NFL Insider Week 11 Predictions and Analysis
Week 10 was the roughest week for predictions for many analysts I know, including myself. I missed a total of five games, more than I'd missed the previous four weeks combined. The Ravens, Chargers, Falcons, Jets, and Bills all lost games I thought they'd win. Looking at this weeks match ups, the games seem to be a little more clear cut. But if this year has taught us anything, no team is guaranteed victory regardless who their opponent is.
Nonetheless, we've researched every team and broke down each game and have picked the winners for this weekends games.
New York Jets (5-4) at Denver Broncos (4-5)
I love Thursday Night Football! There's nothing better than football in the middle of the week. This week we have the Jets and Broncos. The Jets were winners of three straight before getting throttled by the Patriots for the second time this season. The Broncos have won three out of four under Tim Tebow. They haven't been pretty games, but he's found a way to get it done each week. This is going to be a close game. Denver is a tough place to play, especially on prime time. The Jets defense should be too much for Tebow and the Broncos to handle. Look for them to get back on track with a must needed victory tomorrow night. Jets 21-16 UPDATE***BRONCOS WIN 17-13. STARTING OFF 0-1 THIS WEEK, BUT I DON'T THINK MANY HAD THE BRONCOS WINNING THIS GAME.
Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) at Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
This is the obvious game of the week. It should have been moved to Monday night if you want my opinion. This game has so much riding on it for both teams. The loser will find themselves in third place in the North, and in a huge hole in the wild card race. Before the weekend is through, there may be a number of 6-4 teams in the AFC. The way the season has gone, the Ravens laid an egg last weekend, so they are probably going to play well this week. The Bengals are banged up, with their top defensive back out for the season, and A.J Green is a game time decision, it's going to be tough for them to win, if the Ravens play their type of football. That doesn't mean giving Ray Rice 7 carries. If Cam Cameron keeps this up, he'll be out of a job next year. I think he'll wise up and utilize his best offensive weapon this weekend. Ravens 20-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) at Cleveland Browns (3-6)
These may be two of the worst offenses in the NFL. It is known that I'm a Cleveland Brown fan, but this team is bad offensively. Peyton Hillis has been a huge disappointment and will most likely be gone next year. They have no receivers, no running game, and a young quarterback who is playing quite well for what he has to work with. The defense is very good, ranking among the top 10 in every category. They need the offense to score points though. The Jaguars are very similar, having a stout defense and a lackluster offense. Gabbert has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in a game, mainly because he doesn't have any receivers either. This game will come down to a couple of big plays, and I expect those to be made by Maurice Jones-Drew. Jaguars 13-9
Carolina Panthers (2-7) at Detroit Lions (6-3)
The Lions were humiliated last weekend by the red hot Chicago Bears, while the Panthers were dominated by the Tennessee Titans. The Lions have no running game, which is killing them offensively. They cannot have Stafford dropping back 63 times a game. They can't afford to lose another game right now, and luckily for them they are playing the Panthers. Cam Newton is nursing an injury and they looked like the team that only won two games a year ago this past weekend. The Panthers defense is not very good so the Lions should be able to score points, and the defense should hold Cam in check for the most part. I'm taking the Lions in this one. Lions 24-14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (9-0)
The Packers are being compared to the best teams of all time, and Rodgers is being called one of the greatest quarterbacks ever by hall of famers. The Buc's are playing awful right now, and Josh Freeman looks like a rookie quarterback as of late, throwing three interceptions last weekend against the Texans. This game is in Lambeau, and it's starting to get cold, so look for the Packers to have the advantage (as if they didn't already). I don't think this game will be close. Packers 38-14
Buffalo Bills (5-4) at Miami Dolphins (2-7)
The Bills have not been playing well as of late, but this weekend they have the Dolphins. Don't expect them to come in and run over the Dolphins though. They are playing well under Matt Moore, and have won two in a row. Granted, it was against the Chiefs and Redskins, but victories are hard to come by in this league regardless of the opponent. Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions last weekend and the Bills were pounded by the surging Cowboys. They should be able to do enough to turn things around this weekend and get a win in Miami. This will move them to 6-4 and keep them relevant in the playoff race. Bills 26-14
Oakland Raiders (5-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-7
The Oakland Raiders looked great last Thursday night against division rival San Diego. They now control the West and will be traveling Northeast to take on the Vikings, who were pounded by the Packers. The Raiders are far from feeling comfortable in their division, with all three teams only a game back, so this is really a must win. Especially when you take into consideration they've lost to Kansas City and Denver already this year. Carson Palmer looks like he has the offense down now, and they are having players step up big to replace injured starters like Darren McFadden. The Vikings are heading the opposite direction. They are not the same Vikings that Favre led to a 13-3 record two years ago. It's now all about adding more weapons for Christian Ponder in the offseason. The Raiders should win this game. Raiders 21-13
Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at Washington Redskins (3-6)
All is well again in Jerry Land, as the Cowboys ride a two game winning streak into Washington, including a blowout win against the Bills last weekend. Tony Romo has played very well since the emergence of rookie running back DeMarco Murray. They are now only a game back of the Giants in the East, and right there in the mix for a playoff spot. To earn that, they will need a victory over division rival Washington this weekend, which shouldn't be that tough. The Redskins haven't scored over 20 points in over a month, as they've dropped five straight games. Grossman gets the nod again, but they still don't have any weapons to give the ball to. The Cowboys should keep things rolling this week. Cowboys 34-10
Arizona Cardinals (3-6) at San Francisco 49ers (8-1)
The Cardinals are coming off a big win over the Eagles, and the Niners are coming off an even bigger win over the Giants. The 49ers are currently sitting in the second seed spot and can actually wrap the division up this weekend with a win and a Seahawks loss. This would be a remarkable feat to do this before Thanksgiving! The Cards are playing very well under John Skelton, but I don't see them beating the 49ers. It'll be a possible trap game for the Niners, but I think they will be ok. 49ers 32-14
Seattle Seahawks (3-6) at St Louis Rams (2-7)
What a difference a year makes. Last year, in week 17, these two teams were playing for the division title and a playoff birth. This year, they are playing for a higher draft pick. The Seahawks dominated the Ravens last weekend, behind the powerful running of Marshawn Lynch. The Rams were given a victory by the Cleveland Browns long snapper. The Rams are one of the biggest disappointments of the year. They were supposed to be even more explosive offensively with Josh McDaniel calling the plays. They've been quite the opposite. This is going to be an ugly game, but I think the Seahawks will get the win. Seahawks 17-12
Tennessee Titans (5-4) at Atlanta Falcons (5-4)
A battle of second place teams with identical records. The Falcons lost a heart breaker last weekend against the Saints in OT. I don't disagree with Mike Smith's call to go for it on fourth and inches. If you can't pick up a few inches with a 260lb back, you really don't deserve to win. Now they move forward and have a good Titans team coming into town. Chris Johnson seems to finally have his legs under him, so look for him to have another decent game. Both teams need a victory. I think the home field advantage is going to make the difference in this game. I see the Falcons winning. Falcons 20-17
San Diego Chargers (4-5) at Chicago Bears (6-3)
If not now, when? That's been the question asked of the Chargers for a long time. Rivers has not played well this year and I'm surprised we haven't heard Norv Turner's name on the hot seat yet. The Bears are playing as well as anyone right now, and I can't wait for them to play the Packers to see what they are really all about. It looks like they're going to move ahead of the Lions down the stretch, and should earn a playoff birth if they can keep up the momentum. The Bears should keep rolling this week and knock off the Chargers. If this happens, San Diego will be in last place two games out of the division. Not a good place to be this time of year. Bears 27-20
Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) at New York Giants (6-3)
Vick is officially listed as out of this game with broken ribs, so Vince Young will get his first start of the season for the Eagles. DeSean Jackson will be back on the field, but it really hasn't mattered this season. He's yet to have a break out game. Along with Vick, Maclin is banged up as well, and they have played their way out of the playoffs already. They are coming off a humiliating loss to the Cardinals in another fourth quarter let down, and now travel to New York to take on the first place G-Men. The Giants lost a tough fought game in Candlestick last weekend, and look to rebound to stay ahead of the Cowboys in the East. Bradshaw will miss another game do to a foot injury, but is expected to be back in two weeks. The Giants shouldn't have a problem with the Vick-less Eagles. Look for Eli to have a big game this weekend and get the Giants back on track. Giants 23-13
Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) at New England Patriots (6-3)
How much worse can things get for the Chiefs? They've suffered more injuries than almost any other team in the league. The difference between them and a team like the Giants is the Chiefs have no depth. Once their starters went down, they really didn't have anyone to fill in those gaps. Now Matt Cassell is hurt and possibly out for the remainder of the season, which will hurt their chances of winning the West. The Patriots were left for dead after losing two straight, but they came out firing and played good defense against a fading Jets team. This team has a pretty easy remaining schedule, but I don't expect them to make too much noise in the playoffs. This week they should win fairly easily though. Patriots 35-10
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