Week 11 power rankings

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1. Eagles (9-1; last week No. 1): Step One for making the no-kicker strategy work? Get Carson Wentz to play quarterback.

2. Patriots (8-2; No. 2): La puerta esta abierta for a Super Bowl win.

3. Steelers (8-2; No. 3): They’re really good, but still not good enough to beat the Patriots in a playoff game.

4. Vikings (8-2; No. 5): Having Teddy Bridgewater looming over Case Keenum‘s shoulder actually makes Keenum play better.

5. Saints (8-2; No. 6): The Saints justified their name with a miracle on Sunday.

6. Rams (7-3; No. 4): The loss in Minnesota could be the first of several cold splashes of water in the face of a team still clinging to the NFC West lead.

7. Panthers (7-3; No. 9): Advance scout/tight end Greg Olsen is back, which could make the offense better than ever (especially against the Vikings)

8. Jaguars (7-3; No. 10): If the Steelers stumble and the Jaguars don’t, Jacksonville could end up with a postseason bye.

9. Falcons (6-4; No. 12): “Here we go again” ultimately went nowhere, for a change.

10. Lions (6-4; No. 11): Win Thursday vs. Minnesota, and the Lions will win the NFC North.

11. Chiefs (6-4; No. 7): If dropping from No 1 to Alex Smith‘s jersey number doesn’t spark a decision to let Patrick Mahomes show what he can do, eventually dropping to Mahomes’ jersey number possibly will.

12. Seahawks (6-4; No. 8): Maybe Russell Wilson‘s One-Man Band should add kicking to the repertoire.

13. Ravens (5-5; No. 18): The Ravens are only 2-5 when the other team scores at least one point.

14. Titans (6-4; No. 13): They’ve come a long way, but they’ve still got a long way to go.

15. Chargers (4-6; No. 19): In the 25th anniversary of the only NFL team that made it to the playoffs after starting 0-4, this one could end up doing the same thing.

16. Cowboys (5-5; No. 14): Getting to the playoffs may be even more difficult than keeping the Commissioner from getting his extension.

17. Washington (4-6; No. 15): If you can’t close out a 15-point lead with three minutes left over a playoff team, you don’t belong in the playoffs.

18. Bills (5-5; No. 16): From 5-2 to 5-5 with a pair of blowouts and two games against the Patriots still left to play, that 18-year playoff drought seems destined to continue.

19. Buccaneers (4-6; No. 24): When a trip to Green Bay is the easiest game left of the schedule down the stretch, it’s not an easy schedule down the stretch.

20. Raiders (4-6; No. 17): The Black Hole may be nearly empty next year, if this continues.

21. Bengals (4-6; No. 25): They may win just enough games to convince Mike Brown to stay the course.

22. Texans (4-6; No. 26): Tom Savage may do enough to get someone to pay him way too much money to eventually be benched for a rookie.

23. Jets (4-6; No. 21): It still won’t be easy to avoid 4-12.

24. Packers (5-5; No. 20): “Did you not just listen to that question I just answered?”

25. Dolphins (4-6; No. 22): How big is the current gap between the Dolphins and the Patriots? They’re about to find out, twice.

26. Cardinals (4-6; No. 23): Blaine Gabbert gets another start, while Colin Kaepernick still can’t get even a phone call.

27. Bears (3-7; No. 27): Kicking changes always seem to come a week to late.

28. Giants (2-8; No. 31): Amazing things can happen when a team actually tries to win.

29. Colts (3-7; No. 29): They’ve come a long way from the annual talk of whether to rest starters.

30. Broncos (3-7; No. 28): Great quarterbacks make offensive coordinators look good, and vice versa.

31. 49ers (1-9; No. 30): The stadium will be only slightly less empty than it was during the bye week.

32. Browns (0-10; No. 32): “Why the NFL Should Consider Contraction.” Exhibit A.

Case Keenum shows teams can’t evaluate quarterbacks, and other Week 11 thoughts

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If you want to know how clueless all of us — and I mean everyone who watches the NFL and everyone who works in the NFL — is about evaluating quarterbacks, just take a look at the contracts these four free agent quarterbacks signed this year:

Mike Glennon got a contract that pays him $18 million this year with the Bears.

Jay Cutler got a contract that pays him $10 million this year with the Dolphins.

Brian Hoyer got a contract that pays him $7 million this year with the 49ers.

Case Keenum got a contract that pays him $2 million this year with the Vikings.

How has that worked out? Glennon was awful and got benched after four games. Cutler was awful and may have lost his starting job yesterday. Hoyer was awful and got benched, and then cut.

And Keenum? The guy whose contract was dwarfed by those other free agent quarterbacks? He’s an MVP candidate. Yesterday Keenum had 280 passing yards, a touchdown and no turnovers, and the Vikings whipped the previously hot Rams to improve to 8-2 and maintain a two-game lead in the NFC North. Keenum wouldn’t be my first choice for league MVP, but he absolutely deserves some consideration, having played very well this season after being thrown in following a Week One injury to Sam Bradford. If Keenum plays well and the Vikings keep winning, and maybe if Carson Wentz and Tom Brady have some bad games down the stretch, Keenum really has a chance to be named league MVP.

Think about that: A guy who was available in free agency to anyone who wanted him, who signed for one-ninth of what Mike Glennon got from the Bears, could be the league MVP.

How does that happen? I think it happens because NFL teams just aren’t very good at evaluating quarterbacks. The Bears saw Glennon and Keenum available and thought Glennon was worth nine times as much money as Keenum. The 49ers paid Hoyer good money and he played so badly he’s not even on the 49ers anymore. The Dolphins thought Jay Cutler would be their savior after Ryan Tannehill got hurt, and Cutler isn’t even as good as the guy they already had, Matt Moore.

And it’s not just this year’s free agents: Last year the Texans gave Brock Osweiler a huge contract, and he was so bad that this year the Texans gave the Browns a second-round draft pick just to take Osweiler’s contract off their hands. Last year the Broncos traded up in the first round to draft Paxton Lynch, and he can’t even beat out Osweiler, who’s now back in Denver. And Lynch isn’t even the worst recent first-round quarterback: At least he’s still in the league, which is more than we can say for Johnny Manziel. But NFL teams waited until the fourth round to draft Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins.

Teams can’t even evaluate the quarterbacks on their own teams, the guys they see at practice every single day: Bills Sean McDermott actually thought Nathan Peterman was a better quarterback than Tyrod Taylor, a laughably bad decision that McDermott went back on yesterday after Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half. And speaking of obviously wrong decisions that changed after one half, don’t forget that Texans coach Bill O’Brien started Tom Savage over Deshaun Watson before benching Savage at halftime of Week One.

Maybe some day some team will devise the perfect scouting method, or the perfect statistical analysis, to identify the best quarterbacks in a draft or free agent class. But for now, teams stink at evaluating quarterbacks.

Here are my other thoughts from Week One:

Jay Gruden calling a fake punt from his own 16-yard line was my favorite call of the year. Yes, Washington ended up losing to New Orleans. But I just loved that aggressive play call from Gruden, who wasn’t afraid to try a high-risk, high-reward move. Statistical analysis has repeatedly shown that coaches should be more aggressive on fourth downs. Gruden was, and he’s to be commended for it.

A record-breaking field goal is coming to Mexico City. The NFL announced yesterday that it will play one game per year in Mexico City through at least 2021. I’m calling it now, in one of those Mexico City games we’ll see the first 65-yard field goal in NFL history. The current record is 64 yards, set by Matt Prater in Denver. Yesterday in Mexico City, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski made one from 62 yards that easily would have been good from 65 or longer. The altitude of Mexico City (more than 7,000 feet above sea level, significantly higher than Denver) makes kicked footballs travel farther, and it’s only a matter of time before we see an NFL record south of the border.

The Packers were shut out at Lambeau Field for the first time in 11 years. Brett Hundley threw three interceptions in yesterday’s 23-0 loss to the Ravens, and he just doesn’t look ready to be an NFL quarterback. He holds onto the ball way too long, including getting sacked twice on fourth downs. Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his staff have not done a good job of getting Hundley ready to play.

The Jaguars have their first four-game winning streak in a decade. Yesterday’s win over the Browns was four in a row for Jacksonville, something that hasn’t happened since 2007. Are we all ready for the Jaguars to be a playoff team? Because at 7-3 in the weak AFC, the Jaguars are virtually certain to be playing in January. Blake Bortles is going to be a playoff quarterback.

Week 11 early inactives

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Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back to see the full list as it becomes available 90 minutes ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Buccaneers at Dolphins

Buccaneers: QB Jameis Winston, CB Vernon Hargreaves, DE William Gholston, OL Caleb Benenoch, C Joe Hawley, DT Sealver Siliga, TE Luke Stocker

Dolphins: QB David Fales, CB Jordan Lucas, CB Torry McTyer, LB Stephone Anthony, G Isaac Asiata, T Zach Sterup, WR Rashawn Scott

Lions at Bears

Lions: DE Ziggy Ansah, RB Dwayne Washington, OL Emmett Cleary, OL Don Barclay, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, RB Tion Green, WR Jace Billingsley

Bears: LB Danny Trevathan, TE Dion Sims, CB Bryce Callahan, QB Mark Sanchez, RB Taquan Mizzell, OL Tom Compton, DL John Jenkins

Jaguars at Browns

Jaguars: WR Allen Hurns, DB Jalen Myrick, LB Blair Brown, DT Eli Ankou, OL William Poehls, G Patrick Omameh, T Jermey Parnell

Browns: QB Kevin Hogan, WR Bryce Treggs, DB Darius Hillary, OL Marcus Martin, TE Matt Lengel, DL T.Y. McGill, DL Caleb Brantley

Ravens at Packers

Ravens: WR Breshad Perriman, RB Terrance West, CB Jaylen Hill, T Ronnie Stanley, G Maurquice Shakir, DE Bronson Kaufusi, DE Chris Wormley

Packers: S Morgan Burnett, RB Aaron Jones, RB Ty Montgomery, CB Kevin King, OL Adam Pankey, LB Chris Odom, DL Montravious Adams

Cardinals at Texans

Cardinals: DT Corey Peters, QB Matt Barkley, WR Chad Williams, S Harlan Miller, RB Bruce Ellington, LB Bryson Albright, OL Max Tuerk

Texans: WR Will Fuller, T Julien Davenport, LB Dylan Cole, QB Josh Johnson, RB Alfred Blue, C Greg Mancz, DT Chunky Clements

Rams at Vikings

Rams: RB Malcolm Brown, QB Brandon Allen, RB Justin Davis, T Cornelius Lucas, TE Derek Carrier, CB Troy Hill, LB Ejuan Price

Vikings: T Mike Remmers, S Andrew Sendejo, QB Kyle Sloter, WR Stacy Coley, RB Mack Brown, T Aviante Collins, DE Brian Robison

Redskins at Saints

Redskins: TE Jordan Reed, WR Terrelle Pryor, C Spencer Long, CB Quinton Dunbar, OL Arie Kouandjio, DL Caraun Reid, WR Brian Quick

Saints: LB A.J. Klein, S Kenny Vaccaro, QB Taysom Hill, RB Jonathan Williams, OL Cameron Tom, WR Austin Carr, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad

Chiefs at Giants

Chiefs: LB Tamba Hali, WR Albert Wilson, LB Dee Ford, DE Allen Bailey, QB Tyler Bray, OL Jordan Devey, OL Parker Ehinger

Giants: T Justin Pugh, LB B.J. Goodson, WR Sterling Shepard, CB Eli Apple, QB Davis Webb, LB Kelvin Sheppard, OL John Greco

Week 11 injury report roundup

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Week 11 kicked off on Thursday with a Steelers win and it continues with 12 more games on Sunday, which means that the 24 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered healthy enough to play barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Buccaneers at Dolphins

Three players are out for the Buccaneers and DE William Gholston (neck), CB Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring) and QB Jameis Winston (right shoulder) make up the whole injury report.

Dolphins DE William Hayes (knee), RB Senorise Perry (knee), WR Kenny Stills (back) and S Michael Thomas (knee) are listed as questionable, although Stills said Friday that he’ll be in the lineup.

Lions at Bears

Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (back) is out for the second game in a row. RB Dwayne Washington (hip) won’t play either. S Don Carey (knee) and LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (ankle) are listed as questionable.

CB Bryce Callahan (knee), T Tom Compton (ankle), S DeAndre Houston-Carson (illness), TE Dion Sims (illness) and LB Danny Trevathan (calf) all drew questionable tags on the final Bears injury report of the week.

Jaguars at Browns

RB Leonard Fournette (ankle) is questionable for the Jaguars, who will definitely be playing without wide receivers Arrelious Benn (knee) and Allen Hurns (ankle). LB Blair Brown (hamstring), G Patrick Omameh (quadricep) and T Jermey Parnell (knee) are listed as questionable.

The Browns have three players — T Shon Coleman (concussion), CB Jamar Taylor (ankle), C J.C. Tretter (shoulder, knee) — listed as questionable on a short injury report.

Ravens at Packers

Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley (concussion) is unlikely to play after getting a doubtful designation. TE Nick Boyle (toe), WR Michael Campanaro (shoulder), S Chuck Clark (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (achilles), RB Terrance West (calf) and LB Tim Williams (thigh) are all listed as questionable for Baltimore.

T Bryan Bulaga (knee), S Morgan Burnett (groin), RB Aaron Jones (knee) and RB Ty Montgomery (ribs) are all going to miss the game for the Packers. LB Ahmad Brooks (back), DT Quinton Dial (chest), CB Kevin King (shoulder) and G Lucas Patrick (back) are listed as questionable.

Cardinals at Texans

The Cardinals listed QB Drew Stanton (knee) as questionable, but Blaine Gabbert will be starting whether Stanton suits up or not. WR John Brown (back), C A.Q. Shipley (shoulder) and T John Wetzel (back) are also questionable while DL Corey Peters (ankle) has been ruled out.

LB Dylan Cole (hamstring), T Julien Davenport (shoulder) and WR Will Fuller (ribs) will not play for the Texans. RB Alfred Blue (hamstring), DE Joel Heath (knee), C Greg Mancz (knee, chest) and WR Chris Thompson (knee) are all set for game-time calls after drawing questionable tags.

Redskins at Saints

The Redskins continue to have the league’s lengthiest injury report. C Spencer Long (knee, knee), WR Terrelle Pryor (ankle) and TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) will not play. LB Zach Brown (achilles), CB Quinton Dunbar (illness), WR Ryan Grant (concussion), S DeAngelo Hall (knee), DE Matt Ioannidis (hand), DE Anthony Lanier (knee), G Shawn Lauvao (stinger), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), T Ty Nsekhe (core muscle), TE Niles Paul (concussion), WR Brian Quick (concussion), G Brandon Scherff (knee) and T Trent Williams (knee) make up a baker’s dozen of questionable players.

The Saints have just two players on their report. LB A.J. Klein (ankle) and S Kenny Vaccaro (groin) are both listed as questionable.

Rams at Vikings

RB Malcolm Brown (knee) won’t play for the Rams in Minnesota. TE Derek Carrier (hamstring) and CB Troy Hill (hamstring) are questionable to play.

The Vikings expect DE Everson Griffen (foot) to play after listing him as questionable. T Mike Remmers (concussion) and S Andrew Sendejo (groin, hamstring) are out for the home team and DE Brian Robison (back) joins Griffen in the questionable ranks.

Chiefs at Giants

The Chiefs won’t have DE Allen Bailey (knee), LB Dee Ford (back), LB Tamba Hali (knee) or WR Albert Wilson (hamstring) in the lineup this weekend, but everyone else is off the injury report.

LB B.J. Goodson (ankle) and G/T Justin Pugh (back) have been ruled out by the Giants. LB Kelvin Sheppard (groin) is likely to be inactive after getting a doubtful tag while there’s more hope for DT Damon Harrison (ankle) and LB Devon Kennard (quadricep) after they were listed as questionable.

Bills at Chargers

The Bills remain without T Cordy Glenn (foot, ankle) and they’ll also be missing G John Miller (ankle) and RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring) this Sunday. TE Charles Clay (knee), DE Jerry Hughes (shin, calf) and WR Jordan Matthews (knee) got questionable designations on Friday.

T Joe Barksdale (foot) is out for the Chargers with linebackers James Onwualu (quadricep) and Hayes Pullard (neck) set to join him after being listed as doubtful. DE Chris McCain (quadricep) and QB Philip Rivers (concussion) are questionable with coach Anthony Lynn saying this week that he expects Rivers to play.

Bengals at Broncos

The Bengals won’t have CB Adam Jones (concussion), LB Kevin Minter (elbow) or DT Pat Sims (calf) available in Denver. CB William Jackson (toe) and WR Brandon LaFell (knee) will have their status determined this weekend after being listed as questionable.

Tight ends A.J. Derby (shoulder) and Jeff Heuerman (knee) have been ruled out for Denver while WR Cody Latimer (knee, achilles) and T Donald Stephenson (calf) are considered questionable.

Patriots vs. Raiders (in Mexico City)

The Patriots will be crossing the border without C David Andrews (illness), T Marcus Cannon (ankle), WR Chris Hogan (shoulder) and WR Matt Slater (hamstring). WR Danny Amendola (knee), TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder, hamstring), DT Malcom Brown (ankle), DE Cassius Marsh (shoulder) and CB Eric Rowe (groin) are on hand, but their status for Sunday remains up in the air given their questionable designations.

The Raiders don’t expect CB David Amerson (foot) to play and listed him as doubtful. G Gabe Jackson (ankle), LB Cory James (knee), T Marshall Newhouse (hip, quadricep) and RB Jamize Olawale (hamstring) are the players tagged as questionable.

Eagles at Cowboys

The Eagles return from their bye in good health. WR Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is listed as questionable, but said he’s playing.

Things aren’t as good for the Cowboys.  T Tyron Smith (back, groin) is listed as questionable, but his presence in the lineup seems doubtful after missing practice all week. K Dan Bailey (right groin) and LB Sean Lee (hamstring) have been ruled out for Dallas while DT Maliek Collins (foot), S Jeff Heath (concussion) and TE Geoff Swaim (knee) are also listed as questionable.

PFT’s Week 11 picks

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The bad news is that I’m now nine games behind MDS through 10 weeks. (Pointing out that it’s through 10 weeks makes it sound a little less lame.) The good news is that it can’t get much worse this week.

We disagree on only one game. And it’s one of the biggest games of the week.

Scroll down to see our takes and picks for all of the 14 games to be played this weekend, starting tonight with the Titans visiting the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Titans at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Steelers have a tendency to play down to the level of their opponents in games against bad teams like the Colts (whom the Steelers barely beat) and the Bears (who beat the Steelers). But against a pretty good team like the Titans, the Steelers will come to play.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 30, Titans 20.

Florio’s take: It’s often a crapshoot when it comes to the Steelers, but they tend to be focused and prepared when playing in prime time, where they’re 31-16 under Mike Tomlin. The twist in this case comes from Titans assistant Dick LeBeau knowing the team’s offense and personnel incredibly well. Under the lights at Heinz Field, that probably won’t be enough to make the difference — as long as the Steelers truly show up.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 27, Titans 23.


Lions at Bears

MDS’s take: This won’t be an easy game for the Lions, who may struggle to put many points on the board on a cold day in Chicago. But the Lions’ defense should hold Mitchell Trubisky in check well enough to win a close game.

MDS’s pick: Lions 14, Bears 10.

Florio’s take: The Bears are dangerous, especially at home. But the Lions are finding their stride by racking up wins and not taking anyone for granted. They’ll check another box as they move toward a Thanksgiving showdown with the Vikings.

Florio’s pick: Lions 24, Bears 13.


Jaguars at Browns

MDS’s take: DeShone Kizer had his best game last week in Detroit, but this week against an excellent Jaguars pass defense, he’s going to have a tough time. The Jaguars should win handily.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 21, Browns 6.

Florio’s take: A pair of franchises mired in years of difficulty are moving in very different directions. And the Jaguars will show Browns fans what the Browns could be if they ever find a way to make good decisions about young players over a period of several years.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 20, Browns 9.


Ravens at Packers

MDS’s take: Brett Hundley showed some signs of improvement last week against the Bears, but the Packers are still going to have a tough time putting many points on the board on Sunday, and the Ravens should win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 17, Packers 13.

Florio’s take: The Ravens have had two weeks to get ready for a showdown in a place where the Packers suddenly are having a hard time winning games, primarily because they don’t have Aaron Rodgers. Baltimore is capable of a periodically impressive performance, and if one doesn’t happen on Sunday, their chances of getting to the playoffs could sink close to zero.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Packers 20.


Cardinals at Texans

MDS’s take: In a battle of two teams with backup quarterbacks, I see the Cardinals’ defense forcing Tom Savage into a few turnovers to win an ugly game.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 16, Texans 13.

Florio’s take: Drew Stanton or Blaine Gabbert will be facing Tom Savage, while Colin Kaepernick continues to wait for a call that may never come. The difference maker will be Adrian Peterson, who will have an easier time finding running lanes than when he faced the Seahawks.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 23, Texans 17.


Buccaneers at Dolphins

MDS’s take: This is going to be an ugly game between two ugly offenses. I’ll take Jay Cutler to just slightly outplay Ryan Fitzpatrick.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 14, Buccaneers 10.

Florio’s take: The Week One game that was delayed due to a hurricane comes at a time when both teams seems to be mired in quicksand. After three straight losses, the Dolphins get a chance to start to turn things around.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Buccaneers 17.


Rams at Vikings

MDS’s take: Jared Goff takes on Case Keenum in a matchup of two quarterbacks who look great this year after looking terrible as teammates with the Rams last year. This game feels like a coin flip to me, but I’ll take the home team.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 23, Rams 20.

Florio’s take: Game of the week. A rematch of some classic playoff contests, between a pair of teams that may be destined to meet again in the elimination round. Minnesota’s defense is the difference-maker, especially at home.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 17, Rams 13.


Chiefs at Giants

MDS’s take: This is the easiest game on the board to pick. The Giants have quit on Ben McAdoo, and the Chiefs will roll.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Giants 10.

Florio’s take: Andy Reid rarely loses after the bye, in any year. The Giants in 2017 rarely win.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 37, Giants 17.


Washington at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints are playing as well as anyone in the NFL right now, and they’ll keep their march to the playoffs going.

MDS’s pick: Saints 30, Washington 17.

Florio’s take: Washington has shown that it can win a big game on the road, and this is a big game on the road. But it may be bigger than what Washington can handle, given the dramatic improvement of the Saints, on both sides of the ball.

Florio’s pick: Saints 27, Washington 23.


Bills at Chargers

MDS’s take: Nathan Peterman gets his first career start, while the Chargers don’t know who their quarterback will be, as Philip Rivers is in the concussion protocol. That makes this a tough game to pick but I’ll go with the Chargers.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 20, Bills 17.

Florio’s take: Nathan Peterman could eventually become a very good quarterback for the Bills. For now, a baptism by lightning bolt may be too much to handle.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 28, Bills 17.


Bengals at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Broncos have gone into the tank in recent weeks, but the Bengals’ offense probably won’t put many points on the board in Denver. I’ll pick the home team in a close and low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 14, Bengals 13.

Florio’s take: Two years ago, a late-season showdown between these two teams had a postseason bye on the line. This season, both teams have had their playoff hopes go farewell long ago.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 17, Bengals 12.


Patriots vs. Raiders

MDS’s take: The altitude of Mexico City will make this game an interesting one in the kicking game, and a 70-yard field goal isn’t out of the question. Look for Tom Brady to complete some deep passes against the Raiders’ secondary and win a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 35, Raiders 31.

Florio’s take: Whether Massachusetts, California, or Mexico, the Raiders simply aren’t ready to keep pace with the Patriots.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Raiders 20.


Eagles at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The Cowboys are reeling, and the Eagles coming to town isn’t going to make life any easier.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Cowboys 17.

Florio’s take: It’s desperation time for Dallas, and sometimes desperation is the difference. The Cowboys find a higher gear and secure a hard-fought win, delaying (but not preventing) the inevitable clinching of the division by the Eagles.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Eagles 24.


Falcons at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Falcons played one of their best games of the season on Sunday and the Seahawks are struggling with injuries, but I still like Seattle to take this one.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Falcons 17.

Florio’s take: Russell Wilson’s one-man band continues to find a way to make something close enough to actual music in Seattle.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 20, Falcons 13.

Week 10 power rankings

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1. Eagles (8-1; last week No. 1): Chaz Green gives Eagles fans good feelings for Sunday night, albeit bad memories of Winston Justice.

2. Patriots (7-2; No. 2): The only question left for the balance of the regular season is whether they’ll win the AFC Championship at home or on the road.

3. Steelers (7-2; No. 3): Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t like Thursday football. Some Steelers often act like they’re allergic to Sunday football.

4. Rams (7-2; No. 4): If they keep winning games, maybe the stadium will get to 75-percent capacity.

5. Vikings (7-2; No. 5): The movie is getting good, but longstanding Vikings fans know how it will end.

6. Saints (7-2; No. 6): They dumped beer on Mark Ingram‘s face in Buffalo. What happens when he jumps in to the stands in a weed-legal state?

7. Chiefs (6-3; No. 7): Unbeatable coming out of the bye, they’re wasting that bump this year on the one-win Giants.

8. Seahawks (6-3; No. 8): Russell Wilson‘s one-man band can only play so many tunes.

9. Panthers (7-3; No. 9): After the first five minutes of any Panthers game, it’s obvious whether they’ll win or lose.

10. Jaguars (6-3; No. 12): This Jekyll-and-Hyde team has been more Jekyll in recent weeks. Or is it Hyde?

11. Lions (5-4; No. 15): The NFC North crown is still largely riding on a Thanksgiving visit from the Vikings.

12. Falcons (5-4; No. 16): The perfect cure for a Super Bowl hangover is Adrian Clayborn playing like Derrick Thomas, for more than one game.

13. Titans (6-3; No. 14): Dick LeBeau may know a thing or two about what it takes to get under Ben Roethlisberger’s thin skin.

14. Cowboys (5-4; No. 10): The season is close to falling apart for the Cowboys, and that may be the least of Jerry Jones’ problems.

15 Washington (4-5; No. 11): If they can somehow win enough games to get to the playoffs, they could win a couple of games when they get there.

16. Bills (5-4; No. 13): Against the Saints, three yards and a cloud of dust became 10 yards and a crowd of Bills defensive players laying on the ground.

17. Raiders (4-5; No. 17):  With a return Mexico City, it may eventually be easier to list the cities in which the Raiders haven’t played home games.

18. Ravens (4-5; No. 18): The best evidence of this team’s current lack of relevance? They had a bye week, and no one noticed.

19. Chargers (3-6; No. 19): They should replace the lightning bolts on the helmets with a horseshoe on one side and a hand grenade on the other.

20. Packers (5-4; No. 27): Brett Hundley‘s hamstring may keep the Joe Houlian-Hallahan-O’Callaghan-Callahan era close to commencing.

21. Jets (4-6; No. 20): The fact that they’re still alive with Thanksgiving approaching is one of the most amazing stories of the season.

22. Dolphins (4-5; No. 21): The glass is half full, of nothing.

23. Cardinals (4-5; No. 22): Yes, Blaine Gabbert remains employed by the NFL — and he apparently will be playing on Sunday.

24. Buccaneers (3-6; No. 29): They’re not booing, they’re chanting Gruden. Which is actually worse for Dirk Koetter.

25. Bengals (3-6; No. 23): I’m not saying Marvin Lewis threw Jeremy Hill under the bus. But Hill caught in the axle of a large vehicle designed to transport small children to school, and Marvin’s arms are curiously extended.

26. Texans (3-6; No. 24): How about direct snaps to Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, and D'Onta Foreman?

27. Bears (3-6; No. 25): “Crazy like a Fox” suddenly has taken on a different meaning.

28. Broncos (3-6; No. 26): John Fox got fired for a lot less than this.

29. Colts (3-7; No. 28): Is there any quarterback injury that the Colts haven’t screwed up this decade?

30. 49ers (1-9; No. 30): The friends and family confines of Levi’s Stadium finally gave the paying customers something to justify their decision to not stay home and watch bowling.

31. Giants (1-8; No. 31): By not firing Ben McAdoo, ownership blew a great chance to make fans think that they know what they’re doing, if only for a day.

32. Browns (0-9; No. 32): Rich Kotite is starting to feel sorry for Hue Jackson.

Week 10 early inactives

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Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back to see the full list as it becomes available 90 minutes ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Saints at Bills

Saints: S Kenny Vaccaro, QB Taysom Hill, LB Hau'oli Kikaha, OL Cameron Tom, OL Bryce Harris, WR Austin Carr, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad.

Bills: T Cordy Glenn, WR Zay Jones, CB E.J. Gaines, G John Miller, RB Travaris Cadet, TE Khari Lee, T Conor McDermott

Packers at Bears

Packers: S Morgan Burnett, T Bryan Bulaga, DT Quinton Dial, LB Chris Odom, CB Donatello Brown, RB Devante Mays

Bears: LB Danny Trevathan, CB Bryce Callahan, TE Dion Sims, CB Sherrick McManis, DL Roy Robertson-Harris, OL Tom Compton, QB Mark Sanchez

Browns at Lions

Browns: QB Kevin Hogan, DL T.Y. McGill, TE Matt Lengel, DL Larry Ogunjobi, OL Marcus Martin, WR Kasen Williams, DB Darius Hillary

Lions: G T.J. Lang, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, DE Ziggy Ansah, RB Zach Zenner, RB Tion Green, CB Teez Tabor, S Don Carey

Steelers at Colts

Steelers: LB James Harrison, QB Josh Dobbs, WR Justin Hunter, CB Brian Allen, T Jerald Hawkins, OL Matt Feiler, DL Daniel McCullers

Colts: LB John Simon, WR Kamar Aiken, CB D.J. White, OL LeRaven Clark, RB Matt Jones, OL Tyreek Burwell, OL Isaiah Williams

Chargers at Jaguars

Chargers: QB Cardale Jones, WR Geremy Davis, RB Branden Oliver, LB Hayes Pullard, T Joe Barksdale, TE Sean Culkin, TE Jeff Cumberland

Jaguars: WR Jaelen Strong, CB Jalen Myrick, DT Eli Ankou, RB Chris Reed, T William Poehls, T Jermey Parnell, DT Sheldon Day

Jets at Buccaneers

Jets: RB Matt Forte, QB Christian Hackenberg, CB Derrick Jones, CB Robert Nelson, LB David Bass, LB Obum Gwacham, OL Jonotthan Harrison

Buccaneers: QB Jameis Winston, DE Will Gholston, CB Robert McClain, C Joe Hawley, OL Caleb Benenoch, TE Antony Auclair, DT Sealver Siliga

Bengals at Titans

Bengals: LB Kevin Minter, DT Pat Sims, CB KeiVarae Russell, S Shaun Williams, OL Adam Redmond, OL Christian Westerman, WR Tyler Boyd

Titans: G Quinton Spain, QB Brandon Weeden, RB Darius Jennings, DB Kalan Reed, S Curtis Riley, LB Nate Palmer, DL David King

Vikings at Redskins

Vikings: T Mike Remmers, G Jeremiah Sirles, DE Everson Griffen, QB Kyle Sloter, DL Tashawn Bower, WR Stacy Coley, RB Mack Brown

Redskins: DL Matt Ioannidis, TE Jordan Reed, TE Niles Paul, S Montae Nicholson, G Arie Kouandjio, WR Brian Quick, OL Tony Bergstrom

Week 10 injury report roundup

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Week 10 kicked off on Thursday with a Seahawks win and it continues with 12 more games on Sunday, which means that the 24 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered healthy enough to play barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Saints at Bills

The Saints head to Buffalo without S Kenny Vaccaro (groin) and with a couple of injured offensive linemen. T Terron Armstead (chest) and G Larry Warford (abdomen) are both listed as questionable.

TE Charles Clay (knee) is listed as questionable, but expected to play. The outlook for CB E.J. Gaines (hamstring) and T Seantrel Henderson (back) is less clear. T Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle) and WR Zay Jones (ankle) will not play.

Packers at Bears

The Packers ruled out T Bryan Bulaga (knee), S Morgan Burnett (groin) and DT Quinton Dial (chest), although a roster move may be coming with Bulaga as he’s out for the year with a torn ACL. LB Ahmad Brooks (back), G Justin McCray (ankle) and LB Joe Thomas (ankle) drew questionable tags on Friday.

The Bears haven’t ruled anyone out, but CB Bryce Callahan (knee), T Tom Compton (ankle), G Kyle Long (finger), CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring), DE Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring), TE Dion Sims (illness) and LB Danny Trevathan (calf) are all questionable.

Browns at Lions

The Browns have one player on their injury report coming off of a bye week. DT Larry Ogunjobi (groin) is questionable to play.

Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (back) isn’t expected to play after getting a doubtful designation. G T.J. Lang (concussion) and LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (ankle) have both been ruled out. S Don Carey (knee) and WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring) are questionable to play.

Steelers at Colts

LB James Harrison (back) is the only player on the Steelers report and he won’t play this Sunday.

Colts WR Kamar Aiken (hamstring) and LB John Simon (neck) have been ruled out. WR T.Y. Hilton (groin) and CB Quincy Wilson (knee) are questionable to play.

Chargers at Jaguars

Chargers T Joe Barksdale (foot) and LB Hayes Pullard (neck) are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

G A.J. Cann (triceps), WR Marqise Lee (knee), G Patrick Omameh (knee) and T Jermey Parnell (knee) make up a quartet of questionable Jaguars.

Jets at Buccaneers

Jets RB Matt Forte (knee) and DT Ed Stinson (neck) are not playing this weekend. CB Morris Claiborne (foot), C Jonotthan Harrison (hand), WR ArDarius Stewart (groin), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder/foot) and G Brian Winters (abdomen) are listed as questionable.

QB Jameis Winston (right shoulder) was ruled out early in the week and DE William Gholston (neck) will also miss the game. CB Robert McClain (hamstring) is likely to join them after getting a doubtful designation. DE Robert Ayers (ankle, calf), T Demar Dotson (hamstring), CB Brent Grimes (shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder), T Donovan Smith (knee) and G J.R. Sweezy (knee) round out the injury report as the questionable contingent in Tampa.

Bengals at Titans

The Bengals ruled out RB Jeremy Hill (ankle), LB Kevin Minter (elbow) and DT Pat Sims (calf). S Shawn Williams (hamstring) is set to join them on the inactive list after being listed as doubtful while K Randy Bullock (back) is questionable and the Bengals have not dropped alternate kicker Marshall Koehn from the roster.

G Quinton Spain (toe) will miss another game for the Titans. S Brynden Trawick (neck) and TE Delanie Walker (ankle) are listed as questionable with the Titans set to play twice in five days.

Vikings at Redskins

The Vikings won’t have T Mike Remmers (concussion) and G Jeremiah Sirles (knee) in the lineup this week. They hope to have DE Everson Griffen (foot/back), who was listed as questionable along with S Anthony Harris (hamstring) and DE Stephen Weatherly (knee).

The Redskins are down to two players ruled out ahead of time, but they still have a dozen of players listed as questionable. DE Matt Ioannidis (hand) and DT Arthur Jones (shoulder) are the two who won’t play. LB Zach Brown (ankle), WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring), G Shawn Lauvao (stinger), C Spencer Long (knees), T Morgan Moses (ankles), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), T Ty Nsekhe (core muscle), TE Niles Paul (concussion), WR Brian Quick (concussion), TE Jordan Reed (hamstring), G Brandon Scherff (knee) and T Trent Williams (knee) are the 12 that might.

Texans at Rams

LB Dylan Cole (hamstring) and DE Joel Heath (knee) won’t play for the Texans, who have an otherwise empty injury report.

RB Malcolm Brown (knee) is out for the Rams. TE Derek Carrier (hamstring) and LB Robert Quinn (illness) were both listed as questionable.

Cowboys at Falcons

K Dan Bailey (right groin) is out again for the Cowboys, who are holding out hope for WR Dez Bryant (knee/ankle) and LT Tyron Smith (back/groin). CB Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring), DT Maliek Collins (foot) and TE Geoff Swaim (knee) are also listed as questionable.

The biggest injury news for the Falcons is that WR Julio Jones (ankle) doesn’t appear on their final report at all. LB Duke Riley (knee) will miss another game and G Andy Levitre (knee) is questionable to play.

Giants at 49ers

Three Giants linebackers — B.J. Goodson (ankle), Devon Kennard (quadricep) and Keenan Robinson (quadricep) — have been ruled out. CB Donte Deayon (ankle) drew a doubtful tag and four others — LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), LB Calvin Munson (quadricep), DE Olivier Vernon (ankle) and DE Kerry Wynn (knee) — are listed as questionable.

The 49ers will try to avoid an 0-10 start without the help of TE George Kittle (ankle), LB Elijah Lee (knee), DE Aaron Lynch (calf) and WR Trent Taylor (ribs). DE Solomon Thomas (knee) and CB K'Waun Williams (quadricep) are game-day calls after getting listed as questionable.

Patriots at Broncos

Patriots DT Malcom Brown (ankle), T Marcus Cannon (ankle) and WR Chris Hogan (shoulder) will not play on Sunday night. WR Danny Amendola (knee), TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder), CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion, ankle), DE Cassius Marsh (shoulder) and CB Eric Rowe (groin) are listed as questionable.

LB Todd Davis (ankle), WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) and T Donald Stephenson (calf) are questionable to be in the lineup for the Broncos. Everyone else is off the report for Denver.

PFT’s Week 10 picks

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A full nine weeks in, MDS is clinging to a five-game lead. We disagree on four games this weekend, which gives me a chance (albeit slim) to cut the margin to one.

As always, scroll along to find out what we think about the various games.

As always, don’t wager anything of value on what we think.

Seahawks at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals played better than I was expecting without Carson Palmer on Sunday, in large part because Adrian Peterson has been rejuvenated in Arizona. But I think the Seahawks’ defense should shut the Cardinals’ offense down.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Cardinals 7.

Florio’s take: Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has called short-week football a “poop fest.” If Seattle loses again, its season quickly could become a sh-t show.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 20, Cardinals 17.


Packers at Bears

MDS’s take: It sounds crazy to pick the Bears against the Packers, but that’s only because we’re still not really accustomed to how bad the Packers are without Aaron Rodgers. Maybe we’ll be accustomed to it once the Bears win on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Bears 24, Packers 17.

Florio’s take: Packers coach Mike McCarthy says there’s more than one way to win a game. Without one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, the Packers consistently have been finding the best way to lose — by allowing more points than they score.

Florio’s pick: Bears 17, Packers 14.


Browns at Lions

MDS’s take: I could see the Lions letting down a little bit on a short work week, but not quite enough to hand the Browns their first win.

MDS’s pick: Lions 20, Browns 16.

Florio’s take: Eleven days before Thanksgiving, the Lions feast on the NFL’s biggest turkey.

Florio’s pick: Lions 34, Browns 13.


Steelers at Colts

MDS’s take: The Colts have found ways to pull out wins, but they are not a good football team. They’d probably be better off losing and getting a higher draft pick, so maybe Colts fans will enjoy watching them lose big on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 30, Colts 13.

Florio’s take: The Steelers have a tendency to step in a pothole when everything is going well, losing to a team they should beat. Emerging from a bye week, however, it would be a surprise if a Colts team that somehow has won three games would prevail for a fourth.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Colts 10.


Chargers at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Jaguars’ defense is cruising and should give Philip Rivers fits on Sunday. Pencil in league leader Calais Campbell for a couple more sacks.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 21, Chargers 10.

Florio’s take: The Jags have a chance to move to 6-3, but it won’t be easy against a better than expected Chargers team, which will be bringing former Jags coach Gus Bradley back to town. Bradley knows the personnel well, and the Chargers surely have spent the last two weeks planning for a win that would provide a much-needed spark to start the second half of the season.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 24, Jaguars 21.


Saints at Bills

MDS’s take: The improvement of the Saints’ pass defense this season has been nothing short of remarkable. I think they’ll keep it going and New Orleans will win a defensive struggle.

MDS’s pick: Saints 17, Bills 14.

Florio’s take: The schedule gets tougher for the 6-2 Saints, and the 5-3 Bills can’t afford too many more losses. The extra time makes the difference for the Bills, whose head coach knows a thing or two about the Saints from his time in Carolina.

Florio’s pick: Bills 23, Saints 20.


Jets at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: It’s crazy to say it, but the Jets team that some saw going 0-16 is poised to be 5-5 through 10 games. I think they’ll win in Tampa on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Jets 20, Buccaneers 17.

Florio’s take: The Jets have a 10-1 record all-time against the Buccaneers, who will be missing Jameis Winston (shoulder) and Mike Evans (suspension). The Bucs will have to wait four more years to eat another W in this series.

Florio’s pick: Jets 24, Buccaneers 17.


Vikings at Washington

MDS’s take: If both teams were at full strength I’d take Washington in this one, but I see the Vikings’ defensive front making life rough for Kirk Cousins behind a banged-up offensive line.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 21, Washington 16.

Florio’s take: Washington is better than 4-4, and the Vikings are worse than 6-2. It’s a correction Sunday in Maryland, and a loss by the visiting team moves Teddy Bridgewater another step toward returning.

Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Vikings 16.


Bengals at Titans

MDS’s take: I don’t think the Titans are as good as their 5-3 record looks, but they have a favorable schedule and a good chance of getting to the playoffs. Another win should be coming on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Bengals 20.

Florio’s take: The Titans keep quietly surging toward a playoff berth, with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau getting a crack at the team he once coached, four days before playing the team whose defense he expertly coordinated.

Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Bengals 13.


Texans at Rams

MDS’s take: If Deshaun Watson were playing, this would be a matchup of the NFL’s two most exciting offenses. With Tom Savage playing, it’s a Rams blowout.

MDS’s pick: Rams 31, Texans 10.

Florio’s take: Deshaun Watson vs. Jared Goff would have been a great game.

Florio’s pick: Rams 30, Texans 17.


Cowboys at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Falcons have been a major disappointment, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier. The Cowboys will be a tough matchup for them.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Falcons 20.

Florio’s take: If the Cowboys have Ezekiel Elliott, they’ll build a lead and hold it. If the Cowboys don’t have Ezekiel Elliott, the Falcons will build a lead and blow it.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 24, Falcons 20.


Giants at 49ers

MDS’s take: This looks like one of the worst games of the year in the NFL. It’s interesting only for its implications on the top of next year’s draft. I see the 49ers winning, which is really losing in the draft order sweepstakes.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 15, Giants 12.

Florio’s take: The mighty have fallen, and they can’t get up. I’m tempted to pick a tie.

Florio’s pick: Giants 13, 49ers 10.


Patriots at Broncos

MDS’s take: I think the Broncos will play a lot better than they did in last week’s loss to the Eagles. Just not well enough to beat the Patriots.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Broncos 24.

Florio’s take: Yes, the Patriots usually struggle in Denver. But that’s typically because the Broncos are pretty good. While their defense still is (but for the 51 points allowed at Philly), the offense is not.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Broncos 17.


Dolphins at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Dolphins’ offense is struggling and the Panthers’ defense is playing well. Tough to see Miami winning on the road here.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 20, Dolphins 17.

Florio’s take: The Dolphins have entered the teeth of their schedule, and they’re going to get chewed up.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 30, Dolphins 20.

ESPN did a disservice to viewers with Jon Gruden’s “turkey hole”

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If ESPN wonders why last night’s ratings were so bad, perhaps it should examine how many people turned off the TV after the fifth time Jon Gruden said the words, “turkey hole.”

An embarrassingly bad segment of ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast started when Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford made a nice throw downfield, finding a receiver in the Packers’ secondary. At first, Gruden appeared to simply be analyzing the play.

“Watch Stafford fit the ball in the hole between the corner and the safety,” Gruden said. “I call that the turkey hole. Don’t ask me why.”

But then it became clear that the “turkey hole” thing was a pre-planned segment, and Gruden and ESPN’s producers had just been waiting for the right moment. The cameras turned away from the field and went to the booth, where Gruden stood in front of a picture of a turkey and offered insight such as, “Let me show you what the turkey hole is. It’s the turkey hole.”

As fans at home wondered what was happening on the field, Gruden gave an Xs and Os illustration of the turkey hole. Can we get back to the game now? No. Gruden still wasn’t done. He also had videos to show.

“Let me show you some of this turkey hole,” Gruden said, as highlights were shown of quarterbacks past and present throwing into the area that Gruden called the “turkey hole.” We saw Brett Favre throw into the turkey hole. We saw Stafford do it in a previous game. We still didn’t know what was happening on the field in the game we had tuned in to watch.

So what had actually happened while Gruden was blabbering about the turkey hole? Oh, nothing much. Just a Lions fumble that the Packers recovered. No reason the fans watching the game would want to know about something like that when there’s turkey hole to discuss.

Finally, just as ESPN went to a commercial, play-by-play man Sean McDonough realized that something consequential had happened on the field while his partner had hijacked the broadcast.

“I think we’re going to have a replay review here,” McDonough said. “For the moment, they’re saying Green Bay ball.”

Sure enough, when ESPN came back from the commercial, the Packers had the ball.

“The ruling on the field is a fumble by Ameer Abdullah. Green Bay ball. We’ll show you another look at it right after this play,” McDonough said.

There were two problems with that: First, ESPN wouldn’t be showing us “another” look at it. We were still waiting for the first look. Through all that “turkey hole” nonsense, we still hadn’t seen Abdullah fumble. Secondly, even after the next play, ESPN still didn’t show a replay of the fumble. It was only after another play that ESPN finally went back and showed the fumble.

Football fans don’t ask for much when we turn on a game. We want to see what’s happening on the field, and we want reasonably knowledgeable announcers to fill us in on anything we might not be able to see with our own eyes. ESPN didn’t show us the fumble on the field, and the announcers didn’t tell us about it, either.

If Gruden and ESPN have any similar segments planned this season, I think I can speak for all fans when I say: Shove it up your turkey hole.

Week Nine power rankings

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1. Eagles (8-1; last week No. 1): Scoring 51 against the defense that won Super Bowl 50 may be the clearest sign yet that this team is headed for Super Bowl LII.

2. Patriots (6-2; No. 2): Who better than an oft-injured quarterback to back up a never-injured starter?

3. Steelers (6-2; No. 3): With everyone assuming that the Steelers are headed for a playoff bye, it’s just about time for them to assume the position of tripping over their shoelaces against an inferior foe.

4. Rams (6-2; No. 8): The guy who reminds many of Jon Gruden is having the same impact Gruden had on the 2002 Bucs.

5. Vikings (6-2; No. 6): The schedule gets a lot harder, right now.

6. Saints (6-2; No. 9): The schedule gets a lot harder, right now.

7. Chiefs (6-3; No. 4): The good news is that Andy Reid almost never loses his first game after a bye. The bad news is that this year’s break is being wasted on the Giants, an opponent they could beat on one day’s rest.

8. Seahawks (5-3; No. 5): Vikings fans knew it was just a matter of time before Blair Walsh started costing Seattle games.

9. Panthers (6-3; No. 10): After Carolina’s next win, Cam Newton will compare the team to the Hindenburg.

10. Cowboys (5-3; No. 16): They’ll need to forget about a Week 11 showdown with the Eagles long enough to provide the Falcons with the latest reminder that they’re not the team they were a year ago.

11. Washington (4-4; No. 13): They’re playing just well enough to have no choice but to use the franchise tag again on Kirk Cousins, at more than $34 million for one more year.

12. Jaguars (5-3; No. 15): Jacksonville at Tennessee for the AFC South crown is the early favorite for prime-time in Week 17.

13. Bills (5-3; No. 7): We doubt them and they prove us wrong. And then we believe in them, and they prove us wrong.

14. Titans (5-3; No. 14): As Marcus Mariota‘s hamstring keeps healing, he’ll keep becoming more dangerous to opposing defenses.

15. Lions (4-4; No. 19): A softening schedule could mean an NFC North crown.

16. Falcons (4-4; No. 11): The Falcons don’t have a Super Bowl hangover. They’re still drunk.

17. Raiders (4-5; No. 21): Marshall Newhouse won’t be replacing Marshawn Lynch any time soon.

18. Ravens (4-5; No. 17): They should replace the helmet logo with a picture of a yo-yo.

19. Chargers (3-5; No. 20): A run for the division title isn’t as crazy as it would seem.

20. Jets (4-5; No. 26): Josh McCown for MVP? Josh McCown for MVP.

21. Dolphins (4-4; No. 18): It’s getting harder and harder to remember how this team won four games.

22. Cardinals (4-4; No. 29): Adrian Peterson could end up having 70 total carries only four days apart.

23. Bengals (3-5; No. 23): For two straight years, they won’t be losing in the first round of the playoffs. #silverlining.

24. Texans (3-5; No. 12): Tom Savage got benched in Week One for Deshaun Watson. When does Savage get benched for T.J. Yates?

25. Bears (3-5; No. 25): The oldest rivalry in football will be a battle for the basement.

26. Broncos (3-5; No. 24): Brock 2.0 threw only 2.0 interceptions, which gives him start 2.0 against a team he somehow beat 2.0 years ago.

27. Packers (4-4; No. 22): “Did you just listen to that question that I just answered?”

28. Colts (3-6; No. 28): It’s probably good that they have Jacoby Brissett under contract for two more years.

29. Buccaneers (2-6; No. 27): They may want to “eat a W,” but they’re being force-fed a bunch of Ls.

30. 49ers (0-9; No. 31): Six years after the 49ers hosted the Giants for a berth in the Super Bowl, they’re playing for draft-pick positioning.

31. Giants (1-7; No. 30): Eli Manning may finally be regretting not wanting to play for the Chargers.

32. Browns (0-8; No. 32): As the second half of the season begins, the question is whether Hue Jackson can win enough games in order to secure the ability to lose a bunch of games in 2018.

Eagles cleaned up Chip Kelly’s mess in a hurry, and other Week Nine thoughts

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It wasn’t even two years ago that the Eagles fired Chip Kelly, an alleged offensive guru who had saddled them with a bunch of overpaid and underperforming offensive players. It’s remarkable how quickly they’ve cleaned up his mess.

Philadelphia, which put up 51 points on a very good Denver defense on Sunday, is now 8-1 and the best team in the NFL. That’s mostly due to its stellar offense, and what’s remarkable about that offense is how completely it has been rebuilt since the departure of Kelly, who spent three years as the Eagles’ coach and also had final say over personnel in his final year. Bad personnel moves can put a team in a salary cap hole that takes a long time to dig out of, but Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman and coach Doug Pederson have done it quickly.

The big move, of course, was at quarterback. Not everyone was sold on Carson Wentz coming out of North Dakota State last year, but the Eagles were. They traded two of Kelly’s favorite defensive players, Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell, to move up in the first round of the draft, then traded that first-round pick, another first-round pick, a second-round pick and a third-round pick to Cleveland to get the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. That’s the pick they used to get Wentz.

That was a lot to give up, and if it hadn’t worked out it would have crippled the franchise. But, oh, my, has it worked out. Wentz threw four touchdown passes yesterday and has an NFL-high 23 touchdowns on the season, and he’s now the league’s leading MVP candidate.

Drafting Wentz angered Sam Bradford, Kelly’s hand-picked quarterback whom the current regime re-signed a month before they drafted Wentz. But the Eagles knew what they were doing: They were patient with Bradford and committed to him publicly until the opportunity to trade him arose, at which point they unloaded him on the Vikings for a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick. Getting those picks for Bradford was a key part of the Eagles’ ability to replenish their roster despite giving up so much for Wentz.

But there’s much more to the Eagles’ rebuilt offense than just drafting Wentz. The top wide receiver on Kelly’s 2015 Eagles was Jordan Matthews, whom the Eagles traded to Buffalo this year. The Eagles could make that move because they added Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith this year. Kelly also had Josh Huff, Riley Cooper and Miles Austin at wide receiver, all of whom are long gone.

At running back Kelly poured big money into DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews. They’re gone now, replaced by LeGarrette Blount, Wendall Smallwood, Corey Clement and the newly arrived Jay Ajayi, who ran for a 46-yard touchdown in his first game as an Eagle yesterday.

Basically, this offense looks nothing like the offense Chip Kelly left behind — and the rebuilt offense looks ready to take Philadelphia to a Super Bowl. A team can rebuild in a hurry. As long as it finds the right quarterback.

Here are my other Week Nine thoughts:

Let Cam Newton do what he does best. Newton had a season-high 86 rushing yards as the Panthers beat the Falcons on Sunday, and I think that’s the kind of game the Panthers need from him every week. Over the last couple of years the Panthers’ offense often seemed to take away what makes Newton special, which is his great athletic ability. Newton finished last season with career lows in carries (90), rushing yards (359) and yards per carry (4.0). This year Newton is on pace to improve on all three of those stats and get back up over 600 rushing yards, where he was in his 2015 MVP season. The Panthers need to make opposing defenses fear Newton beating them with both his arm and his legs.

The Rams have turned into a juggernaut. It’s hard to believe this is the same Los Angeles team that had one of the most putrid offenses in the league last year. This year’s Rams, who beat the Giants 51-17 yesterday, are a touchdown-scoring machine. Jared Goff threw four touchdown passes yesterday, while Todd Gurley ran for two touchdowns. The Rams have already scored 40 or more points three times in eight games this season. Over the last 10 years before this season, the Rams scored 40 or more points only twice in 160 games.

It’s time for NFL referees to get smart about ejecting players. Refs are sometimes too hesitant to throw a player out of a game — as was the case yesterday with Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, who certainly should have been kicked out for his cheap shot at Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. But refs are also sometimes too quick to eject a player just for being involved in an altercation that he didn’t start, as was the case yesterday with Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey yesterday. Ramsey shoved Bengals receiver A.J. Green after a play, but that kind of stuff goes on all the time. What Green did — taking Ramsey to the ground, punching him and choking him — is far, far outside the bounds of what’s acceptable. By ejecting both Ramsey and Green, the officials were suggesting that they were equally at fault. In reality, Green was far more at fault. The officials need to get more consistent about who they eject and when and why, and if necessary the replay assistant should tell them if they missed something. NFL refs are currently missing too much.

The drop-off from Deshaun Watson to Tom Savage is incredible. The Texans were the highest-scoring team in the league with Watson at quarterback. Then Watson got hurt and Savage started on Sunday, and the Texans lost to the Colts while scoring just 14 points — seven of which came from the defense returning an interception for a touchdown. Here’s all you need to know about Watson and Savage: Watson has thrown 204 passes in his career, and he has 19 touchdowns. Savage has thrown 149 passes in his career, and he has one touchdown.

John Elway can’t identify a quarterback. The Broncos went back to Brock Osweiler yesterday, and it was a mess. And Elway deserves a big part of the blame for that mess. Elway is the one who drafted Osweiler in the second round in 2012 — when the next quarterback off the board was Russell Wilson. Elway is also the one who used a first-round pick on Paxton Lynch last year. Elway deserves credit for bringing a lot of defensive talent to Denver, but the offense has turned into a disaster because Elway hasn’t been able to acquire a quarterback. Now the 2017 season looks just about lost, and the question is whether Elway will be able to find a quarterback in 2018.

Week Nine early inactives

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Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back to see the full list as it becomes available 90 minutes ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Falcons at Panthers

Falcons: LB Duke Riley, WR Nick Williams, WR Marvin Hall, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, LB Sean Weatherspoon, OL Sean Harlow, T Austin Pasztor

Panthers: C Ryan Kalil, T John Theus, LB Andrew Gachkar, DE Bryan Cox Jr., QB Garrett Gilbert, CB LaDarius Gunter, RB Fozzy Whittaker

Colts at Texans

Colts: CB Vontae Davis, RB Matt Jones, LB John Simon, CB Quincy Wilson, OL Isaiah Williams, OL Dillon Day, LB Josh Perry

Texans: LB Dylan Cole, DE Joel Heath, QB Matt McGloin, WR Braxton Miller, CB Treston McCoud, G Kyle Fuller, LB Ufomba Kamalu

Bengals at Jaguars

Bengals: WR Tyler Boyd, LB Kevin Minter, K Randy Bullock, RB Jeremy Hill, WR John Ross, OL Alex Redmond, OL Christian Westerman

Jaguars: WR Jaelen Strong, CB Tyler Patmon, RB Leonard Fournette, G A.J. Cann, OL Josh Walker, OL William Poehls, DL Sheldon Day

Buccaneers at Saints

Buccaneers: CB Brent Grimes, TE Antony Auclair, C Joe Hawley, CB Deji Olatoye, DT Sealver Siliga, DE Darryl Tapp, T Leonard Wester

Saints: G Larry Warford, S Rafael Bush, QB Taysom Hill, OL Cameron Tom, WR Austin Carr, DL John Hughes, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad

Rams at Giants

Rams: QB Brandon Allen, RB Justin Davis, LB Ejuan Price, OL Andrew Donnal, OL Cornelius Lucas, WR Mike Thomas, S Isaiah Johnson

Giants: DE Olivier Vernon, G Justin Pugh, LB B.J. Goodson, DE Kerry Wynn, LB Jonathan Casillas, CB Donte Deayon, QB Davis Webb

Broncos at Eagles

Broncos: T Donald Stephenson, QB Paxton Lynch, RB De'Angelo Henderson, DB Lorenzo Doss, LB Todd Davis, LB DeMarcus Walker, WR Jordan Taylor

Eagles: TE Zach Ertz, CB Ronald Darby, WR Shelton Gibson, T Taylor Hart, DL Steven Means, DL Elijah Qualls, QB Nate Sudfeld

Ravens at Titans

Ravens: WR Michael Campanaro, RB Terrance West, S Chuck Clark, LB Tim Williams, TE Nick Boyle, DE Bronson Kaufusi, G Maurquice Shakir

Titans: G Quinton Spain, QB Brandon Weeden, WR Darius Jennings, DB Kalan Reed, DB Curtis Riley, LB Nate Palmer, DL David King

Week Nine injury report roundup

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Week Nine kicked off on Thursday with a Jets win and it continues with 11 more games on Sunday, which means that the 22 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered healthy enough to play barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Falcons at Panthers

The Falcons will play without LB Duke Riley (knee) again this week.

Panthers C Ryan Kalil (neck) continues to miss time and T John Theus (concussion) has been ruled out as well. G Trai Turner (knee) and RB Fozzy Whittaker (ankle) are listed as questionable.

Colts at Texans

QB Andrew Luck is off the injury report for the first time this year, but only because he’s been placed on injured reserve. RB Matt Jones (ankle), LB John Simon (neck) and CB Quincy Wilson (knee) have all been ruled out. LT Anthony Castonzo (knee) has been listed as questionable.

As with the Colts, the injury that makes the biggest difference for the Texans this week doesn’t appear on the injury report. QB Deshaun Watson (torn ACL) has been placed on injured reserve. LB Dylan Cole (hamstring) and DE Joel Heath (knee) will not play and CB Johnathan Joseph (shin, quadricep) are listed as questionable.

Bengals at Jaguars

WR Tyler Boyd (knee) remains out for the Bengals and LB Kevin Minter (elbow) will also miss the game. K Randy Bullock (back) and DE Michael Johnson each drew questionable tags.

The Jaguars will be getting RB Leonard Fournette back this weekend. WR Marqise Lee (knee), T Cam Robinson (ankle) and G A.J. Cann (triceps) are all questionable to join him in the lineup.

Buccaneers at Saints

Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (right shoulder) is listed as questionable, but will start barring an unforeseen development. CB Brent Grimes (shoulder) will miss the game while DE Robert Ayers (ankle), DT Chris Baker (ankle), LB Kendell Beckwith (knee) and WR Adam Humphries (rib) are also listed as questionable.

G Larry Warford (abdomen) is out again for the Saints. Two other offensive linemen — G Andrus Peat (hip), T Terron Armstead (shoulder) — are listed as questionable and make up the rest of the injury report.

Rams at Giants

The Rams return from their bye week with a clean injury report.

The Giants are also returning from their bye, but the situation is much different. LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), LB B.J. Goodson (ankle), G Justin Pugh (back), C Weston Richburg (concussion), DE Olivier Vernon (ankle) and DE Kerry Wynn (knee) have all been ruled out. CB Donte Deayon (ankle) is listed as questionable.

Broncos at Eagles

Broncos T Donald Stephenson (calf) won’t play this weekend. LB Todd Davis (ankle), G Ronald Leary (elbow) and WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) are considered questionable for Sunday, although Sanders is expected to return to action.

It’s a brief injury report for the Eagles. CB Ronald Darby (ankle) and TE Zach Ertz (hamstring) are questionable, but coach Doug Pederson said Ertz will play.

Ravens at Titans

WR Michael Campanaro (shoulder), S Chuck Clark (thigh) and RB Terrance West (calf) have been ruled out for the Ravens. TE Nick Boyle (toe), QB Joe Flacco (concussion), C Ryan Jensen (shoulder), WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), TE Vince Mayle (concussion), DT Michael Pierce (illness), CB Jimmy Smith (achilles), T Ronnie Stanley (shoulder), WR Mike Wallace (back), S Lardarius Webb (concussion), TE Maxx Williams (ankle) and DT Tim Williams (thigh) make up a long list of questionable players.

The Titans won’t have G Quinton Spain (toe) in the lineup. LB Nate Palmer (ankle) and TE Delanie Walker (ankle) are listed as questionable.

Cardinals at 49ers

The Cardinals ruled out C Daniel Munyer (toe). LB Karlos Dansby (finger, hamstring), RB Andre Ellington (quadricep), WR Brittan Golden (groin), DT Frostee Rucker (knee, hip) and WR Chad Williams (back) are questionable to play.

Six 49ers — T Garry Gilliam (knee), DT D.J. Jones (knee), DE Aaron Lynch (calf), T Joe Staley (eye), DE Solomon Thomas (knee), CB K'Waun Williams (quadricep) — have been ruled out and WR Pierre Garçon (neck) is headed for injured reserve. LB Reuben Foster (ribs) is questionable after missing last Sunday’s loss to the Eagles.

Redskins at Seahawks

It’s another packed injury report for the Redskins. DE Matt Ioannidis (hand), G Shawn Lauvao (stinger), TE Niles Paul (concussion) and TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) are all out this week. C Spencer Long (knee, knee), T Ty Nsekhe (core muscle) and T Trent Williams (knee) will likely make up the rest of the inactive list after drawing doubtful designations. CB Bashaud Breeland (knee, groin), WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder, shoulder), G Brandon Scherff (knee) and LB Martrell Spaight (shoulder) round things out with questionable tags.

G Luke Joeckel (knee) and S Earl Thomas (hamstring) have been ruled out by the Seahawks. It’s wait and see for S Kam Chancellor (ankle), CB Jeremy Lane (thigh), WR Tanner McEvoy (hamstring), RB C.J. Prosise (ankle), DT Sheldon Richardson (oblique) and LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring) after being listed as questionable.

Chiefs at Cowboys

LB Dee Ford (back) and WR Albert Wilson (hamstring) are out for the Chiefs. LB Justin Houston (knee) is listed as questionable.

Cowboys WR Cole Beasley (concussion) said he’s been cleared from the concussion protocol, but is still listed as questionable. CB Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) and K Dan Bailey (right groin) are out this week while WR Noah Brown (thigh) and DT Maliek Collins (foot) join Beasley with questionable tags.

Raiders at Dolphins

Three cornerbacks — David Amerson (foot), Gareon Conley (shin) and Demetrius McCray (knee) — are out for the Raiders. G Gabe Jackson (ankle), LB Cory James (knee), S Karl Joseph (groin), LB Marquel Lee (ankle), LB Nicholas Morrow (ankle) and RB Jamize Olawale (hamstring) are listed as questionable.

QB Jay Cutler (ribs) and WR DeVante Parker are expected back for the Dolphins, but got listed as questionable. DE Andre Branch (groin), G Jermon Bushrod (hand) and DE William Hayes (hamstring) make up the questionable contingent.

PFT’s Week Nine picks

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I managed to go 10-3 in the picks last week. Unfortunately, MDS went 11-2 — and now he has a five-game lead.

The only saving grace is that nobody cares. Except him.

But with another 13 games on the docket, you care if your favorite team is playing, or if you’re simply gather as many opinions as possible before calling your bookie.

Before you make that call, make that scroll.

Bills at Jets

MDS’s take: The Bills are a run-first team, but against a weak Jets pass defense I see Tyrod Taylor hitting some deep balls, and Buffalo putting a lot of points on the board.

MDS’s pick: Bills 31, Jets 21.

Florio’s take: Buffalo keeps finding ways to win, the Jets keep finding ways to lose. The Bills may be finding their way back to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Florio’s pick: Bills 24, Jets 20.


Colts at Texans

MDS’s take: The Texans could be set for a letdown after such a hard-fought loss on Sunday in Seattle, but against the Colts they should take care of business easily.

MDS’s pick: Texans 35, Colts 20.

Florio’s take: The Texans are one of the best 3-4 teams in recent league history. The Colts are 2-6, and they should be worse than that.

Florio’s pick: Texans 42, Colts 17.


Bengals at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Jacksonville has the best pass defense in the NFL, and they’re going to make Andy Dalton‘s life miserable on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 20, Bengals 7.

Florio’s take: The good-week, bad-week Jags had a bye week on what would have been a bad week. If they can play this week like they do when playing well, they should easily beat a Bengals team that simply can’t match Jacksonville’s talent.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 30, Bengals 20.


Buccaneers at Saints

MDS’s take: The Bucs may be the biggest disappointment in the NFL this year. Their pass defense has been a mess, and Drew Brees could easily go for 400 yards on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Buccaneers 17.

Florio’s take: The Saints are surging, and the Bucs are falling apart. A banged-up Jameis Winston simply can’t will the team to wins, especially when the various pieces aren’t fitting together the way they should.

Florio’s pick: Saints 34, Buccaneers 23.


Rams at Giants

MDS’s take: The last time the Giants suspended a cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, they responded with a big upset win over the Broncos. This week the Giants suspended a cornerback again, Janoris Jenkins, but I don’t see another upset coming.

MDS’s pick: Rams 30, Giants 14.

Florio’s take: Cornerback Janoris Jenkins won’t be getting a chance to face his former team. Which is very good news for his former team, which is good enough to do at MetLife Stadium what the other team in L.A. did when the Giants had Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall.

Florio’s pick: Rams 27, Giants 17.


Falcons at Panthers

MDS’s take: This is a close call, as both of these teams have been inconsistent and unpredictable this season. When I can’t decide who to pick, I go with the home team.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 17, Falcons 16.

Florio’s take: The trade of receiver Kelvin Benjamin could actually diversify the offense, which will be helpful against a Falcons team that is still struggling to find consistency. Home team gets the edge in a game that could go either way.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 27, Falcons 23.


Broncos at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Broncos are cratering and the Eagles are surging. Philadelphia should get a big win and maintain the league’s best record.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 28, Broncos 10.

Florio’s take: Brock Osweiler gets the start for the Broncos. Enough said.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 30, Broncos 17.


Ravens at Titans

MDS’s take: Joe Flacco was playing as well as he’s played all season when he got knocked out of Thursday night’s game against Miami. Unfortunately, I think he’ll come back to earth against a Titans pass defense that’s better than Miami’s.

MDS’s pick: Titans 20, Ravens 10.

Florio’s take: Marcus Mariota has his mobility back, which is bad news for a Ravens defense that has a rough time against the run.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Ravens 16.


Cardinals at 49ers

MDS’s take: The 49ers are going to get their first win eventually, and I say it’ll come here, against a reeling and injury-plagued Cardinals team.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 21, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: The good news is that the Cardinals won’t face Jimmy Garoppolo. The bad news is that the Cardinals will be playing Drew Stanton. The best news is that the 49ers remain the 49ers.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 24, 49ers 20.


Washington at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Washington’s injury-plagued offensive line is going to struggle against the Seahawks’ defense, while Seattle’s offensive line gets a boost from the arrival of Duane Brown. That makes the difference.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 17, Washington 14.

Florio’s take: Seattle keeps getting better and better, and eventually they’ll be locking up the No. 1 seed in the conference.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 28, Washington 20.


Chiefs at Cowboys

MDS’s take: With or without Ezekiel Elliott, I like Kansas City because I don’t see the Cowboys’ defense holding the Chiefs’ offense in check.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 27, Cowboys 17.

Florio’s take: Dallas has blown double-digit leads in each of their last two home games. The Cowboys won’t have to worry about that this time, especially if they don’t have Ezekiel Elliott.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Cowboys 20.


Raiders at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Dolphins are 4-3, but they’re not as good as their record indicates, and the Jay Ajayi trade suggests that they know they’re building for the future, not winning this year. I like the Raiders to win in Miami.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Dolphins 17.

Florio’s take: A couple of struggling offenses meet in what may be a de facto elimination game. With Jay Cutler back and the Dolphins getting a wake-up call from the elimination of Jay Ajayi, advantage Miami.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 20, Raiders 14.


Lions at Packers

MDS’s take: The Lions got very lucky this season as the only team in the NFC North that hasn’t had chaos at the quarterback position. If Aaron Rodgers were playing I’d pick the Packers, but with Brett Hundley at the helm I’ll take Detroit to get a rare road win in Green Bay.

MDS’s pick: Lions 21, Packers 20.

Florio’s take: If the Packers had gotten Brian Hoyer, maybe it would have gone differently. (It wouldn’t have.) Either way, Brett Hundley falls to 0-2.

Florio’s pick: Lions 27, Packers 21.