A week of surprises delivered my poorest weekly prediction record of the season at a very disappointing 8-6. Still, I’m always the optimist (that comes from being a Browns fan) so lets see if I can run the table this week.
Packers @ Seahawks (TNF)
Another mouth watering opening game to open the slate for the week. It seems strange to talk about these 2 franchises with the quarterbacks in play and talk about the running game, but that is exactly what I am going to do. The Packers lead the league with a 5.2 yards per carry average, whilst the Seahawks post the league leading total of 152.2 yards per game. The Seahawks have ran into the Chargers and the Rams in back to back weeks and face another marque match-up here but I’ll take them at home this week to stay alive in the wildcard hunt which would all but end the Packers aspirations of January. Prediction – Seahawks
Cowboys @ Falcons
Both franchises are 4-5 heading into this one and that means the loser is in real trouble. The Falcons got beat up by the Browns last week and need to bounce back in a hurry. The Cowboys on the other hand got a big divisional win against the Eagles and will look to build momentum. Nick Chubb had a huge day on the ground last week so Ezekiel Elliot will be hoping for a repeat dosage. Look for the aerial game to be the focus for Atlanta with Julio Jones looking for touchdowns in 3 straight games after ending his unbelievable drought a fortnight ago. A tough one to call with both teams inconsistency likely to hamper post season aspirations but I’ll take the birds at home. Prediction – Falcons
Bengals @ Ravens
The Bengals were a surprise package throughout the early stretch of the season but have really fell apart over the past few weeks with a 50 burger being dropped on them by the Saints last week. Marvin Lewis taking over the defence along with the re-introduction of Hue Jackson (presumably to the offence) has shaken up the coaching staff to try and stop the slide. Joe Flacco missed Wednesday practice so it could signal the start of the Lamar Jackson era in Baltimore. Since winning the Superbowl its fair to say that Flacco has never lived up to his mega contract so it could be a blessing in disguise for the Ravens. I’m picking the Ravens either way but the intrigue level of this game would increase considerably with the for heisman winner under center. Prediction – Ravens
Panthers @ Lions
A shocker of a loss for Carolina last week against the Steelers but a great bounce back opportunity awaits here in week 11. Could Matt Patricia be 1 and done in Detroit? I don’t see an awful lot of positives to cling to for the Lions coming out of this campaign and as Robert Whewell pointed out in his article earlier this week the Panthers are a team playing well, with a good QB and play makers on defence. I don’t see anything other than Carolina getting themselves back intot he win column. Prediction – Panthers
Titans @ Colts
An intriguing divisional game between 2 teams riding big wins from last weekend. Last weekends coupon busting Titans will look to carry the momentum of defeating New England on the road against a rejuvenated Colts side fresh of a win within the division. There could well be an opportunity for 1 of these teams to squeeze into the wildcard berth so the stakes are high in a strength vs strength match-up. The Titans defence has been consistent all year whilst the Colts multi dimension offence is certainly the strength of their squad. It is also this weeks sky sports early window game so hopefully one that many of you get to enjoy. Prediction – Colts
Bucs @ Giants
Congratulations to Fitzmagic and the Bucs on making history against the Redskins last weekend, however it will not be something they wish to remember. There 3 points are the lowest points total in NFL history when a team has put up over 500 yards of offence. Missed field goals and turnovers essentially lead to the Bucs beating themselves last weekend despite a decent defensive showing. As for the G men another win finally chalked up to halt a 5 game losing streak in another disappointing campaign. Both teams could well be on the look out for a new QB when the draft rolls around so the real winners in this one might end up behind on the scoreboard. Prediction – Bucs
Texans @ Redskins
A typical Washington performance last weekend sees them sitting with a nice divisional lead however, I can’t help but feel they have all the looks of being eliminated in the wildcard weekend. The Texans were on a bye last week but thanks to a 6 game win streak are still sitting in first place in the AFC South. Look for the Texans to be too explosive here and blow the game open early in what could be a statement win for Bill O’Brien’s squad. Prediction – Texans
Steelers @ Jaguars
The fall from grace continues from Jacksonville and surely any hopes of January have long gone. As for Pittsburgh it’s business as usual as the class of the AFC North. The Le’veon Bell saga has now officially closed for the year so thankfully James Conner appears good to go following his concussion. Doug Marrone doesn’t appear to be in too much trouble at the moment but surely he needs to find a few ins down the stretch? Antonio Brown against Jalen Ramsey is a mouth watering contest at an individual level to keep an eye on. I feel as though the Steelers will have too much in the bag here. Prediction – Steelers
Raiders @ Cardinals
Very small signs of green shoots for the Cardinals in a loss to the Chiefs last week, with David Johnson back as the focal point of the offence. I’m running out of negatives to type about the Raiders and another dismal showing last week doesn’t offer any hope of improvement this week, lock them in for the number 1 pick in the draft. Prediction – Cardinals
Broncos @ Chargers
The Chargers stretched their win streak to 7 games against Oakland last week and finally have a game held in Los Angeles to look forward to this weekend. An up and down Broncos team which appears to be as good or bad on a week to week basis based on how their defence performs has a tough assignment here against Melvin Gordon, Phillip Rivers and co. The Chargers are a realistic Superbowl contender and may even get their best defender back this week in Joey Bosa so surely win number 8 is on the way. Prediction – Chargers
Eagles @ Saints
Just when I think that the Eagles have figured things out they go and drop a divisional game against the Cowboys. As for the Saints they must surely be in the conversation of the best team in football right now. Drew Brees continues at an MVP level and the defence, despite still being the teams weakness, is improving enough to be classed as respectable. The Eagles are running out of games and are in must win mode but I’m afraid it will be as good as season over by the time this one is finished. Prediction – Saints
Vikings @ Bears
A huge match up for Sunday Night Football in the mega competitive NFC North which will have huge bearings on the division winners come the end of December. I said last week are the Bears for real and this will provide a huge test to their credentials. The Vikings are coming out of their bye week and Adam Thielen will look to get back on track after a quiet outing last time out. The Vikings appear to be finding a nice balance in the offence but the Bears are ranked in the top 5 of both offence and defence metrics so are a truly rounded squad. A match-up I am really looking forward to and one that could go either way but I’ll take the Vikings to pull out a big road win. Prediction – Vikings
Chiefs @ Rams (MNF)
After weeks and weeks we get a mega Monday Night Football match up to look forward to. Originally scheduled to take place in Mexico but now rescheduled back to LA, the battle of 9-1 teams with explosive offences will be a beauty. I will release an in depth preview of this game on Monday due to its stature but as this is my prediction post I’ll pick a winner now before trying to book Tuesday off work. Prediction – Chiefs
Good luck to all of you picking games in week 11.
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