NFL Office Pool Picks Week 11
by Trevor Whenham - 11/11/2014
There were a couple of very odd results in the NFL last week. It was all but impossible to expect the Steelers go from back-to-back six-touchdown games to losing to the Jets, and few people would have expected the Bengals to end their home unbeaten streak thanks to an impossibly bad game by Andy Dalton.
The good news for office pools bettors, though, is that neither game would have a big impact in the pools. The Bengals were the more popular pick by far in their game, and you would have had to be either a serious Jets fan or a serious drug abuser to take New York. A loss doesn't hurt if almost everyone loses the game.
Here's hoping that the wins are plentiful and the losses don't hurt this week in our pursuit of office pool glory:
Buffalo at Miami: These two AFC East rivals have both been pleasant surprises, but the dream likely dies for the loser as they fall to 5-5 and will be left with a lot of ground to make up in the wild-card race. Miami is at home, and Ryan Tannehill has been mostly solid, so the Dolphins are the pick.
Minnesota at Chicago: Minnesota isn't a great team, but they have won two in a row. Chicago is a really, really bad team right now, and they have allowed an incomprehensible number of points over the last two weeks. It's a mess, and playing at home isn't enough to restore faith in them. Take the Vikings.
Houston at Cleveland: This is the battle of former New England back-up QBs. I have to give the edge to Brian Hoyer and his first-place (!) Cleveland Browns. They are playing much better, have more balance, and just seem more determined to win. I can't even begin to explain how it is happening, but take the Browns.
Seattle at Kansas City: This is a very interesting game. Seattle is definitely improved lately but far from perfect. The Chiefs have some faults, but they have won four in a row. Kansas City is a very tough place to play. The Seahawks are just 2-2 on the road and have never been accused of being a road team. Take the Chiefs.
Atlanta at Carolina: This, on the other hand is really not an interesting game. Atlanta is really bad - soulless and flawed. Carolina is even worse, though. They looked helpless for most of their Monday night non-contest and have too many issues to count. Don't bother watching this one if you like yourself even a little bit. Take the Falcons.
Cincinnati at New Orleans: Here's a clear case of how records don't always tell the whole story. The Saints are just 4-5, but they have two wins and an overtime loss in their last three - and they are in first place in a truly pathetic division. They are moving in the right direction. Cincinnati is a much better 5-3-1, and is also 2-1 in their last three, but they are clearly struggling, and Andy Dalton was as bad last week as any QB in recent memory. Take the Saints.
Tampa Bay at Washington: Washington isn't good and is hard to trust. Luckily for them, though, they are hosting a team that is much worse - and which has lost five straight. You wouldn't want to bet your house on this one, but take The Team That Needs a New Name. Redskins are the pick.
Denver at St. Louis: It's hard to know if the Broncos have really recovered from their embarrassing shellacking in New England two games back. They won big last week, but it was only against Oakland, so it counts for absolutely nothing. Still, this should be a manageable game. Take the Broncos.
San Francisco at New York Giants: The 49ers showed a lot of heart last week to fight back and win in overtime in a crazy, wildly-entertaining game against the Saints. They would have been very easy to pick against the Giants last week until New York showed some real heart against the Seahawks. But then the second half happened, and the Giants remembered who they were again. Take the 49ers.
Oakland at San Diego: San Diego is in a funk. Oakland is a perfect cure for that. Take the Chargers.
Philadelphia at Green Bay: This is one heck of a game. Aaron Rodgers just threw six touchdowns - in a half. Philadelphia just destroyed the Panthers in a primetime Monday nighter - with freaking Mark Sanchez at the helm. There will be fireworks in this one. Given the location, and the prospects of a Rodgers-Sanchez battle, take the Packers.
Detroit at Arizona: I was extremely excited about this game before the Carson Palmer injury. I'm only slightly excited now given how tough the Cardinals have proven to be and how fearless Bruce Arians is. I love how both teams are playing, and this game could very much be a showdown for home-field advantage in the playoffs. I'm going to gamble slightly and take the Lions.
New England at Indianapolis: It is simplistic to pick a game based on one player, but I will here - Rob Gronkowski. He is in top form right now, and he is having a massive impact on his team as a result. I'm not at all convinced the Colts can neutralize him, and that should be all the difference here. Take the Patriots.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee: Pittsburgh needs to shake off an oddly-awful performance last time out. They are up against a team that is at least as bad as the Jets, though - and likely worse because the Jets, improbably, have a slight edge at QB. They won't get caught flat-footed twice in a row. Take the Steelers.
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