By Mike Crum
Dallas Cowboys Team Analyst and Co-Host of the Across The Cowboys Podcast
Last Sunday went amazingly well for me during the early and afternoon games. I went 10-1, only missing on Wentz and the Eagles. However, the primetime games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights did not go so well. I was 0-3. So, while 10-4 overall definitely feels great, it was still a little disappointing in the end. Overall this year I am 93-53, which is a very solid 64%. Let’s hope I keep it up in week 11.
Arizona Cardinals (ARZ) at Seattle Seahawks (SEA)
The Seahawks defense is downright awful. The Cardinals “Air Raid” offense should be able to put up plenty of points against them. Kyler Murray has lead game-winning drives the last two games for the Cardinals and they are 4-1 in their last five games. So this is an easy choice right? Not so fast, my friends. This is a division game, and just like the Rams-Seahawks game this past week, points won't be so easy to come by. I have a feeling this is gonna be a close game, and this time I’m taking Russell Wilson to nab the W. This pick keeps with my beloved Thursday night home team picks, too. I’ve only strayed away from that once or twice this season. This is a close call, but I’m taking Seattle in what might be an upset.
Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT) at Jacksonville Jaguars (JAX)
The Steelers stay undefeated and the Jags remain in the second spot of the draft. Both sides get what they want.
Detroit Lions (DET) at Carolina Panthers (CAR)
I love how the Panthers have played this season. They play competitively in almost every game. This shapes up well for them going forward. As for this game, the Panthers are just too injured. Teddy Bridgewater might be out, Christian McCaffrey is definitely out, and that’s just too much for me. I’ve got to go with the Lions. I know Stafford is starting and that’s enough.
New England Patriots (NE) at Houston Texans (HOU)
This is another one of those hunch games I get. Don’t ask me why, I just feel like Deshaun Watson is gonna get this win. Yes, the Patriots just beat the Ravens, and yes, the Texans only scored seven points against the Browns. I totally get that I’m crazy, but I just think Watson has a huge game and reminds the NFL that he is still a top young QB. Houston's defense just has to help with some run stops, and I’ll be satisfied that my prediction has a chance.
Tennessee Titans (TEN) at Baltimore Ravens (BAL)
It's surprising how much of a coin flip game this is. The Ravens have been so good in the Lamar Jackson era that a home game against any team other than the Chiefs seems like an easy call. The Ravens have been playing poor lately though. Add to that, the Titans have had extra time to prepare for this one, and they are coming off a bad loss last Thursday. I can make a strong case for the Titans, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went into Baltimore and won. That said, I’m sticking with the Ravens. I believe in the QB, and in Jon Harbaugh. They will sneak out a win. This game is gonna be war.
Philadelphia Eagles (PHI) at Cleveland Browns (CLE)
I won’t lie, I’m pretty sick of backing the Birds this year, only to have Carson Wentz play like trash and give his team no chance. As a Cowboys fan I’m obviously an Eagles hater, so it isn’t all bad. But this is it. This is their last chance with me. If the Eagles don’t beat the Browns - as fired up as they should be after getting whipped by the Giants last week - then I’m done picking them. The Browns barely beat the Texans last week. I just feel like Wentz has to play an okay game at some point. Both of his RBs are healthy, he has a multitude of good WRs now, Dallas Goedert is at TE, and the OL is back and are as healthy as they can be this year. The Browns are a good, yet flawed team, and the Eagles are currently more desperate. I’ll take Wentz to out-play Baker Mayfield and pull the upset.
Atlanta Falcons (ATL) at New Orleans Saints (NO)
I know the Saints went undefeated without Drew Brees last year, but 2020 has two big differences. The first is that opposing teams will see them coming this time. There will be no writing off the Brees-less Saints this season. The second is that Jameis Winston is not Teddy Bridgewater. The Falcons might give another game away to Brees, but I see them hanging on when it’s Winston under center. Jameis is just a turnover machine.
Cincinnati Bengals (CIN) at Washington Football Team (WAS)
I like Washington’s offense so much more with Alex Smith at QB. I believe they can consistently get 20 points with him running the show. They should be able to against Cincinnati for sure, as the Bengals don't exactly possess a stellar defense. On the other side, Washington’s DL should wreak havoc against that beat up Cincinnati OL. I expect them to cause some turnovers attacking the rookie quarterback, Joe Burrow. The game will be close, Burrow will make plays, but Alex Smith will pull out a fourth quarter win for Washington.
New York Jets (NYJ) at Los Angeles Chargers (LAC)
Come on now, we both know that nobody on planet Earth is picking the Jets. They are on the road to a winless season. I really should not have even put this much effort into these last three sentences.
Miami Dolphins (MIA) at Denver Broncos (DEN)
The Dolphins are on a roll right now, and the Broncos are not. Tua Tagovailoa was my top QB in this past draft, I think he is going to be special if he stays healthy. We have two teams going in opposite directions right now, and the smart call is to stick with the hot team. The Dolphins stay undefeated with Tua.
Dallas Cowboys (DAL) at Minnesota Vikings (MIN)
A lot of people are gonna look at how the Cowboys played against the Steelers, and then they'll concoct a story that has Dallas beating an average Vikings team largely due to the valiant effort they saw against Pittsburgh, as well as the fact that the Boys are coming off a much-needed bye week. I am not one of those people. I don’t believe the Cowboys can consistently stop Dalvin Cook. The good news is that they are getting back Chidobe Awuzie. The bad news is that they just lost Trevon Diggs. The Vikings can run the ball, are very successful with play action, and can get to Dalton with a pass rush. The Cowboys will lose by 10 points or more.
Green Bay Packers (GB) at Indianapolis Colts (IND)
This is a statement game for both of these teams. The Colts have played better than GB lately, they had more time to prepare for this contest, and they are at home. That’s enough reason for me to take the Colts, but I won’t. The Packers pass rush against a non-mobile Phillip Rivers isn’t a great match up, and I really like Aaron Rodgers against this Colts secondary. Indianapolis will play the run well, but Rodgers will get them enough points to get a road win.
Kansas City Chiefs (KC) at Las Vegas Raiders (LVR)
The Raiders upset KC at their house already, so this is a payback game for the Chiefs. Add to that, the Chiefs are coming off a bye week, and I don’t ever bet against Andy Reid off a bye. Take KC big this week.
Los Angeles Rams (LAR) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB)
Another cross-country trip for the Rams. This game will be close as both teams are very good, but at some point all the travel is going to catch up to the Rams. They played a tough division game last week and secured a win they really needed. But now they have to travel to Tampa Bay. I just believe they will not be able to pull this one out. I’m taking Goff to make a few critical mistakes, while Tom Brady plays well enough to get a late win.
And just like that, week 11 is in the books. As always, send me your picks and let me know where you agree or disagree. Enjoy Sunday football.
Week 11 Pick Summary:
SEA over ARI
PIT over JAX
DET over CAR
HOU over NE
BAL over TEN
PHI over CLE
ATL over NO
WAS over CIN
LAC over NYJ
MIA over DEN
MIN over DAL
GB over IND
KC over LVR
TB over LAR
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