NFL Picks Week 11: Predictions for 7 Games That Are Complete Toss-Ups
Week 11 of the 2011 NFL season has 14 games on the docket, seven of which are sure-fire winners when making your picks.
The other seven games aren’t as easy to dissect, however.
We have games like the Cincinnati Bengals facing the Baltimore Ravens, where there are two tough defenses going at it with a struggling QB on one side and a rookie QB on the other.
Another difficult game to call is the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. The craziness that goes on there when these two teams play is well documented.
You may think these games are no-brainers in reality, but are they? Let’s find out.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-4)
This should be a blowout in favor of the New York Giants with all the problems Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles are having.
But, we all know about the bizarre instances that occur at the Meadowlands when these teams meet—reference last year’s game.
It doesn’t look as if Vick will be ready to go as he’s nursing two fractured ribs, so Vince Young looks to be the starter.
That being said, the game plan shouldn’t change, with the exception of LeSean McCoy getting more carries in the fourth quarter—he’s carried the ball four times combined in the last two fourth quarters with leads in both.
DeSean Jackson will come back motivated and be a difference in this game as well.
Prediction: Eagles win 24-17
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-7)
This line is a bit steep here after the Baltimore Ravens just coughed up a game to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Bengals are coming off a hard-fought loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where Andy Dalton learned something about himself and his team—they can play with the big boys of the AFC.
Joe Flacco has been struggling this season and it continues this weekend against a tough Cincinnati defense.
Prediction: Bengals win 17-14
Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings (+1)
Carson Palmer leads the Oakland Raiders up to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Vikings in a showdown at Mall of America Field.
Palmer looks to be comfortable with the offense now, but will have the NFL sack leader, Jared Allen, breathing down his neck all game long.
Michael Bush will look to attack this Vikings defense that’s only giving up 3.7 yards per carry. If successful, it could be a long day for the Vikings defense.
Ultimately this game comes down to whether the Vikes can control the time of possession with Adrian Peterson. If successful, the Vikes should pull out a tough one at home.
Prediction: Vikings win 24-21
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns (-1)
It doesn’t get any tougher to pick a game than this one right here. Even the oddsmakers were waiting until today to give the line on this game, making me not want to commit to a team either.
You have two inept offenses clashing with two top-five defenses, which is sure to lull the fans in the stands right to sleep—just writing about this game is making me yawn.
The Cleveland Browns must figure out a way to run the ball and the Jacksonville Jaguars must be successful through the air for either offense to put points on the board, because Maurice Jones-Drew will move the ball on the ground.
Make sure you sneak a flask into this game. You’ll need to if you want to make it from start to finish.
Prediction: 6-6. Draw!
San Diego Chargers at Chicago Bears (-3.5)
This game comes down to one thing—turnovers from the quarterback position.
Philip Rivers has struggled in that department this year and it’s a huge reason the San Diego Chargers are 4-5 this year.
Jay Cutler, on the other hand, has been very good protecting the ball lately, and coincidentally the Chicago Bears have been on a nice four-game win streak.
The Bears have been playing fantastic defense as well, something the Bolts can’t say.
In the end, too much Matt Forte and too much Bears defense will be the deciding factor.
Prediction: Bears win 31-25
New York Jets at Denver Broncos (+6)
In theory, this game should be over by halftime. The New York Jets should walk right through the Denver Broncos and straight into a weekend off.
There is one small problem: Tim Tebow stands in the way.
Tebow just finds ways to win, so don’t be surprised if he wills the Broncos to victory in this game.
I said don’t be surprised, but don’t bank your money on it either. Rex Ryan is going to unleash his defense on Tebow and the rest of the Broncos team, making it virtually impossible for him to move the ball.
This one should be over at halftime like I said earlier.
Prediction: Jets win 31-10
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams (-2)
The St. Louis Rams have won two of their last three games and are on a little bit of a run, while the Seattle Seahawks were on a three-game losing streak until they knocked off the Baltimore Ravens last week.
Sam Bradford finally has a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Brandon Lloyd, giving him someone he can trust.
Marshawn Lynch is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games and has scored in five straight. He hasn’t run the ball like this since the 2008 season when he ran for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns.
Lynch continues his streak of rushing for 100 yards and scores twice against the Rams 31st-ranked rushing defense.
Prediction: Seahawks win 28-17
NFL lines are courtesy of FootballLocks.com.
Check out more of Brian Dezelske's articles.
Brian can also be found at Out of My League, where he compiles fantasy football rankings each week.