Week 11 NFL Predictions

Copyright Yahoo Sports

This evening sees another round of NFL games, including the big showdown between AFC west rivals Denver and Kansas City in the Sunday Night Football slot. With plenty of other exciting match-ups it promises to be yet another great evening of football, and hopefully I’ll be on the mark with one or two of my picks. Both myself and Scott Taylor correctly predicted an Indianapolis win over Tennessee on Thursday during this weeks podcast which you can still listen to here. Once your done listening to that fine piece of broadcasting carry on reading to find out what I think will take place across the NFL later on today.

New York Jets @ Buffalo

Do you trust the Jets to beat a team they should beat? Do you trust the Bills to actually play well enough to win against a superior team? I’m not sure I trust either quite frankly, and the game has the potential to be a real defensive struggle with the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2013 draft squaring off against eachother.  If that does turn out to be the case then despite the fact that Mario Williams has been on a tear this season the Jets unit as a whole is stronger, and that should lead them to 6-4 and keep them firmly in the hunt for a play-off spot. Jets 17, Bills 13

Baltimore @ Chicago

Josh McCown looks set to deputise for the injured Jay Cutler for Chicago as the Bears welcome a rejuvenated Baltimore outfit to Soldier Field.  McCown’s life will be made easier by being able to hand the ball off to Matt Forte, and with Brandon Marshall out wide he’s also got a go-to receiver in the passing game. The Ravens survived an scare against Cincinnati in week 10, where having allowed a hail-mary touchdown pass to A.J Green as time expired they triumphed in overtime. However with a defense that’s a shadow of its former self they’ll have a tough time stopping the Bears putting up the amount of points required to win this game; which won’t be very many judging by the Ravens offensive showings this year. Ravens 20, Bears 27

Cleveland @ Cincinnati

Usually this game is a basement battle in the AFC north, but that isn’t quite the case this year. Both teams are in with a shout of winning the division, particularly the 6-4 Bengals, and the home side should quite comfortably hold serve against the rival Browns despite their recent wobble. It could be close, but I just don’t see a way Cincinnati lets this one slip through their grasp. Browns 21, Bengals 28

Oakland @ Houston

If you tune into an NFL game tonight in the hope of watching stellar play at the quarterback position, avoid this one. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh on Case Keenum who’s shown flashes of the ability needed to be a starting NFL QB, but Raiders starter Matt McGloin has no place on a professional football field. But on the field he will be thanks to Terrell Pryor’s knee ailment, and that fact alone should help Texans coach Gary Kubiak pick up the W on his return to the sidelines following his mini stroke. Raiders 10, Texans 24

Arizona @ Jacksonville

I failed to pick the Jags last week against better judgement and it came back to bite me, but I’m going to make the same mistake this week and go with the piping hot Cardinals. All of a sudden Arizona are just a game behind San Francisco in the NFC west and thanks in large part to some excellent defensive showings they have a real chance of catching the 49ers. Patrick Peterson and Calais Campbell  are true difference makers on that side of the ball, and they should have no trouble keeping Jacksonville in check as Carson Palmer leads the offense to enough points to secure this one quite comfortably. Cardinals 27, Jaguars 13

Washington @ Philadelphia

Tied for the division lead, Philadelphia looks to break a breathtaking 10 game (!) home losing streak against the Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. On paper everything points to that happening; an explosive offense, improving defense and momentum all combine to make Philly strong favourites. However they’ll have to beware the Redskins running game, as they have the ability to control the clock with Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris moving the rock. Should the Eagles jump out to an early lead that shouldn’t matter, and I think they will. So I think they’ll win. I think (hope) I’ll be right. Redskins 24, Eagles 34

Detroit @ Pittsburgh

Two working class cities go head to head as the motor and steel industries collide. Well, they may have collided if both hadn’t gone bust (or nearly bust). The Lions are coming off a vital road win in Chicago last week and have sole possession of first place in the NFC north, something they should have no difficulty retaining against the woeful Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger could be in for a long day behind a leaky offensive line and I wouldn’t have begrudged him a few nightmares about Nick Fairley as he tried to get some sleep last night. Lions 30, Steelers 17

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

One massive disappointment meets another in west Florida this week, but the Buccaneers have a little momentum on their side thanks to capturing their first win of the season against Miami last week. The Falcons have been besieged with injuries during this campaign and having already lost Julio Jones and Roddy White they could be without future hall of fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, who’s battling a toe injury. With or without him they will probably struggle to score, which leads me to believe that the Bucs will make it two in a row. You wait all season for a win to come along.. Falcons 18, Buccaneers 21

San Diego @ Miami

With Miami engulfed in scandal San Diego have lucked it with the timing of their visit to south beach. The Chargers put up a good fight against Denver a week ago and with one of the stronger defensive units in the league it’s difficult to see them being upset by the Dolphins, who in the absence of Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito have one of the most porous offensive lines in the league. Expect Phillip Rivers and co to get the win and move back to .500. Chargers 27, Dolphins 21

San Francisco @ New Orleans

In one of the games of the week (alongside the Chiefs-Broncos extravaganza and Carolina-New England) the 49ers will attempt to repeat last seasons feat of winning in the hostile Superdome. However that’s easier said than done, and after a string of unimpressive offensive showings the niners will have their work cut out scoring on Rob Ryan’s D. With Drew Brees almost a certainty to lead the Saints to over 20 points Colin Kaepernick will have to party like it’s 2012 if San Francisco are to win this one and keep within touching distance of Seattle in the NFC west. I’m not sure Kaepernick’s got that in his at this stage; especially not in the Saints house. 49ers 17, Saints 28

Green Bay @ New York Giants

Scott Tolzien will start at QB for the Packers in the meadowlands, but fortunately for Tolzien and his team the Giants will also start a third stringer in Eli Manning. The Giants are fighting for their lives and in their defense have shown signs of life after a horrific start to the season, winning three on the spin after an 0-6 start. The Packers are also in dire need of a win after being handled by the Eagles last Sunday, but with Clay Matthews not at 100% I can’t see their defense picking them up and earning a crucial road win. Giants by default. Packers 14, Giants 20

Minnesota @ Seattle

The Vikings head into the northwest with little to no chance of walking away victorious. Seattle remain the NFCs elite team and they should take care of business here easily. Aside from Percy Harvin making his season debut there’s not much to see here, so move along. Vikings 14, Seahawks 27

Kansas City @ Denver

Sunday Night Football sees the unbeaten Chiefs head to the thin Denver air to tackle the 8-1 Broncos. It’s a classic match-up of offense versus defense, with the best D in the NFL (KC) taking on the best offense (Denver). Peyton Manning has a dodgy ankle which could limit his mobility in the pocket when trying to escape the Chiefs vaunted pass rush led by Tamba Hali, and Andy Reid has an incredible record after the bye week. However as much as Manning may or may not struggle the Denver defense will fancy its chances of keeping the Alex Smith led Chiefs offense in check, and an amped up crowd should witness the Broncos even the standings in the division ahead of the rematch in two weeks. Chiefs 17, Broncos 24

New England @ Carolina

A few weeks ago it looked extremely unlikely that the Panthers would have a realistic chance of catching the Saints in the NFC south, but should New Orleans lose to the 49ers and the Panthers win here the two would be neck and neck. Cam Newton has been playing well but the real story in Carolina is a rock solid defensive unit led by Luke Kuechly. The New England offense isn’t an explosive unit and as a result the Patriots could come unstuck here, unless they themselves can stiffle the Panthers attack. I never thought I’d say this, but I have more confidence in Cam Newton making the plays to win this game than I do Tom Brady, so I’m going for a landmark Panthers victory. Patriots 20, Panthers 23

Those are my picks for the week, let me know what you think in the comments of tweet me @fredjstanley. Enjoy this evenings games, and if you can afford a lie in tomorrow make sure you stay up for Sunday Night Football. I’ll be back later in the week with the American Football Focus podcast, so until then..

 

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