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NFC Week 11 Preview

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
November 22, 2015
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NFC week 11 preview

Sports Analyst Tim CarrollTim is a freelance Sports Reporter with previous work in the Daily Vidette at Illinois State University.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Denver Broncos (7-2) at Chicago Bears (4-5)


The Broncos limp into town following 2 straight losses to teams with losing records. The Bears are feeling good following 2 wins over teams with losing records, but their confidence is high. Peyton Manning will not be playing due to injury (in a season in which he’s already played, so taking out 2011) for the first time in his career. Chicago, despite the success, may have caught the unlucky break of having to play Brock Osweiler in his first start. There isn’t a ton of tape on him and he’s been learning in Peyton’s wing for his 3+ seasons. There’s a quiet sense to me that this could be another Aaron Rodgers/Brett Favre situation. With that being said the Bears are at home and are very confident, expect a competitive game.

Prediction: Denver 24, Chicago 20.

Indianapolis Colts (4-5) at Atlanta Falcons (6-3)


The Falcons and Colts seem to be going in similar directions. After a phenomenal start, going 5-0, the Falcons have dropped 3 out of 4, and the Colts limping to a 4-5 record, now with Andrew Luck set to miss some time, Matt Hasselbeck may be the simple fix this team could use in the interim. Sometimes it appears Luck is trying to get too much at once right now. With that being said Atlanta is playing desperate, holding on to a wild-card spot due to a blazing start, they are still in danger to lose that spot to a title-proven Seahawks team, or another up and comer. Expect a high-scoring game, as Matt Ryan is good at home and Hasselbeck is still consistent.

Prediction: Atlanta 31, Indianapolis 27.

Washington Redskins (4-5) at Carolina Panthers (9-0)


So much for Carolina falling into a trap game, that win over Tennessee was too easy last week. Meanwhile, the Redskins inexplicably hang in there in this NFC East race by beating teams that are supposed to be much better. Cam Newton keeps celebrating big-time, as he should. There’s way to much sensitivity in the NFL, if you don’t like the celebrating of touchdowns, don’t give them up to your opponent. The Panthers continue rolling with their defense, and it’ll be hard to see Cousins having success against arguably the best defense in the league. Then again, the Redskins surprise teams, so Panthers better hope this isn’t a trap game either.

Prediction: Carolina 27, Washington 17.

Oakland Raiders (4-5) at Detroit Lions (2-7)


Oakland is a media favorite, as Derek Carr and that exciting offense endears them to believe they can do anything. Charles Woodson’s resurgence as well is another reason the media is picking them to make at least a good run at a wild-card spot. With that being said, this team is seriously flawed. The defense (after Woodson) hasn’t been very good, as they’ve given up over 400 yards per game. They’ve been fortunate to only -1 in turnover ratio, as Woodson’s interceptions all seem like difference makers, at least in the moment. Detroit is feeling good after beating the Packers in Green Bay for the first time since Bush senior was in office. But the fact remains is that they aren’t a very good football team, and now have slight expectation at home versus a football team that isn’t as good as Green Bay. This one should be a good one, even if Oakland blows them out, because they are fun to watch.

Prediction: Oakland 28, Detroit 24.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)


The Eagles hit a snag last week when their turn around season turned into an embarrassing defeat at home against Miami. Their offense got stuck in neutral once again, and Sam Bradford is injured for the 1,000th time in his career. Now another Florida-based team comes into town with upset on the mind. The Bucs have gotten going following an ugly start to Winston’s career, and he’s been able to manage some games and also get his team wins himself. Last week they won an ugly game at home, but this Eagle defense isn’t one that simply give up scores to opponents easily. This is usually the time of season though when a Lovie Smith football team gets a few wins to make a playoff push. Expect a good game.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 23, Philadelphia 21.

Green Bay Packers (6-3) at Minnesota Vikings (7-2)


The Packers are reeling after losing their third straight game, this time to the lowly Lions. The Vikings, meanwhile, have gotten better and better each week, continually finding ways win, pretty or ugly. Aaron Rodgers will play despite a hurt shoulder, so the Vikings will be looking to force him to throw deep to test him. The Vikings will also want to control the game, pounding the ball with Adrian Peterson to keep Rodgers from running too many plays. The Vikings, however have been discredited by the fact that they haven’t beaten a team currently with a winning record, so no one knows what to make of this team. They’ll have a chance to prove themselves this week and in the coming weeks, so we’ll know soon enough how for real they are.

Prediction: Green Bay 24, Minnesota 21.

San Francisco 49ers (3-6) at Seattle Seahawks (4-5)


The Seahawks haven’t found their groove yet, and fans and experts who picked them are starting to sweat about this team making the playoffs. The 49ers though, give them just the game they need to possibly get back on track. The 49ers haven’t been really good this season, but Blaine Gabbert is feeling good right now following a win against a 6-3 Falcons team. With that being said, the Seahawks make mediocre quarterbacks pay, and Gabbert may not even be good enough to call himself a mediocre player. Seattle is going to have to play with a great sense of urgency from here on out to not only get in position to grab a wild-card spot, but also get back all the tiebreakers they’re currently on the wrong side of. Expect a game in which Seattle knows its one goal: Win.

Prediction: Seattle 31, San Francisco 10.

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