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Nov. 18, 2007

NFL - Week Eleven predictions

by Andrew Kung, Online Sports Editor and Copy Editor, Pia Nargundkar, Online Editor-in-Chief and Nitin Sukumar, Online News Editor and Copy Editor
Dallas Week used to mean so much for the DC-area. In 2007, all it means is an almost certain loss for the burgundy and gold. Oh well, at least it can't be any worse than the New England game. It appears that a bye week is the only thing that can keep the Patriots from winning.

In other news, Pia has retaken sole possession of first place for the first time since Week Two, and Nitin has finally relinquished his spot in the cellar for the first time since...well, all year. Week Eleven sees the return of 16-game slates as byes come to an end. The picture is clearing up, but who will be in and who will be out?

Standings:

Last weekSeason total
Pia 8-689-55
Anshul 6-8 87-57
Nitin9-5 86-58
Andrew 6-8 84-60


Sunday November 18, 2007

Washington Redskins (5-4) at Dallas Cowboys (8-1)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Dallas Dallas Dallas Washington

Andrew says: Like my fellow Washingtonians, I hate Dallas. That said, the Cowboys are easily the head of the NFC, and our Redskins don't stand a chance.

Nitin says: Joe Gibbs' decision making obviously needs tuning and without CB Carlos Rogers, Washington will fall to Dallas WRs Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton.

Pia says: I may be a dreamer, but even I have my boundaries.

Anshul says: I've picked the Redskins every time before, so why stop now?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) at Atlanta Falcons (3-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Atlanta Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay

Andrew says: The Falcons have looked sharp, winning two straight out of the bye, and in the putrid NFC South, a playoff berth is actually still possible. Bobby Petrino's maintaining the mystery over his starting quarterback, a strategy that could pan out beautifully or fail miserably.

Nitin says: Falcons RB Warrick Dunn has been running well but Tampa Bay's defense is no pushover. I expect Jeff Garcia will connect big with Joey Galloway to put away the Falcons.

Pia says: Winning two in a row after dropping the first six of seven isn't enough to convince me that Atlanta has something going for them.

Anshul says: Atlanta's offense is starting to regain some momentum but a stout Buccaneer defense should stop that easily.

Cleveland Browns (5-4) at Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland Baltimore

Andrew says: Derek Anderson has got to be one of this season's top stories, especially for the savvy fantasy owners who picked him up early (like me, of course). If the Browns can almost pull an upset against the Steelers, then sweeping the season series against Baltimore should be a cinch.

Nitin says: Cleveland almost came away with the win against division-rival Pittsburgh; giving away a big lead in the second half hurts. Fortunately for the Browns, Baltimore is missing not only Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister, but possibly even Ed Reed.

Pia says: A switch to Kyle Boller isn't going to give the Ravens the same help as the switch to Derek Anderson did for the Browns.

Anshul says: The Baltimore defense is really banged up, but maybe a switch to Kyle Boller is all the Ravens need to beat division-foe Browns.

New York Giants (6-3) at Detroit Lions (6-3)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Detroit New York New York New York

Andrew says: After scoring 21 despite rushing for -18 (!) total yards last week, the Lions offense will come back roaring against a Giants unit that looked awfully vulnerable last week.

Nitin says: "Plexiglas" Burress is finally feeling the pain in his ankle and its showing. But New York RB Brandon Jacobs will step up and power the offense against Detroit.

Pia says: The Lions' will have a shortened break between this Sunday's game and their traditional Thanksgiving match-up. As the T-day game against division rival Green Bay is a lot more important to the Lions' playoff chances, the Giants should look to take advantage of a Detroit team that may be saving up their strength.

Anshul says: Both teams have high-powered offenses, but the Giants' defense has stepped up big time over the last 7 weeks. They'll get pressure on Kitna and keep his wins at 6.

Miami Dolphins (0-9) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Miami Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia

Andrew says: I'd hate to see a winless season, so I might pick Miami and new rookie signal caller John Beck till they win. The Eagles have yet to win back-to-back games all season, plus the last two rookie QBs they've faced, Bruce Gradkowski and Vince Young, both walked away victorious.

Nitin says: Brian Westbrook's success on the field is covering up Donovan McNabb's mistakes. Even McNabb has the potential to have a big day against the struggling Dolphins, who seem to be locked up for the number one pick in the 2008 draft.

Pia says: Looks like the Dolphins have an affinity for records: the '72 Dolphins for going undefeated and the '07 Dolphins for going winless...

Anshul says: Westbrook won the game for the Eagles last week, but this week he does not have to be that good to deal with the Dolphins. Is there any team the Dolphins can beat right now?

Oakland Raiders (2-7) at Minnesota Vikings (3-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Oakland Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota

Andrew says: What does AP's absence mean for the Vikings? Having zero offensive weapons. Granted, they're playing the Raiders, who haven't won since September. Still, no offense equals no win at LBJ's VP's Dome.

Nitin says: Adrian Peterson's injury has obviously come at a bad time for the Vikings, but Chester Taylor should be able to pick up the slack after complementing Peterson earlier in the year.

Pia says: Raiders quarterback Daunte Culpepper faces his former team for the first time, probably wondering why he ever left. With or without new star Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have too many advantages over the struggling Raiders.

Anshul says: The injury to Vikings star Adrian Peterson will hurt the team tremendously, but they should still have the weapons on both sides of the ball to deal with the Raiders.

San Diego Chargers (5-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Jacksonville Jacksonville San Diego San Diego

Andrew says: Pia's lying. How can you call two return touchdowns, six picks from Peyton Manning and a missed 29-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri anything but fluky? The Jags are rolling, and much healthier than the Colts were. Two straight against the AFC South's finest? No such luck.

Nitin says: San Diego dodged the bullet against Indianapolis last week, largely due to Antonio Cromartie's insane performance. David Garrard is playing extremely efficient ball for the Jags -- don't expect the Bolts to pick him off six times.

Pia says: Last week's Chargers-Colts game was not a fluke, luck, freak accident or anything else. The Chargers are playoff-bound.

Anshul says: The Chargers' defense came up huge against Peyton Manning last week. And let's face it, David Garrard is no Manning. Still Garrard has not turned the ball over for a while, but the Chargers offense, LT, should win this game.

Arizona Cardinals (4-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Arizona Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati

Andrew says: Last week was the first time the Bengals defense held an opponent under 20 points. Don't expect a repeat performance against a Cardinals team that got back on track with a 31-point showing against Detroit.

Nitin says: Chris Henry averaged nearly 25 yards per catch in his return from suspension and it looks like Carson Palmer has his weapons once again. Arizona poses a similarly-lacking secondary threat as Baltimore.

Pia says: The Cardinals won for the first time in a month last week. Two in a row will be too many.

Anshul says: Chris Henry is back and not a moment too soon. He made his presence felt immediately last week and Carson Palmer looks like he's got all the tools he needs to get his team going once again.

Carolina Panthers (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (8-1)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay

Andrew says: I still don't trust the Packers, but an upset at Lambeau is not in the picture.

Nitin says: Brett Favre and Ryan Grant seem to be playing their way right into the NFC Championship game. Carolina doesn't have a chance, given its questionable quarterback situation.

Pia says: Talk about the battle of geezer quarterbacks. 38 year-old Brett Favre against 44 year-old Vinny Testaverde. Not a very tough decision to go with the Fav-ruh.

Anshul says: The Packers may actually have a bit of a running game now with Ryan Grant. But it will be their passing game that will win them this game over the unstable Panthers.

New Orleans Saints (4-5) at Houston Texans (4-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New Orleans Houston New Orleans New Orleans

Andrew says: Who knew before the season that the Saints and Texans would have the same record come Week 11? Despite the return of the Schaub-to-Johnson connection for the Texans, the Saints should rebound from an embarassing loss and move back to .500.

Nitin says: The amazing Andre Johnson returns along with Matt Schaub to the shattered Houston offense. In the weeks Johnson was out, the Texans managed to find a solid receiving corps and we should see it in full action this week.

Pia says: Let's call last week's Saints loss a fluke. With the Texans' starting running back out of the roster, the Saints should be able to get back on track.

Anshul says: The Saints granted the Rams their first win of the season last week and stopped their own 4 game winning streak. But with Ahman Green likely out of the lineup, the Saints should rise up to .500 for the first time this season.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-2)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis

Andrew says: Peyton Manning threw more picks last week than he will for the rest of the year. Although Chiefs CB Ty Law historically owns him, Manning will rally his nicked-up troops past KC to end an unexpected losing streak.

Nitin says: Two straight losses for the world champ Colts? The Larry Johnson-less Chiefs can't extend that streak.

Pia says: Both teams are looking to prevent a three-game slide with injuries abound everywhere. As long as Peyton Manning doesn't pull a repeat of his last week's performance, my money's on the Colts.

Anshul says: The Colts don't lose three straight. It just doesn't happen, even without Dwight Freeney.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) at New York Jets (1-8)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

Andrew says: The Steel City breathed a collective sigh of relief last week, after a close shave against the surprisingly upstart Browns. Fortunately, the Steelers have a cupcake this Sunday before taking on New England next week. I can't say enough about Mike Tomlin, who has to be an early favorite for Coach of the Year.

Nitin says: Pittsburgh might be the one team that has a chance against the Patriots. A balanced overall game and Ben Roethlisberger's ability to come up big when losing has the Steelers tied up with Indianapolis.

Pia says: The Jets may be able to scare the Redskins, but they won't have any such luck with the Steelers.

Anshul says: Pittsburgh is one of the elite teams in the NFL right now and the Jets are far from that.

Chicago Bears (4-5) at Seattle Seahawks (5-4)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Chicago Chicago Chicago Seattle

Andrew says: And just like that, the hopes of the Windy City lie on the shoulders of good ol' Rex. Will Sexy Rexy be Gross or will he be the Man? I'm going to go ahead and guess the latter, at least for one week.

Nitin says: Grossman is back! Good Rex showed up at the end of last week, and hopefully the Bears will be able to ride that momentum.

Pia says: Seattle has only managed to beat up on teams that are already in the ground, so last week's 24-0 defeat of the 49ers meant nothing to me. Maybe going back to Rex is what the Bears need to boost them into that coveted wildcard spot.

Anshul says: Shaun Alexander isn't running well, but Rex Grossman is back so it looks like a good game for the Seahawks' defense.

St. Louis Rams (1-8) at San Francisco 49ers (2-7)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis

Andrew says: The "Greatest Show on Turf" is finally looking up, while the Niners are in full-out free fall, losing seven straight after a 2-0 start.

Nitin says: St. Louis finally managed to avoid the bad "perfect" season with a return to last year's beastly offense. Alex Smith and the 49ers are going absolutely nowhere.

Pia says: A big part of being able to win is having the confidence that you can win. With last week's morale-boosting win over the Saints, the Rams are rearing to go.

Anshul says: Steven Jackson is back and starting to run like his old self again, and pass like it too. The 49ers got nothing on offense and will lose to tie the Rams' record.

New England Patriots (9-0) at Buffalo Bills (5-4)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New England New England New England New England

Andrew says: With a cakewalk in Buffalo on tap this Sunday, it's like New England's bye is two weeks long.

Nitin says: Marshawn Lynch is out and so are the Bills.

Pia says: What's scarier than facing the Patriots? Facing the well-rested Patriots who are coming off of their bye week.

Anshul says: Without Marshawn Lynch, the Bills have no chance here. New England moves one step closer to 16-0.


Monday November 19, 2007

Tennessee Titans (6-3) at Denver Broncos (4-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Tennessee Denver Denver Tennessee

Andrew says: One shaky performance against a revenge-hungry Jacksonville team and the Tennessee bandwagon is suddenly empty. Jeff Fisher will have the Titans back on track, especially on defense. And say what you will about the playing style of Vince Young - when all is said and done, he's a gamer with an uncanny knack for winning.

Nitin says: Tennessee's defense looks lost without DT Albert Haynesworth and Vince Young isn't performing up to standards with just one TD and eight interceptions in his last five games.

Pia says: Tennessee has too many problems: Vince Young is still riding with his training wheels, the running back situation is questionable and a key injury on defense threatens the entire defense's coordination.

Anshul says: With the Broncos allowing over 150 yards rushing a game, Tennessee should be able to win even without Vince Young throwing the ball as well as he can.



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  • Nostradamus on November 18, 2007 at 5:09 PM
    Anshul, you poor, poor soul... The skins over the cowboys...
  • My turn! on November 19, 2007 at 8:23 PM
    Steelers beat Colts, lose to New England who beats Cleveland, and NE wins Super Bowl

    Cowboys choke against Lions, who lose big time to a Giants team that shuts down Green Bay, and the Giants lose the Super Bowl thanks to three Giant fumbles and a Gay interception
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