2016 NFL Predictions Week Eleven
Will Tony Romo still be in Dallas before next season? He's acknowledged that Dak Prescott is the guy going forward this season and beyond, but Prescott could still probably hit a wall. Romo is signed until the 2020 season but would be a fairly pricey option as a back up at that. He has a base salary of $14 million next season and it will increase for the next two. If he is willing to restructure his contract again, then maybe he will end his career in Dallas or be included in a trade. He could retire too after this season, but I don't think that will happen this offseason.
Also of note: Vikings released kicker Blair Walsh on Tuesday, which does't come as a surprise. Kai Forbath was signed as his replacement.
Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery will be suspended for the next four games for violating the NFL's PED policy. Their receiving corps right now won't scare teams.
Bye: Broncos, Chargers, Falcons, Jets
Saints @ Panthers: A horrible way for New Orleans to lose last week off of a blocked kick to be returned for two points. Carolina giving up 17 points in the fourth quarter last week, in a loss, is equally as bad. The last three days probably felt like an eternity for them as they were preparing for Thursday night. Both Drew Brees and Cam Newton should have a good game in the passing end going up against suspect secondaries.
Steelers @ Browns: Pittsburgh will look to avoid being the first team the Cleveland Browns beat this season. Hopefully what we saw with what Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were able to do offensively last week can be bottled up and be carried over for the rest of the season. I expect a better game from the Pittsburgh defense.
Ravens @ Cowboys: The Ravens have allowed 34.5 rush yards per game in their last two games. Then again, they haven't seen an offensive line be as dominant on the line of scrimmage as Dallas has all season. Uncle Tony has officially given Dak his blessing.
Jaguars @ Lions: The claws will come out in Detroit. Blake Bortles hasn't played well this season but I think he and the offense will do enough to keep them in the game. What has been the norm this season, Matthew Stafford will lead the Lions to another game winning drive to stay on top of the NFC North.
Titans @ Colts: The Titans, surprisingly, are close to the division title. Looking to stop them is Andrew Luck and the 4-5 Colts coming off of a week's rest. Since Luck and coach Chuck Pagano arrived in 2012, Indianapolis has only lost one game following a bye. Both secondaries were torched by Green Bay leading to plenty of pass attempts. Go with the more balanced team.
Bills @ Bengals: The playoffs is still achievable for both of these teams. Seven games remain, anything can happen. Cincinnati, I think has a tougher road ahead due to their schedule, so this is a must win for them. Everything was left on the field a couple of Mondays ago from Buffalo. How will they do after the layover? Both offenses will show some creativity which will make the defensive play all more important. Despite Rex Ryan's 2-5 record after a bye, circle the wagons.
Buccaneers @ Chiefs: Credit to the Chiefs defense holding Carolina to zero points in the second half to give their offense a chance. And the offense rewarded them for their effort. Last week, Jameis Winston gave us some flashbacks with his escapability to continue the play. The young gunslinger with an emerging run game will be to close for comfort in Kansas City.
Bears @ Giants: Receiver Marquess Wilson could make his season debut for Chicago on Sunday. If he plays, he will be accompanied by Eddie Royal, Cameron Meredith and tight end Zach Miller. Not a lot of weapons for Jay Cutler. Adding to that, Jordan Howard might not be much of a factor with a foot injury. A good defensive performance by the Giants on Monday looks to carry over against a depleted Bears team.
Cardinals @ Vikings: Both Carson Palmer and Sam Bradford can play shaky. Ultimately, the Vikings offensive line against the Cardinals defense will be the difference. Minnesota's defense has fallen a bit down to earth recently, which could make Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald homecoming feel like prom night.
Dolphins @ Rams: Alas, we get to see Jared Goff, 2016 first overall pick, make his season debut for the Rams. Don't bring out the pitch forks if he has a bad game, not even for the next week or at all this season. Trust the process. Miami makes a second consecutive cross-country trip to California but they will have to work a little harder to get the win. There won't be any fourth quarter turnovers to capitalize on.
Patriots @ 49ers: Tom Brady returns to the San Francisco area and might be without Rob Gronkowski. Even without Gronk, the Patriots should wipe the floor with the Niners defense. A good performance by Colin Kaepernick against Arizona should give them a chance against the New England defense after struggling last Sunday. Of the 71 losses the Patriots have suffered in the Bill Belichick era, only eleven times did they have consecutive losses. Good luck San Francisco.
Eagles @ Seahawks: Both teams came away last week with impressive wins. Kam Chancellor made a big difference last week, especially on the final play in New England, and Philadelphia was able to hold Atlanta, the highest scoring offense this season, to 15 points last week. The Eagles offense needs to gather all the magic they can against the Legion of Boom. Can tight end Zach Ertz have a big game in Seattle after seeing Martellus Bennett go over 100 yards receiving against them? Look out for a Ryan Mathews fumble to put the game away for Russell Wilson.
Packers @ Redskins: With Josh Norman's comments about Aaron Rodgers being Gandalf the White from The Lord of the Rings, Sunday night will certainly be the Battle for Helm's Deep. The Packers will strike first, but then something fluky will happen giving Washington life and eventually the lead heading into the fourth quarter. When it looks that all hope is lost, Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan come in and deliver the victory.
Texans @ Raiders (Game in Mexico City): What would be a home game for the Raiders could be more like a 70-30 ratio favoring Houston due to the distance from Houston to Mexico City. The Raiders defense has been rising for the past few weeks while Brock Osweiler hasn't shown much improvement after their bye. The Texans pass defense isn't a slouch allowing the second fewest passing yards in the league, which could limit Derek and his receiving corps. In what will be a close game, Latavius Murray runs wild and gets it done for Oakland.
2016 Season: 78-67-2
Last Week: 5-9
- Norman compares Rodgers to 'Gandalf the White' - NFL.com
Josh Norman doesn't believe Aaron Rodgers has lost his powers. The Washington Redskins corner compared the Packers quarterback to Gandalf the White Wizard.