NFL Game Picks: Week 11
Just when you think the NFL is getting predictable, it throws out every curveball it has. Week 10 was filled with upsets, featuring massive blowout victories for Cleveland over Atlanta, Buffalo over New York and Tennessee over New England, as well as a pair of shockers on Sunday and Monday night. You can never really tell what’s going to happen in the NFL, but let’s try anyway. Here’s a look ahead to what week 11 has in store.
Green Bay Packers (4-4-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-5)
Just a few years ago, this would have been one of the marquee games. Both teams have seemed to descend a fair amount from that point, yet both are still trying to make a dent in the NFL playoff picture. This is a pretty even matchup and very well could go either way, but Seattle has the advantage with that deafening home crowd. Keep an eye out for this one.
The pick: Seattle 26, Green Bay 23
Dallas Cowboys (4-5) @ Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
Both of these teams endured a surprising week 10; of course, in different fashions, as the Cowboys knocked off the Eagles in Philadelphia, and the Falcons fell flat in Cleveland. But this is a great opportunity to rebound. Atlanta is back home, and its defense will get a bit of an easier challenge against a so-so Cowboys offense. Let’s go with the Falcons here.
The pick: Atlanta 31, Dallas 20
Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
There’s been a fall from grace for both of these squads, as Cincinnati, previously 4-1, has dropped three of its last four, and Baltimore, now losers of three straight, is supposedly parting ways with John Harbaugh at season’s end. A turn-around victory for either team would be perfect. The Bengals had the upper hand last time, but the Ravens get the last laugh.
The pick: Baltimore 30, Cincinnati 24
Carolina Panthers (6-3) @ Detroit Lions (3-6)
The Panthers have established that they are one of the better teams in the NFL. Don’t expect last week’s blowout loss in Pittsburgh to hang over the rest of their season. The Lions, meanwhile, are still struggling to find an edge, as they’ve lost their last three in a row. The unexpected has been known to happen in the NFL, but it shouldn’t happen here. Carolina takes it.
The pick: Carolina 29, Detroit 17
Tennessee Titans (4-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
No one could have seen Tennessee’s home thrashing of New England coming. But at the same time, it’s unlikely that this kind of success will continue, considering how up-and-down the season has been for the Titans. The Colts, meanwhile, are surely trending up with great play from the likes of Andrew Luck, Marlon Mack and Quenton Nelson. Indy wins at home.
The pick: Indianapolis 32, Tennessee 19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) @ New York Giants (2-7)
Odell Beckham himself said that the Giants could finish the year with eight straight victories and snag a wild card spot. While that’s unlikely to happen, the G-Men are an eighth of the way there, and they’ve got another underhand pitch this week with the visiting Buccaneers. Tampa Bay can put up all the offense it wants, but it can’t score just three points again. This is a toss-up.
The pick: NY Giants 20, Tampa Bay 17
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)
This rematch of last year’s wild AFC divisional round game is looking like it will fail to meet previous expectations, considering how awful Jacksonville has looked. Of course, the Steelers are known for playing down to bad teams, but they already made that mistake with the Jaguars twice last year. Surely, they won’t let it happen again.
The pick: Pittsburgh 34, Jacksonville 20
Houston Texans (6-3) @ Washington Redskins (6-3)
Washington’s defense played the ultimate “bend, don’t break” strategy in Tampa last week, allowing over 500 yards but only three total points. They may have to break this week though, as a rested Texans team with the likes of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins come to town. Expect Houston’s six-game win streak to continue to seven in Landover.
The pick: Houston 33, Washington 22
Denver Broncos (3-6) @ Los Angeles Chargers (7-2)
The Chargers are like tigers waiting to pounce. Despite being 7-2 and playing some of the best football in the NFL, Los Angeles is still hanging onto a wild card spot thanks to Patrick Mahomes and the 9-1 Chiefs. The Chargers are just waiting for that moment to strike when Kansas City finally falls. Until then, they’ll just have to keep winning, and they will here.
The pick: LA Chargers 36, Denver 16
Oakland Raiders (1-8) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-7)
Another week, another ugly game. Still, it’s clear who has the edge in this one. Oakland has been absolutely flatlining in 2018; their only win came in overtime against Cleveland. Arizona has at least had a pulse, knocking off San Francisco twice, and staying within 12 of the high-flying Chiefs. It won’t be a pretty one, but expect the Cardinals to grab their third W of the season.
The pick: Arizona 13, Oakland 6
Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) @ New Orleans Saints (8-1)
When it rains, it pours in Philadelphia. The Redskins are slowly creeping away with the division title while the Eagles continue to struggle. On top of that, Ronald Darby has been ruled out for 2018, meaning Malcolm Jenkins and three nobodies will make up the secondary. Against who? The explosive New Orleans offense. Sorry Eagles, but Drew Brees and the Saints keep rolling.
The pick: New Orleans 37, Philadelphia 20
Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) @ Chicago Bears (6-3)
It may not look like it now, but this game may end up being key in deciding who ends up on top of this zany NFC North. Both teams are hot, as Chicago has won its last three in a row and Minnesota has been victorious in four of the last five. The Vikings have a bit of an edge here, as they’ll be rested coming out of a bye week, but this is honestly anyone’s game.
The pick: Minnesota 28, Chicago 27
Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (9-1)
Here it is: the game of the week. Finally, primetime on Monday night doesn’t disappoint. There’s already been a bit of confusion, as this game has been relocated from Mexico City back to Los Angeles, but the fact remains that these are two of the three best teams in all of football right now. But who wins? Whoever scores more points, of course. And there should be a lot of that.
The pick: LA Rams 41, Kansas City 38
Byes: Buffalo Bills (3-7), Cleveland Browns (3-6-1), Miami Dolphins (5-5), New England Patriots (7-3), New York Jets (3-7), San Francisco 49ers (2-8)
DJ Bauer is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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