We could all use some home cooking—NFL teams especially. At this time of year, every game is essential. A home game, the logic goes, should be a nice way to get a win before a brutal road game.
But it doesn't always work out that way, does it? No, and a number of home teams are in for a rude awakening this weekend.
Below I will pick every game and then focus on a few home teams that are destined to lose in Week 11.
|NFL Week 11 Picks|
|Atlanta Falcons||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Bucs|
|New York Jets||Buffalo Bills||Jets|
|Detroit Lions||Pittsburgh Steelers||Lions|
|Washington Redskins||Philadelphia Eagles||Eagles|
|Baltimore Ravens||Chicago Bears||Bears|
|Oakland Raiders||Houston Texans||Raiders|
|Arizona Cardinals||Jacksonville Jaguars||Cardinals|
|Cleveland Browns||Cincinnati Bengals||Bengals|
|San Diego Chargers||Miami Dolphins||Chargers|
|Minnesota Vikings||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
|San Francisco 49ers||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
|Green Bay Packers||New York Giants||Giants|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
|New England Patriots||Carolina Panthers||Patriots|
The Detroit Lions are for real and on the way to capturing the NFC North title.
They'll prove it on the road against the reeling Steelers.
Matthew Stafford is having a career year, throwing for 2,836 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight picks. He's completed 61.4 percent of his passes, and the team averages 306.9 passing yards per game, which is third in the league.
The addition of Reggie Bush has opened up the offense and taken pressure off the quarterback. That was a brilliant signing.
What's most encouraging is the defense. The front four are ferocious. All those years of drafting first-round linemen have paid off for Detroit.
The Steelers don't have a chance here. Yes, they're coming off a win against Buffalo, but that was a banged-up Bills team. They beat the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, which are not exactly signature wins. They've been blown out by good teams like the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals.
Ben Roethlisberger has been under siege this year. We've long talked about how bad the Steelers offensive line is, but it has hit a new low this year. Through nine games, Pittsburgh has given up 36 sacks. Last season, it gave up 37 in total.
Ndamukong Suh and the rest of the Detroit defensive line should have a field day. The Lions will move the ball easily and take this one 28-7.
A lot of turmoil is surrounding the Miami Dolphins. It's a distraction, and it showed in their sloppy loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
It's not going to get easier against the San Diego Chargers.
No, the Chargers haven't been great this year. But they are coming off a competitive loss to the Denver Broncos, and they have impressive wins over Philadelphia, Dallas and Indianapolis.
Miami, on the field, is also not that good. The Dolphins may have four wins, but their play has decreased dramatically since their 3-0 start. Since holding the Cleveland Browns to 10 points in the season opener, look at what has happened to the defense:
That's just all over the place.
Philip Rivers should have a field day, and Keenan Allen is a must-start for fantasy owners. It's going to be a fun day for Chargers fans. They'll win this one by a score of 38-14.
Last week, the Panthers traveled to San Francisco and scored a huge win against the 49ers. They entered the big leagues with that victory.
So what do they do for an encore?
Lose at home to the New England Patriots.
Yes, the Panthers have been a great story, and I think they will still make the playoffs.
But let's remember something—the 49ers do not have a pass offense. The Panthers were able to load up on Frank Gore and hold him to just 82 yards. Colin Kaepernick threw for just 91 yards. The Panthers have a great run defense, giving up just 82 yards per game, which is second in the league. It was easy for them to load up on the road with San Francisco offering no passing threat.
Now let's take the Pats. Tom Brady is a lot better than Kaepernick. He's thrown for 2,256 yards and 13 touchdowns while missing some of his best receivers for most of the year.
This is the best pass offense that the Panthers have faced all season. Remember, they haven't faced New Orleans yet. While they were able to shut down the 49ers' one-dimensional offense, the Pats are not one-dimensional. Stevan Ridley has six touchdowns in his last four games, and the team as a whole averages 129.1 yards per game on the ground.
It should be a great game, but look for the Pats to win this one by a score of 21-16.