Week 11 is upon us and the games are starting to get more and more crucial for teams that have playoff aspirations. This week should bring some more great NFL action as the playoff contenders start to take form. Without further adieu, here are the predictions for Week 11 in the NFL.
Chicago vs. Miami
Chicago travels to South Beach to take on the Miami Dolphins. QB Tyler Thigpen will be making thee start for the Dolphins. With Thigpen in the game, I expect the Dolphins to run more Wildcat offense with RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. When the Dolphins aren't doing that, expect Thigpen to move around in the pocket and try to make plays down the field to WR Brandon Marshall. If I were the Dolphins, I would put Marshall on the right side of their formation because that's where 5'8" CB Tim Jennings will be. QB Jay Cutler must limit the turnovers and value the football. If he is able to be patient, he will find holes in the Dolphins' secondary and hurt the Dolphins big-time.
Prediction: Chicago 23, Miami 17
Buffalo vs. Cincinnati
Buffalo heads to the Queen City to take on the lowly Bengals. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing good football at the helm of the Bills. He will need to attack the Bengals in the middle of the field. If the Bills can do that, then there will be running lanes for RB Fred Jackson to gash the Bengals defense. For the Bengals, they must protect the football and that starts with QB Carson Palmer. He has been giving up interceptions for TDs at an alarming rate. He must protect the football and allow the offense to flow. I just don't think Palmer and the Bengals will be able to protect the football enough to win.
Prediction: Buffalo 26, Cincinnati 24
Detroit vs. Dallas
The Lions head to Dallas to take on the re-invigorated Dallas Cowboys. QB Shaun Hill must attack the Cowboys downfield. He must make Cowboys S Allan Ball think back there. If Hill is able to attack the Cowboys' secondary with WRs Nate Burleson and Calvin Johnson, then some running lanes may open up for RB Jahvid Best. QB John Kitna went to the fountain of youth last week. He must continue to get the ball downfield to WRs Dez Bryant, Roy Williams and Miles Austin. The Cowboys must also use the running game again. If Dallas does these things on offense, then Detroit's road losing streak will continue.
Prediction: Dallas 30, Detroit 17
Washington vs. Tennessee
Washing travels to the Music City to take on a Titans team looking to redeem themselves. Washington QB Donovan McNabb must get some help in the running game this week. If the running game is effective, then WR Anthony Armstrong and McNabb should be able to make a big plays in the passing game against the Titans' secondary. QB Vince Young will be somewhat hobbled coming into this game. He must shake off the injury bug and be himself out there. He must also use WR Randy Moss. I expect Moss to be very effective this game versus a terrible secondary.
Prediction: Tennessee 31, Washington 20
Arizona vs. Kansas City
Arizona travels to Arrowhead Stadium to take on a Chiefs team still licking their wounds from their loss in Denver. Look for Arizona to try and get WR Larry Fitzgerald involved early. The more he gets involved, the more the safeties of the Chiefs have to account for him and that will open up running lanes for RBs Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells. Chiefs QB Matt Cassel is proving more and more every week that he can lead the offense. Cassel and WR Dwayne Bowe should be able to exploit the Cardinal secondary. The Chiefs also may find more running room in the trenches because of the injury to DT Darnell Dockett.
Prediction: Kansas City 33, Arizona 23
Green Bay vs. Minnesota
Green Bay travels to Minnesota to take on a drama-filled Vikings team. QB Aaron Rodgers must be patient in the pocket. He should have all the time in the world to spread the ball around to his WRs and RBs because of the lack of a pass rush from the Vikings. QB Brett Farve will more than likely play this week and he will have to get a lot of help from RB Adrian Peterson to win this game. If Peterson can cause problems for the Packer defense, then Farve may have some time to hit his favorite targets, TE Visanthe Shiancoe and WR Percy Harvin. Then again, with OLB Clay Matthews playing this week, he may not.
Prediction: Green Bay 27, Minnesota 21
Houston vs. New York Jets
Houston travels up North to take on a confident Jets team. Texans RB Arian Foster has been carrying the team the last few weeks and he faces a stern test in the Jets. If Foster gets going, then the Jets could be in trouble. QB Matt Schaub better hope Foster does get going running the ball or else he will be feeling heat all day from the Jet defense. QB Mark Sanchez is proving that he is clutch with each passing week. This week he should be able to relax just a little bit more because the Texans have the worst defense in the NFL.
Prediction: NY Jets 30, Houston 21
Oakland vs. Pittsburgh
Oakland travels to the Steel City to take on the Steelers. QB Jason Campbell has been playing well as a result of the running game showing up every week. Look for him to have to carry the offense more this week because the Steelers do not allow people to run the ball on them. TE Zach Miller will be key in this game. The Steelers must get back to the running game. For them to win, they must establish themselves in the trenches and utilize RB Rashard Mendenhall to his potential. If the Steelers run first and pass off of that, then they will win the ballgame because Oakland QB Jason Campbell can't beat the Steelers defense by himself.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, Oakland 17
Baltimore vs. Carolina
Baltimore hits the road to take on a hapless Panthers team. QB Joe Flacco should be able to attack the Panther defense with regularity down the field. I expect WR Anquan Boldin and company to have big days. The Panthers also have been getting torched in the running game, so I look for RB Ray Rice to find some creases. It has been announced that QB Bryan St. Pierre will more than likely get the start this week. Pierre has been out of football for a few years, so look for the Ravens to pressure him from all different angles. This game will show just how bad Carolina is.
Prediction: Baltimore 27, Carolina 6
Cleveland vs. Jacksonville
Cleveland travels to Florida to take on a confident Jaguars team. QB Colt McCoy and RB Peyton Hillis lead the Browns into this game and they must lead their team during the game. McCoy must continue to make smart decisions with the football and run when the opportunity presents itself. Hillis should be able to have his way running the ball because the Jags aren't that great at stopping the run. QB David Garrard won the game on a prayer last week to cap off his good game. This week he must try to take advantage of a porous Browns' secondary and he must continue to get help from RB Maurice Jones-Drew. In the end, I think that Hillis will run the ball well and limit the possessions that the Jaguars will have.
Prediction: Cleveland 24, Jacksonville 21
Atlanta vs. St. Louis
Atlanta travels to the Lou to take on the Rams. QB Matt Ryan player lights out last week, but this week he will need the running game to play better. If RBs Michael Turner and Chris Snelling do not play well, Ryan will have to put up almost 40 passes for them to win and that's not the Falcons' winning formula. For QB Sam Bradford, he must continue to spread the football around and RB Stephen Jackson must be a beast in the running game. I think this will be the game that the Falcons get caught slipping.
Prediction: St. Louis 27, Atlanta 24
Seattle vs. New Orleans
Seattle travels to see the well-rested Saints in the Bayou. QB Matt Hasselbeck proved how tough he was last week when he continued to play even though he had broken a bone in his hand. This week, Hasselbeck is actually gonna have to worry more about where S Darren Sharper is instead of the comfort of his hand. If he can locate Sharper and look him off a couple of times, then the Seahawks will be able to make some big plays. If not, then it could be a long day for the Seahawk offense. QB Drew Brees finally gets one of his weapons back this week. RB Reggie Bush's presence should open up more things in the passing game because a LB has to account for Bush and his receiving abilities. Look for the Saints to explode on offense.
Prediction: New Orleans 38, Seattle 20
Tampa Bay vs. San Francisco
Tampa travels to the city by the Bay to take on a surging 49er squad. QB Josh Freeman has been leading the Buccaneer offense all year with his passing, but now he has a two-headed monster in the running game, RBs LaGarrette Blount and Cadillac Williams. This offense should provide a serious threat to the 49er defense. The main thing the Bucs must do is account for ILB Patrick Willis. He is a beast. QB Troy Smith has been making explosive plays in the passing game the last 2 starts, but this game will be won in the trenches. If RB Frank Gore gets going, then Smith will have an easier time attacking the Buccaneer secondary. If Gore doesn't produce, then Smith could have a long day. I think Gore and the 49ers have the advantage because the defensive line is the weakness of the Buccaneer defense.
Prediction: San Francisco 26, Tampa Bay 23
Indianapolis vs. New England
The Colts travel to New England for this classic QB showdown. QB Peyton Manning is coming off a subpar performance, so I expect him to come out focused and ready. WR Pierre Garcon must be effective and so must TE Jacob Tamme. If they aren't effective , the Colts will not win. QB Tom Brady lives for these types of games, so I expect him to be ready to go despite not practicing for most of the week. This game will be close, but the Patriots will be the home team and the game is outside. Advantage Patriots.
Prediction: New England 31, Indianapolis 27
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia
New York travels to Philly to take on an exciting Philadelphia Eagle team. QB Eli Manning must rebound this week. He must have the running game show up and gash the Eagle defense. If he doesn't have the running game appear, then he could be in for a long night against the constant blitzing of the Eagles. QB Michael Vick was unstoppable last against the Redskins and I look for him to once again make some big plays with his arm and his legs. This week will be more challenging for him because of the pass rush of the Giants and the motivation the whole defense will have to prove themselves again after their clunker of a performance last week. Even though the Giants defense will play better, Vick will still make enough plays to win the game.
Prediction: Philadelphia 34, NY Giants 24
Denver vs. San Diego
Denver travels to Southern California to take on the Charger. QB Kyle Orton finally got some help in the running game last week from RB Knowshon Moreno. Moreno must once again be effective this week for the Orton to have time to throw the ball. QB Phillip Rivers has been carrying the Charger offense all season long. He may have TE Antonio Gates back for this game. If Gates isn't out there, Rivers should still be able to attack an aging Denver defense and cause them serious problems.
Prediction: San Diego 27, Denver 17
These are my predictions for the week. If you feel you have what it takes to challenge me, then step up and put your picks on here and we will see who comes out on top.