The tie had basically everything you could ever want from an NFL game…. well, it didn’t have a winner and the quality of play on the field was pretty low, so I guess it actually had nothing you would ever want from an NFL game. I’ve had 48 hours to digest the game and I’m still not sure what I’m more shocked by: That the Lions actually tied someone or that Najee Harris didn’t even know NFL games could end in a tie.
Someone give him Donovan McNabb’s phone number. Those two definitely need to talk this week. I don’t want to confuse Najee any more than he’s already confused, so I promise not to pick any ties this week.
Alright, let’s get to the Week 11 picks so we can all make sure that I keep that promise.
Actually, before we get to the Week 11 picks, here’s a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. Also, as you may or may not have heard, I’m now in charge of the NFL newsletter here at CBSSports.com. If you want to buy someone a gift for the holidays, but you don’t want to actually spend money on them, just subscribe them to the newsletter. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. All you have to do is click here and enter their email address.
Since I’m now running the newsletter, you might be thinking that I’ll be way too busy to podcast, but nope. If there are two things I’m never too busy for, it’s podcasting and listening to the Backstreet Boys.
Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson won’t listen to the Backstreet Boys with me, but they do join me three days per week (Monday, Tuesday and Friday) on the Pick Six podcast, which is our daily NFL podcast here at CBSSports.com. You can listen to Tuesday’s episode below. The reason you’re going to want to listen is because we did a Super Bowl draft. Basically, we each picked four teams and if one of the teams in our group of four wins the Super Bowl, then we win the contest. My group is the Cowboys, Bills, Chargers and Bengals so please pray for me.
Speaking of praying, l will also be praying that my picks this week are better than they were last week.
NFL Week 11 Picks
Indianapolis (5-5) at Buffalo (6-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
I didn’t realize it until a few days ago, but apparently, one of my main talents in life is picking Colts games and I know this because we’re now heading into Week 11 and I still have a perfect record when picking any game that involves them this year. If you’re wondering why I’m good at picking Colts games, the only theory I have is that I’ve seen “Hoosiers” 19 times and I drove by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway once. If that doesn’t make you an expert on everything in Indiana, I don’t know what does.
Although I haven’t done as well picking the Bills this season (5-4), I’ve noticed one important thing about them that’s probably going to help them this week against the Colts: They can stop the run.
Through 10 weeks, the Bills are only surrendering 89.3 rush yards per game, which ranks as the third-best number in the NFL. The reason that’s important is because Indy is a team that has to be able to run the ball if they’re going to win. The Colts are 5-0 this year when they rush for 125 yards or more and 0-5 when they rush for 125 yards or less, so all you have to do is figure out whether they’re going to rush for 125 yards against Buffalo. It’s that simple. There, I’ve spilled my secret. Now everyone knows why I’m so good at picking Colts games.
By the way, when I said that picking Colts games was one of my talents, I would like you to know that I do have some other ones. I’m good at Boggle, Star Wars Monopoly and being able to name the lead actress in every Hallmark Christmas movie that’s ever been made (If someone ever asks you to name an actress in a Hallmark Christmas movie, just guess Danica McKellar or Candace Cameron and there’s a 50% chance you’ll get it right). Although I’m proud of that talent, picking Colts games is definitely the talent I’m most proud of, which means I will have nothing left going for me in my professional life if I get his pick wrong. Let’s all hope I don’t get it wrong.
The pick: Bill 30-23 over Colts
Green Bay (8-2) at Minnesota (4-5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
I’ve watched enough Vikings games this year to know exactly how this game is going to play out, and that’s because nearly every game goes the exact same way for Minnesota: They will jump out to an early lead only to blow the lead, but then probably get the lead back before blowing it again. Half the time, this ends with them losing, but the other half of the time it ends with them winning, which makes their games nearly impossible to predict.
Although I’m pretty sure everyone jumped off the Vikings bandwagon after they started 0-2, I am still on it and that’s mostly because I think I’m one of about three people in America who thinks that the Vikings might be slightly underrated. For one, they’re the only team in the NFL that has had a seven-point lead in every game they’ve played this season, which doesn’t even seem possible. They’re 4-5, but they could easily be 7-2. I mean, they have two overtime losses (Bengals and Ravens), a crazy loss to the Cardinals. They’ve lost their five games by an average of 3.6 points per game and every one of their losses has been decided by one score. The Packers defense has been impenetrable for the past few weeks, but it feels like the Vikings might actually have enough weapons to move the ball on Green Bay’s defense.
So who am I going to pick?
In full disclosure I shouldn’t even be picking this game because it’s a conflict of interest due to the fact that I tried to become a Packers owner on Tuesday.
However, the stock sold out before I could buy any and now I’m bitter, so I’m picking the Vikings.
The pick: Vikings 23-20 over Packers.
Cincinnati (5-4) at Las Vegas (5-4)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
This game is unofficially known as the “Breech Bowl” in my family and that’s because it features the two teams that my dad (Jim Breech) played for during his NFL career. During his 14 years in the league, he spent one season with the Raiders before heading to Cincinnati, where he would end up spending 13 years with the Bengals. If you’ve ever felt like I come across as a Bengals homer, it’s his fault.
This is probably my favorite game of the week and I’m not just saying that because it’s on CBS and I’m not just saying that because it’s “Breech Bowl XVII,” I’m saying that because you’ve got two of the most surprising teams in football this year and the winner of this game is going to take a huge step toward being relevant down the stretch.
The problem for the Raiders is that I’m 91% sure we’re in the middle of witnessing their annual midseason collapse. I’ve written about their collapse in each of the past two weeks and each week, they end up collapsing some more, so maybe I’m actually jinxing them, I don’t know. After starting 5-2, they’ve now lost two in a row and their offense has somehow managed to get worse each week. The good news for the Bengals is that they don’t do midseason collapses. If there’s going to be a Bengals collapse this year, we all know when it’s going to happen: During the first-round of the playoffs.
I feel like the Bengals are the slightly better team on paper right now, but I do think this will be close. Since my dad was a kicker, I’ll say the Bengals win this game by a field goal, just like they did back in 1992 when he hit an overtime game-winner against the Raiders that you can see by clicking here.
The pick: Bengals 27-24 over Raiders.
Dallas (7-2) at Kansas City (6-4)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
If you had to rank your favorite games of Week 11, most NFL fans would probably put this one on top. However, that is not the case for me and that’s mostly because the thought of this game only brings me pain. This game is the Super Bowl that I predicted LAST YEAR, but then Dak got hurt and the prediction blew up in my face. I feel like Super Bowl predictions should come with a two-year window. From now on, just assume all of my predictions have a two-year window, that way, if this ends up being a Super Bowl preview, we can all say that I predicted it.
At the time of this writing, the Cowboys are actually a two-point underdog in this game, which blows my mind, because I think they’re one of the three best teams in the NFL. When I look at these two teams, it just seems like the Cowboys are better: They have a better offense right now, they have a better defense right now, they have a BETTER EVERYTHING right now. I take that back, the Chiefs have a better coach, which is why they might win this game. That being said, I feel like the Cowboys are going to be able to score at will against the Chiefs defense, which means Dallas will be able to win if the defense can get just one stop.
I’m taking the Cowboys, but just for clarification, I would still take Kansas City barbecue over Texas barbecue.
The pick: Cowboys 38-31 over Chiefs.
Arizona (8-2) at Seattle (3-6)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know the Seahawks lost to the Packers on Sunday and that’s because I stopped paying attention to the game in the second quarter due to the fact that I became way more fascinated by the mystery of Pete Carroll’s missing challenge flag. For whatever reason, Carroll couldn’t find his flag and that became an issue when he needed to challenge a play late in the first half. With no flag in hand, I’m 99% sure he tossed a 2003 Nokia flip phone on the field to challenge the play, which makes no sense because everyone knows you don’t bring your burner phone to work.
It’s fitting that I have no idea what Carroll threw on the field because I also have no idea why he let Russell Wilson play in that game. After missing four weeks of football, Wilson unsurprisingly played like someone who had just missed four weeks of football.
The twist here is that now the Cardinals might end up being in the same position this week. If Kyler Murray starts, it will be his first game in three weeks. If he can’t go, they might start Colt McCoy, but he might not be able to go either because he got injured in Week 10, which means the Cardinals could be down to their THIRD-STRING QUARTERBACK (Chris Streveler), which is mostly notable because he once wore a Cowboy hat and a fur coat to a championship celebration.
Normally, I never pick against anyone who wears a cowboy hat and fur coat while shirtless out in public, but I might have to make an exception here. I don’t love the idea of picking the Seahawks, but I also don’t love the idea of picking the Cardinals.
This is a big game for both teams, but I think it’s a bigger game for the Seahawks, because if they lose, they’ll fall to 3-7 and their playoff chances will essentially go down the toilet. Also, this week has the feeling of a get-right game for Wilson. For one, the Seahawks are playing at home, which is notable, because they have one of the best home-field advantages in football. Wait, I take that back. My crack research team has informed me that there’s actually no advantage this year and that the Seahawks are 1-3 at home, so you could almost argue that playing at home is a disadvantage for the Seahawks.
It might not have been an advantage early in the season, but it definitely is now. I mean, have you ever visited Seattle in November? Imagine Phoenix, except the exact opposite. The Cardinals aren’t going to know what to do. Seattle is cold, rainy and miserable in November and guess what the weather is supposed to be like on Sunday? Cold, rainy and miserable.
There’s a reason Russell Wilson has a 15-4 career record at home in November.
The pick: Seahawks 20-17 over Cardinals.
NFL Week 11 picks: All the rest
Patriots 34-24 over Falcons
Browns 19-16 over Lions
49ers 24-21 over Jaguars
Titans 27-20 over Texans
Ravens 20-16 over Bears
Dolphins 24-17 over Jets
Saints 24-20 over Eagles
Panthers 23-16 over Washington
Chargers 22-19 over Steelers
Buccaneers 31-24 over Giants
Best pick: Last week, I predicted that the underdog Vikings would score exactly 27 points in an upset win over the Chargers and guess what happened? The underdog Vikings scored exactly 27 points in an upset win over the Chargers. Now, did I know that the Chargers were going to completely forget that Justin Jefferson exists? Of course I did. The Chargers are so bad at stopping the run that I figured they would go all-in to stop Dalvin Cook, which is exactly what happened. That opened the door for Jefferson to have a huge game (nine catches for 143 yards) and I have to say, the smoothest play of the day by Jefferson wasn’t even a catch, it was when he somehow managed to avoid a taunting flag after throwing a ball at Keenan Allen.
I still have no idea what the NFL considers taunting, but that feels like taunting.
Worst pick: It’s a good thing I didn’t purchase that Packers stock on Tuesday morning, because I don’t deserve to be a Packers owner. Not only did I pick the Seahawks to beat the Packers last week, but I also predicted that Seattle would score 33 points in the win. Newsflash: They did not score 33 points. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even score a single point, which means this pick is definitely now in the running for my worst pick of all-time. I mean, I can’t even shovel snow off my driveway when my fingers hurt and I expected Russell Wilson to beat the Packers in a light snowfall just four weeks after having surgery on the middle finger of his throwing hand? I clearly didn’t think this pick through. I picked a team to win even though they had a QB with a surgically repaired finger and a coach who uses phones as challenge flags. I deserved to lose.
Finally, if you guys have ever wondered which teams I’m actually good at picking, here’s a quick look:
Teams I’m 10-0 picking this year: Colts, Texans (9-0)
Longest current streak of picking a team’s games correctly (Not including the Colts or Texans): Steelers (6-0-1 since Week 3)
Teams I’ve been the worst at picking this year: Saints (2-7), Washington (2-7).
Longest active streak of picking a team’s games wrong: Broncos (0-5 since Week 6 after going 5-0 picking their games to start the season)
Straight up in Week 10: 6-7-1
SU overall: 92-57-1
Against the spread in Week 10: 5-9
ATS overall: 73-74-3
Exact score predictions: 2
Exact score, wrong winner: 2
Note: I finally found out what Pete Carroll threw and it was a hand-warmer. If you want to purchase a hand-warmer that can double as a challenge flag, it’s only $20 on Amazon. I’m not being paid by the hand-warmer company, but I probably should be.