Week 11 is here and one of the first thoughts I had was, “wow…we got some great primetime games this week.”
I don’t know what ya’ll are doing on Thursday Night, but if you have nothing planned, you should probably immediately put this week’s Thursday Night game on your calendars, because this game between the Seahawks and the Cardinals will be must-see TV. And this game will be must-wins for both teams; probably more so for the Seahawks, who have lost three of their last four games.
Also, I don’t know if there is a more entertaining team to watch in football than the Arizona Cardinals, and a big reason for that is Kyler Murray, who has been excellent this year. A lot of people are thinking he could be in the running for league MVP. I’m not so sure I’d go that far. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes may have something to say about that. But Murray has been very good and I think it’s safe to say the Cardinals have found their QB for years and years to come.
The Bills vs. Cardinals game was thrilling from A to Z right to the last play and second of the game, which was THIS…
What an unbelievable play by both Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. I think there were only two types of people who watched that and banged their heads against a wall: Bills fans AND Texans fans. This is what Houston gave up…just…remember that.
They Meet Again
Sunday Night Football should be just as entertaining as Thursday Night. The last time the Raiders and Chiefs faced off, it was a close, high-scoring affair that ultimately led to a Raiders upset win over the best team in football.
After the game, it appeared the Raiders bus took an extra victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City after their 40-32 win. One reporter asked Raiders head coach Jon Gruden about the victory lap and whether he thought it could be bulletin board material for the Chiefs. Gruden had this to say:
“Not really. You can find a smart aleck bus driver in Kansas City who made some snide comments when we got on the bus. Maybe that’s why we drove around the stadium was to tick him off. This is ridiculous. Next question.”
And Then There’s Monday Night
Another great game here. Jeez, is this the best week of primetime games this season? It might be.
The Bucs are coming off a big win against Carolina, and the Rams might be playing their best football yet this season. The last time Jared Goff and Tom Brady played each other was in Super Bowl LIII, and I’m pretty convinced Goff ralphed his dinner coming out of the tunnel before the game. But now, with more big game experience under his belt, Goff is capable of getting his revenge on the GOAT Tom Brady in this Monday Night matchup. It should be fun.
Ok, let’s get to the picks!
Week 10 Picks: 10-4
Season Picks Record: 92-41
Cardinals at Seahawks (Thursday Night)
Again, this is a must-see Thursday television. Even if you got some Thirsty Thursday plans in order, you might want to catch at least some of the action. I mean…are you really going out to any bars nowadays? If you are, you’re a savage… but probably not a smart one.
Staying at Home? That’s OK!
As a matter of fact, I’m going to give you a Cardinals-Seahawks drinking game for all you hooligans out there. See, you never know what treasures you may find by reading my NFL picks articles. I like to keep people on their toes here fellas.
Take A Drink Every Time…
- Pete Carroll jumps and skips down the sideline
- You hear someone say “Let Russ Cook”
- A Seahawks running back gets injured
- DK Metcalf decks the shit out of someone…on offense or defense
- They replay the Hopkins Hail Mary Catch (because you know they will)
- Someone compares Kyler Murray to Russell Wilson
- Every time someone scores (that alone will get you drunk)
You might have a rough Friday morning, because there will be a lot of points scored in this game.
We all want to “Let Russ Cook” but at this rate, he might as well be cooking with Chef Boyardee. His offensive line isn’t helping him, his defense sucks big time, his backfield is banged up, and now Tyler Lockett hasn’t been practicing because of a knee injury. Lockett is expected to play, however. But we’ll see how effective he can be.
What Are The Cardinals?
I’m not really sure what to think of the Cardinals to be honest. They’re 6-3 but didn’t really get their first quality win of the season until Week 7 against, well, the Seahawks! And then they were basically out-played their past three games, but won two of them anyway. At the end of the season, this team could either be the division winner, or finish third in the NFC West. But such is the chaos that has been the NFC West thus far.
A Must-Win Game
This is a big game for both teams but, honestly, it is bigger for the Seahawks. They need this. I like Seattle to get the split with Arizona at home. I know nearly every week has been like an episode of Chopped for Russ…taking marshmallows, sardines, and coffee beans and expecting him to cook a five-star entrée. But I think he will find a way to pull out a close win at home. Also, fun fact, the Seahawks are one of only three teams this season who are still undefeated at home. Seahawks win 35-32.
Eagles at Browns
This is a terrible matchup for Philly. The Eagles are 26th in the NFL at stopping the run and Cleveland has a two-headed monster in the backfield in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Browns are averaging 159 rushing yards per game.
Carson Wentz has not looked good at all and Travis Fulgham and Alshon Jeffrey were practically nonexistent against the Giants last week. I also expect the Browns defensive line to give Wentz some serious problems, and Wentz has been sacked the most out of any QB this season.
The only thing that sort of scares me about the Browns is that in three of their last four games, they scored 10 points or less. So their offense has a tendency of going real cold. But I think Cleveland will ground and pound their way to a victory at home, and Myles Garrett and the pass rush will get after Wentz. Browns win 30-17.
Falcons at Saints
Drew Brees has suffered multiple fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. It was actually determined that Brees first suffered an injury to his ribs two weeks ago in the game against the Buccaneers. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Brees received a second opinion on his injuries, and it looks like he will be out at least two weeks.
In Comes Jameis Winston
Now it is time for Jameis Winston to step up in Brees’ place. After Brees left the game against the 49ers last week, Winston came in and completed 6 of his 10 passes for 63 yards.
Winston is certainly not a slouch – he can be at least a decent backup who has plenty of starting experience. Remember, this guy did lead the NFL in passing yards just last season. Unfortunately for Winston, I think he is catching the Falcons at a bad time.
Falcons Are Playing Their Best Football Right Now
And not only that, they’re coming off a bye. Atlanta has also won three of their last four games. During that span, Matt Ryan has thrown for over 1,200 yards (318.5 yards per game) with eight touchdowns and just two interceptions and is completing 72.8% of his passes.
Perhaps down the road in the second meeting, and with more reps out of Winston, the Saints will beat the Falcons. But not this time. I like Atlanta in an upset. Falcons win 27-26.
Bengals at Washington
Joe Burrow was smothered last week against a really good defensive line in Pittsburgh. And that has been Burrow’s problem all season…he has not performed well against teams with a good pass rush unit. And again, that isn’t completely Burrow’s fault. He doesn’t really have a good offensive line after all.
Washington is another team with a good pass rush, and they are 5th in the NFL in sacks. Chase Young, Montez Sweat, and Ryan Kerrigan have combined for 12 sacks this season. I think Burrow will definitely feel the heat again this week. But I actually think the difference-maker will be Alex Smith.
It was nice to see Alex slinging it against Detroit last week. I think he is becoming more comfortable in the pocket, and I like his chances to perform well against a Bengals defense that has struggled this season. Smith threw the ball a whopping 55 times last week and completed 38 of those passes for 390 yards. While he failed to throw a touchdown pass, I think this is a good sign for Smith and Washington.
He’s letting it fly and I think that is a good thing. I expect that to carry forward and I also think Washington will run the ball more effectively this week against a Cincinnati defense that’s 27th in the league against the run.
I like Washington in this mini upset. Washington wins 26-21.
Lions at Panthers
Can the Panthers buy a win? They have lost their last five games. Their defense has struggled, especially against the run. And Mike Davis is not a bad player, but man, the offense is completely different without Christian McCaffrey. Carolina actually has not won a game this season when McCaffrey does not play a full game, and the star running back will be out again this week. And to make matters worse for the Panthers, Teddy Bridgewater is questionable for the game on Sunday with a knee injury.
Lions Hanging in There
Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense looked pretty good against a respectable Washington defense last week. This has the makings of a Detroit win, and at 4-5, they know they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot with the Vikings also sitting at 4-5, and the Bears sliding to 5-5. The Lions may not catch the Packers, but they are not to be counted out yet for a playoff spot. I think this week they will get to .500. Lions win 24-17.
Steelers at Jaguars
The Jaguars always give the Steelers a real tough time. They have won two of the past three meetings with the Steelers, and actually, believe it or not, the Jaguars have a 14-12 record against the Steelers in the franchise’s history.
This has the makings of a trap game, and I thought about picking the major upset until I saw what Mike Tomlin said in response to the idea that this could be a trap game:
“I’m not into the trap game discussion. I understand that’s a thing you guys like to talk about. This is the NFL. More than anything, you guys know my attitude regarding that. We are not a Big Ten team playing a MAC opponent this week. Every time we step into a stadium, we’re playing professional players and coaches. We have a ridiculous amount of respect for that. Write your story, follow your storylines on trap games and things of that nature.”
I.Love.This.Man. He is locked in. And this also tells me he’s sick and tired of the bullshit and the doubt surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers; the only undefeated team in football right now.
People are actually doubting the Steelers against a bad, 1-8 Jaguars team with a rookie quarterback. I expect Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers to respond strongly this week.
Tomlin is no joke, and he’s not even taking jokes from his own quarterback…
Tomlin is the kind of coach I’d run through a wall for, and I hate running through walls. Steelers win 32-20.
Titans at Ravens
Apparently, there’s a six-step program to beating the Baltimore Ravens.
THE-SIX STEP PROGRAM TO BEATING THE RAVENS…designed by Bill Belichick
- Run the ball at least 35-40 times.
- Have one of your wide receivers throw a 24-yard touchdown pass.
- Make sure to start your DII safety you drafted in the second round.
- Play with a lead the entire game.
- Make sure you play in hurricane weather.
- In the fourth quarter, increase rainfall and wind gusts by at least 100% or until Ravens players’ vision is impaired.
And that’s really about it! However, I don’t think the Titans are planning on following this six-step program.
Instead, I think the Titans should find a six-step program on how to improve their defense, because their defense sucks. The Titans are allowing teams to gain nearly 400 yards of offense and more than 27 points per game. I’m also convinced Tennessee has one of the worst special teams in football.
The Ravens are still a very good team folks. If it wasn’t raining sideways with gale force winds in 40 degrees, I think Baltimore would have taken down the Patriots last week. Look for Baltimore to rebound on Sunday and improve to 7-3. Ravens win 27-17.
Patriots at Texans
When you take the Patriots away from Gillette Stadium, they are not as much of a force; even when Brady was at quarterback. New England is 1-3 this season on the road, and they are going into a matchup against a Texans team that I think are much better than their record shows. The Texans are 2-7, but their schedule has been absolutely brutal. Houston has faced teams this season with a combined record of 47-25. If you take away the Jaguars, who are 1-8, it becomes 46-17. All but maybe two or three teams the Texans have faced this season will probably be in the playoffs.
Watsons is Cooking
Russell Wilson is not the only quarterback cooking right now. If Wilson has a co-chef in his kitchen, it might as well be DeshaunWatson. Since Bill O’Brien was fired as head coach in Houston after Week 4, Watson has completed 68.4% of his passes and has thrown for 12 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. His rating is also 112.5 and is throwing for nearly 290 yards per game.
While Watson has been cooking, the Texans have not. But I think I like their chances this week at home. Houston is the worst defense against the run this season, but it’s going to be Watson who is going to win this game on a big performance. New England has a tough run game, but if only they were just as tough with their pass rush. And Watson has not lost at home to the Patriots in his career. Give me the upset. Texans win 24-20.
Dolphins at Broncos
The Broncos are really bad and Drew Lock has been really bad. And John Elway has been really bad at trying to get the quarterback right since Peyton Manning. Every organization in the NFL has at least one major flaw. Even the Patriots could never draft receivers well. The Browns for the longest time couldn’t get the head coach right. The Chargers couldn’t stay healthy. The Broncos? It’s getting the quarterback right.
Miami brought in Brian Flores and the team has taken a complete 180. They are a legitimate potential playoff team that is well-coached, has a very good defense, very good special teams, and a promising rookie quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa.
We all know how bad the Jets are, right? The most points the Jets scored in a game this season was 28 points. Wanna guess who they played? It was Denver. The defense has been awful, Lock has been terrible, and I really can’t muster up a single reason why I would pick the Broncos to win this game. Calling the blowout. Dolphins win 29-10.
Jets at Chargers
Speaking of a blowout, LOOOORD this is going to be ugly. If you’re playing DFS fantasy this week, you might want to consider playing Justin Herbert as your QB. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know why I have to tell you this – it’s practically a given. Basically, any quarterback who’s facing the Jets should be the quarterback you play in DFS or any type of fantasy league. The Chargers are tired of losing close games and they’re just gonna go off on the poor Jets this Sunday. Chargers win 40-21.
Packers at Colts
This is the best non-primetime game of the week. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers face off against the 4th-ranked defense in the league. The Colts are 4th against the run and 2nd against the pass, only allowing teams to score 19.7 points per game.
Aaron Rodgers is Cooking Too
Are we having too many cooks in the kitchen right now? Because Aaron Rodgers is really good ya’ll, and he would probably be the front-runner for league MVP if Patrick Mahomes didn’t exist.
Rodgers did have one terrible game this season, however, and that was against Tampa Bay in Week 6. And the thing is, this Colts team reminds me a lot of Tampa Bay on the defensive side of the line. They have a defense that can smash you in the mouth with great linebackers, and they’re not going to allow you to run all over them. I think this game could be a bit reminiscent of that matchup in Week 6, and the Colts will do just enough on defense to pull off the upset and take control of the AFC South division.
Also, this is a crazy fun fact about the Packers…they have never won at Indianapolis. EVER. I’m serious, go look it up. That’s nuts.
This is a really good Colts team that is well-coached. If Philip Rivers can get things right and clean up his play a bit, look out. Colts win 27-20.
Cowboys at Vikings
I don’t know what happened two weeks ago, but all of the sudden the Cowboys defense came alive against the Steelers. So much so, that they even almost pulled off the upset. If the Vikings can bring that same sort of energy, tenacity, voodoo, magic or whatever it was, they might have a chance against Minnesota this week.
However, it just so happens the Vikings are probably playing their best football right now. When he’s healthy, Dalvin Cook is a force, and Kirk Cousins is looking like he’s coming back to normal at least. Cousins was AWFUL to start the season. But in the past three games, not only have the Vikings won all three games, but Cousins has completed 70% of this throws for six touchdowns and just one interception with a 126.8 quarterback rating during that span.
I think the Cowboys could keep this game fairly close; especially coming off a bye and with Andy Dalton coming back from COVID-19 reserve. I’m just not sure if they’re going to have an answer for Cook. There is a major run defense problem in the state of Texas. Only the Houston Texans have a worse run defense this season than the Cowboys, who are allowing teams to rush for 157 yards per game.
Minnesota sits at 4-5, but if they win their fourth-straight game and get to .500 they might start believing they have a chance to sneak into the playoffs in the NFC. Vikings win 28-23.
Chiefs at Raiders (Sunday Night)
As I mentioned previously, the Raiders poked the bear after winning the first meeting in Kansas City and going for a nice celebratory bus ride around Arrowhead Stadium. I think when the Raiders were having their joy ride, they forgot to check their schedule to see that not only would they have to face the best team in football again, but they would have to face them coming off a bye. And you don’t want to face Andy Reid off a bye.
Andy Reid is Really Good Off a Bye
Andy Reid, in his 21 years as a head coach, has gone 18-3 after a bye week. It is also worth noting that the Chiefs played the Raiders off a bye week last season too, and the Raiders got annihilated 40-9. So you take Reid’s success off a bye week and add in the fact that he’s probably ticked off from the Raiders victory lap, and we are probably going to see the Chiefs blast the Raiders this Sunday on the road. And the Chiefs’ defense has improved as of late as well. Kansas City gets their revenge. Chiefs win 35-20.
Rams at Buccaneers (Monday Night)
Speaking of annihilation, last week the Buccaneers really took it to the Panthers last week beating them 43-26. Remind me never to pick against Tampa Bay after a loss. Because when the Bucs have come off a loss this season, they have outscored their opponents (wait for it) 115-50! That’s insane. Luckily, the Rams aren’t playing the Bucs off a loss.
But you know what else is pretty bizarre? The Bucs have actually not been good at all in primetime games this season. As a matter of fact, they’re 1-2 in their last three primetime games this season, which includes a near-loss to the Giants.
The Rams Are The Best Defense No One is Talking About
They are 2nd in overall defense, allowing teams to score just 18.7 points per game. They’re also 3rd in the NFL against the pass, and 5th against the run. They have the right pieces to give Brady some trouble this week. This Rams defense held Russell Wilson to 16 points last week, and I think their defense continues to play at a high level here. Give me the Monday Night upset special. Rams win 23-20.