Week 11 of the NFL season is here and if there is one thing that is clearly evident this week, it’s that the three prime time games could be epic tussles.
Before we get to this week’s slate of games, I enjoyed a fairly good week against the spread — going 6-8 — while sporting a 10-4 record when picking winners.
Let’s try to improve in both columns.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-3) Many NFL pundits say Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has jumped over Seahawks QB Russell Wilson for MVP consideration, although they are both well behind Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Seattle’s defence has major holes and Murray should be able to expose them, but Wilson will teach the younger Murray a few tricks of his own. Seahawks win in a shootout. Seattle 35-34
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens (-6) Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is having a down year, and so if Baltimore’s offence. The Titans, on the other hand, can’t seem to stop anyone on defence. Will Tennessee’s swiss cheese-like D cure what ails Baltimore? I think so. Baltimore 28-21
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers (OFF) This is one of those games that scares me because it’s anyone’s guess as to which team shows up. If Carolina QB Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t play because of injury, which will throw untested P.J. Walker to the Lions — literally — then I’ll take Matthew Stafford to pull out a win for the visitors. Detroit 24-23
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns (-3.5) The Bowns are coming off a 10-7 win over Houston while Philly fell to 3-5-1 last week after they fell to the Giants. Cleveland’s ground game should be able to control the clock and put some points on the board. Cleveland 27-24
New England Patriots at Houston Texans (+2) New England’s Sunday night victory over Baltimore has pushed the 4-5 Patriots back into the playoff hunt in the AFC and that should boost their confidence heading into Houston. The Texans are 2-7 and are already looking toward 2021. New England 27-17
Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+10) Pittsburgh look to improve their record to 9-0 when they visit the 1-8 Jags. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger must be licking his chops, and so too is the Pittsburgh defence. Pittsburgh 31-13
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-5) The Saints will be without star QB Drew Brees due to broken ribs. Enter the human turnover machine known as Jameis Winston, who faces a pretty weak Atlanta defense. The Falcons offense can put points on the board but the Saints D gets the job done. New Orleans 27-24
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team (-2) Joe Burrow has had a pretty good start to his NFL career, but his Bengals are 2-6-1 and are coming off a lopsided loss against Pittsburgh. Washington is even worse at 2-7, but somehow I think they are going to stop their two-game losing skid. Washington 20-17
New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers (-8.5) The good news is the Jets didn’t lose last week. The bad news is, they didn’t play because of their bye week, and are still winless. The Chargers have lost a bunch of games this season after rolling out to double-digit leads. This time they hang on. L.A. Chargers 33-23
Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos (+3) Miami is one of the hottest teams in the league, ripping off five straight wins, three of which were with rookie Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. Denver has lost two straight and three of their last four, and have struggled to find any consistency in their game. Miami 23-17
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) Can Aaron Rodgers solve Indy’s Super Bowl-calibre defence? Few quarterbacks have been able to get the better of the 6-3 Colts, who I think may fall victim to looking ahead to next week’s game against Tennessee that could very well decide the AFC South champion. Green Bay 27-24
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings (-7.5) Dallas and Minnesota are two sub-.500 squads that had visions of a much better go of it in 2020. Injuries have crippled the Cowboys. Inconsistency has been the Vikings’ Achilles heel. Vikes running back Dalvin Cook will be the difference-maker in this one. Minnesota 28-17
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders (+7) The Chiefs were shocked by the Raiders in Kansas City back in Week 5 and will certainly have revenge on their mind. Las Vegas QB Derek Carr is having a great season, as is tailback Josh Jacobs. Look for Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and MVP favourite Patrick Mahomes to stay one step ahead of the silver and black this time around. Kansas City 34-28
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) Week 11 wraps up with a good clash between the 6-3 Rams at 7-3 Tampa Bay. Tom Brady and the Bucs have scored more points than any other team this season while the Rams have allowed the second-fewest points this year. Good defence usually beats good offence, but I’ll give the edge to the home team. Tampa Bay 26-21
Overall straight up 96-53-1
Overall against the spread 61-83-3
Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.