefs a lot of credit for their 9-0 start. While it is fair to question the schedule, it is almost impossible to call the defense anything but elite.

Kansas City has allowed the fewest points per game in the NFL and has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. The unit has the most sacks in the league and the lowest quarterback rating against.

The problem is that this team still has not faced Peyton Manning and his talented receivers. Even if Denver has its worst game of the season, it will still be able to put up at least 20 points.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs offense still has its issues. Alex Smith was brought to the team to help manage the game while avoiding mistakes, but he has struggled in the past few weeks and has an 81.4 quarterback rating.

The Broncos have done well at stopping the run this year, allowing only 3.4 yards per carry to rank second in the NFL. This squad should be able to slow down this one-dimensional offense and earn the win.

Prediction: Broncos 24, Chiefs 14


New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers

Carolina showcased a great defensive ability in the win over the 49ers, but it will need its offense to do better against the New England Patriots.

The good news is that the squad should be able to succeed with a strong running attack. Jonathan Stewart is now healthy, and he adds to a backfield that includes DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert as well as the mobile Cam Newton.

Going against a defensive front without Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Jerod Mayo should allow the Panthers to run early and often, taking the pressure off Cam Newton.

Tom Brady is finally getting on the same page as his receivers now that the offense is healthy, but he will not have as much time to throw the ball as he did two weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Carolina has one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, and it will be enough to slow down the Patriots in this home game.

Prediction: Panthers 27, Patriots 20

Full NFL Week 11 Picks
Indianapolis ColtsTennessee TitansColts
New York JetsBuffalo BillsJets
Baltimore RavensChicago BearsBears
Cleveland BrownsCincinnati BengalsBengals
Washington RedskinsPhiladelphia EaglesEagles
Detroit LionsPittsburgh SteelersLions
Atlanta FalconsTampa Bay BuccaneersBuccaneers
Arizona CardinalsJacksonville JaguarsCardinals
Oakland RaidersHouston TexansTexans
San Diego ChargersMiami DolphinsChargers
San Francisco 49ersNew Orleans SaintsSaints
Green Bay PackersNew York GiantsGiants
Minnesota VikingsSeattle SeahawksSeahawks
Kansas City ChiefsDenver BroncosBroncos
New England PatriotsCarolina PanthersPanthers


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