Three NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for Week 11.
These three writers will continue to make their picks for the entire season, earning two points for any correct win-loss outcome and an additional three points for correctly predicting the exact score. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A cumulative points total and record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 17 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Mike Fanelli: Seahawks 34, Cardinals 31
When these two teams met a few weeks ago, it took almost all of overtime to determine a winner. Since the Cardinals gave the Seahawks their first loss of the season, the Seahawks have lost two of three games. The winner of this game will have the inside track to winning the division, and despite his recent play, betting against Russell Wilson is a foolish thing to do.
Joe Heller: Cardinals 34, Seahawks 27
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals have the hot hand as of late. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have struggled, especially defensively. The Cardinals win this one easily.
Andersen Pickard: Seahawks 37, Cardinals 34
The Seahawks even up their season series with the Cardinals to regain first place in the NFC West. Chris Carson‘s return will prove monumental for the Seahawks, allowing them to build a respectable offensive attack instead of relying on Russell Wilson’s arm 100 percent of the time. It will come down to the wire, but Arizona should win.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Football Team
Mike: Bengals 31, Washington 27
Both of these teams have two wins this season, but one has their franchise quarterback and the other has started three this season. Washington is coming off a last-minute defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions, while the Bengals got destroyed by the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Expect plenty of points scored in this game, with Joe Burrow getting his third career victory.
Joe: Washington 27, Bengals 21
Alex Smith will get his first win in more than two years while Joe Burrow faces duress all game from the Washington defense.
Andersen: Bengals 24, Washington 21
Alex Smith will fall just shy yet again in Sunday’s matchup between the first two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Chase Young will re-acquaint himself with Joe Burrow, but the latter will get the last laugh as Cincinnati improves to 3-6-1.
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Mike: Saints 30, Falcons 27
If Drew Brees was playing, the Saints should win by double-digits. However, Jameis Winston will make his first career start as a Saint against an awful Falcons defense. Thankfully, he has plenty of weapons around him in Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and others. Saints get the win, but it’s closer than they would like.
Joe: Saints 31, Falcons 27
Jameis Winston will get his first start for the Saints. Similar to Teddy Bridgewater last season, Winston will have success with the weapons at his disposal. The Falcons will keep it close on the scoreboard but come up just short.
Andersen: Saints 27, Falcons 24
The outcome of this game depends on which version of Jameis Winston we see. If Winston goes out and throws on every play, he’ll toss a handful of interceptions and lose. However, Sean Payton will likely keep him under a tighter plan than Bruce Arians did in Tampa Bay, leading the Saints to a narrow victory over a weak Falcons defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike: Steelers 41, Jaguars 16
Whether Gardner Minshew plays or not, this game will be over before the start of the fourth quarter. The Jaguars haven’t won since Week 1, while the Steelers haven’t lost since last season. It is more likely that Ben Roethlisberger gets pulled than the Jaguars win.
Joe: Steelers 31, Jaguars 24
The Steelers will remain undefeated for yet another week. The Jaguars gave Green Bay all they could handle last week and still came up short. The Steelers’ defense is leaps and bounds better than the Packers’.
Andersen: Steelers 34, Jaguars 23
The Steelers will march into Jacksonville and improve to 10-0, shutting down a Jaguars team that hasn’t won since Week 1. Jake Luton will have promising plays from time to time, but there’s no way the Jaguars’ young and inexperienced team can shut down this explosive Steelers squad.
New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans
Mike: Patriots 24, Texans 20
No team in the league has been as big of a disappointment as the Texans this season. Their two wins are against the Jaguars, and that’s not likely to change this weekend. At this point, which happens first: Deshaun Watson demands a trade, or the Texans get a win outside of the division?
Joe: Patriots 27, Texans 20
The Patriots got back in the win column last week with a defeat of the Ravens. The Texans will come up short at home against New England. Bill Belichick will stick with a similar game plan as last week as his team faces another mobile quarterback in Deshaun Watson.
Andersen: Patriots 21, Texans 14
This isn’t going to be an offensive blowout or defensive shutdown. Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Titans will be a solid game between two playoff-hopeful teams led by a pair of coaches with immense NFL experience. As much as these teams have underperformed this year, it’s hard to imagine this game not being must-watch TV. Look for the Patriots to emerge as victors.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns
Mike: Browns 27, Eagles 20
How anyone can back the Eagles after their lackluster performance against the New York Giants last week is mind-blogging. The NFC East will come down to which team can screw up the least and get to six wins first. Meanwhile, the Browns’ three losses have come to the Ravens, Steelers, and Raiders on a super windy day. The Browns win by a touchdown or more.
Joe: Browns 24, Eagles 20
Andersen: Browns 27, Eagles 17
The Browns’ passing game has been quiet as of late, but the running back unit bailed them out last week with 256 total scrimmage yards. Look for the Browns to enter this game with a balanced approach but switch to a run-heavy attack in the second half. Cleveland should succeed and pull ahead by two scores in the final quarter.
Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers
Mike: Lions 28, Panthers 24
The Lions have won three of their last five games and are in the hunt for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Panthers are on an NFC-worst five-game losing streak and might not have Teddy Bridgewater or Christian McCaffrey for this game. Expect the Lions to get the win regardless of who plays quarterback for the Panthers.
Joe: Lions 34, Panthers 24
Matthew Stafford and the Lions staved off a 21-point comeback against Alex Smith and Washington last week. With question marks surrounding both Teddy Bridgewater and Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers may see this one get out of hand early.
Andersen: Panthers 27, Lions 24
The Panthers have been struggling lately but should bounce back this week against a Lions team that nearly choked away a victory to Washington last week. Christian McCaffrey isn’t expected to play, but nevertheless, if Teddy Bridgewater is active, Carolina should win narrowly.
Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens
Mike: Titans 26, Ravens 23
A few weeks ago, these two teams looked like Super Bowl contenders. Now, they both look like second-class citizens in their division. The Ravens are three games back of the Steelers for the AFC North division title, and that won’t change if they win this season. However, the Titans can take over first place in the AFC South with a win and Indianapolis Colts loss.
Joe: Titans 27, Ravens 17
The Ravens had trouble with the Patriots’ running game on Sunday night. For their follow-up, they get Derrick Henry, who will eclipse the century mark. With the hopeful return of cornerback Adoree Jackson, the defense will slow Lamar Jackson enough to where they will take his legs out of the game plan, much like they did in last season’s playoff upset. Titans coach Mike Vrabel is also 5-0 after a bye or off of a Thursday night game, which translated into beneficial added preparation time.
Andersen: Ravens 28, Titans 25
In this rematch of last season’s AFC playoff upset, the Titans and Ravens go toe-to-toe in a game that, once again, has a major impact on the playoff picture. The Ravens were quieted by the Patriots last week but should bounce back against the Titans. They need to accept their fate with Derrick Henry and instead focusing on shutting down the passing game. If they can do this, they should win narrowly.
New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Mike: Chargers 34, Jets 27
This game is one of the Jets’ two chances to get a win this season. If they don’t win against the Chargers, they will likely be touchdown (or more) underdogs in every game until Week 17 against New England. Meanwhile, Justin Herbert is still looking for his second win as a pro and will get it on Sunday.
Joe: Chargers 31, Jets 17
Joe Flacco is once again getting the nod at quarterback for the Jets. He will struggle to keep up with the Chargers’ offense and how they effectively put up points.
Andersen: Chargers 27, Jets 17
Justin Herbert is still searching for his second career win but should get it on Sunday against the Jets. With Joe Flacco under center, Gang Green will rely on Breshad Perriman and La’Mical Perine offensively while accepting the fact that Los Angeles’ offense will rip apart their defense. This should finish as a two-score game; no more, no less.
Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos
Mike: Dolphins 27, Broncos 17
Before the season started, no one thought that the Dolphins would be 6-3 the week before Thanksgiving. However, Tua Tagovailoa is 3-0 as the starter, including with a win over the Cardinals, and has played great the last two weeks. Drew Lock is dealing with a rib injury, and it’s unclear if he will play or not. Either way, the Dolphins win by a touchdown or more.
Joe: Dolphins 34, Broncos 17
The Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa will get another victory in their quest for stealing the AFC East title. With Drew Lock likely sidelined, the Broncos will struggle to put up points against Miami’s defense.
Andersen: Dolphins 31, Broncos 20
Drew Lock is a different beast when playing from behind, but even if he is active, his late-game efforts won’t be enough against the hottest team in football. Miami’s playoff pursuit runs through Denver, where Tua Tagovailoa will improve to 4-0.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
Mike: Vikings 31, Cowboys 23
After finally winning a game on Monday night, Kirk Cousins and the Vikings are riding a three-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton should start at quarterback for the Cowboys now that he is off the COVID-19 list. Unless the Cowboys can protect Dalton better than they did earlier this season, the Vikings will have no trouble winning this game.
Joe: Vikings 31, Cowboys 17
Dalvin Cook will get back to another one of his 200-yard performances. The Cowboys’ defense will be chasing the Vikings’ running back all game.
Andersen: Vikings 28, Cowboys 20
Andy Dalton will impress in his first game back, but it won’t be enough to counter what the Vikings throw at Dallas’ defense on Sunday. Look for Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson to both have big games as Minnesota jumps to .500.
Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Mike: Packers 38, Colts 27
While both of these teams have won six or more games this season, they haven’t pulled off a major upset. If the Packers can win this game, it will all but lock up the NFC North division for them. As well as Philip Rivers played last week, Aaron Rodgers has an MVP-like performance on Sunday.
Joe: Packers 27, Colts 24
For the second straight week, Aaron Rodgers will lead his team to a late-game touchdown to beat Indianapolis, avoiding an upset.
Andersen: Packers 27, Colts 23
This game could come down to the wire, especially if Davante Adams doesn’t play. Nevertheless, Allen Lazard is back and Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers. As good as the Colts’ defense has performed this year, this game belongs to Green Bay.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Mike: Chiefs 48, Raiders 34
The lone loss the Chiefs have this season came in Week 5 against the Raiders in Kansas City. Since then, the Chiefs are averaging just under 35 points per game. While the Raiders have found success running the ball and limiting the number of times Derek Carr has to throw, their defense won’t stop the Chiefs from scoring 35 or more. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Patrick Mahomes has a record-setting first half and the Chiefs score 35 before halftime. Chiefs get a statement win on Sunday night.
Joe: Chiefs 34, Raiders 30
The Chiefs have been waiting for this game since Las Vegas upset them a few weeks ago. An angry Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid make Kansas City even more potent than usual. Jon Gruden’s team will have a chance but fall just short of the season sweep.
Andersen: Chiefs 38, Raiders 31
Jon Gruden and the Raiders will make it close, but the Chiefs should even up their season series with Las Vegas at 1-1 on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes is due for an explosive performance against a week Raiders secondary. Whoever scores more points in the first half should win this game.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike: Buccaneers 34, Rams 27
Both teams currently sit just out of first place in their respective divisions. While both are likely to end up with a Wild Card spot, the winner of this game could determine who gets the fifth seed. That is important, as the fifth seed gets an easy first-round matchup against the NFC East division “winner.” Tom Brady has his best moments in big games, and on Monday night, expect him and the Buccaneers to get the critical victory.
Joe: Buccaneers 27, Rams 17
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will rely on quick throws to their playmakers, causing the Rams’ defense to be less effective. Expect a big game from Rob Gronkowski in this game.
Andersen: Buccaneers 31, Rams 27
The Buccaneers are a very strong team all-around and should be able to win on Monday night. The Rams have a legitimate shot at winning, but they’re still underdogs and will need a lousy game from Brady to pick up the win. The Bucs are the safer pick here.
Joe: 92-55 6-8
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