As we enter Week 11, there is yet to be a game that has playoff-clinching scenarios set in place while COVID-19 still affects multiple teams throughout the league. The Seahawks returned to their winning ways by picking up a huge win against their divisional rival Arizona Cardinals at Lumen Field, originally named CenturyLink Field for years. Let’s see how Week 11 can play out:
Philadelphia Eagles @ Cleveland Browns (1pm): The Browns continue to rise while the Eagles are starting to fall. The Eagles dropped a hard loss to the Giants last week, snapping their 8-game win streak over their divisional rival, while the Browns managed to win a close game at home against a struggling Texans team. Nick Chubb’s return last week from IR jump-started the Browns’ run game that has looked dangerous with Chubb and Hunt in the backfield. Miles Sanders return to Philadelphia last week wasn’t enough to capture a huge win and Carson Wentz struggled and was unable to give his team a single 3rd-down conversion, their worst rate since 2004. Even with Myles Garrett out due to COVID-19, the Browns’ defense can make Wentz struggle more and Baker Mayfield can keep the ground game running and look to fire better in the air.
PREDICTION: Browns win 28-20
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (1pm): With Drew Brees out for at least three weeks, Taysom Hill will get the starting role for the Saints against their divisional rival Falcons. Taysom Hill has worked with numerous trick plays throughout his last few seasons with the team and may have to be a more serious QB on Sunday. The Falcons may have started to find an identity with back-to-back wins. Even so, the Saints defense is still in good shape, and with Kamara in the backfield and a healthy dose of receivers, they can lift Hill to a good performance and shine at home.
PREDICTION: Saints win 30-20
Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington Football Team (1pm): Washington nearly had a comeback last week in Alex Smith’s first start since 2018. However, Matt Prater kicked their comeback hopes away from 59 yards out. Despite that, Smith seems to have found his rhythm with the team that he had before his 2018 injury. They face a Bengals team that was brought down by the undefeated Steelers. Smith can see McLaurin and Thomas contribute to the passing game and Gibson and McKissic make contributions in the backfield. With Mixon absent again, Burrow may once again struggle if Washington’s defense continues to pressure their opponents in the second half.
PREDICTION: Washington wins 27-24
Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers (1pm): Injuries will leave both teams short-handed this week. For Detroit, no Kenny Golladay or Danny Amendola, and the Panthers are once again without Christian McCaffrey. It will be tricky to see which team has a better chance of winning. However, the Lions still have the ground game to work with while Teddy Bridgewater is still questionable to help Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel. With Bridgwater’s status up in the air and Stafford expected to play, having Marvin Jones lead the passing game may strengthen the Lions enough for an impressive victory to stay in the hunt for the playoffs.
PREDICTION: Lions win 26-19
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1pm): The Steelers hunt for perfection continues after stomping on their divisional rival Bengals. Big Ben is keeping the passing game hot while the ground game still has work to do. The defense with a three-headed monster in Fitzpatrick, Heyward, and Watt continues their streak of games with a sack. The Jaguars gave the Packers a scare in Lambeau last week, and the Jaguars have been known to upset the Steelers in the past, including 2017. However, this may not be an ideal chance for Jacksonville to pull off another upset as the Steelers will look to once again remain the last undefeated team in the league.
PREDICTION: Steelers win 34-14
Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens (1pm): The Ravens, despite their recent struggles, are ready for revenge against the Titans, who upset them in last year’s AFC Divisional Round, leaving Lamar Jackson winless in the playoffs still. Weather appeared to play a huge factor in the Ravens’ upset loss in New England. The Titans have started to go on a bit of a decline after they dropped a bad loss to the Colts last week, and will look to try and have Derrick Henry lead them like he did at M&T Bank Stadium back in January. However, with Lamar Jackson looking to rebound and keep the defense in line, the Ravens may finally see revenge and keep up with Baltimore in the AFC North.
PREDICTION: Ravens win 31-21
New England Patriots @ Houston Texans (1pm): A win from either team will put them back in the playoff race for the time being. Cam Newton is coming off a huge upset win at home over Baltimore thanks to the weather, while the Texans continue to have their only wins come against Jacksonville, one of the worst teams in the AFC. The Patriots have shown to rely heavily on the run game with Cam Newton and Damien Harris going for space. The Texans continue to miss DeAndre Hopkins every day with no receiver on Houston living up to what he did. If J.J. Watt can make his name known again, the defense can keep the ground game limited, thus limiting the Patriots at NRG Stadium.
PREDICTION: Texans win 24-21
Miami Dolphins @ Denver Broncos (4:05pm): The Dolphins take their 5-game winning streak into Mile High against Drew Lock and the Broncos. Tua and the defense continues to be the playmakers in Miami’s playoff hunt, while the Broncos look to work around the injuries. Drew Lock and Noah Fant are questionable to play, and even if they do play, the Dolphins, whose defense has been the best over the last few weeks in the league, can limit Lock and Gordon, while the Broncos’ defense, without Von Miller, may struggle to contain Tua and his left-handed passing game.
PREDICTION: Dolphins win 33-17
New York Jets @ Los Angeles Chargers (4:05pm): Both teams have had bad luck throughout most of the season, but one will break it for now. The Jets are still the only winless team in the NFL, while the Chargers have blown a lot of leads for quite some time. Sam Darnold is inactive again, and Joe Flacco takes the helm at QB once more. Justin Herbert has shown his potential to be a great QB, but is still working towards it. Jets have more injuries coming their way, leaving the Chargers’ offense with a lot of work they can get down and keep the Jets winless and more likely to draft Trevor Lawrence in 2021.
PREDICTION: Chargers win 27-17
Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts (4:25pm): One of the biggest games to watch this week with two veteran and eventual hall-of-fame QB’s facing off in Lucas Oil Stadium. They last played each other last season when Phillip Rivers was still in L.A. and upset the Packers. As both teams lead their division, both may be going beyond the regular-season. Rodgers continues to prove that Davante Adams is all he needs, but Allan Lazard is back from IR after his last game was at New Orleans. With more receivers for Rodgers to choose from, the Packers can go off in Indianapolis and keep the defense rolling over the Colts’ offense.
PREDICTION: Packers win 34-27
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings (4:25pm): Both teams can re-enter the playoff race with a win. Minnesota is starting to gel with a 3-game win streak, which featured their first win over Chicago since 2017 and a huge win over the Packers in Lambeau. They face a Dallas team who comes out of their bye and has Andy Dalton back after being absent for a while due to a concussion. Even with Dalton back, the Cowboys’ offense is still looking at a struggle against a decent Vikings’ defense despite their injury problem, and with the Cowboys looking weak defensively, Dalvin Cook being on the field is what may lift the Vikings over the Cowboys.
PREDICTION: Vikings win 28-17
Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders (SNF @ 8:20pm): Allegiant Stadium has its second prime-time game of the season, and it’s a huge AFC West battle that features two teams making a push for the playoffs. Chiefs exit the bye while the Raiders come in with a 3-game win streak, two of three against division opponents. Las Vegas’ undefeated division record is on the line against the defending Super Bowl champions. The Raiders put themselves on notice when the Raiders’ offense shocked Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. However, Kansas City has looked mighty as ever despite that loss, and may see revenge in the city that never sleeps.
PREDICTION: Chiefs win 38-31
Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (MNF @ 8:15pm): This is the first of the Rams’ two Super Bowl rematches of Super Bowl LIII as their first face Tom Brady in his new home at Tampa Bay before they host New England in a few weeks. Brady’s looking no worse than he has in the past years with his record at this point in the season as sharp as ever, as they are half a game behind New Orleans in the NFC South. With weapons coming back, they could overpower Aaron Donald with some weaknesses on the Rams’ offense as Andrew Whitworth was placed on IR. With each question on his decline that Brady throws away, he could see a huge game that can contribute to the Buccaneers’ chance to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
PREDICTION: Buccaneers win 31-28