NFL Week 11 Picks: Contenders Who Will Fall Victim to Trap Games

Avi Wolfman-ArentCorrespondent IINovember 16, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 13:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets gets sacked by  Andre Carter #93 of the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 13, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

For the following teams, a let-down game sandwiched between two big showdowns spells trouble.

They'll soon discover that navigating the peaks and valleys of an NFL season ain't easy.

It's a lesson learned the hard way every year in the swirling parity of the modern NFL: any given Sunday can create chaos.

New York Jets (trapped by the Denver Broncos)

Match-up wise this game favors the Jets. The Fighting Tebows struggle to generate offense and Gang Green should have no trouble stifling a weak attack.

And I'd expect a rout if this game didn't have"trap" slathered all over it. New York has to travel to Denver (always a tough venue) on a short week (the game's Thursday night) and the contest rests precariously between two tough division games.

Still licking their wounds from their humbling game against New England, the Jets will look for an easy scalp en route to a key rematch with Buffalo.


Denver holds Mark Sanchez in check and wins a low-scoring brawl. 

Detroit Lions (trapped by the Carolina Panthers)

Detroit has to be smarting from their embarrassing loss at Chicago and I'm thinking they want vindication on the national level. A sleepy Sunday showdown against Carolina doesn't offer that kind of front-line win, and the Lions will play like a team expecting to beat an inferior opponent.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 13: Tony Scheffler #85 of the Detroit Lions drops a pass under pressure from D.J. Moore #30 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 37-13. (Photo by Jonathan Dani
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Problem is Detroit isn't good enough to win with that kind of approach, especially against a Carolina team with a quick-start offense.

The rookie sensation will neutralize Detroit's ferocious front four with his legs and the Lions will get caught gawking at their Thanksgiving showdown against Green Bay.

San Francisco 49ers (trapped by the Arizona Cardinals)

Just like the Jets, San Francisco has a favorable match-up this week against a woeful Cardinals attack. But I've been waiting for a true stinker from this Niners team and I think they'll deliver this week.

San Fran isn't good enough on offense to assume victory, and coming off a win over the Giants they'll do just that. Arizona's defense looked sharp last week in Philly and they'll continue to excel against San Francisco's run-heavy scheme.

An All-Harbaugh battle in Baltimore may loom next week, but it's this week's match-up against Larry Fitzgerald that spells disaster. Arizona wins a close one on the road.

New York Giants (trapped by the Philadelphia Eagles)

Hard to believe the Philadelphia Eagles are now the Giants' patsy during their brutal six-game stretch, but recent losses to Chicago and Arizona make Philly a clear underdog in this one. Add to that the increasing unlikelihood of Michael Vick playing, and New York will brim with overconfidence.

But it's never that easy against a division rival, is it? Philadelphia, still talented enough to play with anyone, will hang tight by leaning on LeSean McCoy and will finally, finally win a close game late.