Week 11 NFL Picks: Favorites Destined to Fall Amid Tough Matchups

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVNovember 15, 2013

Nov 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Kris Durham (18) catches a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

With a vast majority of the league stuck in mediocrity through the first half of the season, Week 11 will shake up the playoff picture considerably across the board.

Plenty of teams who are looking to move on from average starts battle in Week 11, leaving playoff implications across the board as teams jockey for position.

The favorites have emerged from the pack with Sunday looming, but not all of them are safe.

Here is a look at the teams that are sure to fall despite entering the weekend as a favorite.

NFL Week 11 Picks
Away TeamHome TeamPick
Indianapolis ColtsTennessee Titans-
Atlanta FalconsTampa Bay BuccaneersFalcons
New York JetsBuffalo BillsJets
Detroit LionsPittsburgh SteelersSteelers
Washington RedskinsPhiladelphia EaglesRedskins
Baltimore RavensChicago BearsBears
Cleveland BrownsCincinnati BengalsBengals
Oakland RaidersHouston TexansTexans
Arizona CardinalsJacksonville JaguarsCardinals
San Diego ChargersMiami DolphinsChargers
Minnesota VikingsSeattle SeahawksSeahawks
San Francisco 49ersNew Orleans SaintsSaints
Green Bay PackersNew York GiantsGiants
Kansas City ChiefsDenver BroncosBroncos
New England PatriotsCarolina PanthersPatriots
Steven Cook's predictions

 

Upsets of the Week

Washington Redskins over Philadelphia Eagles

Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) rushes against the Minnesota Vikings for a first down on a fourth-and-one play in the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 3
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles—somehow—enter Week 11 tied for the NFC East lead, playing inspired football behind streaky quarterback Nick Foles. But despite two straight wins, Philly's defensive issues are still poignant.

Their 3,065 yards given up through the air this season—more than 300 per game—are the second most in the league.

Even in lofty wins against Oakland and Green Bay in the last two weeks, the defense gave up more than 280 yards through the air to both Terrelle Pryor and Scott Tolzien—not exactly top competition.

More than halfway through a sophomore slump he'd like to forget, Robert Griffin III has actually improved in recent weeks. He's coming off just his second game of the season without a pick and threw three touchdowns along with 325 total yards despite the loss to Minnesota. Griffin has improved his completion percentage as well, going over 68 percent in his last two weeks.

Foles has been a godsend in his last two games. But the only other time he combined for five TDs and no picks in two straight games this season resulted in an 11-for-29, 80-yard day against Dallas (a noticeably bad secondary) right after. 

Plus, the Eagles simply can't win at home. They're winless there in four tries and won't turn that around against RG3, who is licking his chops at the hapless Philly secondary. 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers over Detroit Lions

Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) reacts after scoring a touchdown as fullback Will Johnson (46) joins in against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 23
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Oh, how quickly things can change in the NFL. Weeks after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger proclaimed his team as the worst in the league, Pittsburgh has suddenly won three of five. 

They face a tough test in Week 11, when the Detroit Lions come to town. But despite the Lions holding a firm grip over the NFC South at 6-3, Pittsburgh actually matches up well.

Detroit is noticeably reliant on its aerial attack with Matthew Stafford, but he and Calvin Johnson will go up against the NFL's fourth-best pass defense. The Steelers let up just over 200 yards per game. 

Where Pittsburgh has been gashed is in the running game, where Detroit ranks just 21st in the league with 103.3 yards per game. 

Roethlisberger's passing attack doesn't jump off the page, but he notched four touchdowns and 400 yards against New England—one of the league's best secondaries. The Lions aren't quite that talented at the position, giving up the sixth most passing yards. 

Ever since their four-game losing streak to start the season, the Steelers have won each of their two home appearances. They'll make it a third by upsetting Detroit and suddenly emerging as one of the NFL's hottest teams. 

 

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference