The playoff picture should come a little more into focus this week.

Riggo's Rag Week 11 NFL Picks

It’s Saturday night and because I forgot to reserve my ticket to the Florida State v. Maryland game, I thought I’d do my inaugural picks. Feel free to comment and let me know what you like and what you dislike. I did pick Chicago to take out the Dolphins but since that game is over with I won’t take credit for it. Here is how I see this weekends matchups playing out.

1:00 PM ET Games

Baltimore Ravens (6-3) v. Carolina Panthers (1-8) – The Baltimore Ravens defense has not been as stellar this year as many had expected. Ed Reed is back and could possibly help bring their secondary up to speed with their front seven. Regardless of who is playing on D for the Ravens, Carolina doesn’t have the firepower to take advantage.

Ravens 27 Panthers 10.

Buffalo Bills (1-8) v. Cincinnati Bengals (2-7) – Buffalo is fresh off their first victory of the season last week against Detroit 14-12. The Bengals have struggled this season and are currently on a six game skid. I think Cincy will get their act together for at least one week, at home, against Buffalo.

Bills 17 Bengals 28.

Detroit Lions (2-7) v. Dallas Cowboys (2-7) – The Lions won’t have the chance to throw away a two-point conversion at the end this week. Cowboys will win their second straight (it hurts to predict a win for Dallas, but hey) and the word “Playoffs” will get tossed around way too much for a 3-7 team after the game.

Lions 13 Cowboys 26.

Cleveland Browns (3-6) v. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4) – Jacksonville has started to gain some momentum and hopes to pull back into the race for the AFC South. The Browns have been impressive in their wins and some of their losses this year. I think Peyton Hillis gives the Browns control over the clock and McCoy does enough to not lose the game.

Browns 23 Jaguars 16.

Arizona Cardinals (3-6) v. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4) – This is probably about as sure as I’m going to be in my picks this week. Kansas City is rushing the ball for literally twice the yardage per game (165.3) as their opponent Arizona (82.7). That, coupled with the Cards allowing 400+ yards a game and 29 ppg, makes me think KC has this one in the bag.

Cardinals 14 Chiefs 32.

Green Bay Packers (6-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-6) – Statistically, these teams are fairly similar this year. The Vikings have Sidney Rice back this week and he could possibly open things up for Percy Harvin underneath, or he could not. The Packers are running the ball a little better now and I think Aaron Rodgers wants to put Brett Favre out of Green Bay and his psyche for good.

Packers 24 Vikings 17.

Houston Texans (4-5) v. New York Jets (7-2) – The Texans average 24.1 ppg on offense, which is one point better than the Jets per game. The only problem is that Houston gives up 28.6, while New York has held their opponents to under 17. Sanchez has been pulling out close games, don’t expect this to be one of them. I’m going big with my prediction for this one.

Texans 17 Jets 35.

Oakland Raiders (5-4) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) – Who had this game as potentially impacting the wild card race in the AFC? The Raiders have seemingly grown up this year and the Steelers, while still a contender, have flaws. I guess if you had to call this anything, you’d call it my “upset special”. I believe the Oakland Raiders can walk into Pittsburgh and walk out with a win. The Raiders are coming off a bye, the Steelers coming off a loss. I think Mike Tomlin will have the black and yellow ready to play but I just have a feeling.

Raiders 23 Steelers 20.

Washington Redskins (4-5) v. Tennessee Titans (5-4) – I think for this game you have to throw out the statistics. The Redskins are reeling. Back to back losses before and after a bye. The Monday Night Massacre. The Contract. I think Shanahan’s pride is on the line and so is Washington’s season. The Redskins will moderately contain Chris Johnson and force Vince Young to win the game with his arm, which he won’t.

Redskins 28 Titans 24.

The one o’clock slate is a good one. I have the road team winning five out of the nine games and only two or three absolute blowouts. The NFL is completely unpredictable, as we all know, so nothing is set in stone (just ask Jerry Jones).

4:05 PM ET Games

Seattle Seahawks (5-4) v. New Orleans Saints (6-3) – New Orleans, at home, versus Seattle. The Seahawks had lost a combined 74-10 against the Raiders and Giants before their win over Arizona. The Cardinals are not the Saints and I believe New Orleans, coming off a bye, will let them know.

Seahawks 10 Saints 28.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) vs. San Francisco 49ers (3-6) – I think Tampa Bay could be for real this year but I don’t see them winning this one in San Fran. The Niners are still in the NFC West title hunt. Who knows, maybe Singletary isn’t crazy.

Buccaneers 23 49ers 24.

Atlanta Falcons (7-2) v. St. Louis Rams (4-5) – Sam Bradford is clearly the future in St. Louis but I think the Falcons have too many weapons for the Rams defense to contain. Look for Matt Ryan to make the Falcons look like the best team in the NFC.

Falcons 30 Rams 24.

4:15 PM ET Game

Indianapolis Colts (6-3) v. New England Patriots (7-2) – The Colts have not played particularly well on the road this season and I don’t see it getting any easier in New England. The debate on ESPN radio this week was “Which QB would you take in the clutch to win one game?” I would take Tom Brady. You can’t go wrong with either QB but Manning has basically been his own offensive coordinator for most of his 13 years in Indy while Brady has had a few different coordinators. The other factor is rings, Tom has 3, Peyton has 1. I take Brady to drive me down the field in the most clutch of moments, and I take the Pats to pull of a win at home.

Colts 27 Patriots 38.

Sunday Night Football Game (8:20 PM EST)

New York Giants (6-3) v. Philadelphia Eagles (6-3) – Sunday nights showdown at the Linc will be for first place in the NFC East. The Michael Vick show comes home to play New York in primetime. Philadelphia’s offense was unstoppable last Monday night in DC. The Giants pass rush is not the Redskins pass rush and I expect them to get some real pressure on Vick. I think Vick will throw his first interception in four years on Sunday Night, but it won’t be enough for a suddenly beatable Giants team to win. Eagles win a great game at home and take over first in the NFC East.

Giants 27 Eagles 37.

Monday Night Football Game (8:30 PM EST)

Denver Broncos (3-6) v. San Diego Chargers (4-5) – I think that with the number one and number two passing offenses going at it, we should see a show. Rivers is playing like an MVP and Orton isn’t too bad either right now. Chargers win a shootout at home.

Broncos 24 Chargers 35.

[Stay tuned for my post on Tuesday, I'll recap my week 11 picks and talk about the Redskins game in Tennessee.]


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