NFL Office Pool Picks - Week 11
by Trevor Whenham - 11/17/2009
There are no more bye weeks. That means that we have more games this week for our NFL office pool picks than we have had in a long while. Hopefully that means we will pick more straight up winners as well:
Miami at Carolina - Both of these teams are coming off solid wins last week. Miami showed some real character coming back for the win in the final minute against Tampa Bay, while Carolina outplayed what should be a better Atlanta team. The winner here moves to .500 and keeps their slim postseason chances alive. Take the Panthers.
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Indianapolis at Baltimore - To do well in your office pool you have to take some calculated risks. This is going to be one of mine. The Ravens have been inconsistent recently, but when they play their best they are as good as any team in the league. Indianapolis is rolling, but they have injury problems and other issues, and they are going to lose sooner or later. I'll pick sooner. Take the Ravens.
Washington at Dallas - The Redskins played considerably better than the Cowboys did last week. I don't expect that to happen again. I don't believe that Washington has the capability to string together consecutive good games, and I believe that Dallas will bounce back from a very disappointing performance last week. Take the Cowboys.
Cleveland at Detroit - Terrible, terrible game. Easily one of the worst of the season. I don't want to pick either team, but someone is likely to win. I think that that will be Detroit. The Browns were totally awful on Monday night, and they have no quarterback. Take the Lions.
San Francisco at Green Bay - I would love to pick San Francisco here, but I just can't. Green Bay is coming off a very convincing win over Dallas, and they have the better quarterback right now. San Francisco will be motivated to keep their season alive, but I can't believe that that is enough. Take the Packers.
Buffalo at Jacksonville - Jacksonville is playing some solid football, winning five of their last seven. They haven't beat many good teams, but then they aren't playing one here, either. Buffalo played well for a good portion of their game last week, but then they totally quit and threw the game away. They don't have the heart to win here. Take the Jaguars.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City - This one doesn't take much thought. Pittsburgh lost last week, but they are generally playing fairly well. Kansas City really, really isn't. Take the Steelers in a massive mismatch.
Seattle at Minnesota - Seattle can occasionally put forth a good effort, but they are far too inconsistent to be trusted. That is especially true when they are playing against a team in cruise control. Brett Favre is playing with zen-like calmness, and his dominance is spreading to his teammates. This is an easy position for them. Take the Vikings.
Atlanta at N.Y. Giants - This is an interesting matchup. Both teams are reeling. They can't win, and they can't play like we know that they are capable of. The good news is that one of them will break out of their funk here. I say it will be New York. They are coming off a bye week, and they are at home. Take the Giants.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay - New Orleans is going to lose at some point, and Tampa Bay is playing some inspired football with Josh Freeman at the helm. That being said, I'm not willing to gamble and call for an upset here. New Orleans has so much more firepower than Tampa Bay does, and hopefully last week's close call will wake them up and have them playing strong form the opening kickoff. Take the Saints.
Arizona at St. Louis - The Rams were surprisingly strong last week against one quarterback who likes to fling it around. Can they do it again? I'm guessing not. Arizona has won five of their last six, and know that they can all but clinch their division with a couple of more wins. Motivation won't be an issue, and Kurt Warner is playing well. Take the Cardinals.
San Diego at Denver - This game means a whole lot in this division. Three weeks ago Denver would have been an easy pick. They've lost three in a row, though, and we don't know for sure what Kyle Orton's status will be. That all gives the Chargers an edge, and they'll be able to capitalize on that. Take the Chargers.
N.Y. Jets at New England - The Jets aren't playing great right now, so this game comes down the the Pats. They were humiliated on Sunday night. Teams in that case can pout, or they can take their frustration out on the unfortunate next opponent. I take the latter. New England is mad as heck, and the Jets stand in the way. Take the Patriots.
Cincinnati at Oakland - The Raiders just lost to the Chiefs. They are that bad. Cincinnati just beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh. They are that good. Take the Bengals.
Philadelphia at Chicago - Chicago is a team poised on the edge of a cliff. This game might be enough to push them off. Philadelphia can be a frustratingly inconsistent team, but they have the offense to demand that the Bears play well offensively, and the defense to make Jay Cutler struggle. Take the Eagles.
Tennessee at Houston - This one is very interesting because it requires us to determine if we think that the Titans' resurgence is for real. Vince Young has been solid, and he and Chris Johnson have obvious chemistry, but Houston is a better team than the Titans have faced in the resurgence. Houston plays well at home, and is the pick here. Take the Texans.