Week 11 is shaping up to be a week of “separation”.
The four games of the week involve either: A) one team that needs to win to salvage a legitimate chance for the playoffs, or B) two teams atop their respective divisions that, with a win, will control their chance toward a division title and perhaps home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Speaking of separation, that’s what happened last week between Rob and I.
We both came into week 10 at 8-7. But currently, my record is 11-8, while Rob is below .500 at 8-12.
Here are our week 11 games of the week.
Green Bay (6-3, 2-2 road) @ Minnesota (3-6, 3-1 home)
Mike’s pick: GREEN BAY
Like I said in the beginning, Green Bay will use this week to separate themselves as the dominant team in this rivalry and to continue to lead the race for the NFC North title.
The Packers are coming off of a bye week, which they needed. Minnesota played a bad game at Chicago in week 10, and lost, 27-13.
Most of all, Brett Favre looks bad. He isn’t close to what he once was, and Sidney Rice may not even play.
The last time these two teams played, the Vikings lost and had Randy Moss. Now Moss is in Tennessee.
My guess is Green Bay wins by at least a touchdown.
Houston (4-5, 2-2 road) @ New York Jets (7-2, 2-2 home)
Mike’s pick: NEW YORK JETS
Matt Schaub was in the hospital with a bursa sac injury in his knee. Andre Johnson will surely get double-covered by a safety or nickel back, and either Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie.
The one advantage Houston could have is Arian Foster and their running game. Still, the Jets are ranked fifth in the NFL, giving up just under 90 rushing yards per game.
Although the Jets have played two consecutive overtime games on the road, they did win those games, and now return home.
Houston’s defense is pretty bad, especially in the secondary. That spells trouble for the Texans, are Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes are starting to develop a good chemistry together.
Indianapolis (6-3, 2-3 road) @ New England (7-2, 4-0 home)
Mike’s pick: INDIANAPOLIS
The line in Vegas has the Patriots favored by 3.5 points. Vegas usually gives the home team an automatic three points for being at home. Therefore, the odds-makers think the Patriots are only a half of a point better than the Colts if the game was being played at a neutral site.
The biggest game of week 11 is this one. It will be in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
You may see a lot of stats related to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. The stat that is truly relevant is wins and losses.
At home against Peyton Manning and the Colts, Tom Brady is 6-2 (10-6 overall).
As far as Super Bowl titles and head-to-head match-ups, Brady has Manning’s number.
Also, the Patriots are much healthier than the Colts.
Still, for some reason I feel like it’s the worst mistake to doubt Peyton Manning. I have a feeling that incredible pass-blocking of the Patriots will be thoroughly tested by the incredible pass-rushers of the Colts.
And if it’s a close game, the Colts have the absolute edge. Not only did the Patriots put their kicker on IR before last week’s game, the Colts have former Patriots legend Adam Vinatieri kicking for them.
How’s that for irony?
New York Giants (6-3, 3-1 road) @ Philadelphia (6-3, 2-2 home)
Mike’s pick: NEW YORK (GIANTS)
There is no way the Eagles will come close to scoring 59 points for a second straight week.
Also, Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning are too good to let the Giants suffer another loss, after last week’s embarrassment to the Cowboys.
The Giants’ offense is pretty well stocked, all-around.
On the other hand, if you stop Vick, you stop the Eagles.
Even though that’s easier said than done, I like those odds.
Upset game of the week: Denver @ San Diego (-10)
Mike’s pick: DENVER (+10)
Denver put up 49 points against a good Kansas City team last week, they still have Champ Bailey at cornerback and Antonio Gates may not play for a second straight game.
That is a case for Denver to win outright, which tells you them getting ten points is the best chance for an upset you’ll see in week 11.
Here are Rob’s picks for week 11.
Green Bay @ Minnesota
Rob’s pick: Green Bay
The Vikings are coming off a very deflating loss and Brett Favre just looked beat up and (re)tired.
Even though the Vikings are at home Sunday, the Packers roll into town fresh off a bye week. Although the NFC playoff window is still very much open, the Vikings need to make a run and start winning games now.
The league leader in sacks and Defensive Player of the Year front runner, Clay Matthews, will be rested and looking to make Favre’s day a nightmare.
Green Bay comes away with the win as they’ll move to 7-3, while Minnesota drops to 3-7 and are virtually eliminated from the playoff race.
Houston @ New York Jets
Rob’s pick: New York Jets
All year I was very big on the Houston Texans. They came out this season looking very solid. Then what happened? They’ve lost three straight games and can’t seem to find a way to win.
The Jets are coming off of two back-to-back overtime wins and are finding ways to win right now.
Houston does have the NFL rushing leader Arian Foster and All-Pro WR Andre Johnson, but they seem to be rendered useless when it comes to actually winning games.
I think we’ll see a sixty minute battle. Regardless, the Jets will prevail and move to 8-2 on the season.
Indianapolis @ New England
Rob’s pick: New England
This game is what football is all about. Two AFC teams who are leading their division, playoff contenders and each have one of the best QB’s in the NFL. These teams are so comparable right now that it’s tough to call a winner.
Whatever you do Sunday, make sure you watch this classic match-up between two of the AFC’s best teams. I’m giving this one to the home team, as Indianapolis struggles in outdoor/cold weather games.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia
Rob’s pick: Philadelphia
Week 11 is packed with great match-ups, and this one falls right in there. This game is for first place of the NFC East. Both teams are 6-3 and looking to secure the #1 spot in the division, which won’t be any easy task.
The Eagles blew out the Redskins last week. As for the Giants, they are coming off a major loss to the struggling Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants defense is playing very well this year, but so is the Eagles offense. This game is another toss up, but I give it to the Eagles who are playing at home and are hot right now.
Upset game of the week: Cleveland @ Jacksonville (-1.5)
Rob’s pick: Cleveland (+1.5)
Cleveland is playing good football right now. Their rookie Colt McCoy is managing games, making smart decisions and even went on a 4th quarter game tying touchdown drive against the Jets defense.
Running back Peyton Hillis is having a breakout season as he is the 12th overall rusher in the NFL and 3rd overall in rushing touchdowns (8).
The Jaguars seems to somehow, someway win games this year. I have to say their last win at home over the Texans was pure luck. Garrard threw up a Hail Mary and Texans CB Glover Quin did the right thing by batting the ball away.
Somehow, Jaguars WR Mike Thomas was standing in the right place at the right time to catch the pass for a touchdown.
I know a win is a win, but that doesn’t mean they are playing good football. Look for Cleveland to definitely cover the spread, and most likely win outright.
To recap, I’m taking: Green Bay, New York (Jets), Indianapolis, New York (Giants) and Denver (+10).
Rob is taking: Green Bay, New York (Jets), New England, Philadelphia and Cleveland (+1.5)
Thanks for reading.