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Insiders predict: NFL week 11 winners

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Tim Bradbury // Getty Images

Insiders predict: NFL week 11 winners

After the unbeaten Patriots fell to the Ravens in Week 9, Week 10 saw another unbeaten team fall and now, the 1972 Dolphins can once again uncork the champagne and rest easy knowing that no team in 2019 will match their historic unbeaten season. The 49ers were the last team to fall this season, and they did so in dramatic fashion, being edged by the Seahawks 27-24 in overtime on Monday Night Football.

With only two one-loss teams currently reigning over each conference, the four two-loss teams (Saints, Packers, Seahawks, Ravens) are hoping for another slip-up from either the Pats or 49ers again this week to potentially turn the table in the race for home field advantage in the rapidly approaching NFL Playoffs.

Here are some of the best games with potential playoff implications that the Week 11 slate has to offer:

Texans @ Ravens: The Texans have won four of their last five. The Ravens are riding a five-game winning streak. Both teams have MVP candidates at quarterback that can break a game wide open through the air or on the ground. This game is a treat if you love huge plays and it carries with it major implications in the AFC playoff picture.

Patriots @ Eagles: Two straight wins for the Eagles has put them back in the hunt for an NFC East title, while the Patriots are hoping to continue their winning ways and stay ahead of the surging Ravens atop the AFC standings. Both teams are coming off of a bye week, meaning that Bill Belichick and Doug Pederson will have had plenty of time to scheme for each other in this exciting rematch of Super Bowl LII.

Bears @ Rams: These were two Super Bowl contenders a season ago. Now, the best chance for each of these teams to make the postseason appears to be with a Wild Card berth. With the NFC standings extremely congested, a loss from either of these teams in this game would make that postseason berth feel like an impossibility.

Chiefs @ Chargers: The Chiefs are still in the driver’s seat in the AFC West, but just barely. The Chargers, with a 4-6 record, are technically still alive. The Chiefs can take a big step towards making the division a two-team race by beating the Chargers and staying just a pace ahead of the surging Raiders.

Insiders predicts are based on the team that is favored to win, which is based on consensus betting odds and spread on Vegas Insider as of Nov. 13, 2019. Team stats were gathered from NFL.com. Check out the live odds at MSN.com

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Joe Sargent // Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) @ Cleveland Browns (3-6)

- Gametime: Thursday, Nov. 14, 8:20 p.m. EST

Since 1980, only six teams have started 0-3 and carved out a path to the postseason. Prior to last year, when the Houston Texans pulled off that very feat, it hadn’t happened since the '90s. After winning five of their last six and currently staking a claim on the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers look to do exactly that. In their 16-12 victory over the reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams, the Steelers didn’t allow a defensive touchdown and forced four turnovers including a game-clinching pick by early season acquisition Minkah Fitzpatrick. Since being traded from Miami, he’s secured six turnovers—five interceptions and a fumble recovery.

The Browns desperately needed a victory over the Buffalo Bills to keep their miniscule playoff hopes alive, and while it took a fourth-quarter comeback and missed field goal by the Bills in the final minute of regulation, they ended a four-game losing streak in a tough 19-16 victory. Baker Mayfield, who has been the subject of ridicule after his disappointing start to the 2019 season, threw two touchdowns and avoided interceptions, which have plagued him this year—Mayfield tossed 12 picks through the first eight games of the season.

At season’s start, both the Browns and the Steelers had hopes of capturing the AFC North crown. Now, both teams are chasing the Ravens and fighting to stay in the hunt. A loss for the Browns is basically a nail in the coffin, and a Steelers loss could drop them to the bottom half of the AFC.

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Kirk Irwin // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Cleveland Browns

- Favored to win: Cleveland Browns
- Spread: -2.5
- Odds: -150

- Pittsburgh Steelers team stats:
- Offense: 288.8 yards per game (#28 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 205.6 ypg (#27)
--- Rushing offense: 83.2 ypg (#27)
- Defense: 332.2 yards per game (#12 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 226.9 ypg (#12)
--- Rushing defense: 105.3 ypg (#16)

- Cleveland Browns team stats:
- Offense: 348.4 yards per game (#19 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 224.6 ypg (#19)
--- Rushing offense: 123.9 ypg (#13)
- Defense: 356.0 yards per game (#17 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 221.1 ypg (#7)
--- Rushing defense: 134.9 ypg (#27)

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Ronald Martinez // Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys (5-4) @ Detroit Lions (3-5-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

In terms of luck, the Detroit Lions have experienced more bad than good in 2019. Eight of their nine games have been decided by one possession or less, but a few bad bounces mean the Lions are last in the NFC North and on the outside looking into a congested playoff picture. Last week that bad luck continued when they entered Chicago without their most reliable fixture, quarterback Matthew Stafford, who missed his first game since 2010 due to a back injury. After taking an early lead, Detroit gave up touchdowns on back-to-back-to-back possessions, essentially putting things out of reach. Backup QB Jeff Driskel was serviceable, but the noticeable drop off at the position kept the Lions from leading a late comeback effort and leaping Chicago in the division.

This week they welcome the Dallas Cowboys, who have had issues of their own. A three-game winning streak to start the season preceded a three-game losing streak. Another potential three-game winning streak was prevented Week 10 after a costly loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys’ easiest, and maybe only route to the playoffs will be through the NFC East, where they are currently tied atop the division with the Philadelphia Eagles but hold a head-to-head tiebreaker.

Detroit’s playoff hopes are bleak, but a loss essentially eliminates them from the conversation. Whether or not Matthew Stafford is available will impact this spread, but Dallas is currently a considerable road favorite. Dak Prescott and company will attempt to get back on track against an ailing Lions squad and secure their loose grip on the NFC East for another week.

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Richard Rodriguez // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Dallas Cowboys

- Favored to win: Dallas Cowboys
- Spread: -4.5
- Odds: -196

- Dallas Cowboys team stats:
- Offense: 437.4 yards per game (#1 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 299.2 ypg (#3)
--- Rushing offense: 138.2 ypg (#5)
- Defense: 323.2 yards per game (#7 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 219.8 ypg (#6)
--- Rushing defense: 103.4 ypg (#14)

- Detroit Lions team stats:
- Offense: 387.4 yards per game (#6 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 291.2 ypg (#4)
--- Rushing offense: 96.2 ypg (#20)
- Defense: 402.1 yards per game (#30 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 272.4 ypg (#28)
--- Rushing defense: 129.7 ypg (#26)

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Sam Greenwood // Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (5-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

The AFC South is still up for grabs, but for both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts, they need to start acting fast. The loss two weeks ago before a bye week for the Jags, and the two consecutive losses for the Colts, don’t make things any easier for these two playoff hopefuls. Just two weeks ago the Colts held sole possession of first place in the division, but an injury to Jacoby Brissett and losses to the Steelers and the Dolphins (yes, the Dolphins) have dropped the Colts behind Houston and forced them into scramble mode. For the Jags, a 26-3 Week 9 loss to the Texans means they now look up at the Tennessee Titans, the Colts, and the Texans in the division.

Before their Week 10 bye, the Jaguars announced that a healthy Nick Foles will start over rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew who had shown flashes of unexpected brilliance during his half-season stretch of playing time. Foles, who Jacksonville signed to a four-year, $88 million contract in free agency this offseason, has been recovering from a broken collarbone suffered in the first game of the season. In an offense initially designed around Foles, head coach Doug Marrone has opted with Foles as the best option to get back into the playoff race.

The Colts are optimistic they’ll have Brissett back in the lineup this week, but he can’t help them find an answer for the dismal kicking game. Adam Vinatieri, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, has missed five field goals and six point-after attempts this season. The future Hall of Fame kicker is in danger of his 24th season being cut short—the Colts are reportedly working out free agent kickers this week.

The division is still anyone’s to win, or maybe more accurately for these two teams, anyone’s to lose.

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Michael Hickey // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Indianapolis Colts

- Favored to win: Indianapolis Colts
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -145

- Jacksonville Jaguars team stats:
- Offense: 377.1 yards per game (#11 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 247.6 ypg (#13)
--- Rushing offense: 129.6 ypg (#9)
- Defense: 350.0 yards per game (#16 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 229.8 ypg (#13)
--- Rushing defense: 120.2 ypg (#22)

- Indianapolis Colts team stats:
- Offense: 338.8 yards per game (#22 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 211.3 ypg (#25)
--- Rushing offense: 127.4 ypg (#10)
- Defense: 327.6 yards per game (#10 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 223.2 ypg (#9)
--- Rushing defense: 104.3 ypg (#15)

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Bryan M. Bennett // Getty Images

Buffalo Bills (6-3) @ Miami Dolphins (2-7)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

The Miami Dolphins can’t be stopped. While that’s certainly a joke, a winning streak of any kind seemed as improbable as anything for the 0-7 Dolphins two weeks back, but that’s exactly what they are on as they welcome an AFC East rival into Miami. The tank looks like it’s no more for the Dolphins, who technically are still alive in the AFC playoff race. That tinge of hope will likely be laid to rest this Sunday by a Bills team coming off a tough 19-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns and desperate to hold onto one of two AFC Wild Card slots.

The back half of the season becomes much more interesting for Buffalo, which has dropped two of three games after a 5-1 start. Two very winnable games against the Dolphins and the Denver Broncos essentially function as must-win games—the Bills follow Miami and Denver with a four-game stretch featuring four playoff teams (if the season ended today). Dallas, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and New England, respectively, will serve as a gauntlet to run as the playoffs approach.

These two battled Week 7—the Bills were terrible for three quarters before eventually pulling away in a 31-21 victory at home. Whether it’s oddsmakers factoring in that first matchup, the recent surge from the Dolphins, or the lackluster performance from Buffalo against the struggling Browns—or maybe all three—the spread is less than a touchdown.

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Timothy T Ludwig // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Buffalo Bills

- Favored to win: Buffalo Bills
- Spread: -6
- Odds: -250

- Buffalo Bills team stats:
- Offense: 336.9 yards per game (#23 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 212.6 ypg (#24)
--- Rushing offense: 124.3 ypg (#12)
- Defense: 304.2 yards per game (#3 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 188.7 ypg (#3)
--- Rushing defense: 115.6 ypg (#21)

- Miami Dolphins team stats:
- Offense: 258.6 yards per game (#31 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 194.1 ypg (#29)
--- Rushing offense: 64.4 ypg (#32)
- Defense: 391.0 yards per game (#29 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 244.9 ypg (#19)
--- Rushing defense: 146.1 ypg (#30)

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Doug Pensinger // Getty Images

Denver Broncos (3-6) @ Minnesota Vikings (7-3)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

Oddsmakers predict this will be one of the bigger blowouts of the week, despite the Denver Broncos on extra rest off of a bye week after an impressive first start for rookie Brandon Allen in a 24-19 victory over the Browns. The Vikings’ 28-24 victory over the Cowboys in Arlington was enough to make them heavy Week 11 favorites and paint them as a legitimate contender in the NFC. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins’ victory came on the road in primetime against a team with a winning record: a monkey he’s been trying to get off his back since joining Minnesota last season.

While Cousins has looked like a top-tier quarterback over the past several games, the Vikings’ #3 ranked running game is the biggest reason the offense has found the success it has this season. Running back Dalvin Cook leads the NFL in attempts (203) and rushing yards (991). It’s safe to say Minnesota relies heavily on the run game.

Despite their impressive 7-3 record, the Vikings trail the Green Bay Packers by a game in the NFC North and the Seattle Seahawks by a game in the Wild Card standings. While the playoffs look imminent for Minnesota with two more wins than the closest team giving chase, seeding is a major factor come January. The Vikes can ill afford to look past this matchup their bye week on the horizon.

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Ronald Martinez // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Minnesota Vikings

- Favored to win: Minnesota Vikings
- Spread: -10.5
- Odds: -550

- Denver Broncos team stats:
- Offense: 311.4 yards per game (#27 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 199.6 ypg (#28)
--- Rushing offense: 111.9 ypg (#16)
- Defense: 309.7 yards per game (#4 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 202.1 ypg (#4)
--- Rushing defense: 107.6 ypg (#17)

- Minnesota Vikings team stats:
- Offense: 384.4 yards per game (#8 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 231.4 ypg (#17)
--- Rushing offense: 153.0 ypg (#3)
- Defense: 333.1 yards per game (#13 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 241.9 ypg (#18)
--- Rushing defense: 91.2 ypg (#7)

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Chris Graythen // Getty Images

New Orleans Saints (7-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

One of the NFC’s most dangerous squads, or so we thought, was throttled by an Atlanta Falcons team that entered Sunday with only one victory. Atlanta won as a 13.5-point underdog, making the Saints the biggest favorite to lose a game this season. And they didn’t just lose, they lost 26-9 at home in a game where they failed to score a touchdown. The loss for the Saints snapped a six-game winning streak, and for the Falcons ended a six-game losing streak. The NFL, ladies and gentlemen, will never cease to be unfathomably weird.

New Orleans will take on another division foe with a high-powered offense this week when they stroll into Tampa Bay in search of a bounce back. Drew Brees and the NFL’s leading receiver, Michael Thomas, should find exactly that against an atrocious Bucs secondary ranked dead last in the league. While the Saints are a top 10 defense against the pass, Tampa Bay has two of the top four receivers in yards per game (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin).

Unless this is another flukey game, there should be a whole lot of downfield action in this NFC South showdown. It was Teddy Bridgewater who started in place of an injured Brees when these teams played back in Week 5 and carved up the Buccaneers for four touchdowns in a 31-24 victory. Thomas went for a season-high 182 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

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Chris Graythen // Getty Images

Insiders predict: New Orleans Saints

- Favored to win: New Orleans Saints
- Spread: -5.5
- Odds: -240

- New Orleans Saints team stats:
- Offense: 368.0 yards per game (#14 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 260.7 ypg (#9)
--- Rushing offense: 107.3 ypg (#17)
- Defense: 316.6 yards per game (#5 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 225.8 ypg (#10)
--- Rushing defense: 90.8 ypg (#5)

- Tampa Bay Buccaneers team stats:
- Offense: 385.6 yards per game (#7 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 284.2 ypg (#5)
--- Rushing offense: 101.3 ypg (#19)
- Defense: 376.7 yards per game (#25 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 298.9 ypg (#32)
--- Rushing defense: 77.8 ypg (#1)

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Patrick McDermott // Getty Images

New York Jets (2-7) @ Washington Redskins (1-8)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

The most meaningless game of Week 11 has to be the New York Jets visiting the Washington Redskins, as neither team has any conceivable shot at a playoff berth this season. While Jets fans can claim the belt in the battle of New York after a 34-27 victory at MetLife Stadium last week, it only moves them further away from a shot at the #1 overall pick in next year’s draft. In a season that is already lost, playing for pride isn’t enough for a dejected Jets fanbase, so another high draft pick is about the only thing to hope for.

The Redskins are certainly in the conversation for that #1 over pick—their one victory on the season is better than only the winless Cincinnati Bengals. The keys are officially in the hands of rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins as head coach Bill Callahan announced Monday that Washington’s first-round pick will finish out the remainder of the season as the starter. 

The Jets have put their eggs in the Sam Darnold basket, but the second-year man out of USC is yet to prove himself as a true and viable NFL starter. While he missed significant time battling mono, his seven touchdowns to nine interceptions is a less-than-favorable ratio. If the Jets are in a position for a big-name quarterback in 2020 draft, they’ll have quite the decision to make. This matchup will likely mean a lot for the top of the draft order.

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Timothy T Ludwig // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Washington Redskins

- Favored to win: Washington Redskins
- Spread: -1
- Odds: -120

- New York Jets team stats:
- Offense: 231.3 yards per game (#32 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 164.0 ypg (#32)
--- Rushing offense: 67.3 ypg (#31)
- Defense: 344.3 yards per game (#15 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 262.4 ypg (#26)
--- Rushing defense: 81.9 ypg (#2)

- Washington Redskins team stats:
- Offense: 259.1 yards per game (#30 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 169.7 ypg (#31)
--- Rushing offense: 89.4 ypg (#25)
- Defense: 366.1 yards per game (#21 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 230.1 ypg (#14)
--- Rushing defense: 136.0 ypg (#28)

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Streeter Lecka // Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons (2-7) @ Carolina Panthers (5-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

The Falcons defense had been the team’s Achilles' heel all season, but that changed in a major way last Sunday in New Orleans. A once dormant pass rush came alive and totaled 25 pressures, 11 quarterback hurries and six sacks of Drew Brees in a 26-9 road victory that saw the Saints high-powered offense be held without a touchdown.

Matt Ryan also returned from an ankle injury to start that game, but managed just 182 yards in the air to go with two touchdown passes and an interception. Atlanta’s offense is the far more trustworthy unit, though. If they can come close to the type of defensive output from Week 10 again this coming Sunday, they can cause some problems for Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen.

Allen faced pressure on Sunday in Green Bay and may have been lucky to only throw one interception, as there were multiple instances in which Packers defensive backs dropped would-be picks in snow and wind. Still, Allen’s ability to find DJ Moore (nine catches, 120 yards) and Greg Olsen (eight catches, 98 yards) helped keep the Panthers in the game until the very end. The difference between 6-3 and 5-4 for the Panthers may have been less than a yard. Running back Christian McCaffrey was stopped just short of the endzone on the final play of the game as he attempted to score a touchdown that would have given Carolina a chance to force overtime with a two-point conversion.

Putting the ball in McCaffrey’s hands is seemingly always the right call for Carolina, and it is hard to argue with the decision to do so with the game on the line last Sunday. This is the first meeting between the Panthers and Falcons the AFC South rivals this season. With Atlanta surrendering over 28 points per game and ranking in the bottom third of the league in terms of yards allowed per game, expect McCaffrey to be fed frequently and find success again in his quest to continue his MVP campaign.

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Quinn Harris // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Carolina Panthers

- Favored to win: Carolina Panthers
- Spread: -5.5
- Odds: -250

- Atlanta Falcons team stats:
- Offense: 377.7 yards per game (#10 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 300.9 ypg (#2)
--- Rushing offense: 76.8 ypg (#29)
- Defense: 371.8 yards per game (#23 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 260.8 ypg (#25)
--- Rushing defense: 111.0 ypg (#20)

- Carolina Panthers team stats:
- Offense: 346.6 yards per game (#21 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 215.1 ypg (#23)
--- Rushing offense: 131.4 ypg (#7)
- Defense: 363.4 yards per game (#20 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 226.8 ypg (#11)
--- Rushing defense: 136.7 ypg (#29)

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Scott Taetsch // Getty Images

Houston Texans (6-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (7-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. EST

It’s hard to be riding higher than the Ravens right now. After upsetting the then-unbeaten Patriots as home underdogs two weeks ago, Baltimore avoided any kind of letdown by traveling to winless Cincinnati and smacking the Bengals 49-13 behind three touchdown passes, a rushing touchdown, and a perfect passer rating from MVP candidate Lamar Jackson. The win pushed Baltimore’s win streak to five games and put them firmly in first place in the AFC North.

Now, they will face another tough test against a potential playoff team, as they host the well-rested Houston Texans. Coming off of a bye, the Texans were hot before their week off, winning four of their last five games. They have an MVP candidate of their own under center, which should make this match up all the more entertaining for a neutral fan.

While Jackson has impressed with 15 passing touchdowns this season and six more on the ground, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has also dazzled, racking up 18 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns this year. Each of them has thrown just five interceptions as well, making their respective offenses that much harder to derail.

While the Texans have three losses this season, all of them have come by a single score and all of them are to teams that currently have a winning record (Saints, Panthers, Colts). They’ve been competitive in every contest and their record against the spread proves that. The Texans have covered the spread in all but one game this season, so while the Ravens are expected to come away with a victory, we may be in for a thrilling finish between two of the more capable signal-callers in the league right now.

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Silas Walker // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Baltimore Ravens

- Favored to win: Baltimore Ravens
- Spread: -4
- Odds: -210

- Houston Texans team stats:
- Offense: 396.7 yards per game (#4 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 253.9 ypg (#12)
--- Rushing offense: 142.8 ypg (#4)
- Defense: 361.4 yards per game (#19 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 277.3 ypg (#29)
--- Rushing defense: 84.1 ypg (#3)

- Baltimore Ravens team stats:
- Offense: 421.7 yards per game (#2 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 224.4 ypg (#20)
--- Rushing offense: 197.2 ypg (#1)
- Defense: 344.1 yards per game (#14 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 252.9 ypg (#20)
--- Rushing defense: 91.2 ypg (#8)

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Christian Petersen // Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (8-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 4:05 p.m. EST

For the second time in just over three weeks, the Cardinals and 49ers will go head to head in an NFC West divisional showdown. Back in Week 9, the teams met on Thursday Night Football on Halloween night in Arizona and the Cardinals nearly pulled off an upset.

Trailing for most of the game, Arizona saw Andy Isabella turn a short pass from Kyler Murray into an 88-yard touchdown, which would be followed by a successful two-point conversion to pull the Cardinals within three at 28-25. Ultimately, San Francisco would hold on for a victory despite its defense having one of its worst outings of the season to that point, thanks to Jimmy Garoppolo’s four touchdown passes.

While that appeared as if it could be a building block for the 49ers offense, they then fell short on Monday night against the Seahawks in a wild 27-24 overtime affair in which Garoppolo failed to keep the offense in good enough form. Garoppolo had 248 yards with a touchdown and an interception against Seattle, and as a team, they tallied only 302 yards of offense.

This go-round they are at home and it would be hard to imagine their defense being as vulnerable as it was against the Cardinals in Week 9. And while prolific numbers from Garoppolo aren’t really a fair expectation most weeks this season, the 49ers being favored by nearly two full touchdowns would suggest that he really won’t need to be. Expect the 49ers to control the game with their defense and run game, limiting Murray and the Cardinals’ opportunities to keep pace.

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Thearon W. Henderson // Getty Images

Insiders predict: San Francisco 49ers

- Favored to win: San Francisco 49ers
- Spread: -11.5
- Odds: -650

- Arizona Cardinals team stats:
- Offense: 351.7 yards per game (#18 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 235.7 ypg (#16)
--- Rushing offense: 116.0 ypg (#14)
- Defense: 412.5 yards per game (#31 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 286.5 ypg (#31)
--- Rushing defense: 126.0 ypg (#24)

- San Francisco 49ers team stats:
- Offense: 380.4 yards per game (#9 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 218.7 ypg (#22)
--- Rushing offense: 161.8 ypg (#2)
- Defense: 251.6 yards per game (#2 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 143.8 ypg (#1)
--- Rushing defense: 107.8 ypg (#18)

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Andy Lyons // Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals (0-9) @ Oakland Raiders (5-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 4:25 p.m. EST

As the Raiders look to extend their winning streak to three games and keep pace with the Chiefs atop the AFC West standings, a home game against the Bengals is exactly what Oakland faithful could have hoped for. The Bengals have separated themselves as the worst team in the league, failing to win any of their first nine games and remaining the only winless team in football.

While the situation was nowhere near as dismal for the Raiders, a 3-4 record through seven games seemed like it would prove to be a difficult situation to dig out of until Jon Gruden and company rattled off back-to-back home wins against the Lions and Chargers. Those wins came with two efficient performances from quarterback Derek Carr, who has not thrown an interception in his last three games and is currently second in the NFL in completion percentage (70.8) behind only Drew Brees.

Carr should have his way again this week, as he will have the fortune of facing a Bengals defense which is the worst in the league, surrendering an average of 429.4 yards per game and allowing 28.8 points per game. There is little reason to believe that the Raiders shouldn’t win this game comfortably, and for Cincinnati’s sake, it is likely best to continue to lose and solidify their draft status to begin a much-needed rebuild at the conclusion of this season.

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Thearon W. Henderson // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Oakland Raiders

- Favored to win: Oakland Raiders
- Spread: -10.5
- Odds: -550

- Cincinnati Bengals team stats:
- Offense: 316.1 yards per game (#26 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 245.8 ypg (#14)
--- Rushing offense: 70.3 ypg (#30)
- Defense: 429.4 yards per game (#32 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 256.4 ypg (#22)
--- Rushing defense: 173.0 ypg (#32)

- Oakland Raiders team stats:
- Offense: 370.1 yards per game (#13 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 240.2 ypg (#15)
--- Rushing offense: 129.9 ypg (#8)
- Defense: 381.7 yards per game (#26 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 283.2 ypg (#30)
--- Rushing defense: 98.4 ypg (#10)

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Tim Bradbury // Getty Images

New England Patriots (8-1) @ Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 4:25 p.m. EST

The Patriots are coming off of a bye week, which was preceded by their first loss of the season and their six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback is talking about avenging a Super Bowl loss to the Eagles in 2018. Needless to say, the Pats are going to be hyper-focused and on a mission to re-establish themselves as the dominant force in the NFL this season.

If there is a counterargument to the Patriots being elite this season, it’s their strength of schedule. They have faced an easier schedule than anyone other than the Buffalo Bills this season, and their easy road in 2019 was something that was forecasted well before the season even started. While their loss to the Ravens may have been their first real test, a Bill Belichick vs. Doug Pederson coaching matchup with an additional week for each of them to scheme against each other would absolutely fall into the same category.

The way the Patriots have dismantled the bad teams they have faced is a big part of why they are 3.5 point road favorites entering this game. They sport the NFL’s best point differential, outscoring their opponents by a mind-boggling 172 points all while maintaining the league’s best turnover differential of +17.

The Eagles, on the other hand, have struggled to find such consistency but do have the momentum of consecutive wins over the Bills and the Bears, two of the league’s better defenses. It will take a masterpiece from Pederson this weekend to coach the Eagles offense to a win over Belichick’s top defensive unit. Given Pederson’s track record, and the importance of this game for Philadelphia, who is tied for first in the NFC East with Dallas, fans should be treated to a competitive matchup in a playoff-like atmosphere at wintry Lincoln Financial Field come Sunday evening.

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Todd Olszewski // Getty Images

Insiders predict: New England Patriots

- Favored to win: New England Patriots
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -180

- New England Patriots team stats:
- Offense: 366.8 yards per game (#15 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 273.9 ypg (#7)
--- Rushing offense: 92.9 ypg (#23)
- Defense: 249.3 yards per game (#1 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 150.2 ypg (#2)
--- Rushing defense: 99.1 ypg (#11)

- Philadelphia Eagles team stats:
- Offense: 347.0 yards per game (#20 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 219.7 ypg (#21)
--- Rushing offense: 127.3 ypg (#11)
- Defense: 326.3 yards per game (#8 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 239.0 ypg (#16)
--- Rushing defense: 87.3 ypg (#4)

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Jonathan Daniel // Getty Images

Chicago Bears (4-5) @ Los Angeles Rams (5-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Nov. 17, 8:20 p.m. EST

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Last season, the Bears' impenetrable defense and the Rams' unstoppable offense were the driving factors behind Chicago finishing with a 12-4 record and Los Angeles with a 13-3 record and home field advantage.

This year, though, they both sit in third place in their respective divisions, trailing teams that seem much more cut out for a playoff run like the 49ers, Seahawks, Packers, and Vikings. The Sean McVay offense just has not been the same this season, and their struggles on the road at Pittsburgh last Sunday, where they failed to score an offensive touchdown in a 17-12 loss, are a big reason why the point total for this game in Las Vegas opened at 41.5, the second-lowest total for a Rams game since McVay took over as head coach.

The Bears offense has also been disastrous throughout much of 2019, though a three-touchdown, no interception performance from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday helped propel them to a 20-13 win over the Lions. Detroit was without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, who missed the game due to injury and was replaced by Jeff Driskel, who found moderate success against the vaunted Chicago defense, finishing with 269 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

With the Rams still unable to find their rhythm on offense, it is telling that they open as 6.5 point favorites against a team with as good of a defense as Chicago. Sure, home field advantage is worth a field goal, but an additional 3.5 points in Los Angeles’ favor with a 41.5 point total would suggest that as much as the Rams will struggle to put up numbers on offense, Trubisky and company will likely find it even harder.

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Justin Berl // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Los Angeles Rams

- Favored to win: Los Angeles Rams
- Spread: -6.5
- Odds: -310

- Chicago Bears team stats:
- Offense: 262.2 yards per game (#29 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 181.7 ypg (#30)
--- Rushing offense: 80.6 ypg (#28)
- Defense: 327.3 yards per game (#9 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 233.3 ypg (#15)
--- Rushing defense: 94.0 ypg (#9)

- Los Angeles Rams team stats:
- Offense: 375.8 yards per game (#12 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 279.6 ypg (#6)
--- Rushing offense: 96.2 ypg (#20)
- Defense: 331.0 yards per game (#11 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 240.2 ypg (#17)
--- Rushing defense: 90.8 ypg (#5)

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David Eulitt // Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) @ Los Angeles Chargers (4-6)

- Gametime: Monday, Nov. 18, 8:15 p.m. EST

After poor field conditions ruined the NFL’s attempt to host Chiefs vs. Rams in Mexico City last season, this coming Monday will see Kansas City square off in a divisional showdown with the Chargers at the Estadio Azteca. For the Chiefs, a 6-4 record is somewhat disappointing, considering the form they had hoped to find last week with quarterback Patrick Mahomes II returning from injury to start against the Titans. Though Mahomes was more than impactful (446 yards, 3 TDs), Ryan Tannehill and the Titans offense still got the last laugh in a last-second 35-32 victory.

Tannehill burned the Chiefs' defense with a 23-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to Adam Humphries with 23 seconds left, and then the Tennessee special teams unit finished the job by blocking a 52-yard field goal attempt from Harrison Butker that would have tied the game at the end of regulation.

With a vulnerable defense and all, the 6-4 Chiefs still find themselves in first place in the AFC West, ahead of the 5-4 Raiders and with the 4-6 Chargers now needing to pull off a remarkable late-season run to stay in contention. Los Angeles fell victim to the Raiders 26-24 on Thursday Night Football, and will have a bit more rest than Kansas City ahead of their upcoming contest. But if Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense can’t fix its turnover problem, then keeping with Mahomes and the Chiefs may prove to be too difficult. In 10 games, Rivers has thrown 10 interceptions and as a team, they are minus-six in turnover differential.

Extra possessions for an offense as loaded as Kansas City’s spells bad news, and Rivers’ season has taken a downward trend that may end up spelling the virtual end to their playoff chances as soon as this Sunday.

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Jamie Squire // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Kansas City Chiefs

- Favored to win: Kansas City Chiefs
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -200

- Kansas City Chiefs team stats:
- Offense: 404.7 yards per game (#3 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 313.9 ypg (#1)
--- Rushing offense: 90.8 ypg (#24)
- Defense: 369.5 yards per game (#22 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 221.4 ypg (#8)
--- Rushing defense: 148.1 ypg (#31)

- Los Angeles Chargers team stats:
- Offense: 356.2 yards per game (#16 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 270.1 ypg (#8)
--- Rushing offense: 86.1 ypg (#26)
- Defense: 318.3 yards per game (#6 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 207.8 ypg (#5)
--- Rushing defense: 110.5 ypg (#19)

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