11 November 2014

2014 NFL Predictions: Week 11

(USATSI)
We have got ourselves a pretty darn fine week of NFL action coming up, highlighted by some barn-burners in Glendale, Green Bay and Indianapolis, among others. Who will win said games, as well as all the others in Week 11? Here are my predictions.

Last Week: 9-4
2014: 87-67
Locks: 7-3

Thursday, November 6th
Buffalo Bills (5-4) vs. Miami Dolphins (5-4) - NFL Network, 8:25
Buffalo and Miami both had opportunities to be coming into this Thursday contest with wins but some questionable clock management and playcalling (Buffalo) and a heartbreaking last second loss on the road (Miami). While Kyle Orton has rejuvenated this Bills team, I do think the Dolphins are the superior club here with their strong defense and a quarterback in Ryan Tannehill that has been playing well.
Dolphins 23 Bills 14

Sunday, November 9th
Atlanta Falcons (3-6) vs. Carolina Panthers (3-6-1) - Fox, 1:00
Both of these teams have looked awful at times this season and even then, they are within a game of first place in the comical NFC South. If you are getting this game, this may be a good weekend to instead do some yard work. After their disastrous performance on Monday night, it is tough to pick the Panthers in any week but with how much of a mess the Falcons have been on the road (does anybody count winning in Tampa), I like Carolina.
Panthers 14 Falcons 12

Minnesota Vikings (4-5) vs. Chicago Bears (3-6) - CBS, 1:00
It has gone from bad to worse for the Bears. In their three-game losing streak, they have been outscored by a whopping 133-51 cume score. They have also failed to win at home this season, so they should not have any comfort in returning home. They will host the Vikings, who won two in a row before hitting the bye week, albeit with with said wins coming against Tampa Bay and Washington. Who will win this contest? I have no faith whatsoever in Chicago, so I'll go with Minnesota.
Vikings 20 Bears 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) vs. Washington (3-6) - Fox, 1:00
Didn't I say that there were some good games this week? Another barn burner, and not of the good variety, will be this one in Landover. The Buccaneers are a joke but at least they have been relatively competitive these past few weeks. They should be competitive again against a bad Washington club but this trainwreck of a defense may just get scorched by this offense led by Robert Griffin.
Washington 27 Buccaneers 17

Houston Texans (4-5) vs. Cleveland Browns (6-3) - CBS, 1:00
Ryan Mallett will replace the immortal Ryan Fitzpatrick under center for the Texans and while he has a strong arm, he also has no experience. He will also get to take on a Cleveland defense that forced Andy Dalton to play like a fiasco (or maybe Dalton did it to them). The Browns have been a major surprise this year but Houston really isn't all that good in their own right.
Browns 20 Texans 10

San Francisco 49ers (5-4) vs. New York Giants (3-6) - Fox, 1:00
The Niners won a thriller in the Big Easy in overtime, thanks in part to an enormous fourth-down conversion by Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree late in the fourth quarter. It was a big win for a team that may have saved their season. Now they get to play an early game in the Meadowlands, albeit against a mediocre Giants club. Expect a win for Frisco, just closer than the experts think.
49ers 28 Giants 21

Denver Broncos (7-2) vs. St. Louis Rams (3-6) - CBS, 1:00
Following a stunning victory against the 49ers, the Rams were unable to hold off a resilient Cardinals team that scored three unanswered touchdowns even after losing Carson Palmer. They will return to the friendly confines of the Ed Dome but does anybody think they can hold off the Broncos? Once again, they will be my Lock of the Week.
Broncos 31 Rams 10

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) - Fox, 1:00
The Chiefs have been playing some pretty darn good football of late, winning four games in a row. They will host a Seattle team that has won three in a row, and finally looked impressive in blowing out the Giants at home? Can they play the same way away from Qwest Field? That is a question I still think is to be determined and one of the reasons why I think the Chiefs can pull off what may be considered an upset.
Chiefs 19 Seahawks 16

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3-1) vs. New Orleans Saints (4-5) - CBS, 1:00
Andy Dalton only put together one of the worst quarterback performances over a full game of all time on Thursday night amid a demoralizing loss to the Browns. I don't expect him to perform nearly as poorly this week, but I also don't think he can lead the Bengals into the Crescent City and defeat the Saints.
Saints 30 Bengals 24

Oakland Raiders (0-9) vs. San Diego Chargers (5-4) - CBS, 4:05
The Chargers desperately needed the bye week last week considering they had dropped three in a row. The last time they were on the field, they were getting crushed in Miami Gardens by the Dolphins. It has been a month since they last won, but that did come against the Raiders, but they also struggled to win that one. They should defeat the woeful Raiders but it will not be easy.
Chargers 24 Raiders 20

Philadelphia Eagles (7-2) vs. Green Bay Packers (6-3) - Fox, 4:25
In one of the worst weeks ever for primetime action, the Eagles and the Packers each demolished their competition; Green Bay crushed Chicago by a 55-14 final while Philadelphia smoked Carolina by a 45-21 final. One may just make the case that this could be an NFC Championship preview. I do give Chip Kelly a ton of credit for tailoring his system to help Mark Sanchez play well but can you really take Sanchez in a showdown with Aaron Rodgers?
Packers 41 Eagles 35

Detroit Lions (7-2) vs. Arizona Cardinals (8-1) - Fox, 4:25
The Cardinals rallied hard against the Rams late, even after losing Carson Palmer. Now that Palmer is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, the Cardinals will have to rely on Drew Stanton. The team has confidence in him and he has been solid this year but can he lead the way against a stout defensive corps like Detroit's? I am still not sold, at least not yet. And now with a healthy Calvin Johnson, the Lions' offense is more potent.
Lions 30 Cardinals 23

New England Patriots (7-2) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-3) - NBC, 8:30
Everybody loves to hype and hype the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning showdowns, the Brady-Andrew Luck showdowns are pretty damn good in their own right. Everybody is on the Patriot gravy train right now as they have won five games in a row, the Colts are looking like a strong AFC contender as they have won six of seven. Could the Colts be taken advantage by Brady considering their mediocre pass defense, I think Luck will bag himself a skin in a win.
Colts 35 Patriots 31

Monday, November 10th
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) vs. Tennessee Titans (2-7) - ESPN, 8:30
The Steelers may have the two most incomprehensible losses of the season in falling to the Buccaneers at home and the Jets this past week. Ben Roethlisberger was awful and the Steelers as a while struggling to take care of the football. They will head to take on Nashville and while they should beat a relatively listless Tennessee squad, can we really count on anything from this team?
Steelers 21 Titans 16

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