What a crazy week! Peyton Manning will sit this week; Brock Osweiler will start in his place. Matt Hasselbeck will start for the injured Andrew Luck this week. Tony Romo will finally return from injury in an attempt to propel the Cowboys to a win. Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess is in line to make his first career start. Cincinnati travels to Arizona to face the Cardinals and former Cincinnati Bengals #1 draft pick Carson Palmer. Rex Ryan coaches against Bill Belichick this week, a matchup that is never dull. Oh, and Jay Cutler faces his former team, the Denver Broncos as well. If ever there was a week with great storylines, this is it. Who will emerge from week eleven uninjured? What teams will cement their status as playoff contenders? Who will win, and who will continue to fight for the #1 overall pick in 2016? Here are our picks. It's going to be a great week for football!
Indianapolis Colts @ Atlanta Falcons. This has the potential to be an interesting game. However, Andrew Luck's injury lets the wind out of what would normally be a great matchup. The Falcons are the better team right now, and the Colts are limping through the season in first place in their division. Atlanta takes care of business at home against a banged-up Colts team. Final score: Falcons 28, Colts 14.
St. Louis Rams @ Baltimore Ravens. Just when you think the Rams are looking solid, they go out and drop the ball against the Chicago Bears. The Ravens are competitive, but fans are left wondering how given the injuries ravishing this unit. This game could go either way, and I'm entirely unsure who to pick. I'm going to give the home team the edge in this one. Final score: Ravens 21, Rams 20.
Washington Redskins @ Carolina Panthers. The Redskins are improving, but the Panthers are dominant. With Devin Funchess added into the mix, I think the Panthers have what it takes to emerge victorious at home this week. Carolina wins. Final score: Panthers 24, Redskins 21.
Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears. It's Brock Osweiler time, Denver! The future is now as Osweiler gets a chance to start for Denver. Osweiler is essentially playing for a future job as Peyton's replacement. The Bears are trying to make a playoff push, as Cutler gets to host his former team. This game could go either way, as both teams are limping, and Denver looked lost last week. I'm going with Chicago. Final score: Bears 24, Broncos 20.
Oakland Raiders @ Detroit Lions. The Raiders look like a new team this year. The struggling Lions look a lot like the Lions of old. Detroit has major issues across the board, and needs to make drastic changes in the offseason. Oakland wins this one on the road. Final score: Raiders 28, Lions 21.
New York Jets @ Houston Texans. This is going to be a pretty good game to watch. Both of these teams are looking surprisingly good this season, and both are pushing for a playoff spot. Both teams have injured starting quarterbacks. Ryan Fitpatrick will play but is nursing an injury for the Jets. Bengal-killer TJ Yates will start for Houston, filling in for an injured Brian Hoyer. I think the Jets have a slight edge in this game, and will win. Final score: Jets 14, Texans 13.
Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins. Romo returns, and will try to help Dallas become competitive again. While it might not be in time to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs, Romo should do well enough to lead Dallas to a win in Miami this week. Final score: Cowboys 35, Dolphins 24.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles. Sam Bradford has been bitten by the yearly injury bug; Mark Sanchez gets the start for Philly. That being said, Sanchez should still do well enough to lead the Eagles to a win over the Bucs. Eagles win. Final score: Eagles 24, Buccaneers 14.
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers. Sooner or later, Philip Rivers has to break through and win some games. He's playing too well not to, even with his team falling apart around him with injuries. The Chiefs are also struggling with injuries, and after beating the Broncos, will still fall to the Chargers in San Diego. Final score: Chargers 21, Chiefs 20.
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings. I nearly picked the Vikings in this game; they're looking really good right now and the Packers have struggled the past few weeks. However, the Packers are the more experienced team, and know how to rebound in time to win big games. This is a big game for Green Bay. Packers come through. Final score: Packers 35, Vikings 27.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch is struggling with injuries again. So is the entire San Francisco backfield. Even with Blaine Gabbert bringing some life to the 49ers, it won't be enough to defeat Seattle at home. Seahawks win. Final score: Seahawks 24, 49ers 10.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Arizona Cardinals. This is a really tough game to pick. If bad Cincy shows up for this game and the Bengals struggle like they did last week, this will be a bad game for the Bengals. In a game they should have won against Houston, the team failed to produce on national television, losing in sloppy fashion and bringing to mind prime time games of seasons past. That being said, the Bengals also defeated the Browns in strong fashion on Thursday night this season. The Cardinals are playing solid football this year, and this game could theoretically foreshadow this year's Superbowl; a Bengals-Cardinals Superbowl isn't out of the realm of possibility....IF Cincinnati can win big games. The biggest storyline this week is Carson Palmer squaring off against his former team. The last time Palmer faced Cincinnati, it was as a Raider. Cincinnati won. Will that happen again, or will Palmer get a win against his former team? This time, Palmer comes with a much better supporting cast. I picked the Cardinals to win initially, but everyone is, and I feel like this game is a toss-up. So at 3:07 PM East Coast Time, going with my gut impulse, I'm going to pick Cincinnati to pull this one off.. Final score: Bengals 31, Cardinals 30.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots. UPSET SPECIAL. Bills knock off Patriots in New England. Yes, the Patriots have gone undefeated in the regular season once. It is unlikely that they will repeat that this year (or ever). The Bills are a divisional rival that are coming off of a big victory against the Jets. Even casual fans know that Rex Ryan hates Bill Belichick. Ryan will prepare this team to compete. Bills win, barely, and shock the nation. Final score: Bills 21, Patriots 20.
--Mike B. (86-60)
Raiders @ Lions: This matchup could be a good one if the Lions defense shows up again. last week we saw the upset of the year when Detroit came into Lambeau and beat the Packers. While the Raiders on the otherhand are needing to make a push and they could roll off the rest of the season with wins could win a playoff spot, possibly a division lead. I know the Lions see Caldwells job hanging by a thread and are going to try and play spoiler. The difference this week is the Raiders have a true number one in Cooper that the Packers dont have with Nelson out. He will be too much for Detroits aging secondary. Raiders win 30 - 24 over the Lions.
Colts @ Falcons: Mike said it earlier Hasselback is in, just in time to help Jacksonville and Houston have hope at the division. The colts flat out stink this year and Luck has done them no favors. The Falcons before their bye week seemed to becoming unraveled. I personally hope Dan Quinn fixed this and the Falcons return to form. Freeman should be able to run all over the Colts terrible defense and Julio should out preform Vontae but it will be a good matchup between the two. I dont think the Colts can keep up with the Freeman rush and Falcons win 34 - 17 over the Colts.
Jets @ Texans: The Texans are hunting for first in the worst division in football and are lucky to get the Jets in Houston. Revis has been a shut down guy this year but against a young, strong, fast, and healthy DeAndre Hopkins i dont see that being the case this week. I think TJ Yates will get the job done because he is a very underrated and under appreciated QB in the NFL. Yates will beat Fitzpatrick at managing the game this week. Texans win 21 - 17 over the Jets.
Buccaneers @ Eagles: This game doesn't really get me excited at all except that Sanchez is getting the start and I think he will outshine Sam Bradford and put questions in the Eagles camp moving forward. Winston will continue to improve and learn at the same time as he faces an interesting coach that should take him back to his college days in Chip Kelly. This could be a good game but i think the Eagles see that division spot lingering in front of them. Eagles win 34 - 23 over the Buccaneers.
Broncos @ Bears: Oh man Jay Cutler and John Fox together against their former team and they get it at Soldier Field. The Broncos haven't found a bit of offense all season long and have been riding that defense but the way Cutler and company lit it up last week they might need to find that spark on offense. Luckily for Denver fans, YES i said LUCKILY, Peyton won't be playing this week and the young Osweiller can come in and show that he is ready for a chance. I think he will spark this Broncos team to life on offense and give them a new hope for the future. Broncos win 27 - 20 over the Bears.
Rams @ Ravens: I remember when the Ravens never lost at M&T Bank, those days have clearly come and gone. I have heard nothing but "we should have won last week" or "the refs cost us that game" from Ravens fans. Look you were at home against THE JAGUARS, IN BALTIMORE, that game shouldn't have come down to the final drive, your 120 MILLION DOLLAR QB should be able to beat a 2nd year QB who has a 24th ranked O-line protecting him and a rookie RB still trying to learn the NFL system. I am sorry but the final drive should not have mattered last week. The Rams on the other hand got absolutely demolished last week by the Bears, which is sad because I think the Rams can play spoiler in the NFC West for the Seahawks if they get going again. The 2nd best coach in the NFL Jeff Fisher has decided to bench Nick Foles and give Case Keenum a shot which i personally believe is a great move. I wish it was Sean Mannion but hey I will take Case. The Rams have the best RB in the NFL this year with Todd Gurley and should be able to use that enough to wear the Ravens defense out and pick up the win. Rams win 29 - 22 over the Ravens (5 Justin Tucker Field goals).
Cowboys @ Dolphins: Well the Cowboys went 0-7 without Tony Romo which to me when they finish the season 9-7 proves he should be MVP because obviously nobody means more to their team than Tony does to the Cowboys. The Dolphins are the unfortunate first team under his move to the front of the NFC east. Cowboys win with Romo back 37 - 18 over the Dolphins.
Redskins @ Panthers: I want to say that the Redskins have impressed me this year especially with Cousins at the helm. That being said no team has been more impressive than Carolina this season. With Funchess finally making his NFL debut this team is going to become even more explosive and dangerous. I truly think they go 14-2 this season. Panthers win 31 - 20 over the Skins.
Chiefs @ Chargers: This game is going to be an ugly division rivalry plain and simple. The Chargers are looking to stop the Chiefs from even hoping for a wildcard spot and the Chiefs defense just humiliated Peyton Manning. This game should be fun to watch as i think off the Bye week Rivers should come out exploding on offense. Upset alert. Chargers win 30 - 28 over the Chiefs.
Packers @ Vikings: OK WAKE UP GREEN BAY THE BYE WEEK IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!! YOU JUST LOST TO THE LIONS IN LAMBEAU FIELD!!!!!!!!!!! Now you have to go on the road to face Minnesota who is now thanks to your 0-3 run since the bye week, leading the division. This game is a must win for the Packers in my opinion if they want a shot at the division. The Vikings are riding that good defense and balanced offense that just keeps getting the job done in clutch moments. I really don't know if the Packers win this i honestly think Lacy is a joke and Montgomery was a spark in this offense they won't have again this week. Vikings win 37 - 34 in OT thanks to Blair Walsh over the Packers.
49ers @ Seahawks: Blaine is back baby, unfortunately he will be facing a team in win or go home mode. The Seahawks know that if they want a shot at a wildcard berth they must win out to honestly guarantee themselves a spot. Peter Carroll will make sure that happens. Seahawks win big 41 - 20 over the 49ers.
Bengals @ Cardinals: UH OH Prime Time Marvin Lewis might be back. The Bengals looked atrocious last week at home against the Texans. How do you lose to the Texans in Cincy 10-6 against Hoyer and Yates at QB with no Arian Foster? I just, i will never understand that. They better hope to bounce back because these Cardinals are no joke. Their defense is a bit weak in spots but that offense is lethal especially with CJ2K back in form. I think this game on the road is too much for Cincy. Carson beats his old team. Cardinals win 34 - 26 over the Bengals.
Bills @ Patriots: REX RYAN PLEASE SAVE THE NFL from a 16-0 Patriots team. You have Tyrod you have Sammy this week go get them. Blow up this defense don't worry about run first for once, pass the ball as a priority and you will beat this Patriots team. Their secondary has holes that nobody is exposing and Edelaman will not be playing so you can safely double up on Gronk and use Gilmore to do so. Patriots are the best team in the NFL but a division rival might be just what it takes to end their undefeated run. UPSET ALERT NUMBER 2. BILLS WIN 35 - 30 over the Patriots. Tyrod puts up 300 plus yards and 3 TDs in the air one on the ground.
- Matt K. (89-58)
Colts @ Falcons - Falcons win.
Broncos @ Bears - Broncos win.
Raiders @ Lions - Raiders win.
Cowboys @ Dolphins - Cowboys win.
Buccaneers @ Eagles - Eagles win.
Redskins @ Panthers - Panthers win.
Rams @ Ravens - Rams win.
Jets @ Texans - Jets win.
Chiefs @ Chargers - Chiefs win.
Packers @ Vikings - Packers win.
49ers @ Seahawks - Seahawks win.
Bengals @ Cardinals - Cardinals win.
Bills @ Patriots - Patriots win.
-Tyler B. (88-59)
Indianapolis Colts @ Atlanta Falcons. Indianapolis 27 Atlanta 24
Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears. Chicago 13 Denver 10
Oakland Raiders @ Detroit Lions. Oakland 24 Detroit 14
Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins. Miami 28 Dallas 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia 28 Tampa Bay 20
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins. Carolina 35 Washington 24
St Louis Rams @ Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore 24 St. Louis 17
New York Jets @ Houston Texans. New York Jets 28 Houston 20
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers. Kansas City 24 San Diego 20
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota 28 Green Bay 25
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco 21 Seattle 20
Cincinnati Bengals @ Arizona Cardinals. Arizona 38 Cincinnati 27
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots. New England 24 Buffalo 21