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Week 11 NFL Picks

We've got some more Pittsburgh Steelers/Kansas City Chiefs content coming before their Sunday matchup at Arrowhead Field, but on to my weekly picks. Been doing so well I figured I'd continue on. 

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs
  • This would be a signature win for the new Todd Haley regime, but I don't see it happening. In fact, I like the Steelers to come out angry and play a ferocious and clean game on both sides of the ball. Here's to hoping special teams holds up their end of the bargain. I like Pittsburgh to win big


Cleveland Browns (1-8) @ Detroit Lions (1-8)

  • I actually like the Browns to get a rare victory this coming weekend. Terrible football game, but in my opinion, a pretty good value bet on the money line. I'll take Cleveland.
  • The Bills will be playing without recently fired head coach Dick Jauron. Will they rally around their new interim leader,  Perry Fewell? Because Fewell is playing with the interim tag, I imagine that he might take a few more chances in an attempt to secure the job long term. Problem is, the quarterback play in Buffalo just isn't good enough to get much done in this league. I like Jacksonville to continue positioning themselves for a potential Wild Card berth. I'll take Jacksonville to win but not cover the 9.5 points.
  • I find this line pretty interesting. The Ravens are favored by 1.5 points against the Colts. Why? I'm not sure. We'll learn a lot about the Ravens this next two weeks. I didn't think they were a playoff team before the start of the year, and I've seen nothing to date that makes me inclined to change my mind. That could all change though with a W over the Colts and or the Steelers. I think they'll be back at .500 though when they host Pittsburgh next Sunday night. I'll take the Colts


  • Given the way the NFC is shaking out...i.e. becoming one giant log jam...I don't think you can call this game a 'must win' for either team. But it's sure an important game, particularly for Atlanta. Why more so than the Giants? Well, the Falcons are out of contention for the NFC South meaning they're playing for a Wild Card berth at best. The Giants meanwhile remain very much in the NFC East race thanks to Philadelphia stumbling the past two weeks and the Cowboys falling flat on their faces at Lambeau Field last Sunday. I wasn't very high on Matt Ryan when he came out of Boston College. He sure proved me wrong last year as a rookie. But he's had a sophomore slump and has now thrown more interceptions this year (12) than he did all of last season (11). He'll have to raise his game beginning this week if the Falcons hope to stay above water. Star running back Michael Turner is questionable at best for Sunday with an ankle injury. I like the Giants to snap their 4 game skid and get back in the playoff picture in the NFC.
  • The Packers defense had quite an impressive performance last Sunday holding Tony Romo and the sometimes dangerous Cowboys offense to just a meaningless touchdown late in the game. How in God's name is the 49ers offense going to muster anything against them on the road? If Aaron Rodgers can get rid of the ball for once and avoid a costly turnover against the 49ers aggressive defense, I like the Packers to win, cover the 7 points, and stay right in the hunt for a Wild Card berth in the NFC. 
  • I think the 11 point line is far too high for this one. Something tells me Seattle keeps it close. They're not an awful 3-6 team and I think they might force Brett Favre in to a rare turnover for him this year. In fact, as I think about this one a little bit more, I'll go ahead and take Seattle here in a stunner. 
  • If this one were at FedEx rather than at Jerry World, I might feel real good about calling an upset 'lock'. I'm still tempted to take Washington here - they've won 5 of the past 8 against Dallas and just always seem to play them extremely tough. I suppose I'll take Dallas to win but there's no way I thin they cover that 11 points. 
  • Let the high lines this week continue. The Saints are favored by 11 on the road against one of their divisional rivals from recent years.  Drew Brees has never played very well in Tampa Bay for starters, and Josh Freeman and the Bucs continue to play an entertaining and competitive brand of football. Problem for bettors that think that line is too high considering how New Orleans has struggled recently - that's exactly it - New Orleans will be sufficiently interested in putting a complete game together for the first time since they waxed the Giants over a month ago. I like New Orleans by two scores. 
  • Sheesh, tough week to pick games. On the one hand you look at this game and say, 'St. Louis is awful. Cards big.' On the other, you have to be impressed with how hard Steve Spagnola's guys are playing for him even as the losses pile up. The Cardinals are less schizophrenic than they have been in the past, but they've played awfully well the past two weeks. Is it time for a letdown game on the road against the hard running Steven Jackson? Part of me says yes, but I just don't know if the Rams have enough talent on defense to keep the Cardinals in check. I'll reluctantly take Arizona to win, but not cover. 
  • I know it's a rivalry game and the Jets season is hanging in the balance, but the Patriots are likely to come out firing following the debacle last Sunday night against Indy. I'll take New England in a route. 
  • Oakland is the trendy pick of the week around the country. Why? Who freakin' knows. Somebody needs to remind folks who think there's going to be an upset this week that Bruce Gradkowski is starting at quarterback for Oakland.  He may be an upgrade over JaMarcus Russell, but that's not saying much at all. There is no way Oakland wins this game, even if Cincinnati does come out a little bit flat. I'll take Cincinnati without hesitation.
  • You all know by now how I feel about the Broncos. San Diego meanwhile is rounding in to form on offense. Their defense still leaves plenty to be desired, but Denver doesn't have the artillery on offense - regardless of who's playing quarterback - to exploit them. All San Diego needs to do is protect the quarterback better than they did in the first meeting and keep Eddie Royal in check on special teams and they'll have stormed all the way back from 3.5 down in the AFC West to grab 1st place with 6 games to go. One of my locks of the week: San Diego
  • Who knows what we'll see in this one. I do have a question for you though: why do the Bears have so many games in primetime this year? They've been close to unwatchable for a few years now. There's nothing entertaining about them - not their defense, offense, and Devin Hestor returning kicks and punts is beyond old news. Anyway, I guess I'll take Philadelphia here. 
  • The Texans were one of the better teams at home in 2008, but they've actually been better away from Reliant Stadium in 2009.  The Titans meanwhile enter the contest with a full head of steam and confidence after their just disastrous start to the season. Vince Young has yet to lose to his hometown team. He's 3-0 and played very well against the team that passed on him in the 2007 draft. Chris Johnson continues to make jaws drop with his amazing combination of speed and balance. He's surpassed the 100 yard plateau in his past four games and continues to make his way towards a possible 2,000 yard season. The Texans should be able to exploit the Titans secondary a bit, but I think Tennessee makes just enough plays on that side of the ball to hand the Texans a brutal home loss.