PFT’s Week 11 picks

AP

First, the bad news. I was a horrendous 6-8 last week in my effort to pick games. (I won’t use the torn plantar fascia in my plant foot as an excuse, or the rib injury that I didn’t disclose until game day but that required an MRI this morning.) The good news? MDS was even worse, hitting on only five of 14 and giving me a one-game lead through 10 weeks.

This week, we disagree on three of the games.

For the year, I’m 93-53 (63.6 percent), and MDS is 92-54 (63.0 percent).

Titans at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Don’t look now, but the Jaguars are threatening to turn the AFC South into a three-team race. Jacksonville faces an easy schedule down the stretch, starting with what should be an easy win over the Titans.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 24, Titans 14.

Florio’s take: It’s Star Trek uniform night, thanks to the Nikefication of the NFL. And here’s the spot where I’d make a few Star Trek references if I knew anything about the show. No one knows anything about the AFC South, a division that the winner of this game could still win. Given the state of the AFC South, the loser still will have a chance to win it, too. Edge to the home team. And because I always preferred Captain Kirk to Mr. Spock.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 24, Titans 20.

Colts at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Colts went 2-0 with Matt Hasselbeck the last time Andrew Luck was out, but against a team with a good offense like Atlanta’s, I don’t think a Hasselbeck-led Indianapolis offense will be able to put enough points on the board.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 20, Colts 13.

Florio’s take: Both teams had two weeks to prepare for this one, which should give them a chance to iron out some of the problems from the first nine weeks of the season. Despite recent struggles, quarterback Matt Ryan remains at a level above Matthew Hasselbeck.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Colts 20.

Rams at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Rams’ offense has problems that a quarterback change could fix, but only if the Rams had a backup quarterback who’s better than Nick Foles. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced Case Keenum is any better than Foles, and the Ravens will win.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 21, Rams 14.

Florio’s take: A quarterback who never will be elite takes on the one who used to be. The Rams are playing for a shot at the postseason; the Ravens are playing for respect. While the Rams remain more talented, it feels like they’re in the midst of their annual underachievement period.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 20, Rams 16.

Washington at Panthers

MDS’s take: Kirk Cousins had a big game against the terrible Saints defense. He’ll have a rough game against the excellent Panthers defense. Carolina is going to 10-0.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 28, Washington 14.

Florio’s take: With each win, Carolina is going to face stronger and stronger efforts to supply their first loss. As the Panthers guard against a letdown, they need look no farther than Cincinnati’s struggles against the Texans on Monday night. While Kirk Cousins looked great last weekend, it happened both at home and against the worst defense in the league.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 27, Washington 17.

Broncos at Bears

MDS’s take: A few weeks ago it would have sounded crazy to say the Bears would beat the Broncos. But things change quickly in the NFL. Brock Osweiler’s first start will be a loss.

MDS’s pick: Bears 24, Broncos 17.

Florio’s take: Chicago coach John Fox has plenty of incentive to beat the team that fired him, and he knows the personnel in Denver well enough to make it happen. Besides, the Bears are on the fringes of playoff contention in the NFC, with a realistic shot at catching the Packers or the Falcons for a wild-card berth.

Florio’s pick: Bears 23, Broncos 17.

Raiders at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions turned in by far their best performance of the season with last week’s win in Green Bay, and the Raiders are on a two-game losing streak. That makes it tempting to pick Detroit. But I just don’t think the Lions’ offense will put many points on the board in this game, and the Raiders will win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 20, Lions 14.

Florio’s take: The Raiders are running out of chances to remain in contention for the postseason, and the Lions are hoping to build on last week’s unlikely win at Green Bay. In this one, the edge goes to the team that still has a realistic chance of playing beyond Week 17.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 27, Lions 20.

Jets at Texans

MDS’s take: This is a surprisingly relevant game to the AFC playoff race, as the Texans are tied for the South lead and the Jets are tied for the second wild card spot. I like the Jets’ defense to get things back on track and shut down the Texans.

MDS’s pick: Jets 14, Texans 10.

Florio’s take: If the Texans win, will J.J. Watt make a Yukon Cornelius reference when discussing Ryan Fitzpatrick? Unfortunately, we’ll never find out. How you all doin’?

Florio’s pick: Jets 23, Texans 13.

Cowboys at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Cowboys are 2-0 with Tony Romo and 0-7 without him. Now that Romo is back, I think they’ll get back to their winning ways — though probably too late to make a run in the NFC East.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 21, Dolphins 20.

Florio’s take: Good news: Tony Romo is back. Bad news: The rest of the roster is still there. It may sound harsh, but they lost seven straight games. They’ll expect to win this one easily, and the Dolphins won’t cooperate.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 30, Cowboys 23.

Packers at Vikings

MDS’s take: The Vikings have a huge opportunity to establish themselves as the favorites in the NFC North. With a win on Sunday, they’ll have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker advantage over the Packers. I think Green Bay is going to get things turned around, however, and get back on top in the division.

MDS’s pick: Packers 24, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: As the Vikings prepared to face the Rams, folks said, “Win this one, and we’ll believe in you.” Then, after beating the Rams and preparing to face the Raiders, folks said, “Win this one, and we’ll believe in you.” Now, as the Vikings prepare to face the Packers after bearing the Raiders, folks are saying, “Win this one, and we’ll believe in you.” Come Monday, folks will say, “Well, the Packers stink now, anyway.”

Florio’s pick: Vikings 34, Packers 19.

Buccaneers at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Bucs have an enormous opportunity to establish themselves as contenders for an NFC wild card spot down the stretch. But I’m just not convinced that Tampa Bay’s offense will be able to get many points on the board in Philly.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 17, Buccaneers 10.

Florio’s take: To Eagles fans who complained about Sam Bradford — after Sunday, maybe you won’t.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Eagles 23.

49ers at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The 3-6 49ers are only a game behind the 4-5 Seahawks in the standings, but there’s a huge gulf between these teams in the quality of their play. Seattle should cruise to an easy win.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 35, 49ers 14.

Florio’s take: The Seahawks are desperate. Blaine Gabbert is still the 49ers quarterback. Any questions?

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 20, 49ers 6.

Chiefs at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Chiefs have quietly strung together a series of impressive wins after a very slow start. They’ll keep it going against a Chargers team that has fallen apart as a result of injuries.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Chargers 20.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs are moving in the right direction. The Chargers are moving to L.A. And they otherwise aren’t very good right now.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Chargers 20.

Bills at Patriots

Bengals at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals’ offense is firing on all cylinders, and Arizona will earn its second consecutive Sunday night victory.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 31, Bengals 20.

Florio’s take: If the Bengals had  ditched the cutesy stuff against Houston and just relied on their offensive talent, they may have won. Neither approach may matter against a Cardinals team that has both the talent and an attitude.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 29, Bengals 21.

MDS’s take: The Bills will play better defense against the Patriots than they did the first time these teams played, but New England will score just enough to pull out a close win that goes down to the wire.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 23, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: If the injuries keep piling up for the Patriots, they may eventually lose a game. For now, not.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Bills 21.

70 responses to “PFT’s Week 11 picks

  1. LOL! Both of you are picking the Bears over the Broncos. Tell us then why you have the Broncos rated so much higher in this week’s power rankings?

  2. You guys seem to be pretty confident about the Jaguars. Never be that confident about the Jaguars. They’re the Jaguars.

  3. Darn it. I figured you’d both predictably pick against the Vikings yet again. But only MDS is still drinking the Kool-Aid. When you both pick against the Vikings, I know they’re gonna win. But since you split, I’m not so confident anymore.

  4. The Broncos went 7-2 with a QB playing worse than pretty much every other QB in the league. All Osweiler has to do is be average and the Broncos can win. It’s hard to imagine him being worse. Also, the entire playboy will be open now. Deep throws, bootlegs, etc.

  5. nhpats says:
    Nov 19, 2015 10:22 AM
    LOL! Both of you are picking the Bears over the Broncos. Tell us then why you have the Broncos rated so much higher in this week’s power rankings?
    ————————————————–
    A very good question!!

  6. Hey ESPN how’s that welcome reception the Patriots laid out for you this week? All warm and fuzzy?

    If you weren’t liars and bloviating “analysts” that made uneducated comments, it might have been different. This is something you brought on yourselves. Suck it up!

  7. Despite recent struggles, quarterback Matt Ryan remains at a level above Matthew Hasselbeck.

    So two weeks ago Matt Ryan Remained at a level above Blaine Gabbert and how did that turn out? Falcons are not playing good football and the colts are steadily improving…..overtime with the panthers and beating the 7-0 broncos but continue to pick favorites rather than actually watching the games from week to week to see how teams are actually playing

  8. nhpats says:
    Nov 19, 2015 10:22 AM
    LOL! Both of you are picking the Bears over the Broncos. Tell us then why you have the Broncos rated so much higher in this week’s power rankings?
    ——————————————

    If you think that’s funny, they both also have the Ravens beating the Rams. They have the Rams at 16 and the Ravens at 32. Makes sense – right?? LOL

  9. Apparently the both of you have forgotten how Case Keenum beat the Ravens in Houston last year. Not even Ed Reed Day will make a difference.

    Rams 23
    Ravens 19

  10. LOL! Both of you are picking the Bears over the Broncos. Tell us then why you have the Broncos rated so much higher in this week’s power rankings?
    —————————————————————–
    So the picks should be based solely off of power rankings? Do you think that only the better team wins each week?

  11. Odds are the Patriots aren’t going 16-0 again. I’m not going to pick them to lose, but this game against Buffalo just might be the game they’d be most likely to lose the rest of the way. Losing Edelman is particularly huge for this game because he shreds the Bills more than any other team. Not to mention, it looks like the Bills have gotten it together a bit since the bye week. They are a better team than they were in week 2, and if they can find a way to correct some of what went wrong the last time these teams played it wouldn’t be stunning for them to pull out a win.

    That being said, Pats win 31-27.

  12. If the Packers still can’t get their train back on the tracks, they will certainly lose. If they can, they will win, and it won’t be close.

  13. Bears formula for success is same as last week:

    – Balanced offense with no turnovers and winning TOP with a couple of big plays thrown in.

    – Tough, disciplined defense especially against cutback runs and the deep ball (Osweiler can fling it).

    – Minimal penalites in any phase.

    The difference from last week is the Broncos are good enough to make the Bears pay for another bad outing by terrible play of their special teams. If that returner of theirs fumbles away another punt or two (and goes backwards on the rest), and Gould misses any FGs it could be too much to overcome.

  14. Last week Florio stated that the Titans were good enough to beat the Panthers (and picked them to win); this week he picks them as a loser against the Jaguars.

  15. If you think that’s funny, they both also have the Ravens beating the Rams. They have the Rams at 16 and the Ravens at 32. Makes sense – right?? LOL

    So for the record, who do you think will win that game “inozwetrust”?

  16. Hey Bass Plucker or should I call you Captain Obvious…..

    I’m pretty sure every teams formula for success is:
    -Balanced offense with no TO’s
    -Tough, disciplined defense
    -Minimal Penalties

  17. inozwetrust says:
    Nov 19, 2015 10:35 AM

    nhpats says:
    Nov 19, 2015 10:22 AM
    LOL! Both of you are picking the Bears over the Broncos. Tell us then why you have the Broncos rated so much higher in this week’s power rankings?
    ——————————————

    If you think that’s funny, they both also have the Ravens beating the Rams. They have the Rams at 16 and the Ravens at 32. Makes sense – right?? LOL
    —————————————————-
    Uh maybe its because they have a back up QB starting, also, just because they have someone in a power ranking higher then the other does in no way mean that they may pick that lower team to win. There can actually be other circumstances involved…..MIND BLOWN

  18. One thing is for sure, Florio has been a Ravens homer since week 1 this year ranking them in the top 5 of his first power rankings. While his power rankings now are more accurate with them at 31, the idea that they can beat the Rams is about as crazy as thinking they were a top 5 team to start the year. Read this carefully Mike, the Ravens suck.

  19. The Jets don’t have a chance against the Texans, because the mighty Clowney actually practiced yesterday. ( Now where did I put my snark font? )

  20. wulls1313 says:
    Nov 19, 2015 11:01 AM

    Uh maybe its because [the Rams and Broncos] have a back up QB starting, also, just because they have someone in a power ranking higher then the other does in no way mean that they may pick that lower team to win. There can actually be other circumstances involved…..MIND BLOWN

    =======================================

    I understand your logic, but in Case Keenum’s situation, he was also a backup QB put in to start for the Texans last year when the Ravens had to play in Houston. He tore the team apart from the first possession. There is historical precedent in his…umm….case.

  21. The Vikings give up 14.5 points a game at home. The Packers defense is not good. With the first blast of cold weather coming in this weekend, I think the team with the better defense and running game will carry the day.

  22. Pats fan here who agrees Bills will give them a much tougher effort, will go down to the wire, and not as much sheer dumb luck as last week with the Giants could mean no 10-0 for NE.

  23. No team can score over 23 points on Vikings d. I agree with Florio on his prediction. With pathetic Packers d Vikings will score over 30. AP will run all over those Packers and Vikings win. Book it!

  24. You’ll both be eating crow after this one…

    Washington at Panthers

    MDS’s take: Kirk Cousins had a big game against the terrible Saints defense. He’ll have a rough game against the excellent Panthers defense. Carolina is going to 10-0.

    MDS’s pick: Panthers 28, Washington 14.

    Florio’s take: With each win, Carolina is going to face stronger and stronger efforts to supply their first loss. As the Panthers guard against a letdown, they need look no farther than Cincinnati’s struggles against the Texans on Monday night. While Kirk Cousins looked great last weekend, it happened both at home and against the worst defense in the league.

    Florio’s pick: Panthers 27, Washington 17.

    Of course you both probably had the Saints winning last week also…

  25. “Good news: Tony Romo is back. Bad news: The rest of the roster is still there. It may sound harsh, but they lost seven straight games.”

    It may be an inconvenient truth, but that “rest of the roster” was in every single game outside of the one against the best team in football, and that was with replacement-level QBs. Just because the team got edged out (a lack of forced turnovers, something that history has shown to be largely controlled by luck, would have made all the difference) doesn’t mean the team was set to lose all those games and couldn’t do anything about it.

    That doesn’t mean Dallas will win on Sunday, but that is a weeeeeeeak line of reasoning for picking a Dallas loss. No surprise about that, though.

  26. Well I can’t say I disagree with too many of the picks, but I will take Dolphins over Cowboys 30 to 21 because Romo I think will be rusty in his first game back, Bucs over Eagles 17 to 10, Vikings over Packers 38 to 24 as I think the Vikings defense will make Rodgers uncomfortable and the Packers D has been bad, and finally for the Patriots game I think MDS’s score is more accurate 23-20 because the Bills always play the Patriots tough and Rex will coach the game like he’s doing it for his job, but Brady will come through with a pass to Amendola or Gronk to set up the game winning field goal.

  27. Even I’m getting tired of Vike fans (so much asking for restraint). Either way, I’m looking forward to a street fight between my Vikings and the Packers and will be cheering on the purple no matter the weather!

    Skol!

  28. Why do any of you take offense to a pick before a game, it’s just an opinion. Relax..

    My Vikings are overrated, the current record doesn’t reflect our actual team and Teddy and his white gloves are not scaring anyone!

  29. The only way the Packers can win this week is by a close game, however, the Vikes have shown they know how to win the close games. I love the Vikes chances to either win a close one or to win a laugher.

  30. Aaron Rodgers is “hurt”…of course he is. No one can just accept the fact that MAYBE this packers team is just mediocre…I’m sure he’s gonna milk it like he did with his calf. Meanwhile the whole world was ignoring that cam newton was playing with a fractured vertebrae in his back, instead they were admiring Rodgers fake calf injury. What a joke. Always an excuse for this team. Planting the seed so if they lose Sunday “Rodgers was hurt and banged up” but if they win “what a true warrior Rodgers is to will his team to a win”. Typical Packer bias, which is why the rest of the league can’t stand this team. -Eagles fan.

  31. MDS, you will be woefully wrong on your packer pick. Your gbay kool-aid overfloweth.

    Let’s see, the packers lose their 3rd in a row, against the worst team in the league, AT HOME.

    They look a mess offensively, and Rodgers has played at best, unsure, and at worst-SCARED.

    HOW DO YOU THINK HE WILL HANDLE THe NON-STOP pressure and nuances the king of defense, Mike Zimmer, will unleash on who use to be one of the top QBs in the league????

    This one the Vikes will dominate from start to finish 31-13.

    Vikes are looking for a bye in a couple different ways this weekend.

    They will put themselves in the runnin for a playoff bye, while waving “bye bye” to the packers!!!!!!!!!

  32. Couldn’t resist a snarky dig against Peyton even though he is injured and not playing this week, huh, Flo? Most people who have actually played sports have respect for a competitor’s skills and will not “hit a man while he’s down”. Nerdy little dweebs look for that opportunity to get their licks in then run and hide.

  33. Remember when Rodgers admitted he liked his footballs a bit over inflated and now this season the NFL is keeping a closer eye on PSI. Coincidence? Maybe the NFL focused on the wrong QB because Brady seems to be doing just fine.

  34. Just remember Carolina Paper Tiger fans – your team has only beat two good teams. If beating worthless teams is a dig at the Redskins for doing it, you’ve made a season feeding off of bad teams to pad your record.

    I hope you take Washington lightly.

    You’ll be 9-1 at the end of the game!

    Hail to the Redskins!

  35. These scores look more realistic This week. The Vikings should win against the packers because they are better overall. I don’t see what the packers have shown to make anyone believe they can “turn it around”

  36. Buffalo at New England-

    Tyrod Taylor will go 27 of 36 for 312 yards, 2td’s. 87yds rushing, 1 td.
    LeSean McCoy will rush 20 times for 172 yards and 1 td’s…
    Karlos Williams will rush 6 times for 62 yards and 1 td…
    The 2 passing TD’s will be caught by Robert Woods(1) and Sammy Watkins(1).
    Dan Carpenter will hit 1 fg…a 51yd…

    Tom Brady will go 31 of 43 for 340 yards, 3td’s, 2int. 7yds rushing.
    Legarette Blount will rush for 72 yards.
    The 3 passing TD’s will be caught by Danny Amendola(2) and Aaron Dobson(1)…
    Stephen Gostkowski will hit 2 fg’s… a 38yd and a 47yd…

    The score will be Buffalo 38, New England 27.

  37. Another thing to consider is that a big-time winter system is currently progged to hit the upper Midwest in the late Friday to Saturday window with cold air coming in behind. At minimum, Pack @ Vikes and Broncos @ Bears look to be much colder games than we’ve seen so far this season and other elements could come into play as well. Choose your teams and fantasy players accordingly.

  38. Funny, I spent all season screaming at the wall about the Bears being better than anyone thinks, and how – in the words of Foxy, they are simply “building”, not “RE-building” – that they deserve more respect than the get, Cutler’s playing lights out, etc. – and now that they’re actually getting a little of that respect – I realize I don’t want any part of it.

    That is to say – I like it better when everyone thinks the Bears stink, and they play as clear underdogs.

  39. Please quit picking the Ravens to win. Everytime you do they lose. Not true, everytime you pick them to lose they lose also, but still, by now, you haven’t learned, they aren’t winning another game this season, Ozzie will pick first, and then he will pick around 16 because by making compensatory picks available for trading now, Ozzie will have between 12 and 15 picks going into this draft which means he has a lot of ammo to move up to a second pick in the first and move up in the second to get another pick around 3 or 4th in that round. If Ozzie has three picks inside the first 40, look out.

  40. Why not just pick the home teams to win? You’d have a better winning percentage and your ignorance wouldn’t be on display.

  41. Aaron Rodgers is “hurt”…of course he is. No one can just accept the fact that MAYBE this packers team is just mediocre…I’m sure he’s gonna milk it like he did with his calf. Meanwhile the whole world was ignoring that cam newton was playing with a fractured vertebrae in his back, instead they were admiring Rodgers fake calf injury. What a joke. Always an excuse for this team. Planting the seed so if they lose Sunday “Rodgers was hurt and banged up” but if they win “what a true warrior Rodgers is to will his team to a win”. Typical Packer bias, which is why the rest of the league can’t stand this team. -Eagles fan.
    ________________________________________________
    Agreed – plus McCarthey has that “punch me in the face” look / constipated look. Can’t stand either of them and their excuses

  42. Both pick the Bears eh? Does this mean the Bears are officially off the “Trap Game” list where the only reason why they win is because it was a “trap game” (whatever that means) for the other team? Because, ya know, no team in the NFL wants to win games only because some internet hack declared that winning the game meant it was a trap game for the other team. I mean, that’s the important thing.

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