Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins
This is the game that was meant to take place in week one but a hurricane had other ideas, and it’s coming at a weird time. These are two of the hardest teams in the league to gauge at the moment. The Dolphins got hammered by the Panthers, but the Panthers could just be getting on a run in time for the playoffs, the Bucs beat the Jets who could just be realizing they’re not a good team and playing back to their level. Until they ran into Cam Newton the Dolphins defence had been playing really well, and their offence is horrific. The Bucs have been pretty awful on both sides of the ball, and while their offence didn’t look great against the Jets, Fitzpatrick hasn’t exactly looked awful. When a game is basically a coin flip I tend to lean towards defence and home field advantage, and the Dolphins have both.
Prediction: Dolphins by 3
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
This one of the sneaky good games of the week. I can’t say no to the Lions at -3, especially with Stafford’s knack of pulling out close games in the 4th quarter. The Bears defence gave up two big plays against the Packers last week that pretty much sunk them, showing their secondary is still a weakness is Brett Hundley can look decent against them. Stafford struggled against the Bears last year (1 TD and 4 INTs in 2 games), but he has been rolling lately and I trust him to step up when it matters. The Bears are finally letting Trubisky throw the ball, but it hasn’t exactly made them any better. An ideal John Fox game is 100 carries, 0 passing attempts and to win 3-0, so expect plenty of Jordan Howard in this one as usual. If all of Stafford’s weapons are healthy Detroit should win this comfortably.
Prediction: Lions by 6
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns
The Browns defence matches up well with the Jags offence in theory because they’re pretty good at stopping the run, however their offence will hardly be on the field in this one because I can see the Jags defence dominating. Deshone Kizer has been the most turnover-prone quarterback in the league and holds the ball too long, and what does the Jags defence do well? Cause turnovers and get to the quarterback. I think the Browns defence will keep them in it until around halftime, but they’ll be absolutely drained by the end of the 3rd and I can see Fournette running up a score later in the game.
Prediction: Jags by 14+
Baltimore Ravens @ Green Bay Packers
This could be the ugliest game of the week. Despite making a few nice plays against the Bears, Brett Hundley still looks lost at times and a Ravens defence coming off their bye week is one of the last things an unprepared quarterback will want. John Harbaugh has an extremely good record coming off of a bye week, and typically adjusts well when his team is struggling. Flacco obviously isn’t healthy and hasn’t been all season, but with Maclin back and Woodhead getting closer to returning I think their offence will improve. The Packers are always tough to beat at home, but I think the Ravens defence is good enough to carry them in this one.
Prediction: Ravens by 3
Arizona Cardinals @ Houston Texans
There is a lot of value on the Cardinals in this one. Not only do I think they will win, it could even be by double digits. Tom Savage is absolutely horrific, and even Deandre Hopkins can’t make him a serviceable QB. While I don’t think Stanton is any better, I’m so high on the Cardinals this week because they’re expected to start Blaine Gabbert who has been getting praise since the pre-season for how much he has apparently improved. If that doesn’t pan out, they can just feed the ball to Adrian Peterson all game long. This just strikes me as the sort of game where Bruce Arians tries out all of his trick plays as the season starts to wind down, in one of the few games they might actually be able to win for the remainder of the year.
Prediction: Cardinals by 10
LA Rams @ Minnesota Vikings
This game really should be on prime time this weekend. If you’d have told me at the start of the season that the best matchup for week 11 would involve Jared Goff vs Case Keenum I’d have told you to do one. The Rams are currently the best offence in the league, and the Vikings have an elite defence. The Rams corners will have their hands full with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who are quickly becoming one of the best receiver tandems around. If Keenum can avoid almost throwing the game away like he did late against the Redskins last week the Vikings will win. I’m not sure if Xavier Rhodes will play for the Vikes, but if he isn’t healthy it’s not the same defence in my opinion. The Rams pass protection has been elite so far this year, this will be by far their biggest test having to block Griffen, Hunter, Barr, Robison & Joseph. I think Sean McVay will scheme around their pass rush and put Goff in the best situation to win. This one is tough to call, but until I see someone stop Theilen the Vikes will keep rolling.
Prediction: Vikings by 3
Washington Redskins @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints are the team no-one wants to play at the moment, and the Redskins are coming off a game against the Vikings in which their defence got shredded. New Orleans is still one of the hardest places to play in the league, and this new found run game of the Saints is on pace to have one of the best rushing seasons of all time. The Saints made it look easy against the Bills who have a much tougher defence than the Redskins. Kirk Cousins has been impressive this year despite his favourite target being out for the most part, and hasn’t had a lot of help from anyone other than Chris Thompson or occasionally Josh Doctson. I think the Saints will use the same gameplan they used against the Bills and just wear the Redskins defence out, I’ve got the Saints winning this one comfortably.
Prediction – Saints by 14+
Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Giants
At this point the Giants are looking towards the draft, a new coach and what should be a new quarterback. The Chiefs have lost 3 of their last 4 and need this one. Andy Reid has a ridiculous winning % when his team is coming off their bye week, so this is more a question of by how much the Chiefs win. This is the game I finally expect Kareem Hunt to get back on track and put up a lot of yardage, and tight ends typically kill the Giants so Kelce should be in for a big game too. The Chiefs defence isn’t the same as it has been in recent years, so the Giants will have no excuse for not being able to move the ball. Surprisingly Manning has actually be OK this year, it just looks like the rest of the team has given up on their coach. I like the Chiefs in a blowout.
Prediction: Chiefs by 14+
Buffalo Bills @ LA Chargers
Philip Rivers could actually miss the first game of his career through injury as he’s currently in the concussion protocol, but it sounds like he should be good to go. The Chargers will be looking to jump on this chance to make up ground within their division, and the Bills seem to be giving them every opportunity. Buffalo are currently right in the mix in the AFC playoff race, and they decide to bench their quarterback because their defence got shredded? Dumb decisions like this are the reason they haven’t been to playoffs in forever. Regardless it will be entertaining to see their 5th round rookie quarterback try and survive against Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram for 60 minutes, and I think they’ll really regret this QB change on Monday.
Prediction: Chargers by 6
Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver Broncos
I don’t quite get the NFL always seem to have an absolute stinker of a game in the later slot every Sunday but here is the one for week 11. These are two of the most unwatchable teams in the league, the Bengals have one of the most talented group of offensive players, and the Broncos have one of the best defensive groups, are both are playing like garbage. I trust Dalton a lot more than Osweiler but until
recently Mile High has been a tough place to play, so I see both QBs really struggling. Only thing I can confidently about this game is that there won’t be much scoring at all.
Prediction: Broncos by 3
New England Patriots @ Oakland Raiders (Mexico City)
If I see a single punt in this game I will be bitterly disappointed. The Raiders have fair and away the worst defence in the NFL, and are still yet to record a single interception which I’m pretty sure if an NFL record this late in the season. Brady should be able to march up the field with no problems at all. Derek Carr should be able to move the ball against the Patriots defence, but they typically let you move the ball then hold you to field goals, which won’t cut it in this one. I’ve got the Patriots scoring at least 40, and the Raiders probably somewhere around the 25-30 mark. Either way, points and lot of them.
Prediction: Patriots by 10
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
If Zeke, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee, Peters, Hicks and Sproles were all healthy this would be the game of the week. The biggest loss for either team in this one will be Tyron Smith judging by what the Falcons did to Dak Prescott without him last week. If the Falcons were able to run up a sack tally, the Cowboys will need to go max protect against the Eagles or Dak will get killed. This will make coverage easier on the Eagles corners, and probably lead to more blitzing to counter the extra blockers. Defensively the Cowboys should be worried, after seeing what Tevin Coleman did to them in Atlanta, now having to stop Ajayi and Blount for 4 quarters? If the Eagles get ahead early in this game it could get really ugly, and I think they will.
Prediction: Eagles by 10+
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