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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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.
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)
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.
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)
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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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)
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.
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)
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.
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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