It's the wrong time of the year to go into a tailspin if you're an NFL playoff contender.
If you struggle at the beginning of the season, you can rest easier knowing it's still a long year, and you'll have time to right the wrongs. Even if you go through a rough patch at the end of the regular season, you can hit the reset button before the postseason.
At the midseason point, though, you don't have as many games to stem the tide, and unless you've got a bye week left, there isn't anything to provide any respite for a losing streak.
Here's a look at this week's picks.
|NFL Week 11 Picks|
|Time (ET)||Home Team||Away Team||Pick|
|Sun., Nov. 17|
|1 p.m.||Buffalo Bills||New York Jets||NYJ|
|1 p.m.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||ATL|
|1 p.m.||Pittsburgh Steelers||Detroit Lions||DET|
|1 p.m.||Philadelphia Eagles||Washington Redskins||PHI|
|1 p.m.||Jacksonville Jaguars||Arizona Cardinals||ARI|
|1 p.m.||Houston Texans||Oakland Raiders||HOU|
|1 p.m.||Chicago Bears||Baltimore Ravens||CHI|
|1 p.m.||Cincinnati Bengals||Cleveland Browns||CIN|
|4:05 p.m.||Miami Dolphins||San Diego Chargers||SD|
|4:25 p.m.||New York Giants||Green Bay Packers||NYG|
|4:25 p.m.||Seattle Seahawks||Minnesota Vikings||SEA|
|4:25 p.m.||New Orleans Saints||San Francisco 49ers||NO|
|8:30 p.m.||Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs||DEN|
|Mon., Nov. 18|
|8:40 p.m.||Carolina Panthers||New England Patriots||CAR|
|Schedule via NFL.com|
These three teams have been hovering near the playoffs, but their fortunes have turned in recent weeks. Things won't get any better in Week 11.
Green Bay Packers
Few players are more valuable to their team than Aaron Rodgers, and you're seeing exactly why following his injury. The star quarterback fractured his collarbone earlier in the month, so the Green Bay Packers are forced to rely on Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn at quarterback.
When you couple that with the porous Packers defense, you get a team that will continue to struggle.
With Rodgers on the field, the Green Bay offense could keep the team in the game. Without him, the defense doesn't have that same kind of margin for error.
While the New York Giants don't have an electric offense, they're capable of putting points on the board. They've also won their last three games, with Eli Manning throwing only one interception during that stretch. Against a defense that's forced three picks all season—worst in the league—Manning should be able to avoid costly turnovers and get the Giants the victory.
When your dirty laundry is being aired out in public, it's always going to affect you on the field. The longer this Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin affair goes on, the more it will hurt the Miami Dolphins. It's a massive distraction, with coaches, players and members of the front office constantly barraged with questions about everything else but their on-field performance.
Coincidentally, or maybe not coincidentally, the Dolphins have dropped four of their last five games. That loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was especially awful. Miami had just two yards rushing as a team.
Now the Fins welcome in the Chargers.
Although San Diego is 4-5, two of its losses have come by three points, with another going to overtime. It's a better team than the record would have you believe.
The Chargers defense is terrible, but the offense is one of the best in the league. Philip Rivers has been careful with the ball, and the running game is providing enough support to ensure that Rivers isn't getting all the attention from opposing defenses.
The Dolphins are a complete mess, so they may have trouble shutting down that San Diego offense. And with Lamar Miller, you can never trust that the running game will be successful.
This team won't make any progress until the front office gets shaken up.
The opportunity was there for the Washington Redskins to remain right in the thick of the NFC East race. Then they went and lost to the Minnesota Vikings.
A matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles would appear to be the perfect opportunity to gain some ground in the division, if the Redskins can get the job done.
With the way that Chip Kelly's offense has performed with Nick Foles at quarterback, it looks like the Washington defense will have its hands full. The Skins are surrendering 31.9 points a game, 31st in the league. They're also giving up 388.6 yards a game.
The Eagles have an offense getting 413.4 yards a game. In addition, Nick Foles has failed to throw an interception in his seven games this season.
In a game between two bad defenses, take the one with the better offense, in which case, Philadelphia gets the edge.
Sooner or later, you'd have to think the Eagles will win a home game, too. They're 0-4 on the season. With the Redskins at 1-4 on the road, something's gotta give.
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