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

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NFL Picks Week 11: Teams That Will Earn Statement Wins in Pursuit of Postseason
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

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.

Date Road Team Prediction Home Team
Thursday, Nov. 14 Indianapolis Colts 23-14 Tennessee Titans
Sunday, Nov. 17 New York Jets 24-16 Buffalo Bills
Sunday, Nov. 17 Baltimore Ravens 17-21 Chicago Bears
Sunday, Nov. 17 Washington Redskins 31-35 Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, Nov. 17 Cleveland Browns 14-20 Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, Nov. 17 Detroit Lions 28-20 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, Nov. 17 Atlanta Falcons 17-13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, Nov. 17 Arizona Cardinals 31-21 Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, Nov. 17 Oakland Raiders 16-20 Houston Texans
Sunday, Nov. 17 San Diego Chargers 28-24 Miami Dolphins
Sunday, Nov. 17 San Francisco 49ers 27-31 New Orleans Saints
Sunday, Nov. 17 Green Bay Packers 21-30 New York Giants
Sunday, Nov. 17 Minnesota Vikings 13-26 Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, Nov. 17 Kansas City Chiefs 20-28 Denver Broncos
Monday, Nov. 18 New England Patriots 16-14 Carolina Panthers

Week 10: 7-6, Season: 82-50

 

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

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.

Which team will win?

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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)

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.

Which team will win?

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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

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.

Which team will win?

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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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