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Week 11 NFL Picks: Vick Takes On Giants, Brady Vs. Manning

Week 11's games are highlighted by Mike Vick and the Eagles fighting for first place in the NFC East as well as Manning and the Colts headed to Foxboro to take on Brady and the Pats. The staff at SB Nation Dallas-Ft. Worth predicts each game.

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Jason Garrett is on the board! Dallas surprised almost everybody last week by not just beating the Giants, but beating them convincingly. We all know the Cowboys aren't going to be a playoff team this year but it's still encouraging to see the team play that well. Dez Bryant is pretty fun to watch, too.

Week 11 is highlighted by Jason Garrett's home coaching debut against the Lions along with Mike Vick and the Eagles taking on the Giants on Sunday night and of course, the annual Patriots v. Colts clash of the powers. There's a bunch of other key games in terms of playoff impact around the league as well including the Dolphins/Bears, Titans/Redskins and all the exciting  NFC and AFC West games.

Standings will return next week just in time for Thanksgiving.

 

Chicago (6-3) at Miami (5-4) - Cutler leads his Bears into Miami to face off against Chad Henne...no, Chad Pennington, wait... Tyler Thigpen! Oh boy. This is a game both teams need to win - Miami moreso - so this could possibly be an entertaining Thursday night game.  

  • Maurice London: Bears
  • Robbie Griffin: DolphinsTwo fairly mediocre teams, teetering on the side of good. I'll take the home team.
  • Christopher Fittz: Bears - Jay Cutler will finally be the best quarterback on the field.
  • Liam Ponting: Bears - I don't have much faith in Cutler, but I have even less faith in whatever journeyman third-stringer the Dolphins end up running out there.
  • Charley Code: Bears - The Bears middle linebacker is Brian Urlacher. Ever heard of him? He's kind of a big deal.
  • Brett Perryman: Dolphins - I guess this is how little faith I have in the Bears. Tyler Thigpen isn't that bad.
  • JP Starkey: Bears - I do think Tyler Thigpen will actually be an upgrade to Henne or Pennington but the Bears will win this game somehow.

Buffalo (1-8) at Cincinnati (2-7) - The Bills and Chan Gailey are finally on the board! And hey, the Bengals only have one more win than the Bills do. This is probably not what Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco had in mind when they teamed up this season, but the Bengals are back to being a mess. This game is only relevant in terms of the 2011 Draft.

  • London: Bengals
  • Griffin: Bengals - Congratulations on your win, Buffalo.
  • Fittz: Bengals - I'd rather watch a high school women's basketball game than this game.
  • Ponting: Bengals - God help Marvin Lewis if he can't beat Buffalo at home.
  • Code: Bengals - Congratulations on your first win Buffalo. Back to the L column this week.
  • Perryman: Bengals - The Bills finally won and the Bengals stink, but Cincy is still better, particularly at home.
  • Starkey: Bills - I'm more sold on the Bills and Ryan Fitzpatrick's future than I am the Bengals and Carson Palmer's future.

Detroit (2-7) at Dallas (2-7) - Jason Garrett makes his head coaching home debut in Dallas as the Cowboys look for their first home win of the season. They'll face Shaun Hill and the Detroit Lions - Matt Stafford is out again with another shoulder injury. Another game that only really matters in terms of draft position but it'll be fun to watch Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant in this one since both teams are weak against the passing game.

  • London: Cowboys
  • Griffin: Cowboys - I was probably going to pick Dallas in this game all along, but last week makes me feel a little better.
  • Fittz: Cowboys - I really enjoy the Detroit Lions. I wish them success very soon. This is a horrible secret I needed to get off my chest.
  • Ponting: Cowboys - Can 2-7 teams have trap games? I'm really tempted to pick Detroit but I'll hesitatingly take the Cowboys at home.
  • Code: Cowboys - Am I really picking the Cowboys? Monkeys are about to fly out of my butt.
  • Perryman: Cowboys - Classic battle between two teams who are going to get stomped four days later on Thanksgiving
  • Starkey: Lions - Calvin Johnson takes over this game.

Washington (4-5) at Tennessee (5-4) - In a league of (too much?) parity, this is the type of game you get in Week 11. Both teams are pretty mediocre, though the Redskins are more on the below average side at this point. It'll be interesting to see if Randy Moss will make an impact with the Titans. They're still in the hunt in the AFC South but need to start winning and soon.

  • London: Titans
  • Griffin: Titans - Who's playing quarterback in this game?
  • Fittz: Titans - Games like this are going to make me hate football.
  • Ponting: Titans - Washington's a mess.
  • Code: Titans - The Eagles absolutely decimated the Skins on Monday Night Football in Landover, MD. I think this is going to carry over into this week and the Titans roll. The Titans have their own issues (VINCE YOUNG), but I'll overlook him this week.
  • Perryman: Titans - I still don't think that they're very good and the Skins will play hard after the embarrassment Monday, but Tennessee owns the NFCE and that will continue.
  • Starkey: Titans - Randy Moss does something awesome in this game. I'm not sure what, though.

Arizona (3-6) at Kansas City (5-4) - The honeymoon in Kansas City is just about over. The Chiefs have dropped two divisional games in a row - a loss to the Raiders and a thrashing by the Broncos. KC is still tied for first with the Raiders at 5-4, but lose the tiebreaker and have the Chargers right on their tail at 4-5, so they need this game.

  • London: Chiefs
  • Griffin: Chiefs - See: Oak @ Pit.
  • Fittz: Chiefs - Javier Arenas sounds like the name of a character in an early 2000s Disney Channel live action series.
  • Ponting: Chiefs - KC bounces back from that abysmal showing at Denver.
  • Code: Chiefs - Tough loss to Coach DooshMcDaniel last Sunday. This will motivate KC and they'll win and cover.
  • Perryman: Chiefs - If KC were playing anyone here I'd pick the other team.
  • Starkey: Chiefs - Kurt Warner was pretty good, huh?

Green Bay (6-3) at Minnesota (3-6) - Is this the last time we have to hear about a Favre vs. Packers game? I hope so. The ol' interception slinger will face off against his former team. If the Vikes lose, Brad Childress might lose his job.  Green Bay will want to avoid their second divisional loss here as well.

  • London: Packers
  • Griffin: Packers - Last shot for the Vikings to have a less hilarious season than the Cowboys?
  • Fittz: Packers - I want Rodgers to rip off his Packers #12 jersey mid-game and underneath is a Packers #4. What a heel turn!
  • Ponting: Packers - Minnesota's just running out the clock on the season at this point.
  • Code: Packers - Like I said, go away Brett Favre and take your wiener with you. I'm rooting for you Aaron.
  • Perryman: Packers - This is usually a toss-up, but, while the Vikings are at home, I have to pick the vastly better team.
  • Starkey: Vikings - I'm going against the grain here. I'm just not that sold on Green Bay, Minnesota will be fighting for their faint playoff hopes and Adrian Peterson has himself a ball game.

Houston (4-5) at New York (7-2) - Talk about two teams who had dramatically different endings to their games last week. The Jets, with time nearly expiring in overtime, win on a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes while the Texans lost on the walk-off Hail Mary that was batted down into Mike Thomas' hands. The J-e-t-s Jets have narrowly escaped defeat the past two weeks. The Texans have certainly faded after their hot start and a loss in New Jersey could put the finishing touch on their season.

  • London: Jets
  • Griffin: Jets - I'm not sure Sanchez has the downfield ability to make the Houston secondary pay. I think this game will be closer than the talent level of the two teams are in reality.
  • Fittz: Jets - Hopefully this goes the OT. The Jets should beat every team that they are way better than in OT.
  • Ponting: Jets - Fiiiiire Gaaaary (clap clap clap clap clap), Fiiiiiire Gaaaary (clap clap clap clap clap)
  • Code: Jets - I'm still going to wear my Texans T-shirt on Sunday. Stupid Texans.
  • Perryman: Jets - I'm not terribly impressed with the Jets for a 7-2 team, but it's hard to have any faith in the Texans.
  • Starkey: Jets - The Texans are destined to be frauds every year.

Oakland (5-4) at Pittsburgh (6-3) - The Raiders are in first place after Week 10. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, I did pick the Raiders to win the West after all, but still - it doesn't sound real. They're coming off their bye week and should be well rested. Pittsburgh was embarrassed by New England last week at home, so they should be extra-motivated in this game.

  • London: Steelers
  • Griffin: Steelers - West coast team playing an early game against a strong opponent. This might be really, really ugly.
  • Fittz: Steelers - My least favorite AFC team is going to beat my AFC bandwagon mistress.
  • Ponting: Steelers - Pittsburgh will cruise in this one.
  • Code: Steelers - Pittsburgh wins and covers.
  • Perryman: Raiders - This is a pick that I probably wouldn't have the guts to put money on, but if you watched these two teams for the past month without logos or names on their jerseys, no one would pick Pittsburgh. Football is all about line play, baby. Robbie's WC road team/early start time guideline does concern me here. 
  • Starkey: Raiders - Well rested coming off the bye. If they are well coached, they'll win this game behind McFadden. I have my doubts, but I also have a lot of doubts on the Steelers after watching them last week.

Baltimore (6-3) at Carolina (1-8) - Poor Panthers fans. The Ravens lost last week and whined (maybe justifiably but predictably) about a penalty costing them the game in typical Ravens fashion. Ray Lewis and co will be extra pissed off and the Panthers are starting Brian St. Pierre at quarterback. Ray Lewis might kill somebody (again) on the football field this time.

  • London: Ravens
  • Griffin: Ravens - I think Baltimore's gotten pretty overrated. Not that they're a bad team, but they're not the elite their record shows, they keep winning tight games. Doesn't mean I don't think they should beat Carolina, but I think it's a lot closer than Vegas suggests.
  • Fittz: Ravens - The Ravens will bounce back after losing the Best Bird Bowl last week.
  • Ponting: Ravens - The Panthers are horrific. The Ravens are not.
  • Code: Ravens - Baltimore rolls, son.
  • Perryman: Ravens - I've run out of ways to rag on the Panthers, but they're just dreadful.
  • Starkey: Ravens - Is it possible for Carolina to score negative points? If yes, that will happen this week.

Cleveland (3-6) at Jacksonville (5-4) - The Browns almost pulled off back-to-back-to-back upsets last week, but fell short against the Jets. Colt McCoy actually looked pretty good in the 4th quarter too. They'll head to Jacksonville to take on a surprising 5-4 Jaguars team. The Jags really need to move to 6-4 to keep their playoff hopes realistic but the Browns have proven that they're no rollover team anymore.

  • London: Browns
  • Griffin: Jaguars - I predict people talk about the "emotional collapse" after Cleveland's last few weeks, instead of merely talking about winning on the road being hard.
  • Fittz: Browns - I'd rather watch three hours of professional wrestling than this game.
  • Ponting: Browns - It's not that I'm buying into the Colt McCoy led revival of the Browns...I just don't think the Jaguars are very good, and Cleveland happens to be playing at a decent level.
  • Code: Browns - Colt McCoy, sorry about the mediocre NFL career comments from a couple weeks ago. Keep up the good work. Maybe if you win a Superbowl, it will fill the void created in your soul by Alabama.
  • Perryman: Jaguars - This is actually one of the most interesting games this week, even if there aren't huge playoff implications. Cleveland is bound to come down from their emotional high, but the main reason I'm picking Jacksonville - who I hate to pick - is that I don't really see how the Browns take advantage of the Jags' weak secondary.
  • Starkey: Jaguars - There's no way the Browns are jacked up to play the Jags on the road who are still high off that walk-off win.

Atlanta (7-2) at St. Louis (4-5) - Atlanta is proving to be one of the best teams in the NFC behind Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Roddy White. The Rams are still in the NFC West playoff hunt. This will be a good test for their playoff legitimacy, but it might show that the Rams are a year or two away.

  • London: Falcons
  • Griffin: Falcons - I can absolutely see Atlanta losing this so we can have another silly "who's the best in the NFC?" week of conversations.
  • Fittz: Falcons - I hope Atlanta loses this game so we can have another awesome "who's the best in the NFC?" week of conversations. They aren't going to, however.
  • Ponting: Falcons - Atlanta's pretty good folks.
  • Code: Falcons - Falcons in a close one. Falcons cover.
  • Perryman: Falcons - I'm not discounting the Rams here, but Atlanta is one of the better teams in the NFL. They win games like this.
  • Starkey: Falcons - I don't think this will be particularly close.

Seattle (5-4) at New Orleans (6-3) - The Seahawks have emerged as favorites in the NFC West - if there is such a thing. They'll be in New Orleans taking on the defending champion Saints, who are coming off a bye week. If Seattle can pull off the upset, they'll be in the drivers seat for the rest of the season in the West.

  • London: Saints
  • Griffin: Saints - All three NFC West contenders play a game they should probably lose. If one of them manages a win, that would be pretty big.
  • Fittz: Saints - I think the Seahawks are starting Josh Booty at quarterback.
  • Ponting: Saints - Hasselbeck has a cracked left wrist which will inevitably be damaged further on the road against the Saints.
  • Code: Saints - Saints win and cover.
  • Perryman: Saints - The Aints ain't gonna lose.
  • Starkey: Saints - Should get ugly.

Tampa Bay (6-3) at San Francisco (3-6) - The 3-6 San Francisco 49ers are actually in the NFC West chase. Troy Smith seems to be their answer at quarterback since Alex Smith isn't any good. Both teams will need this game, since you know, the Bucs actually play in a respectable division.

  • London: 49ers
  • Griffin: Buccaneers - A pretty close game between a team not as good as its record and a team not as bad. I'd normally pick the home team here, but screw that, I'm going with Josh Freeman!
  • Fittz: 49ers - If there's any justice in the world, the Bucs will make the playoffs and go on to upset the Giants or something.
  • Ponting: Buccaneers - I just want to see Mike Singletary keep his job. This won't help.
  • Code: Buccaneers - I hope Singletary doesn't get fired.
  • Perryman - Buccaneers - Haven't we learned anything? TB wins close games; SF loses them.
  • Starkey: 49ers - I don't really believe in the Bucs.

Indianapolis (6-3) at New England (7-2) - Here's the annual Tom Brady v. Peyton Manning matchup. Indy didn't look that great last week en route to beating the Bengals but a win is a win. Plus, Indy is dinged up with injuries. They may get Austin Collie back this weekend. The Patriots went into Pittsburgh and had maybe the most impressive win of the season for any contending teams. We'll see Brady and the Pats play with the same intensity on Sunday. (Hint: yes.)

  • London: Patriots
  • Griffin: Patriots - As with past years, I think this is quite possibly a game between the AFC's best. They don't have the greatness on their roster from those previous rivalry games, though.
  • Fittz: Patriots - The Patriots are the best team the Browns have blown this season.
  • Ponting: ColtsOne of the two intriguing games of the weekend. I'll take Peyton to pull of a small upset on the road.
  • Code: Patriots - Reasons why Pats win = Tom Brady / Cool Uniforms / Belichick's sweatshirt / Tom's cool hair and model wife and hot as balls ex-girlfriend / Peyton pouts.
  • Perryman: Patriots - I pick against the Pats for the first time last week and look what happens. This doesn't feel like the showdown it's been in the past.
  • Starkey: Patriots - Important game for AFC Playoff seeding. The Colts are good and will keep it close but Brady leads the Pats to victory.

New York (6-3) at Philadelphia (6-3) - The battle for first place in the NFC East. The Cowboys surprised almost everybody when they upset the Giants last week while the Eagles took the Redskins out to the woodshed. Mike Vick showed everybody that he is better than ever, posting the top fantasy performance from a quarterback during the romp. New York's defense will have to actually show up this week unlike last week, otherwise there will be trouble.

  • London: Eagles
  • Griffin: Eagles - Philly is starting to look really elite. This might be really ugly if the Giants look like they did against the Cowboys.
  • Fittz: Eagles - Can't neither team win?
  • Ponting: Eagles - If Vick continues playing this well, I'm not sure there's a team in the NFC (NFL too) that can beat the Eagles.
  • Code: Eagles - Oh this is a nice NFC East game. I hope Vick rolls again. That guy is fun to watch. Am I right?
  • Perryman: Eagles - I picked the Eagles to win the East (ok, not exactly these Eagles), and a win here would be a big step in that direction.
  • Starkey: Giants - Too much Vick talk this week. They did destroy the Redskins... but it's the Redskins. The Giants are going to be all pissed off from losing and their defense is a lot better than Washington's. 

Denver (3-6) at San Diego (4-5) - So we've got a great late game with the Pats/Colts, a great Sunday night game with New York and Philly and then we've got the Broncos and Chargers for Monday. Great. San Diego should be better than their 4-5 record and Denver has been really bad this year with the exception of last week. Maybe McDaniels figured something out on the bye week, or maybe Tim Tebow is just going to will this team lots of wins and cure cancer while he's at it.    

  • London: Chargers
  • Griffin: Chargers - Boring Monday Night game looks really boring. Both prime time games this weekend are big rivalry games that look like they have a good shot of being duds.
  • Fittz: Chargers - One thing is for sure, these two teams will play a game of football.
  • Ponting: Chargers - Denver isn't nearly as good as the KC game made them out to be.
  • Code: Chargers - Oh this is a lame AFC West match up. Who would have thought the Raiders and Chefs would be ahead of both these teams?
  • Perryman: Chargers - Good grief, when byes are over there are a ton of games to pick. Would you believe that a win here would put the Chargers in a first-place tie? Who is surprised?
  • Starkey: Chargers - Philip Rivers for MVP! He's got his team at .500 after Week 11!  Phillip Rivers is not the NFL MVP but he does lead the Chargers back to .500.

As always, feel free to pick against us in the comments section.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.