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NFL picks and predictions for Week 11

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The top games in the NFL this week include the Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks, and Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins. Let's get straight to the Week 11 action. Feel free to weigh in on some of the games in the comments section.

Week 11 Games Explanation Pick
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Note: This pick was posted in our TNF thread on Thursday. I am listing it here for record-keeping purposes.

Thursday Night Football: Last week was an outstanding week of football for the NFL, and with this game taking place on public television, I think a lot of fans will be intrigued to see Drew Brees and Cam Newton do battle. Despite both teams being under .500, the Saints are well within reach of the division-leading Falcons and the Panthers can still try to use their Championship run from a year ago to turn things around and propel them into a wildcard spot. I’ve felt like both teams have found themselves lately, despite the Panthers’ stunning collapse in the fourth quarter to the Chiefs last week. In a high-scoring affair, I’ll go with Newton getting a few favorable officiating calls for once. Panthers 31, Saints 24

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First Round Waste: At one point, this might have looked like a "game of the week" type of match-up, featuring a complete team in the Arizona Cardinals going against a ferocious defense in the Minnesota Vikings. Instead, both teams are scraping and clawing just to find something positive. The Cardinals barely hung on against the 49ers last week to improve to 4-4-1, while the Vikings dropped their fourth straight to fall to 5-4. I thought teams were supposed to get better after the bye? The Vikings' offense still isn't doing enough, and they'll have it tough again against Arizona's unit. Cardinals 23, Vikings 17

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Truly America's Team? I get the sense that the emergence of Ezekiel Elliot in Dallas has won over some Cleveland fans, and there will be more incentive to root for the Cowboys this week against Baltimore. The Ravens are by far the worst division-leading team in football. I do have to give their defense some credit, but their offense is in shambles under Joe Flacco. Dallas should roll in this one, with even Baltimore's good run defense not able to take on the Cowboys' powerful offensive line. Cowboys 31, Ravens 13

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Up-and-Down: Both of these teams have had up-and-down seasons. Starting with the Bills, they were 0-2, then won four straight, and now have dropped three in a row. The past three games did feature a tough stretch, and they are coming off the bye. The Bengals lost a close game on Monday Night Football, as something is still just a tad off with their team. This game is a coin flip for me, and in those situations I typically defer to the home team. Bengals 24, Bills 21

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Little Talent Can Equate to Wins: The Bears have the look of a team that really doesn't have much better talent than the Browns do, but because of "any given Sunday," have been able to pull off two wins this year. That's why there should still be hope of Cleveland avoiding 0-16. The Giants have rather quietly ripped off four straight wins to improve to 6-3 on the year, and they'll get their first blowout win of the season against Chicago. Giants 28, Bears 13

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Thriving on the Division Hopes: The Detroit Lions won during the bye week, as the rest of their division lost and they climbed into first place in the NFC North by default. Now, they face a reeling Jaguars team that can't do anything on offense until the game is already out of reach. Lions 24, Jaguars 17

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Upset of the Week: If you look up-and-down my colleagues’ predictions, they are predicting the Steelers to blow the Browns out by 21 to 35 points. I can see why — the Browns are 0-10, and we’re so used to Pittsburgh coming in here with Ben Roethlisberger and lighting Cleveland’s defense on fire. This is the week I see things going in Cleveland’s favor.

Pittsburgh is on a four-game losing streak, and I have doubts as to whether the winds will allow the Steelers to take advantage of Cleveland’s safeties. The Steelers just lost the leader of their defensive line, Cameron Heyward, for the season. Pittsburgh isn’t great at stopping the run to begin with, which our line will thrive off of after having faced top-ranked units like the Jets and Ravens in recent weeks.

I think the Browns come out heavy with the running game and just keep on pounding away. Pittsburgh will have a costly turnover at some point, and then the pressure will mount on them -- ‘are we really going to lose five in a row, and to the Browns no less?’ We’ve seen the Browns have several halftime leads this year, only for them to not look prepared in the second half...at all. One of these weeks, even if it’s just frickin’ dumb luck, that’s going to change...and against what better of a team than the Steelers? Browns 22, Steelers 19

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No Room for Error: The Chiefs are on the same type of roll they were a season ago, having won five in a row. Their 7-2 mark in the AFC is the second most wins in the conference, but then there are three teams in the division with seven wins. Their margin for error is little. The Buccaneers are oddly 3-1 on the road this year, and Doug Martin returning will be a nice addition to their offense. Kansas City has been on too much of a roll to pick against them at home, though. Chiefs 28, Buccaneers 20

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The Crazy AFC South: The AFC South is so crazy. I feel like the Titans have played the best in the division, but are 5-5 and in second place. The Texans have seemed to play the worst at times, yet they are in first place at 6-3. The Colts should have the best quarterback and the highest hopes, yet they are 4-5. I'm a fan of Tennessee's roster right now, so it pains me to pick against them here. The Colts beat them in Tennessee a few weeks ago, though, and I think they can leverage the bye week and previous win over Green Bay to come out strong again. Colts 31, Titans 27

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Goff is Ready: Quarterbacks who are first overall picks often lose their first start, but this game got very intriguing by the fact that Jared Goff is making his NFL debut. It'll come against a red-hot Dolphins team that has won four games in a row behind some strong rushing efforts. Los Angeles defends the run well, and I think that will stifle Miami enough while Goff shines in his debut. Rams 23, Dolphins 20

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Blowout of the Week: The best team in the NFL against the worst team in the NFL. Tom Brady will have the stat sheet padded in this one. Patriots 42, 49ers 13

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Game of the Week: After losing four of five, the Eagles got a much-needed win against the Falcons last week. I think Carson Wentz will be in for a bad day against a Seahawks team that just went to Foxboro and beat the Patriots. Seattle is getting things together to where it looks like a Dallas vs. Seattle matchup for the NFC Championship would be a sight to see. Seahawks 31, Eagles 23

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Sunday Night Football: My days of defending the Packers are over. A team I can get behind is the Redskins, who have a top-5 offense in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers can still whip up some magic to make this interesting, but I'll anticipate their defense not living up to the task of defending Kirk Cousins and company. Redskins 31, Packers 24

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Monday Night Football: Oakland has to be enjoying this prime time love. They beat the Broncos on Sunday Night Football, had a bye week, and now face the Texans on Monday Night Football. In the Texans' three prime time games so far, they lost to the Patriots 27-0, had a stunning-but-undeserving comeback 26-23 win over the Colts, and lost to the Broncos 27-9. I don't see it going well for them again this week. Raiders 35, Texans 17

Bye Week:

Survivor: Last week, I picked the Cardinals over the 49ers, giving me a two-game winning streak. I've used NO and ARI. This week, I'll take the Patriots over the 49ers.

Week 10 Picks Record: 5-9
2016 NFL Picks Record: 78-67-2
Browns Picks Record: 7-3