It certainly has been an up and down season, but with another 2-1 week, the NFL picks season record stands at 18-11. The Ravens and Seahawks cruised to victories last week, while Adrian Peterson ran all day on the Lions. Calvin Johnson’s 200 plus yards weren’t enough, and now the Lions host the Packers in Week 11, as everyone said it was going to be a tough schedule for Detroit. I like a lot of games this week, so I’m upping the picks again and decreasing the jargon.
Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys
Dallas turned the Eagles upside down on the road last week with a statement fourth quarter, in what was essentially a must win game. The Cowboys have been incredibly inconsistent all season, but in reality, they have been competitive in 7 of 9 games, and really beaten everyone they should have. The schedule gets easier from here on for Dallas and they need a big win at home on Sunday. The Browns have been pesky all season and are coming off a bye, but their first road victory is not coming in Week 11.
Cowboys by at least a touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
The Bucs have been rolling along putting up huge offensive numbers, but they merely squeaked out a 16-10 win over their divisional foes in Week 1, and the Panthers are due. Tampa Bay is playing above their heads, and have won 4 of 5, whereas the Panthers have only won 2 games all season. However, Carolina has been in every game except the Thursday night game against the Giants back in September. The Panthers will play their divisional rival tough, and they stomped them in both games in 2011.
Panthers are overdue to win one – going with them straight up.
New York Jets at St. Louis Rams
St. Louis left it all on the field in Week 10 and shocked many who had they down and out against the 49′ers. This week they play a desperate Jets team who are a complete mess, but have shown time and time again this season that they are capable of competing. The Rams have been somewhat surprising this season, as their defense is relentless, but they also haven’t won in 4 games. The entire Jets organization needs this win more than the Rams do, and they’ll sneak it out.
The Jets will find a way to win by at least 4.
Late Games – NO @ OAK - IND @ NE - SD @ DEN
I like the favorites in all three of these games. Denver and New England are looking to build their momentum heading into the play-offs and New Orleans knows that they’re far from out of it. Denver is rolling with 4 straight wins, New England is coming off their bye week and New Orleans has won 4 of 5. If you were picking in August it’d be the Saints, Broncos and Patriots, and that is because it is tough to go against the trio of Brees, Brady and Manning. I’m not going to.
Patriots by 10, Broncos by 7, and Saints by 4.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger is out, which means Byron Leftwich will stand behind center for Pittsburgh, and that isn’t good. The Ravens have transformed themselves into an offensive powerhouse this season, and have scored less than 20 points only twice this season. Their defense is missing some play makers, but they boast enough talent to hinder the Steelers. The Ravens can take a 2 game lead in the division with a win, and I like their chances.
Ravens want to prove they’re still a contender and do so with a win by at least 4.