This is it, either make the plays you need to make or prepare to spend January on the couch. Big time teams will make big time plays this week to win, while others will be watching. Grab your popcorn for some big time football.
(4-5) Dallas Cowboys v (4-5) Atlanta Falcons
This is a big game for both teams. The Falcons lose this game, and their playoff hopes are officially done. While the Cowboys need this win to still have a chance at winning their division. Big game brewing in Atlanta.
(5-4) Cincinnati Bengals v (4-5) Baltimore Ravens
Big division match up here, both teams trying to keep pace with the Steelers. This late in the season, I have to feel like the loser of this game may be out of contention (barring a colossal letdown by the Steelers). The Ravens being at 4-5 definitely can’t afford to lose this game.
Battle of the Cats (6-3) Carolina Panthers v (3-6) Detroit Lions
The Panthers did not have a great showing last week against the Steelers. With the Saints marching full speed ahead, the Panthers can not afford another letdown like that.
Meanwhile, the Lions players are not happy about having to practice outside in the snow. I see the move by Matt Patricia as a way to improve the toughness of the team. Having been a pupil of one of the greatest NFL coaches of our time, I am sure he learned a few things from the teacher. Which is why I side with Coach Patricia. That said,
(5-4) Tennessee Titans v (4-5) Indianapolis Colts
The Titans still have a chance at taking the division from the Texans. But a loss here to the Colts will not help those chances. We saw the Titans bow up against the Patriots, but will they ride that momentum into the game against the Colts?
(3-6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers v (2-7) New York Giants
Hard to believe that these were the same Buccaneers that started 3-0. They were on fire and were having fun. Here we are in Week 11, and the Buccaneers haven’t won since. Could a game against the 2-7 Giants finally earn them another win?
(6-3) Houston Texans v (6-3) Washington Redskins
This is going to be a test for the Texans to see how good they really are. They are playing a Redskins offense that can put up some points, and are led by veterans Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson. Both teams are trying to maintain their leads in their respective divisions.
(6-2-1) Pittsburg Steelers v (3-6) Jacksonville Jaguars
3 games into the season one could not help but favor the Jags in this game. Pittsburgh was not looking good, and there were talks about them needing to pay (holdout) Le’Veon Bell. The Jags, on the other hand, were looking solid, especially after how they handled the Patriots. Here we are with the Steelers looking like a powerhouse, and the Jaguars not so much.
(1-8) Oakland Raiders v (2-7) Arizona Cardinals
We will just move to our picks. The Cards are going to at least try in this game. The Raiders, they will be trying for that top pick.
(3-6) Denver Broncos v (7-2) Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles know what they have to do. They need to continue winning to try and secure home field advantage. This could be Philip Rivers’ final look at a chance to get to the big game, and you can bet the team wants to provide the best look possible.
(4-5) Philadelphia Eagles v (8-1) New Orleans Saints
I think it is safe to call it a season for the Eagles. The Saints will continue their march to the big game, taking down the Super Bowl Champs in the process.
Sunday Night Game: (5-3-1) Minnesota Vikings v (6-3) Chicago Bears
This game is for the division lead. This is one of the biggest games of the week, with the winner taking control of the division. This is the time of year we look forward to, where these division games now have playoff implications.
Monday Night Game: (9-1) Kansas City Chiefs v (9-1) Los Angeles Rams
Possible Super Bowl preview?
We shall see. But this is a super match up. Both teams are 9-1, have a high powered offense, and are led by young quarterbacks. Where last week’s MNF game showcased two teams that will be picking high in next years draft, this week’s match up is what we expect to be showcased on primetime Monday night.