We’ve seen 10 weeks of football – nine from most teams. Are the Dallas Cowboys really legit, or will they hit a wall when they face the tough Baltimore Ravens defense? Are the Tennessee Titans really a contender to win the AFC South, or will they be exposed against a week Indianapolis Colts team? Well, the truth is, I don’t have those answers, so we’re going a different direction. Week 10 was a disaster, moving my overall record to 22-24-4. Back on track in Week 11:
Jacksonville Jaguars 6.5 over Detroit Lions (1pmET) – The Lions found themselves in first place in the NFC North by simply not playing a game last week. Are they a legit contender to actually win the NFC North? Sure, maybe. But one thing they have consistently shown is that, when they win games at all, they win very close games. I could easily see them beating the Jaguars by three or four points, but the Jaguars and Blake Bortles can always hang around and keep it close (plus, their defense is playing better than usual).
Arizona Cardinals +2.5 over Minnesota Vikings (1pmET) – The Cardinals and Vikings opened at a pick ’em, but since then the line has moved 2.5 points in the right direction. Are the Vikings in trouble of losing again this week? Absolutely. The Cardinals are the better team offensively, and their defense has improved to nearly the level of the Vikings. Maybe Minnesota and their defense pulls off a one-point win, but I think the Cardinals take it to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Miami Dolphins -1.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4pmET) – They’ve won four games in a row – don’t expect the Rams to stop the Dolphins this week either. The line has shifted 2.5 points in a favorable direction as well, and the Jay Ajayi-led Dolphins should be able to keep their wild card position intact with a win against a bottom dweller Rams team. Jared Goff makes his debut for the Rams, which is certainly the big unknown in this matchup. But there’s a reason he’s been sitting on the bench while Case Keenum has struggled.
San Francisco 49ers +13 over New England Patriots (4pmET) – The Patriots will beat the 49ers. No one is expecting otherwise. But 13 points? The Patriots can run up the score, but with Colin Kaepernick at the helm recently, the 49ers have shown they can score too (albeit in losing efforts so far). I could see the Patriots up by 14+ at halftime, then take the foot off the gas a little to preserve their health and let the 49ers get back into the game a bit. Also, no Rob Gronkowski for the Patriots.
Washington Redskins -3 over Green Bay Packers (8:30pmET) – Sunday night’s matchup is a game between two teams moving the opposite direction. The Packers have looked miserable, both on the field and on the sidelines, while the Redskins have found a way to win when they needed to. Every week it feels like the Packers are going to get back on track (like last week, in a losing effort). Enough – the Redskins are for real, and the Packers need to pack it in and start looking for next season.