NFL Week 11 Picks, Predictions
Week 11 Picks
We’re coming towards Thanksgiving and when November gets here we can usually see the playoff races start to take shape. There are 7 divisional games this week and plenty of other great matchups on the schedule that may seal some team’s playoff fate before Thanksgiving arrives. As usual, the Sunday night matchup figures to be the game of the day and it should be a heck of a fight.
Some of the matchups have teams going in the opposite directions; the red hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers, while other games pit struggling teams against one another, like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins. There is also the renewed rivalry between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, even though the matchup lacks a little luster without Peyton Manning. There are other questions for many of the teams on the schedule this week, for instance, how will the San Diego Chargers react with their division hopes on the line in Denver and will we see a battle of backup quarterbacks in San Francisco on Monday? In total we could see as many as five new signal callers this week, which should make for some interesting football.
The landscape is set for quite a day of football this Sunday. Then again, isn’t that always the case? So grab your favorite beverage and some buffalo wings because I’m about to pick all the games in this week’s edition of Grimaldi’s Great Predictions. *I went 10-3-1 last week, stupid ties!
The NFL week kicks off in Buffalo where the Bills will host a Miami Dolphins team that got whipped by Tennessee last week. The Bills will be without running back Fred Jackson but that really doesn’t matter since CJ Spiller is more than capable of handling the rushing load. Miami may also have a running back shuffle as Daniel Thomas may get more carries this week. I like Miami’s physical brand of football to beat the speed game of Buffalo, but most of all I just don’t think the Bills can stop the Dolphins rushing attack. I like Miami to get back on the winning track.
The Dallas Cowboys finally head home for an extended stay as they host a rested Cleveland Browns team. This is the most dangerous game on the schedule for any team; the Cowboys always seem to find a way to disappointment themselves and their fans when you start to believe in them. Dallas needs to find a way to play more consistent football no matter who the opponent is and the Browns will battle the Cowboys with their physical style. Dallas wins this game, not razor close, but in a close game.
In Atlanta the Falcons will try to get back on track after suffering their first loss of the season. They welcome an Arizona Cardinals team who struggles to move the football on offense, not exactly what you need to beat the Falcons. To beat Atlanta, you need to be able to score some points but that is not the Cards strong point, the Falcons get back on the winning track.
The suddenly unstoppable Tamp Bay Bucs roll into Carolina to take on the struggling Panthers. Carolina plays better at home but that didn’t really help them much last week. As I continue to say, just when you think you have everything figured out, something happens that blows your mind. I think the Panthers will give the Bucs all they can handle and in the end they’ll make a play to win the game; Carolina halts the Bucs win streak.
The Packers come off their bye week and go into to Detroit to take on the Lions. Detroit still has problems with running the ball consistently and the Packers will stop the run and force the Matthew Stafford to be one dimensional and that’s when their defense will pounce. Green Bay will put up points easily and beat the Lions. Green Bay wins.
The Houston Texans welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars to town off of their big win in Chicago on Sunday. Sure, a letdown maybe in store for the Texans but the Jags just aren’t good enough to capitalize. The Texans defense will force a few turnovers and win the game. Houston wins.
What a week the Cincinnati Bengals had last week. The dominated the Giants with a physical defense and an explosive offense. They are a difficult team to figure out; they started out hot and then cooled off and then the beat down last week to one of the better teams in the league. They’ll travel to Kansas City where the Chiefs will be hoping to find their offense. Matt Cassel has been a turnover machine and the Bengals have been forcing them. With all that said, I’ll take the Chiefs to finally win in front of their home fans for the first time this year.
In St. Louis, I think we’re looking at back to back ties! Ha, ha, I hope not. The Rams welcome the New York Jets to town. The Jets have struggled to move the ball and normally you would welcome a game with the Rams to get your offense back into a groove. However, the Rams defense is much better than you think and the Jets would have a hard time moving the ball against a high school team. Mark Sanchez is lost and the Tim Tebow era is just around the corner. The Rams are improved but I think they get the win this week, not a tie, they win outright.
A good old NFC East battle takes place in Washington where the Redskins come off the bye week to battle the slumping Eagles. Nick Foles takes over as the starter for Philly and this should be an interesting game played with two rookie quarterbacks. I like RGIII and the ‘Skins to keep the Eagles slide going, Washington wins.
The Oakland Raiders host the New Orleans Saints, who have suddenly got hot. The Raiders, well, have been the opposite of hot. To make matters worse, the Raiders will once again be without their top 2 running backs but their biggest problem will be with the Saints offense. Drew Brees is clicking with his receivers and I just don’t see how the Raiders will be able to hang with New Orleans. They’ll put up points but not enough to get the job done, the Saints win.
In Denver, the San Diego Chargers season hangs in the balance against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The Chargers seem to do just enough wrong each week to lose and the Broncos always seem to be doing things right. Let’s be clear here, this isn’t just about Manning, the Broncos defense has been playing very well and Von Miller is killing anyone who lines up against him. The Broncos are getting a complete team effort every week. Denver wins.
Andrew Luck brings the Colts into New England to rekindle a rivalry with the Patriots. The name on the back of the jersey is different and Tom Brady is a little bit older but there’s something comforting about watching these two teams battle one another. I really like the controlled pass game from Andrew Luck to keep this game very close. The Pats win a close game because they’re home but very close. Pats win.
On Sunday night, one of the best rivalries in the game returns to center stage when the Baltimore Ravens travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers. The Steelers look like they’ll be without Big Ben but they can run the ball on the Ravens, who’s defense isn’t what it used to be. The Ravens exploded offensively last but that was against the Raiders. With a healthy Big Ben, this is a sweet game. Without him, it’s just good. I expect a pre-game fight and then I expect a Ravens win.
Monday night football could turn out to be a real snoozer. We all thought a matchup between the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers would be one of the better games on the year but without both starting QB’s the game loses some luster. Which quarterback, if either, will be able to play? Your guess is as good as mine but since they pay me to do this, my best guess is Alex Smith plays and Cutler doesn’t. Even if Colin Kapernick plays, I still like the 49ers to win. The score could end up being 9-6, but San Fran wins.
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