NFL Week 11 Picks: Stone Cold Locks of the Week
What a crazy weekend of NFL football. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving them for dead. The Seattle Seahawks upset the hot Baltimore Ravens. The seemingly down-and-out New England Patriots, on the road, showed they're still in it by dismantling the hard-charging New York Jets.
It's getting harder and harder to identify the stone cold locks each week, but I have found five of them.
Buffalo Bills over Miami Dolphins
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What has happened to the Buffalo Bills? After starting out the season 5-2, with big wins over the once-thought-to-be powerful Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, the Bills have come back down to earth.
The Bills dropped their last two games with poor performances in each game.
First the New York Jets bullied them on defense and offense, beating them soundly, 27-11 in Buffalo.
Then the Dallas Cowboys just dominated them in Dallas with Tony Romo putting on an offensive clinic, passing 23-of-26 for 270 yards, three TDs and no INTs.
This week their opponent gets easier when they face the Miami Dolphins. Even with the Dolphins winning two straight, they are still just 2-7 on the season.
The Bills will bounce back against the Dolphins. It is a divisional game, and the Bills are still alive to win the AFC East.
With Miami's 25th ranked passing defense, expect a productive game from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Why the Bills Won't Win
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Reggie Bush's stats from the last two games are 193 yards from scrimmage and three TDs.
Bush has had a resurgence the last two games. Maybe he's back with Kim Kardashian?
Miami's defense has also tightened up the last two games, not allowing a TD to the Kansas City Chiefs or the Washington Redskins.
Can Bush and a stout Dolphins defense stop the Bills?
Dallas Cowboys over Washington Redskins
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Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys looked like a real team last week against the Bills.
Romo missed on only three of his passes, threw for three TDs and no interceptions. Their running game was also strong with DeMarco Murray rushing for 135 yards and a TD.
On the defensive side, Dallas had three interceptions, one ran back for a TD.
Their next opponent is the lowly Redskins, who are 3-6 and in the midst of a five-game losing streak.
Washington's QB situation is a mess, and the Redskins have been hit hard by injuries to their No. 1 RB in Tim Hightower and their No. 1 WR in Santana Moss, as well as tight end Chris Cooley.
The Redskins just seem to be going through the motions at this point to make it through the season.
Only one game behind the NFC East-leading New York Giants, Dallas should be ready to pounce.
Why the Cowboys Won't Win
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Dallas should have no problem winning this game, but there is that "Any Given Sunday" theory.
Washington can win by roughing up Romo and causing turnovers.
As bad as the Redskins are, their passing defense still ranks ninth in the league while their rush defense ranks a respectable 18th overall.
This a divisional game in Washington, and the Redskins and Cowboys usually play each other tough.
San Francisco 49ers over the Arizona Cardinals
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Yes, the 8-1 San Francisco 49ers are really that good. Who knew a coach could change a sub-par team into a legitimate contender without any real major roster moves?
Jim Harbaugh has Alex Smith playing at his best with a 95.8 QB rating, 20 points higher than his career average QB rating.
The 49ers also have the league's best run defense and the seventh ranked rushing offense.
If San Francisco was due for a letdown game, it would have happened last week against the New York Giants, but it didn't. Their defense intercepted Eli Manning twice and stopped him on the last drive of the game.
This week, the 49ers defense has to deal with Arizona Cardinals backup QB John Skelton or the disappointing Kevin Kolb.
This should be an easy home win for the 49ers.
Why the 49ers Won't Win
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One name: Larry Fitzgerald. Arguably the NFL's best wide receiver is the only player keeping the Arizona Cardinals afloat.
Fitzgerald's performance against the Philadelphia Eagles (7 REC, 146 YDS, 2 TDs) was special.
If Fitz can put together another game like this, the Cardinals may have a shot.
This also can be a trap game for the 49ers. After Arizona, the 49ers face the Baltimore Ravens in the Harbaugh Brothers Bowl.
Atlanta Falcons over Tennessee Titans
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Even though the Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints in overtime last week, they looked good doing it.
This week the Falcons are up against the Tennessee Titans.
Chris Johnson is coming off his best game of the season where he gained 174 yards and a TD. Though it was against the Carolina Panthers and their 28th rushing defense.
Atlanta should be able to slow Johnson down with the league's fourth-ranked rushing defense.
On offense, with the Titans allowing 125 rushing yards per game, Turner should get a bunch of carries and take over the game in Atlanta.
Why the Falcons Won't Win
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Could Chris Johnson really be back? It was just one game, but Johnson looked like he was back to his old self.
The Titans defense was also able to keep Cam Newton in check and out of the end zone.
If Tennessee is able to duplicate its effort from last week, the Titans may have a chance.
New England Patriots over Kansas City Chiefs
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After humiliating the New York Jets on national television, the New England Patriots shut up their critics quickly.
Tom Brady was masterful against a good Jets defense, while the Pats' supposed horrible defense took it to a Jets offense by sacking Mark Sanchez five times, intercepting him twice and returning one for a TD.
With the Patriots heading up, the Kansas City Chiefs are heading down.
Coming off two bad losses to the Dolphins and the Denver Broncos, news out of Kansas City is that their staring QB Matt Cassel could be out for the rest of the season. This puts them in an even worse situation.
This game should get ugly quick at Gillette Stadium.
Why the Patriots Won't Win
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There is no way the Patriots don't win this game. Not even if Tom Brady gets hurt on the first play.
And I hate the Patriots.