Thursday, November 19, 2020

NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 11

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Arizona @ Seattle (-3)

The Seahawks lost 23-16 to the Rams at SoFi Stadium, suffering their second consecutive defeat. Russell Wilson struggled, and has 7 turnovers in the last 2 games.

"Russell's trying to do too much," Pete Carroll said. "That's a function of our troubles running the ball. I sincerely believe we can run the ball better, especially if our opponents would tackle like Jamaal Adams.

"We gave up 37 points the last time we played the Cardinals. That can't happen again. This year, we've had a historically bad defense. And history keeps repeating itself."

The Cardinals beat the Bills, 32-30, winning on Kyler Murray's 43-yard Hail Mary touchdown heave to DeAndre Hopkins with 2 seconds left.

"Sometimes your prayers are answered," Kliff Kingsbury said. "But that's only if you pray. I don't believe in divine intervention, at least not here in Glendale. I firmly believe in the separation of church and State Farm Stadium."

Seahawks win, 30-24.

Philadelphia @ Cleveland (-3½)

The Eagles lost 27-17 to the Giants at MetLife Stadium and saw their lead in the NFC East shrink to just one game.

"Brett Favre was critical of Carson Wentz a few weeks ago," Doug Pederson said. "I really don't think it's Brett's place to do that. Much like his penis, he needs to keep his opinions to himself.

"I'm a big believer in using mathematical and statistical data to determine the most beneficial course of action. In short, I really appreciate analytics. In shorter than that, I'm into anal."

The Browns beat the Texans 10-7 as Cleveland rushed for 231 yards as a team.

"Nick Chubb made an unselfish play by running out of bounds instead of scoring," Kevin Stefanski said. "I instructed him to do that. If he scores there, we have a 10 point lead with 1:07 left. So, basically, I didn't trust my defense to maintain that lead.

"Carson Wentz is much like my own Baker Mayfield — neither has lived up to expectations. Baker may be the fourth-best quarterback in the AFC North, but at least he's led his team to a winning record. Wentz is not even the fourth-best quarterback in his division of four teams."

Browns win, 29-24.

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-5)

The Falcons emerge from their Week 10 bye riding a two-game winning streak.

"That two-game winning streak is double our previous longest winning streak," Matt Ryan said. "When we were 0-5, we could have packed our bags. Instead, we packed Dan Quinn's bags."

The Saints beat the 49ers 27-13 as Alvin Kamara scored 3 touchdowns. New Orleans improved to 7-2.

"Drew Brees suffered multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung in that game," Sean Payton said. "That's the bad news. The good news? There is none. Why? Because our quarterback will either be Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill. Either way, the Falcons are going to force them to throw, Jameis to the Falcons, and Taysom into the ground."

Saints win, 26-24.

Cincinnati @ Washington (-1½)

The Bengals fell 36-10 to the Steelers at Heinz Field. Cincinnati fell to 2-6-1 and are 0-17-1 in their last 18 road games.

"That's a terrible road record," Joe Burrow said. "We're not only the 'door mat,' but home teams also lay out the 'welcome mat' for us.

"But one of my goals when I came to Cincinnati was to 'change the culture,' as they say. In that respect, I hope I'm a good 'cultural fit.' I think I am. If I played in Houston, I'd also be a good cultural fit, because I'm a male.

"I'm just happy I'm not in the Southeastern Conference anymore. They should rename it the 'SECF,' for 'Southeastern Cluster F.'"

Washington's comeback from a 24-3 third quarter deficit came up short in a 30-27 loss to the Lions at Ford Field. Washington dropped to 2-7.

"We were hoping to have a better record at this point in the season," Ron Rivera said. "But we just have to keep grinding and improving. I mean, what else are we gonna do? Dispute the results of our season?

"Anyway, this is a good group of guys. They're young, they have their pride, and they just need to regroup and be ready for their next opportunity. So to them, I say, 'Proud boys, stand back and stand by.'"

Bengals win, 26-22.

Detroit @ Carolina (-1½)

The Lions beat the Redskins 30-27 at Ford Field. Matt Stafford passed 3 touchdowns, and Matt Prater nailed a 59-yard field goal on the last play of the game for the win.

"The success of this team is defined by the strong performances of those named 'Matt,'" Stafford said. "I guess two out of three ain't bad.

"X-rays on my thumb were negative, so I'll be ready to go against the Panthers. I have a reputation as one of the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL. Not necessarily because I play through multiple injuries, but because I've suffered through 12 seasons in Detroit."

The Buccaneers smashed the Panthers 46-23 in Charlotte. Tampa piled up 541 total yards as Carolina lost its fifth straight game.

"You don't want to hear the number 500 mentioned in Charlotte," Matt Rhule said, "unless you're talking about NASCAR. And while we're on the subject of NASCAR, when a tire deflates suddenly, it's called a 'blowout.'

"We certainly missed Christian McCaffrey. Christian's dealing with a number of injuries. Hopefully, he can get healthy. In the meantime, check out his clothing line called 'Flag and Anthem and Sling and Walking Boot.'"

Panthers win, 24-20.

Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville (+10)

The Steelers crushed the Bengals, 36-10, as Ben Roethlisberger passed for 4 touchdowns. Pittsburgh remained undefeated and sits atop the AFC North at 10-0.

"Ben didn't even practice all week before the game due to COVID isolation," Mike Tomlin said. "Not that he didn't use that time to prepare. As Ben said, "If you're gonna be locked in a room, you might as well make the best of it.' He also said that in 2010.

"Defensively, we made Joe Burrow look ordinary. And the goal in Jacksonville is to make Jake Luton look extraordinary."

The Jaguars hung tough at Lambeau Field in a 24-20 loss to the Packers. Jacksonville is 1-8 and 0-5 on the road.

"We put ourselves in position to win," Doug Marrone said. "Not the game, but the No. 1 pick in the 2021 Draft.

"If we suffer another loss, I may not be around to see the next one. I hear rumors that the front office is planning my departure. So, they're 'bye' curious."

Steelers win, 31-13.

Tennessee @ Baltimore (-6½)

The Titans saw a 17-13 halftime lead evaporate in an eventual 34-17 loss to the visiting Colts on Thursday night in Nashville.

"Our special teams let us down," Mike Vrabel said. "Our punter shanked one punt, and had another blocked for a touchdown. He was previously employed at FedEx. Soon, he can say he was previously employed by the Titans."

The Patriots upset the Ravens 23-17 in Foxboro. Baltimore surrendered 173 yards on the ground. Baltimore is 6-3, three games behind the Steelers in the AFC North.

"The Patriots ran it right at us," John Harbaugh said. "And we couldn't do much about it. I expect the Titans will do the same thing. So, when Lamar Jackson suggests that other defenses know our plays, it's not that they're cheating. It's the fact that we are that predictable."

Ravens win, 27-23.

New England @ Houston (+2½)

The Patriots beat the Ravens 23-17 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

"I coach circles around John Harbaugh," Bill Belichick said. "I'm playing chess while Harbaugh is playing checkers. In fairness, John is simultaneously playing checkers while also trying to teach his younger brother Jim how to play.

"You have to hand it to Jim, though. Even though his Michigan team is 1-3, he's remaining confident, almost too confident. But you know what they say about Jim; he's always gonna be 'khaki.'"

The Texans offense sputtered in windy Cleveland in a 10-7 loss to the Browns.

"The wind got the best of our offense," Romeo Crenel said, "because it moved the ball more than we did."

Patriots win, 26-22.

Miami @ Denver (+3)

The Dolphins beat the Chargers 29-21 to post their fifth straight win. Tua Tagovailoa passed for 2 touchdowns, and Miami trails the Bills by just a half-game in the AFC East.

"I'm in my second year as head coach," Brian Flores said. "And already, we're a playoff contender. Sure, I learned much of what I know in New England. So, maybe I did ride into town on Bill Belichick's coattails. But here's the difference between me and Detroit's Matt Patricia: I got off."

The Raiders blasted the Broncos 37-12 at Allegiant Stadium as Denver fell to 3-6. Drew Lock threw 4 interceptions.

"Drew struggled identifying defenses," Vic Fangio said, "just as I've struggled identifying quarterbacks."

Dolphins win, 23-14.

NY Jets @ L.A. Chargers (-8½)

The Jets had a Week 10 bye and are 0-10.

"I thought we performed admirably in our Week 9 loss to the Patriots," Adam Gase said. "We're trying to win. And if you don't believe that, then you're just like Joe Namath. He absolutely refuses to guarantee a Jets win this year. Joe's probably right. Can you imagine seeing Trevor Lawrence and his gorgeous mane on the Jets sideline next year. Joe can, and he'd probably try to solicit a kiss from him."

The Chargers lost 29-21 to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Justin Herbert struggled with Miami's pressure, and passed for only 187 yards.

"Every Sunday's not gonna be a 'Dan Fouts' day for Justin," Anthony Lynn said. "Some are gonna be 'Ryan Leaf' days, like last Sunday against the Dolphins. So, the moral of the story to Justin is: if you feel pressure, don't crack. And certainly don't do crack."

Chargers win, 26-21.

Green Bay @ Indianapolis (-2½)

The Colts beat the Titans 34-17 on Thursday to forge a tie in the AFC South. Phillip Rivers passed for 308 yards and a score, and Nyheim Hines found the end zone twice.

"Nyheim wasn't just good," Frank Reich said, "he was great. He may very well be our best running back. Now, I don't want to put him on a pedestal, I just want to put Jonathan Taylor on the bench."

The Packers beat the Jaguars 24-20, led by Aaron Rodgers, who passed for 325 yards and 2 touchdowns and added a rushing score.

"I look forward to going up against Rivers," Rodgers said. "I've got a lot of respect for him. The man has nine children! Count 'em, nine. And get this, Antonio Cromartie, they were all birthed by the same woman."

Colts win, 24-21.

Dallas @ Minnesota (-5)

The Cowboys had a week 10 bye and return to action with a 2-7 record.

"That puts us in a tie for last place in the NFC East," Mike McCarthy said. "But, and it's a big but, we're only 1½ games out of first. So, I like big buts."

The Vikings beat the Bears 19-13 at Soldier Field on Monday night. Kirk Cousins passed for 2 scores, both to Adam Thielen.

"Kirk picked up his first win as a starting quarterback on Monday Night Football," Mike Zimmer said. "He's now 1-9. If you're at all impressed by that, then you must think my 2-3 record in the playoffs is the shiznitz."

Dallas wins, 27-26.

Kansas City @ Las Vegas (+6½)

The Chiefs had a Week 10 bye and head to Las Vegas looking to avenge a Week 5 loss to the Raiders.

"We haven't forgotten," Patrick Mahomes said. "We heard about the Raiders bus taking a few victory laps around Arrowhead Stadium on their way out. Maybe they wanted to get a look at what a Super Bowl champion banner from the 21st century looks like.

"Anyway, victory laps aside, we're gonna 'run circles around' the Raiders on Sunday night."

The Raiders hammered the Broncos, 37-12, powered by a rushing attack that accumulated 203 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"We knew the Broncos defense had a weak spot in the middle," Jon Gruden said. "And there was no disguising it. And take it from us, when there's a situation that can't be 'masked,' we'll find it."

Chiefs win, 34-21.

L.A. Rams @ Tampa Bay (-3)

The Buccaneers beat the Panthers 46-23 in Charlotte. Tom Brady passed for 3 scores and Ronald Jones rushed for 192 yards and a score.

"Ronald had a 98-yard TD run," Bruce Arians said. "That's a franchise record for longest touchdown from scrimmage. There's only two things that could ever overshadow that: 1) a 99-yard touchdown run from scrimmage, or 2) news that Antonio Brown was accused of destroying a security camera and throwing a bicycle at a security guard.

"Our flight to Charlotte was delayed over 7 hours. No, Aldon Smith was neither in the Tampa or Charlotte airport."

The Rams beat the Seahawks 23-16 to move into a three-way tie in the NFC West. The Rams defense harassed Russell Wilson, while the offense controlled the tempo on the ground.

"I knew we had to run the ball," Sean McVay said. "And it was my job to scheme the game plan. So, I asked myself to do the same thing I asked of my running backs: take the ball out of Jared Goff's hands."

Buccaneers win, 25-20.

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