Week 11 has already started out well for me as I picked the Dolphins to beat the Panthers on Thursday night.
Colts-Ravens should be a good one, as should Giants-Falcons, and Patriots-Jets. Redskins-Cowboys is also a heated rivalry that gets another chapter added to the books this weekend.
Here are my picks. Tell me who you like in the comments section.
Miami (24)-Carolina (17). Picked Miami. See bottom of “Wild No More”.
Washington (3-6) at Dallas (6-3)
Washington actually looked like they knew how to play football last week. With an impressive win against the Denver Broncos. Don’t get too excited though Redskins fans, this team is not out of the woods yet.
Yes, the Cowboys looked pretty bad last week, especially—again—Tony Romo, but they are still 6-3 and in first place in the division. The game is also in Dallas. So let’s not overreact to both teams’ results in Week 10.
Cleveland (1-8) at Detroit (1-8)
The NFL could not have paired together two teams worse than Detroit and Cleveland.
The city of Detroit, possibly the city hit the hardest by the economic recession, not only has to suffer with a 1-8 football team, but now, because nobody in their right mind is going to the games because they cannot afford the tickets for such a sorry team, the game will be blacked out locally. For shame, that it had to come against an equally embarrassing team like the Browns, where they have a chance of winning, instead of against a better team like Green Bay, who they host next week.
The Lions do have more offensive weapons than the Browns, so I predict a Detroit victory.
San Francisco (4-5) at Green Bay (5-4)
Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives. Both teams came away with victories last week. Still, the 49’ers were only able to put up 10 points, and really were lucky to benefit from five Jay Cutler interceptions, including one in the end zone as time expired.
Green Bay’s win wasn’t that much more glamorous of a game, but they soundly beat a better opponent in the Dallas Cowboys.
At Lambeau Field, I predict the Packers to win.
Pittsburgh (6-3) at Kansas City (2-7)
The loss at home last week against Cincinnati was a tough blow for Pittsburgh to swallow. Good thing for them they get a poor team like Kansas City to rebound off of this week.
Steelers win big.
Atlanta (5-4) at NY Giants (5-4)
Eli Manning in the Giants first five wins (against Washington, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Oakland; a combined record of 14-31): 1,212 yards passing, 10 touchdowns, and two interceptions. Eli Manning during the Giants four game losing streak (against New Orleans, Arizona, Philadelphia, and San Diego; a combined 26-10): 858 yards passing, five touchdowns, and six interceptions. See any correlation there? As Eli goes and the competition gets better, the giants struggle.
Atlanta is an average team right now after losing to Carolina last week. Their passing defense is one of the worst in the league. Michael Turner, one of the top rushers in the NFL, is listed as doubtful.
The Giants are at home and have had an extra week off to straighten themselves out. As little faith I have in them right now, too much of this adds up to this being the week they get back on track. If they lose this week though, I really don’t know if I’ll ever pick them again.
New Orleans (9-0) at Tampa Bay (1-8)
Possibly the saddest story of the week is the passing of Drew Brees’ mother, ruled a suicide. Even sadder is to learn that Brees had a strained relationship with her, even saying in ’06 that the relationship was “nonexistent”. It will be interesting to see how Brees reacts to the news on the field: Will he muster up an incredible performance to honor the life of his mother, much like Brett Favre did when his father died in ’03, or will he, understandably so, be distracted?
The Saints will also be without Reggie Bush and Sedrick Ellis because of knee injuries.
Still, while it hasn’t always been pretty, the Saints are undefeated and, although they’ve been playing better with the insertion of Josh Freeman at QB, the Buccaneers aren’t good enough to stop New Orleans’ roll.
Buffalo (3-6) at Jacksonville (5-4)
It’s the same story for the Bills. Buffalo still has the worst rush defense in the league. DT Marcus Stroud and LB Keith Ellison will both miss the game.
Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew has the fifth most rushing yards in the NFL.
The coaching and quarterback changes will mean nothing.
Indianapolis (9-0) at Baltimore (5-4)
A lot of people, myself included, have chastised Bill Belichick for his decision to go for it on fourth down last week against the Colts, and rightfully so, I believe. However, Peyton Manning threw for 327 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. There is no saying that had the Patriots punted that Peyton wouldn’t have taken the Colts on an even more spectacular drive and still led the Colts to victory. He’s just that good.
Baltimore went into halftime with the lowly Browns tied at zero. They got their act together in the second half, but ever since this team lost to the same Patriots in week four, they have gone 2-4 in their last six games and have been unable to get in a groove.
Indy has done a good job in the fourth quarter this year, either coming from behind or closing games out. I like them to beat Baltimore and stay undefeated.
Seattle (3-6) at Minnesota (8-1)
Minnesota is 4-0 at home and 2-0 against the NFC West. I see no reason as to why Seattle will blemish either of these records.
Arizona (6-3) at St. Louis (1-8)
The only thing going for the Rams is Steven Jackson, the NFL’s fourth leading rusher. Arizona’s seventh ranked rushing defense will neutralize him.
NY Jets (4-5) at New England (6-3)
The Jets are 1-5 in their last six games, and that one victory was against Oakland. They did beat New England in Week Two, but that was at home, and before Tom Brady had his legs (literally) underneath him.
Bill Belichick seriously goofed last week with his botched fourth down call against the Colts, but you know he is salivating at showing the world that he still is the best coach in the NFL at the expense of the Jets, the team he hates the most.
Cincinnati (7-2) at Oakland (2-7)
This matchup is a bit of a mismatch. Another huge win for the Bengals last week who continue to prove themselves as a legitimate contender. Meanwhile Oakland lost to Kansas City in a truly ugly contest. Not much to say here.
San Diego (6-3) at Denver (6-3)
Things aren’t looking so hot in Denver. They have lost three games in a row, they are now tied with San Diego for the division lead (although coming into today’s game they do hold the tiebreaker), and starting quarterback Kyle Orton is a game-time decision because of an ankle injury. Backup QB Chris Simms hasn’t started a game since 2006 when he suffered a life threatening spleen injury.
Denver also has to be thinking about last season when they stormed out to take the division lead only to see it evaporate, and San Diego take over in the last week and make the playoffs while Denver watched from home.
San Diego’s last away game was also impressive, in which they came from behind and beat the Giants in a gutsy performance.
I will take San Diego to win today.
Philadelphia (5-4) at Chicago (4-5)
Neither team looked good last week. Chicago looked worse.
All they could muster up was six points and five Jay Cutler interceptions.
Jay Cutler, I’d like you to meet Asante Samuel, tied for third in the NFL in interceptions with five, and Sheldon Brown, tied for sixth in the NFL in interceptions with four.
The Eagles also have a Top-10 passing defense (ranked No. 9) and are tied for second in the league with 29 sacks. Cutler will be pressured, and when he decides to try and make a throw he really can’t, the Eagles secondary will make him pay.
Tennessee (3-6) at Houston (5-4)
Think Jeff Fisher waited too long to make a quarterback switch? Kerry Collins: 0-6. Vince Young: 3-0. It seemed to make sense when the Titans were 0-3 as well. Young is the younger of the two and it was apparent that Collins would not be getting the Titans back to the playoffs, so why not throw Young in and see if he still is the quarterback of the future.
Tennessee’s offense is rolling, scoring over 30 points in each of their last three wins.
Houston is tied for fifth in most rushing touchdowns allowed (12). Titans running back Chris Johnson is tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns scored (8), and six of those touchdowns (along with 495 yards rushing) have come in Tennessee’s last three victories.
Houston’s D isn’t strong enough to really handle Johnson and the Titans are streaking.
I’ll ride the Vince Young train another game and predict a Tennessee win.
This Week: 1-0
Last Week: 8-7