Week #10 of the NFL season went nothing the way experts and analysts alike had predicted. My picks this season have been average at best. However; I never quit until the “Fat Lady Sings.” My Fantasy Team has also underperformed up to this point and right now I am on the Outside Looking In. Nonetheless, I am not throwing in the towel. At 4-6, I have 4 games left until the playoffs. Last season I was 4-6 and then won 3 Straight to go 7-6 and make the Playoffs. I actually ended up in the Championship and came within 4 Points of winning the whole entire thing. There are many similarities in this season for my team as last season. Without writing a book, I had the 8th Pick of the Draft back to back seasons. My Running Backs have been average at best both years due to injuries and poor drafting. Megatron has carried my team both seasons. And my last pick, the very last pick of the draft was a key contributor to my team. Last year it was a Kicker; this season it is Josh Gordon. Anyways, I am still in this thing folks. Ok…on to more important matters and the real NFL Season. Here are my Week #11 Picks:
ATLANTA FALCONS (2-7)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-8)
This game is a Pick Em. Both Teams have had extremely disappointing seasons. First of all, the Buccaneers have lost their 1st String Running Back Doug Martin and 2nd String Running Back Mike James to season ending injuries. Tampa’s Franchise Quarterback Josh Freeman was cut after an addiction problem. The team also lost star Wide Receiver Mike Williams for the season. The Buccaneer’s only bright spot has been a defense that cannot do it all without any resemblance of an offense. Likewise, the Atlanta Falcons have been extremely frustrating to fans and analysts alike. Many people had picked the Falcons to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this season. In the offseason they added All-Pro Running Back Steven Jackson to an Offense that already included Matt Ryan “Matty Ice”, Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez. Well, Julio Jones is out for the season with an injury. Roddy White has missed most of the season due to various injuries. Steven Jackson scored a Touchdown on his first play from scrimmage in game one and left the game injured. He only returned in Week #9 and has been non-existent. This leaves Matty Ice and Tony Gonzalez. Unfortunately they are not Super Human. Comparing the offense and defenses; Tampa is ranked 31st in Total Offense, having only scored 146 Points for an average of 16.2 Points Per Game. Tampa is 30th in Pass Offense, 15th in Rushing, and 5th in Time of Possession. Atlanta is not much better on Offense at 14th in Total Offense, 24th in Points with 186 Points for a 20.7 Average, 6th in Passing Offense, and Dead Last in Rushing. Tampa is 14th in Total Defense while Atlanta is 25th. Atlanta is 6th in Points allowed at 251 and 4th in average giving up 27.9 Points Per Game. Tampa is 20th in Points allowed and 18th in average with 23.2. Matt Ryan has thrown 16 Touchdowns compared to 10 Interceptions. Tampa is going with rookie Mike Glennon who has thrown only 9 TD’s and 4INT’s. This game is really dull on the outside but the Division Rival Aspect should rear its head. I am taking Tampa to get their second win only because they are at home and the final score will be 20-17.
NEW YORK JETS (5-4)
BUFFALO BILLS (3-7)
The New York Football Jets are Second in the AFC East behind the Patriots and come into the game a 1 Point Favorite against the Division Rival Buffalo Bills, who are dead last. The Jets are 8th in Total Yards allowed giving up roughly 326 Yards per game. The Bills are 19th giving up 356. The Bills and Jets are 16th and 17th respectively on offense. So, the Bills have been disappointing as far as not competing. In New York, Geno Smith continues to shine. However, the Jets still are ranked very low in Passing Yards per Game. Both of these teams can run the ball as the Bills are 7th in Rushing Yards and the Jets are 9th. So, with two Top Ten Rushing Teams, we should expect a running game with both teams jockeying for Time of Possession. The Bills keep losing Quarterbacks while Geno Smith has been a mainstay all year for the Jets. Smith has 8TD’s/13INT’s and only 1800 Yards Passing. However, he has contributed 172 Yards on the Ground with 3 Rushing Touchdowns. However, Smith has been a game manager. Another tough Divisional Game here and expect frigid temperatures. The Jets will win on the road and keep pace with the Patriots as they win 17-10 in a low scoring affair.
DETROIT LIONS (6-3)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-6)
At first glance one may think that this is an error. It looks like no one proofread this game. However, it’s true. When is the last time the Lions were leading their Division at this point while the Steelers were in dead last place. Well, that’s the exact scenario that we have here in Week 11. The Detroit Lions have the 6th Ranked Offense rattling off over 410 Yards Per Game. They are 3rd in the league in Passing and 21st in Rushing. Matt Stafford continues to mature as a Quarterback. Megatron has been better than Megatron if that can be possible. Stafford almost has 3,000 Yards Passing already with 2,836. He has also tossed 19 Touchdowns while only 7 Interceptions. Of course, his favorite target Calvin Johnson continues to be an absolute beast with 53 Receptions for 904 Yards and 9 Touchdowns while missing almost two full games. Then add Reggie Bush to the mix who has 623 Yards Rushing and 2 TD’s, and another 343 Yards Receiving and 2TD’s. On the other hand, Detroit is only 24th in Defense while the Steelers come in with the Tenth Ranked Defense. So, why are the Steelers so bad. The Steelers are better than average on Offense at 15. Well the answer lies in one easy word: Turnovers! The Steelers are 31st in Turnover Ratio at -11. This is not a recipe for success. They really are putrid on Offense when you look at the numbers. They are 11th in Passing Yards compared to 27th in Rushing. This game is being played at Pittsburgh, which is the only reason that I am hesitating on my pick. The Lions are favored by 2.5 on the road. The Lions have an opportunity to add to their Division Lead and keep pace in the NFC. I am going Detroit to win the game and cover as they beat the sad Steelers 34-21.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-5)
I always promise not to be a homer and favor my team. This should be another Division Smash Hit. The Eagles rolled on the Skins in Week #1, but that was the first time we saw Chip Kelly’s Offense. Nonetheless, the Eagles Offense may be even better now. There is definitely more balance. Nick Foles is trying to become the second Quarterback this season to toss 20 touchdowns without an Interception. Oh yeah, guess who the other QB was?? If you said Peyton Manning you were right. The Eagles are 4th in Total Offense averaging 413 Yards per game while the Redskins are 5th with 410. Wow, thats extremely close. The Eagles are 2nd in Rushing with 153 Yards and the Skins are 3rd with 151 Yards. Finally, the Eagles are 9th in Passing while the Skins are 10th. So on paper, these two teams are very close on Offense. Washington has been a tad bit better on Defense at 27th while the Eagles are 31st. The Eagles are 31st against the Pass, however they are 14th against the Run giving up 110 Yards on the Ground. The Redskins like to pound the ball with Alfred Morris. The Eagles have a positive Turnover Ratio at +2 and the Skins are Even. This game will be a knock em down beat em down type Division Battle. This time the Game is in Philly. The Eagles are Favored by 4 Points. I am taking the Eagles to win and cover at home, their 1st Home Win in 13 Games!!!! The Eagles will win 35-27.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-5)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-5)
This game is one that I am having a hard time to read. Both of these teams come in 4-5 and are in Third Place in their respective Divisions. Miami is coming off a loss on Monday Night to the Winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are also still going through the controversy regarding Incognito and Martin. This story was the largest one on sports networks everywhere this past week. San Diego is only favored by 1.5 Points. The Chargers have been very inconsistent. The Chargers are 7th on Offense while Miami is 30th. Miami is 20th on Defense and San Diego is 29th. Both of these teams are in must win situations. I was leaning towards the Chargers, but now I am taking the Fins to win at home 20-17.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-5)
CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-4)
The Bengals are first in the AFC North while the Browns are Second. During the early part of the season, fans and experts had written off the Browns as they traded their Franchise Running Back Trent Richardson. They also lost their starting Quarterback Brian Hoyer. However, somehow the Browns have been able to stay afloat. The Bengals are so much more Balanced this season as they are 8th on Offense and 4th On Defense. The Browns are 5th On Defense, which is truly unbeleiveable while their Offense has struggled. The Bengals are 7th in Passing as Andy Dalton is having a career year. Dalton has 18TD’s/13INTS, almost 3,000 Yards Passing and is completing over 60 Percent of his passes. The Bengals also have over 900 Yards Rushing and 7 Touchdowns from the combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovanni Bernard. The rookie Bernard is averaging over 4.0 Yards per Carry. Brandon Weeden has over 1100 Yards Passing and 5 TD’s. Richardson has been a bust so far. Josh Gordon leads the Browns in Receiving once again with 35 Receptions, 626 Yards, and 3 TD’s. The Bengals are favored by 6.5 Points at home. I am going to take the favored Bengals to win the game as well as cover as they beat their Rivals 27-17.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-6)
HOUSTON TEXANS (2-7)
I find it hard to believe that the Texans are favored by 9 Points against the Raiders. The Raiders have been much better the past few weeks. The Texans are really playing horrible. They lost their star Running Back Arian Foster. The Texans do boast the Number One Defense in the League. I am taking the Texans to win but they will not cover. Final Score Texans 24-Raiders 20.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-4)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-8)
Jacksonville managed it’s first win of the season this past week. They are still the worst team in the league however. The Jags are 32nd in Offense and 28th in Defense. The Cardinals are in 3rd place in the West behind the 49ers and Seahawks. Arizona is ranked 13th on Defense and 13th on Offense. You cannot get more balance than this. The Cardinals are also a turnover machine on Defense. Jacksonville comes back down to earth as the Cardinals win and cover the eight points 28-10.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-0)
DENVER BRONCOS (8-1)
One would have to say that the Kansas City Chiefs are America’s Team at this point as the only undefeated team in the league. However, the Denver Broncos have maintained pace as they only have one loss. The Broncos are still the League’s Number ONE Offense. Peyton Manning has been absolutely lights out. Manning has an incredible 33 Touchdowns/6Interceptions and 3,249 Yards Passing. The past three games he has played on two sprained ankles. Manning is having a season for the ages. Obviously, the only thing stopping Manning from a trip to the Super Bowl is his health and the Chiefs. The Chiefs at 9-0 are the other story of the season. Andy Reid has brought a last place team to first. The Chiefs are the best team as far as Turnover Differential. However, Reid’s run stops tomorrow. The Broncos, who are favored by 7.5 Points, will win and give the Chiefs their first loss of the season. Denver wins 38-24.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-7)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-1)
The Seahawks are the Best Team in the NFC. The Vikings are one of the worst. The Seahawks continue to dominate on both sides of the ball. Russell Wilson is becoming one of the best Game Managers in the League. Marshawn Lynch is an absolute beast on the ground. The Vikings are using their third Quarterback. Seattle wins big as the cover the 12.5 Points. The Seahawks win 42-10.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (6-3)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-2)
The Saints are 3 Point Favorites on the Road in this one. The Niners are still awesome on Defense. Drew Brees is on a Hot Streak. The Saints win big at home 34-27.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-4)
NEW YORK GIANTS (3-6)
The New York Football Giants are playing the Packers who are still Aaron Rodgerless. The Eagles beat the Packers pretty easily this past week. The Giants are 4 Point Favorites. However, I see the Packers beating the Giants 24-20. The Giants remain in the basement in the NFC Least.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-2)
CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-3)
When is the last time the Patriots were underdogs?? That has not happened too often the past few years. However, they are playing the hottest team in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been absolute beasts the past few weeks. They are playing stellar on offense and defense. I am going to take the Patriots to beat the Panthers 27-24.
That is a wrap of this week’s games. Stay tuned for my Fantasy Advice and also my next installment of the Top Lists of NFL by Position. Thanks once again to Intheneutralzone.com. Happy Sunday Everyone!!!