NFL Week 11 Predictions

After a Week 10 that was filled with upsets and shocking outcomes, Week 11 presents several intriguing games with playoff implications. Let’s make some predictions!

Packers (4-4-1) at Seahawks (4-5)

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Photo Cred: news.sportsinteraction.com

In a rematch of the 2014 NFC Championship Game, the Packers and Seahawks will face off in Seattle in a game that each team has to win. A loss would put an extreme dent in each team’s playoff aspirations, so expect both teams to play with a lot of heart. These two teams matchup evenly to one another, so despite the fact that they have just a 1-2 home record, it makes sense to take the Seahawks in this game. Seattle currently has the league’s best rushing attack, and the Packers rank just 22nd in defending the run, giving the Seahawks a chance to control this game. By doing this, they’ll be able to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field and prevent him and the Green Bay passing attack from taking over.  Even if the Seahawks aren’t able to control the time of possession, their 7th ranked pass defense gives them a chance to contain Rodgers just enough to put them in good position to win. That’s exactly what Seattle will do; they’ll come away with a big home victory to keep their playoff hopes alive. Prediction: Packers 22 Seahawks 24

Dallas Cowboys (4-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-5)

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Photo Cred: atlantafalcons.com

Similar to the Packers-Seahawks matchup on Thursday Night Football, this game between the Cowboys and Falcons is a must win for both teams. At 4-5, each team is within striking distance of the playoffs, but a loss would put an enormous dent in those chances. This game has the makings of a very entertaining game that may come down to the final play, and it will be the Falcons who will come out victorious. At home this season, the Falcons are averaging 32.2 points per game, while the Cowboys have failed to win back to back games so far this season. Coming off a very emotional win at the Eagles in primetime, they may not come in with as much determination or desperation as the Falcons, who just got blown out by the Browns. Atlanta is well coached and have a good enough offense to get 20+ points even on the stout Cowboys defense. If this turns into a close, relatively high scoring affair, Matt Ryan and the Falcons have the advantage over Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. There’s just enough going in the Falcons way in this matchup for them to be able to pull out a close, grueling victory. Prediction: Cowboys 23 Falcons 24

Bengals (5-4) at Ravens (4-5)

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Photo Cred: baltimoresun.com

It’s currently unclear who is starting at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. Starter Joe Flacco is doubtful with a hip injury, and the Ravens have not yet to announce a replacement. It could be first round rookie Lamar Jackson, as Baltimore could start the changing of guard at quarterback quicker than expected. It could also be Robert Griffin III, who probably gives them a better chance of winning right now. No matter who they decided to start in place for Flacco, the Ravens should have no problem putting away the Bengals. Cincinnati just lost by 37 to the Saints, and currently has the worst defense statistically in the NFL. It’s not going to be much off a challenge for whoever is at quarterback to have a big day against that defense. To make matters worse for the Bengals, Andy Dalton and the offense was awful without AJ Green, who is dealing with a toe injury. They put up just 284 total yards against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and a majority of that total came in garbage time with the backups in. Based on that, it doesn’t look like they’ll be up to the task of moving the ball on the road against a Ravens defense that allows the second fewest yards per game. It’s unclear how the Bengals will be able to win this game; both their offense and defense is bound to struggle in this game. As a result, the Ravens will have complete control of this game and will keep their playoff hopes alive with a big win. Prediction: Bengals 19 Ravens 27

Panthers (6-3) at Lions (3-6)

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Photo Cred: prideofdetroit.com

Coming off an embarrassing 32 point loss to the Steelers on Thursday Night Football, the Panthers definitely need to get back on track this week. Luckily for them, they’ll do battle against a 3-6 Lions team that hasn’t been competitive for about a month. Carolina still comes in with the 3rd ranked rush offense, and they should have a field day against the league’s 28th ranked rush defense. Furthermore, the Panthers defense has been able to take advantage of turnover prone offenses this season, and that’s exactly what the Lions offense has been recently. Not only are the Panthers clearly the better team, they’re much better coached than the Lions, who have played with as much passion as a door recently. The Panthers took care of business in this building last year with a 27-24 win last season, and they’ll do the same thing this time around, with an even bigger margin. Prediction: Panthers 34 Lions 23

Titans (5-4) at Colts (4-5)

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Photo Cred: indystar.com

In what may be the most important game of the week that no one is talking about, the Titans and Colts will face off in a crucial AFC South matchup. Both teams are trying to keep up with the first place Texans, as well as continue to fight for a wildcard spot. This game is extremely hard to pick; these divisional rivals matchup evenly to one another. Therefore, it may makes sense to go with the home team with the more reliable quarterback, so I’ll take the Colts in this game. Indianapolis has won three straight, and have done so behind a superb offense. During this current winning streak, they’ve averaged 36 points per game and haven’t allowed a single sack. They’ve also the stout defenses of the Bills and Jaguars look silly, as their commitment to the running game has given them tremendous balance. The Titans defense has been amazing; they’ve allowed the sixth fewest total yards. Still, the Colts should be able to move the ball against them and could turn this game into a back and forth, high scoring affair. If that ends up being the case, I’d much rather roll with Andrew Luck than Marcus Mariota and the inconsistent Titans offense. Prediction: Titans 23 Colts 27

Buccaneers (3-6) at Giants (2-7)

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Photo Cred: tampabay.com

There may not be a tougher game to pick this week than this matchup between the Bucs and Giants, and for all the wrong reasons. It’s impossible to trust either team; Tampa Bay has lost three straight and New York had lost five straight before beating the two win 49ers on a last minute touchdown drive. Since I have to unfortunately declare a winner in this game, I’ll actually take the underdog and roll with the Bucs. Tampa Bay put up 500 yards of total offense last week against the Redskins, but managed just three points due to turnovers and missed opportunities. If they come close to that yard total this week, they’ll have no trouble taking care of the Giants. New York’s defense is amongst the league’s worst at forcing turnovers and are 31st in sacks. With all day to throw, Ryan Fitzpatrick should have no problem connection with his receivers, who should be able to create separation against a weak secondary, for big plays down the field. Even against Tampa Bay’s weak defense, it’s hard to see Eli Manning and his conservative self matching blows with Tampa’s high powered offense. This should be a shootout, but it’s one that Fitzpatrick and the Bucs will win to finally get back into the win column to let their head coach Dirk Koetter cool of his blazing hot seat. Prediction: Buccaneers 31 Giants 26

Texans (6-3) at Redskins (6-3)

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Photo Cred: Sporting News

In a very important matchup between two 6-3 teams, the Texans and Redskins will do battle in a game where each team could gain a lot of a win. With a win, the Texans will put themselves is a good position to possibly land a first round bye. For the Redskins, a win would help them atleast continue to hold a two game lead in the division. So who will come away with a huge victory? My money is on the Texans. Houston has won six straight and look like an elite NFL team. Their offense has regained its explosiveness and they’ve been able to pass the ball and run the ball effectively. The Redskins may have given up just three points last week against the Bucs, but they also gave up 500 yards. They won’t be able to take advantage of the other team’s ineptness this week against the Texans offense. Washington hasn’t yet proven they can win when they can’t take advantage of the other teams mistakes, and until they do so, I don’t feel comfortable picking them to win. That’s the case here, and the Texans will be victorious and will keep their winning streak going. Prediction: Texans 23 Redskins 20

Steelers (6-2-1) at Jaguars (3-6)

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Photo Cred: jaguarswire.usatoday.com

After losing to the Jaguars twice last season, including in the divisional round, the Steelers will look to get revenge and practically end the Jaguars season. That attempt should turn out to be a great success for them. Pittsburgh is one of the league’s best teams and have won five straight. On the contrary, the Jaguars are a mess and have lost five straight. There’s nothing to suggest that trend won’t continue on Sunday. The Jaguars’ offensive line is so banged up that they are starting Ereck Flowers at left tackle. Against the Steelers’ stellar pass rush, that’s going to be a problem. They’ll be forced to pass, as Pittsburgh also has the fourth ranked rush defense. On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars defense just got roasted by the Colts and they may struggle once against the Steelers’ high powered offense. Pittsburgh will come away with a big road victory and will get their revenge by putting an end to the Jaguars season. Prediction: Steelers 27 Jaguars 22

Raiders (1-8) at Cardinals (2-7)

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Photo Cred: silverandblackpride.com

In a game that absolutely no one will watch, the Raiders and Cardinals will try to lose to improve their draft position. Just kidding, obviously both teams are going to try to win, but in reality losing does as much good as winning for both organizations. Since someone has to win, it’ll be the Cardinals who come out victorious. Arizona put in a solid fight against the Chiefs last week, keeping it within one possession into the second half. They clearly have fight left in them, but the same cannot be said about the Raiders. Oakland seems to be going through the motions, and has lost by double digits in each of their last five games. That’s uninspiring to say the least, and Derek Carr should continue to get beaten up against one of the best pass defenses in the league headline by a monster pass rush. Oakland will keep this game within one possession, but they’ll still fall short of the Cardinals in this game. Prediction: Raiders 21 Cardinals 26

Broncos (3-6) at Chargers (7-2)

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Photo Cred: denverpost.com

Divisional matchups tend to be closer than they should be. That could be the case in this AFC West game between the Broncos and Chargers. The Chargers are clearly the superior team, but Denver has fought hard in all of their games despite their 3-6 record. Still, the better team tends to win, so Los Angeles will find a way to do so. The Chargers will get star pass rusher Joey Bosa back, and with him back to go along with a very talented defense, Los Angeles’ defense could do damage against Denver’s mediocre offense. The Broncos need their pass rush to thrive for them to succeed defensively, but the Chargers are amongst the league’s best in protecting the quarterback. With the duo of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles has the 7th ranked rushing attack. They should dominate against the fourth-worst run defense. The Chargers have the advantage in every facet of the game, and even though this game will be close than it should be, they’ll get a big divisional victory and will move to 8-2. Prediction: Broncos 17 Chargers 24

Eagles (4-5) at Saints (8-1)

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Photo Cred: nbcphiladelphia.com

For the first time in all season, the Eagles are underdogs this season. That could be trouble for the rest of the NFL. Philadelphia has struggled so far this season, but back as underdogs, expect them to regain their form. The Saints have won eight straight, but they are still a flawed team waiting to be exposed. The main flaw is their pass defense, that ranks second-worst in the NFL. Against a prolific Eagles passing attack, they will struggle mightily. Carson Wentz should have no problem throwing for 350+ yards in this game, and it’s impossible for Philadelphia to lose if that’s the case. On the other side of the ball, the Saints need their rushing attack to get going for them to thrive offensively, but the Eagles have the 7th ranked rush defense. The Eagles matchup very well to the Saints, and they’ll come away with a big road victory in this one. Prediction: Eagles 34 Saints 30

Vikings (5-3-1) at Bears (6-3) SNF

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Photo Cred: chicago.suntimes.com

In what is easily the most important game of the week, the Vikings will travel to Chicago to face off with the Bears in a NFC North matchup that will could decide the division. Both teams matchup relatively even to another, but a couple key factors give the Bears a slight advantage. For starters, the Vikings have to failed to protect Kirk Cousins against elite pass rushes. Unfortunately for them, they’ll have to go up against Khalil Mack and one of the league’s best pass rushes. This game being played in Chicago is also a big deal, as they’ll have the crowd on their side and have been great at home this season. Kirk Cousins is also 4-21-1 against teams with a winning record, so it’s hard to trust him to go on the road and beat a Bears team that will be looking to make a statement. With the crowd on their side, I expect Chicago to get off to a very fast start. That early hole may be to much for Cousins and his 4-21-1 record against winning teams to overcome, and the Bears will dominate this football game. Prediction: Vikings 21 Bears 29

Chiefs (9-1) at Rams (9-1) MNF

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Photo Cred: ftw.usatoday.com

On Monday Night Football, the football world is in for a threat as arguably the two best teams in the league do battle in Los Angeles. The Chiefs and Rams have the league’s best two offenses and have struggling defenses, so this could become a very entertaining shootout. This game has everything a fan would want – the league’s two best young quarterbacks (Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff), two of the league’s best running backs (Kareem Hunt and Todd Gurley), and two of the league’s best wide receivers corps. Still, this game could come down to which defense can get a stop first, and my money is on the Rams. Despite their defensive woes recently, Los Angeles still has a tremendous amount of talent on that side of the ball. In Aaron Donald, they have a game changer on the defensive front that can change the game with such just one play. Kansas City lacks those types of playmakers on defense, and since these offenses are practically identical, that gives the Rams the upper hand in this matchup. Still, this should easily be the closest and most exciting game of the week. Prediction: Chiefs 27 Rams 30

 

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