Last night may have been one of the most exciting games of the season thus far. In case you missed it, the aging Brett Favre led his New York Jets into Foxboro Stadium to face off against the young Matt Cassel and the New England Patriots. This was a battle for sole position of first place in the AFC-East division and it was quite the doozy.
Brett Favre put together a seven-minute drive in the fourth quarter, resulting in a touchdown to put the Jets ahead by seven points. The Pats, with a little over three minutes left on the clock, tried to come back but had to punt it away. It came down to the two-minute warning, the Jets on a 3rd-and-1 situation. New England comes up with the stop but without any timeouts left, they got the ball back with only about 1:20 left. Matt Cassel put together an impressive drive, picking up 10-15 yards at a time in the middle of the field. With eight seconds left, Randy Moss makes an impossible catch in the end zone to force overtime. Truly amazing stuff. The Jets win the OT coin toss, storm down the field, and score the winning field goal.
I hope that the rest of Week 11 in the NFL can even come close to being as exciting as that Jets-Patriots game. Let’s get on with the predictions!
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (-5.5)
Matt Ryan has been truly amazing for the Falcons this year and while I really like Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos, their abysmal defense will not be able to stop the storm of Ryan and his Falcons.
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers (-13.5)
There is little doubt in my mind that the Panthers will stomp all over the hapless and hopeless Detroit Lions. However, a point spread of two touchdowns is a lot to cover, so I’ll have to take the conservative route on this one.
Philadelphia Eagles (-8.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
T. J. Houshmandzadeh guaranteed that the Bengals would not go winless this year and then they actually got a victory two weeks ago. Coming off of a restful bye week and some time to reflect, they should be much more competitive against Donovan McNabb and the Eagles.
New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Saints compete in one of the toughest divisions in the league and the Chiefs are one of the worst teams in the league. This shouldn’t be too hard for New Orleans.
Pick: New Orleans
Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants (-6.5)
Call me crazy, but I’m going against the defending Super Bowl champions. Ray Lewis has injected something into the Baltimore Ravens, because that team is really showing some surprising promise this year. They could be the sleeper hit of the playoffs and one of the first steps could be for the team to prove itself against the better Manning this week.
Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)
The Vikings are coming into Tampa with a two-game winning streak against a couple of pretty tough teams, but the Bucs have been pretty solid this year too. Expect quite the battle in Florida.
Pick: Tampa Bay
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins (-10.5)
The Raiders need a lot of help and they’re getting it this week in the form of a pretty big spread. I expect Miami to come out on top, but they probably won’t win by more than 10 points.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-3.5)
The Bears may be sitting on top of the NFC North, but most of those wins came on the shoulders of Kyle Orton. Unfortunately, their starting quarterback probably won’t take the snaps this week, stepping aside for the positively disappointing Rex Grossman. Look for the Pack to take advantage.
Pick: Green Bay
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5)
Given all the woes that the Colts experienced this year, everyone thought that they could count them out for the playoffs. Peyton never gave up, posting impressive victories over the Steelers and the Patriots. They’re in the playoff hunt again (albeit for a wild card spot), so the Colts will be hungry for a win.
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-5.5)
These are two teams that positively suck and happen to be in the same division. It’ll be a snore-fest unless you happen to be a Ram or Niner fan. Look for Frank Gore to bore his way through the Rams and take the win for ‘frisco.
Pick: San Francisco
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at Seattle Seahawks
I hear that Matt Hasselbeck will be back to play this game, but don’t expect him to be the magic formula to turn the 2-7 Seahawks around. The Cardinals are leading the remarkably weak NFC West and they’ll continue their dominance this week too.
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
I don’t care who the Titans play; Jeff Fisher seems to find a way to win and playing the Jaguars should be no exception. The victory won’t come easy, but it’ll come. Let’s see an undefeated year for Tennessee.
San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
The Bolts are not what they used to be and they won’t turn around until they get Shawne Merriman back, I don’t think anything is going to change. Look for “Big” Ben Roethlisberger to lead the Steelers to another win.
Dallas Cowboys (-1.5) at Washington Redskins
The division rivals face off again in a rematch of their Week 4 encounter. The Redskins pulled out a narrow victory, but I’m expecting the Cowboys to show even more emotion, even more motivation this time around. They’re fighting for a playoff spot.
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-5.5)
Some analysts had high hopes for the Browns this year and no one really expected Buffalo to achieve what it has achieved thus far. I’m not terribly excited about this game, so I’ll just default to the favorite. The Bills are playing at home too.