Dec 22, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) tackles Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Who Dat Dish NFL Pick’em is back with our weekly edition of staff picks. The staff had a very tough week overall, and were led by Ian and myself at 9-5. Andrew’s lead has now dwindled down to just one game, and we’re still wondering where MacGyver’s picks are. Let’s look at the overall standings after Week Eleven:
- Andrew (@ShootsMcGavin), 108-52-1
- John (@JohnJHendrix), 107-53-1
- Barry (@HarahanWhoDat), 106-54-1
- Simon (@Daugulis), 104-56-1
- Federico (@FedeFerrari10), 102-58-1
- MacGyver (@SaintsTailgate), 99-61-1
- Ryne (@RHancock19), 98-62-1
- Ian (@IDear_Sports), 95-65-1
It’s the final week for teams to be on byes, and the last two are the Steelers and Panthers. There’s a few matchups that will surely leave you yawning (like Thursday Night Football), and we’re eager to see the Snow Game between the Jets and Bills. We’re increased to fifteen total games to pick from this week, and here’s how Week Eleven plays out, and we’re minus a MacGyver.
Disclaimer: Picks against the Saints
Kansas City (7-3) at Oakland (0-10)
This has all the makings of the best trap game in the world, but when you think about how Thursday Night Football has played out, will it really go that way? The Raiders haven’t had much of anything to celebrate this season, and it doesn’t look like things are going to change anytime soon. Did you know that there’s seven receivers that have more receiving yards than the entire Chiefs receivers? Scary.
Cleveland (6-4) at Atlanta (4-6)
Not so long ago, the Browns were on top of the AFC North. After just a few party fouls, they’re now staring at the bottom of the division. The team will receive a major shot in the arm this week with the return of Josh Gordon, who plays a terrible Falcons secondary, and is ready to let loose on the NFL. I’d be a bit scared if I were the Falcons. Both teams could certainly use this win, but I think the Browns win it. After all, they have a huge chance to sweep the NFC South.
New York Jets (2-8) at Buffalo (5-5)
This ‘snow game’ makes for really good or really bad football. We’re told that this game likely doesn’t happen on Sunday, and may be moved to Monday. However it plays out, expect a million comments about the weather. I think the Bills will win, but this could go either way. It may only take a score or two to win this one.
Tampa Bay (2-8) at Chicago (4-6)
Lovie Smith ‘returns home’ to face his former team. That’s right, he faces the team that canned him after a 10-6 record, and failed to make the playoffs. That’s always a good storyline to go off of, plus the fact Josh McCown comes back to town to duel Jay Cutler. The Bucs surprised last week with their thrashing of the Redskins, can Mike Evans go crazy again? I don’t see enough from the Bucs to beat the Bears, plus there’s Matt Forte.
Cincinnati (6-3-1) at Houston (5-5)
The Bengals just can’t find success against the Texans. After winning three straight matchups, the Bengals have dropped five in a row to the Texans, and have lost three straight in Houston. Their last win in Houston was the 2002 season (inaugural for the Texans), and that really doesn’t count, because David Carr. The Bengals look to avenge the last two playoff losses to the Texans, but will really have to come up with some trickery against the stellar defense of the Texans. I like for them to get off the schneid this week.
Jacksonville (1-9) at Indianapolis (6-4)
Did the Jaguars improve their tackling during the bye week? Probably not. Colts should roll. They can’t lose at home again, can they?
Green Bay (7-3) at Minnesota (4-6)
The Packers are coming off of back-to-back 50+ point outings. I’m seriously wondering if they make it three straight against the Vikings. No Adrian Peterson returning won’t help the Vikings, but they did add Ben Tate to their lineup. The Packers are just playing too well right now to drop this one to the Vikings, but it is a divisional matchup. Aside the tie last season, the Pack have won eight of their last nine against the Vikes.
Aug 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit (7-3) at New England (8-2)
Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are going to have their hands full defending against Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. However, this is the Patriots, and they simply perform well at home. In fact, they’re 19-2 at home since 2012. They’ve won fourteen straight, with their last loss being nearly two years ago to the San Francisco 49ers (12/16/12). The Lions need to keep Green Bay off their back, but there’s more pressure on them to win with the Packers playing the lowly Vikings. Pats.
Tennessee (2-8) at Philadelphia (7-3)
Zach Mettenberger played very well for the Titans last week, and had it not been for a big meltdown, they would have earned a huge victory over the Steelers. The Eagles defense, or lack thereof, was lit up last week. I don’t expect Mark Sanchez to lose to the Titans at home, but stranger things have happened.
St. Louis (4-6) at San Diego (6-4)
Of the four wins the Rams have this season, three of them have come against strong opponents: Broncos, 49ers, Seahawks. They’re seriously a mysterious foe to pick against, especially when they play at home, or in the division. The Chargers finally broke free of their losing ways against the Raiders last week, although it wasn’t easy. The Chargers should win this week with a revitalized attitude, but then again…
Arizona (9-1) at Seattle (6-4)
The Seahawks impressive perfect home streak was vanquished by the Cardinals last season, when they defeated the Seahawks 17-10. Can they honestly do it again? Sure. The Cardinals have a strong and talented group, and they didn’t necessarily need Carson Palmer last week. The Seahawks are out to prove that last year was a fluke, and are reeling after a road loss to the Chiefs. They really need this game more, as the defending champs are trying to stay afloat for a Wild Card spot. I’ve said it many times before, the Cardinals are very legitimate this season. It honestly can go either way, but I really like what Bruce Arians is doing in Arizona. Besides, there’s that whole Marshawn Lynch distraction (one of many) in Seattle.
Miami (6-4) at Denver (7-3)
I have nothing against the Dolphins, but facing Peyton Manning at home after a bad loss where his offense couldn’t do anything? I really don’t need to say anything else.
Washington (3-7) at San Francisco (6-4)
Washington was going to start to right their ship last week, but were bullied by the Bucs. There’s more quarterback-head coach controversy in Washington (shocker, right?). RGIII and his band won’t find a kind reception waiting for them in Frisco, as the 49ers have won their last two, and are catching a lot of fire at the right time.
Dallas (7-3) at New York Giants (3-7)
The Giants have a bright future ahead of them with their young receiving corp, but the problem exists with Eli Manning. They were able to hang with Dallas the last time they met, but now we’re changing scenery. Romo and company are fresh off their bye week from London. The Cowboys have won three of their last four matchups at MetLife Stadium, but these matchups historically pan out as close games. The Giants could be poised to spoil the Cowboys fortune, and break the three-game losing streak against them.
Aug 28, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) talk at the conclusion of the game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Ravens won, 22-13. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore (6-4) at New Orleans (4-6)
Get ready to hear about stat curses, as the Saints have won 14-straight home prime time games. Remember when they won all those straight home games and put that on the line against the 49ers? Oh, and the Ravens (like many teams that have faced the Saints) are fresh off a bye to play them. Drew Brees has a glorious chance to set some NFL History, and we’re just hoping the Saints, despite many injuries and setbacks, are able to make a game of it.
Continue on for more thoughts and analysis from Ian Mitchell-Dear!