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NFL Picks Week 11: Teams That Will Earn Statement Wins in Pursuit of Postseason

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 30: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos passes and running back Knowshon Moreno #27 blocks as inside linebacker Derrick Johnson #56 and free safety Kendrick Lewis #23 of the Kansas City Chiefs pressure Manning during a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 38-3. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIINovember 16, 2013

Week 11 of the 2013 NFL regular season started with a bang. Andrew Luck led yet another fourth-quarter comeback as the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Tennessee Titans by a score of 30-27.

That was the first of what should be a series of games in which teams make statements as the postseason approaches. The question is: Which squads will step up with high-caliber performances?

Let's find out.

DateRoad TeamPredictionHome Team
Thursday, Nov. 14Indianapolis Colts23-14Tennessee Titans
Sunday, Nov. 17New York Jets24-16Buffalo Bills
Sunday, Nov. 17Baltimore Ravens17-21Chicago Bears
Sunday, Nov. 17Washington Redskins31-35Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, Nov. 17Cleveland Browns14-20Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, Nov. 17Detroit Lions28-20Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, Nov. 17Atlanta Falcons17-13Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, Nov. 17Arizona Cardinals31-21Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, Nov. 17Oakland Raiders16-20Houston Texans
Sunday, Nov. 17San Diego Chargers28-24Miami Dolphins
Sunday, Nov. 17San Francisco 49ers27-31New Orleans Saints
Sunday, Nov. 17Green Bay Packers21-30New York Giants
Sunday, Nov. 17Minnesota Vikings13-26Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, Nov. 17Kansas City Chiefs20-28Denver Broncos
Monday, Nov. 18New England Patriots16-14Carolina Panthers
Week 10: 7-6, Season: 82-50

 

Washington Redskins (3-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles makes a pass against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 17

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 35-31, Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are turning heads, and the source of their success has been quarterback Nick Foles. The Washington Redskins have been underwhelming, and the focus for criticism has been on field general Robert Griffin III.

Look for Philadelphia to earn a statement win by doing something it's struggled to do in recent seasons: earn a necessary win over a division foe.

Outside of a poor outing against the Dallas Cowboys, Foles has been close to perfect this season. He has 16 passing touchdowns to no interceptions and one fumble for the season, with 10 touchdowns in his past two appearances.

Against the No. 26 passing defense in the NFL, he should have no trouble airing it out again.

Washington defeated the San Diego Chargers 30-24 in overtime during Week 9 but followed that up with a 34-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10. The offense has been flourishing, but the Redskins continue to either start slow or close out games poorly.

This all adds up to an Eagles win.

Philadelphia doesn't need to blow Washington out to earn a convincing victory. Instead, the Eagles simply need to win to prove that Chip Kelly's club is a postseason contender.

Currently at 5-5, the Eagles will earn a great deal of respect by rising above .500 with a win in Week 11.

 

San Francisco 49ers (6-3) at New Orleans Saints (7-2)

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)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 17

Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 31-27, Saints

The New Orleans Saints had a rough 2012 campaign without head coach Sean Payton, who was suspended due to the infamous Bountygate scandal. The San Francisco 49ers emerged as the class of the NFC during that season, reaching the Super Bowl with first-year starter Colin Kaepernick.

In 2013, the Niners are enduring rocky times, while the Saints are headed back to the top.

With its current record at 6-3, San Francisco's definition of struggling is different than it is for most other teams. Unfortunately, the Niners have lost by 20-plus points to the Colts and Seattle Seahawks, and they scored just nine points in a defeat to the Carolina Panthers.

Most concerning of all is that Kaepernick has topped 200 passing yards in only two of his nine outings.

The Saints are 7-2 and fresh off a 49-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys during Week 10. Drew Brees is having another MVP-caliber season, and New Orleans' defense has been a revelation. As a result, the Saints are a top contender.

New Orleans will live up to the hype with a big win over San Fran.

Kaepernick has topped 200 passing yards just twice and has failed to throw a touchdown in four games. Brees, meanwhile, has at least two passing touchdowns in all but one game, and he has topped 300 yards seven times.

Quarterback play will be the deciding factor here.

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 30:  Running back Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos rushes for a first quarter touchdown during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on December 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Ph
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 17

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBC

Prediction: 28-20, Broncos

The Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL. The Denver Broncos have been the most dominant squad in the league.

One of these teams is going to be the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Chiefs have the most to prove in this game with an undefeated record that hasn't resulted in league-wide respect. Many have criticized the quality of competition, but Kansas City has won every game and has one of the most brutal defensive units in recent memory.

Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles will need to reward the defense for its nine games of brilliance with huge performances in Week 11.

The Broncos defense is a work in progress, but the offense is playing at a record-setting pace. Peyton Manning is experiencing the best year of his career, and the offense is averaging 41.2 points per game as a unit—11.8 higher than the next best team.

It won't be pretty, but playing at home, Denver will earn a critical win.

The Broncos trail the Chiefs by one game, but Denver hasn't lost a regular-season game at Mile High Stadium since Sept. 23, 2012. Kansas City will make its own statement with a strong performance, but Manning will decide this one.

Denver wins a gritty one at 28-20.

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