Referee Issues Is Something All Fans Can Come Together On

As a Patriots fan, the last significant loss I have had to deal with was November 30th, 2014 when the Patriots just fell short to the Aaron Rodgers led Packers in Green Bay. A full year later Patriots fans woke up on a Monday morning in unfamiliar circumstances. Their team lost a heartbreaker to the Denver Broncos in overtime, in a game where almost every significant player for the Patriots except for Tom Brady was injured at some point. The Patriots still managed to out play Denver for the vast majority of the game, but their biggest mistake came in the fourth quarter once Chris Harper fumbled a punt, putting Denver back in the game. What made things ultimately worse was the fact that the Patriots allowed the referees to play a role in the outcome of the game.

In the first three quarters of the game, the Patriots only had one penalty called against them, and that was an obvious face mask call on Tavon Wilson in the third quarter. They finished the game with five total penalties, four coming in the fourth quarter. The first significant call of the fourth quarter came in the drive right after Denver narrowed the score to 21-14. The Patriots were faced with a third and eleven play, but Tom Brady scrambled and found Keshawn Martin 51 yards down field. The play was called back however because of a holding call on Tre’ Jackson. It was without a doubt a hold, but Patriots fans gripe with the call is due to the fact that the officials were not calling it both ways. For example, on CJ Anderson’s 48-yard walk off touchdown Devin McCourty was blatantly held in the backfield. That would have made it third down and eleven from the Denver’s own 41 in sudden death over time. I would have liked the Patriots chances in that situation. The old adage in football is that you can call holding on every play, but if your going to go all in with holding calls make sure it’s a two-way street.

The next egregious penalty came while the Patriots had the ball up by four points with just over five minutes left to play. On a third and five play Brady hit Gronkowski for a ten-yard gain. Nevertheless, it was called back for offensive pass interference on Gronkowski. This was the tenth offensive pass interference called on the Patriots this season. That is first in the league, and the teams tied for second only have five calls against them. It is evident that opposing teams and officials are focusing squarely on a player such as Gronkowski because of his size, and he cannot get away with anything close to offensive interference.

Without a doubt, the worst call in this game and arguably the season so far came on the Broncos final possession of regulation. Denver drove the ball down the field and had it second and goal at the seven-yard line. That is when Alan Branch came up with the huge play bursting through the line and taking down Brock Osweiler for a loss of twelve yards, seemingly putting the Broncos is a third and nineteen situation. However, yet again the referees got in the way calling a, “ticky-tack” to say the least, holding call on Patrick Chung in the end zone on Demaryius Thomas, where Thomas clearly grabbed Chung’s face mask. The worst part is Brock didn’t even look in that direction and the ball wasn’t in the air. That call cost the Patriots the game. If it were third and goal from the 19, I would take the Patriots to hold Denver twice there. After that they would only need to take a knee and they would be on to 11-0.

Now, personally I have never been the person to blame officials for Patriots losses. I can’t think of a game where they truly out played their opponent and the were just beaten by the zebras. This game this past Sunday has made the best case thus far. Sure, the Patriots didn’t capitalize. There was questionable play calling down the stretch, Patrick Chung dropping an interception, and of course Chris Harper muffing the punt (he has since been released). They didn’t make some of the plays they could’ve made to win the game.

This refereeing issue does need to be solved. I’m sorry to all you Roger Goodell hating, conspiracy theorists Patriots fans, but this isn’t a result of the league having it out for the Patriots, it is just a league wide issue. What the commissioner should do is start having his zebras be held accountable like a player would be if they were to make a mistake. Until he does that, nothing will change and unfortunately the tipping point for officials would have to come in the playoffs when generally flags aren’t called. Until then playoff seeding’s and potential spots in the tournament will continue to be in jeopardy large in part due to the officials. It is one thing that fans of all team can come together on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Silver Linings Playbook:  Patriots Edition

quarterback-tom-brady-of-the-new-england-patriots-reacts-to-a-play-picture-id499221526

With a score of 24-30, the 2015 New England Patriots’ chance at a perfect season came to a screeching halt in Denver. There were many reasons for this crushing and untimely loss.

The officiating was absolutely dreadful on both sides of the ball but seemed to really needle the Patriots with a bunch of phantom calls during crucial moments in the 4th quarter. Most notably, Rob Gronkowski was called for an outrageous offensive pass interference penalty, costing the Patriots a first down and a chance to keep an important drive alive. The play clock fiasco during the Bronco’s injury timeout during the final drive was as confusing as it was accurate. Communication between the officials to the coaches and the players was downright pitiful.

The defending Super Bowl Champions entered the game with several notable star players missing, specifically offensive weapons Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola. Whereas both teams lost crucial players during the game, the losses of Dont’a Hightower and Rob Gronkowski seemed to derail the Patriots considerably. Losing Hightower opened up the run game for Denver, which on a night of snowy conditions was a godsend for their young Quarterback Brock Osweiler.  Gronkowski going out with a scary knee injury not only sucked the wind out of the Patriot’s collective sails but removed the final clutch superstar Tom Brady had left to throw to.

Finally and most importantly, Brock Osweiler played well in the 4th quarter, as did the entire Denver Broncos team. Although it is unpopular to say, the truth is given the cast and the set of circumstances The Denver Broncos made the most of their favorable circumstances. The tide turned drastically when Patriots’ rookie wide receiver Chris Harper fumbled the punt return and placed Denver in a scoring position. Did the Broncos take advantage of some slanted penalties and questionable play calls by the Patriots? Absolutely, and had the shoe been on the other foot Tom Brady and company would have done the same.

This game was a gut punch to Patriot Nation, leaving many fans irate that a winnable game and a perfect season had slipped away. Where it is true, the perfect season is no longer on the docket for the Patriots, this game is far more than just a sickening loss. In fact, this game told us more about the 2015 Patriots squad than the entire set of undefeated games played prior to it. With Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner gone in free agency, NOBODY gave this Patriots defense, more importantly the secondary, much of a shot at even being average. Malcolm Butler, Devin McCourty and especially Logan Ryan did a great job for the most part buttoning up Denver’s receivers Sunday night. Sure, Butler missed a few costly plays against Sanders but Logan Ryan all but eliminated Demaryius Thomas. Knowing that Logan Ryan is someone that can be counted on to remove a superstar receiver like Thomas from a game cannot be understated. This defense is formidable and an incredible asset, warts and all.

The Patriots offense has seen better days this year with the losses of Edelman, Amendola and Dion leaving unproven talents such as Chris Harper, Keshawn Martin and complimentary pieces like Scott Chandler and Brandon Lafell as primary targets. Still, even with this rag tag grouping (with the help of star Tight End Rob Gronkowski), the Patriots still scored 24 points over the best defense in the league. In fact, until Harper’s untimely fumble, the Patriots held on to a two score lead for considerable length of time. Rob Gronkowski’s role on Sunday can’t be understated, yet he still only one man and this offense stepped up when most teams would have crumbled to pieces.  The Offensive line, far from perfect was better than the Buffalo game and for the most part fairly sturdy as well. In the end, it took overtime to stop Sunday night’s bruised and beaten New England Patriots and that was impressive.

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Ultimately, Julian Edelman should be back for the playoffs, both Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower and Danny Amendola will be back sooner than later, Rob Gronkowski’s injury was not nearly as bad as it looked, and the Patriots (in their current incarnation) are a tough as nails team which should survive their schedule and persevere until most of the pieces are back in the puzzle box. The Denver loss on Sunday night will not define this Patriots’ season anymore than an undefeated streak was necessary for a Super Bowl Championship.

5 Prospects to Keep an Eye On

As the Patriots continue their onslaught of the regular season, the college football season enters its bowl season. That means we’re closer to getting into the meat of the draft season. Although the Pats don’t have their 1st round pick, there is still a lot of talent in the middle part of the draft. This draft looks a lot like the 2013 draft in the sense that there isn’t elite talents, but a lot of solid players. Here are ten players that Pats fan can look at for the pick in the 2nd round and beyond:

  1. RB James Conner – Pittsburgh. If he didn’t tear his MCL in the first game this season, Conner was a front runner for the Heisman. With that injury, teams are more apt to focus on the players that have a full year of game tape. At 6’2, 240 pounds, Conner is a load that can be the heir apparent to LaGarrette Blount. He isn’t fast, but he’s a plodder that can be had easily in the 2nd, but could be had in the 4th and later. Also, the Pats have had success with Pitt running backs in the past (Dion Lewis and Curtis Martin).
  2. G/T Denver Kirkland – Arkansas. Belichick likes amassing O Line depth and this year proves that you can never have too much depth at the position. Kirkland is massive (6’5, 340) that can play both guard and tackle and is nimble for a man his size. Versatility is a staple of all Patriots and Kirkland looks like he could be dominant at G at the next level.
  3. DE/OLB Jordan Jenkins – Georgia. Even with the drafting of Tre Flowers and Geno Grissom last year, Belichick is putting a premium on pass rushers. Jenkins isn’t an elite pass rusher coming out of Georgia (but neither was Hightower). But he was a captain, but Belichick loves collecting college captains and Jenkins is someone that, again, offers versatility. He can play OLB in a hybrid front but has the size (6’3, 255) to put his hand in the ground and rush the passer. Jenkins just looks like a Patriot.
  4. WR Leonte Carroo, Rutgers. You can’t have the draft process without the Pats looking at a Rutgers prospect. Although Carroo doesn’t have elite size (6’0, 205) and speed, he’s a precise route runner that can uses his athleticism and body control to be a threat both on the outside and in the slot. He would be great depth and be someone to keep an eye on as the process continues.
  5. CB William Jackson III, Houston. Jackson might be the best senior CB in the draft who has excellent size (6’1, 195) who is an aggressive DB who can use his elite speed as well to play with the best of them. Although it’s still early enough that Jackson will probably be drafted higher in the 2nd and maybe even the bottom part of the 1st if he has a great off season. But, he could fall due to other positions being coveted. He’s someone to keep an eye on.

New England Patriots: Is Denver Tom Brady’s Achilles’ Heel?

Is it possible the Denver Broncos are Tom Brady’s achilles’ heel? Going into Sunday night’s match-up there was only one team in the NFL TB has a losing record against.  It may be hard to believe, but the best QB in NFL history is 6-7 against the Broncos, 5-5 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs.

So, here it is. Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver and Super Tom still has something to prove…one more mountain to climb. The big difference over past years is ( are you ready for this?)  Brady may have a mediocre/poor game and the Patriots still should win. I know, Denver has a great defense…but this year so do the Patriots.

D-E-F-E-N-S-E

The Patriots have allowed the fewest points-per-game (18.2) in the NFL while the Broncos are 18th in scoring (22.2). When you realize how many of the points scored against New England’s defense were in garbage time,  after games were already decided, the figure is decidedly lower.

Meanwhile, the always tough Denver defense is just behind NE, allowing a measly 18.3 PPG of their own.  Yes, the Patriots are 2nd in scoring (32.3), but the days of rolling up points look to be over with a depletion of skill players on offense due to injuries. Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson will be among the missing (Dobson for the year) leaving Brady with limited options in the passing game. Sure, he still has Rob Gronkowski and Brandon LaFell, but after that there are a bunch of question marks.

Home Field Advantage

Big Edge: Denver

1960 Patriots vs Broncos (Photo: sportspaperinfo.com
1960 Patriots vs Broncos (Photo: sportspaperinfo.com

The Patriots are just 9-19 in Denver since the two teams first met in 1960.  Ah yes, I remember it well, a 13-10 Denver win. (The long-term memory is fine, it’s the short-term that’s a killer).

Here’s a scary stat (courtesy of WEEI’s Chris Price): .842 — Including the postseason, that’s the winning percentage for the Broncos in their last 19 home games against the Patriots (since 1969). Denver is 16-3 in those games.

Yeah, I know. Different year, different players…but still, it has to be on Tom Brady’s mind. He absolutely hates to lose with a passion that is unequaled. I know everyone hates to lose, but he takes it to a new level.  Just a few weeks back he was pounding the ground in anguish when he was sacked and felt it was his fault…and the Patriots won that game easily!

The fire in Tom Brady after getting pulled down in 36-7 win over the Dolphins (photo: Darren Mccollester/Getty Images
The fire in Tom Brady after getting pulled down in 36-7 win over the Dolphins (photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Why The Patriots Should Win

Despite the advantages the Broncos have, as listed above, the Patriots are still favored, although by a very slim margin…and the reasons are:

  • Tom Brady vs Brock Osweiler (No Brainer)

Brady showed his emotion repeatedly in last weeks win against the Bills, and his teammates would rather not face his wrath two weeks in a row.

“I was pretty agitated all night,” Brady told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Show, via Boston.com. “For three hours and 20 minutes, I was pretty agitated.”

James White had two TDs against the Bills despite limited touches (Photo: Fansided.com)
James White had two TDs against the Bills despite limited touches (Photo: Fansided.com)
  • More action from James White, who was clutch despite limited touches, in last week’s win over Buffalo. His snap count should increase with a reduction in touches by LeGarrette Blount.
  • The offensive line has to be better (couldn’t be any worse) as the walking wounded continue to return and the revolving door slows down. The Patriots have used 25 offensive line combinations this season, most in the NFL (Mike Reiss)
  • Bill Belichick vs Gary Kubiack (Another No Brainer)
  • Rob Gronkowski is due to have a breakout game. Denver now has Vernon Davis, who had his best game of the year last week, and Gronk won’t take kindly to being outplayed on national TV

Both teams are looking forward to this one. Here are a few pre-game quotes from the Bronco’s camp:

“It will be fun—Sunday Night Football, undefeated team coming in. It will be a lot of fun. It’s great playing against [Patriots QB] Tom [Brady], though. He’s a great competitor.”
– Broncos CB Aqib Talib

They’re really physical. Their defensive line—they’ve been causing a lot of chaos for quarterbacks. They’ve been getting to the quarterbacks. I think [Patriots DE] Chandler Jones  is over 10 sacks at this point in the year. I think they just play extremely hard. They know their scheme inside and out and they execute their scheme.”
Broncos QB Brock Osweiler

Prediction

Patriots squeak out a tough win and go to 11-0

Patriots 21 Broncos 17

Follow me on twitter @SnowdonBob

 

 

 

 

 

Week 12 Picks

I’m back, and I apologize to everyone who missed reading my weekly picks last week. I was really busy and experiencing some sort of hangover from having my best week, 9-5, the week before. I know all of you guys just muddle through your boring lives until you get the chance to escape them as you read my brilliant picks.

Ok, I’m sure you all found a way to fill the void in your lives, and thank you to Joey for filling in for me last week. And for the record, I did still make my own picks and went 5-9, so you’re welcome for not having to read those. Let’s get on to the Thanksgiving special.

Eagles (+2.5) over LIONS

I don’t know what to make of either of these teams. The Eagles seem like a team that shouldn’t be favored by more than three against anyone, and also shouldn’t be getting more than three points against anyone, while the Lions are a different team every week. However, the Chip Kelly offense could go bananas at any time, and though Bradford’s status is uncertain the running game has been better as of late. I’m taking the points but this is a major stay away.

Panthers (+1.5) over COWBOYS

I’m finally ready to start acknowledging the Panthers as legit. I still think the Cardinals are the best team in the NFC, but Carolina has one of the league’s best defenses, a powerful running game, and Cam Newton has absolutely turned a corner. This game is all of a sudden more fun with a healthy Cowboys team, but on a short week I’m going to take the better running game and the better defense in this one.

Bears (+8.5) over PACKERS

The Bears are a team that isn’t getting a lot of respect. The Packers line is always inflated because everybody loves to bet on them, but while they looked good last week it was the first time they looked good since Week 3. Cutler is having a good season, Forte and Jeffery could both be coming back, and the Bears defense is much improved. I look for the Bears to cover easily, and I think they could pull off the upset.

Raiders (-1.5) over TITANS

I’m not jumping ship on the Raiders after the last few games. The Titans defense is exactly what they need to get back on track, and their pass rush should give Mariota problems. The Raiders are simply a much better team than the Titans, and they’ve taken care of business against bad teams this year (with the exception of last week).

Bills (+6) over CHIEFS

This feels like a classic Andy Reid game to blow. The Chiefs are feeling good, they’ve won four games in a row in impressive fashion and trail the Broncos by three games in the division. This isn’t a must win but it feels like it is, and I fully expect them to be trailing by three with under two minutes to go and all three timeouts, and for Andy Reid to waste all three timeouts on one play where Charcandrick West runs out of bounds on a swing pass that gained three yards, and then Alex Smith tries to throw three more of those passes before they turn it over on downs.

COLTS (-3) over Buccaneers

The Bucs are a little frisky and Jameis is really coming into his own, but I expect them to come back down to earth a little bit against a Colts team that needs this game more. The Texans have all of a sudden made the AFC South interesting, but Indy got a big win in Atlanta last week, and are undefeated with Matt Hasselbeck starting. They need to win this game and be 6-5 when they possibly get Luck back next week. Seriously Andrew, my fantasy team needs you back, there’s a playoff berth on the line.

Giants (-2.5) over REDSKINS

The Giants are coming off of a bye, and the last time we saw them they all but beat the Patriots again. The Giants are 7-4 coming off of a bye under Tom Coughlin, and had won six straight off of byes until last year. The Redskins had a horrible showing last week, and that defense has major holes. I’ll take Eli and Odell to carve them up.

TEXANS (-3) over Saints

J.J. Watt is once again proving why he’s far and away the best defensive player in football, even if that can only take a team so far. It’s possible that he just swallows a quarterback whole in the upcoming weeks, and Drew Brees is definitely a candidate for that. The Saints defense is putrid, so even a struggling Texans offense should be able to put up points against them, but they’ll obviously win this game on defense.

Vikings (+1) over FALCONS

I don’t know what happened to the Falcons, but they’ve fallen off of a cliff. Since their hot offensive start they’ve lost four of five games and the one win was a 10-7 victory over the Titans. Devonta Freeman might not play, and the Vikings need to win. I expect them to bounce back after a bad loss to the Packers.

Rams (+8.5) over BENGALS

I’m still picking the Bengals to win, but I think the Rams keep it close. They’ve lost three straight but their defense has been good in most of them, and they’re only two games out of a playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Bengals need to clean some stuff up, as they’ve struggled with consistency in their consecutive losses.

JAGUARS (-3.5) over Chargers

This might be the best bet of the week. The Jaguars have a real chance to win their division, and the team has a lot of confidence in Blake Bortles. Think about this, Blake Bortles, Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, Julius Thomas, and T.J. Yeldon are all on fantasy rosters. And frankly, the Chargers aren’t a good team, and they’ll be flying across the country to play a 10 am pacific kickoff.

JETS (-3.5) over Dolphins

I know the Jets are scuffling, but the Dolphins are simply not a good team. They struggle to ever build momentum because they can’t capitalize off of their own success, and their defense tends to wear down at the end of games. The Jets are in a four-way tie for the last wild card spot and really need all the wins they can get, I think they take care of business at home.

Cardinals (-10) over 49ERS

I said this earlier, but I think the Cardinals are the best team in the NFC. They have the most balanced offense by far, and probably the best in the league besides the Patriots. Their defense is good situationally and they create a lot of turnovers, and the 49ers are a mess offensively.

Steelers (+3.5) over SEAHAWKS

We all need to stop giving the Seahawks the benefit of the doubt. Let me give you Seattle’s five wins this year: Jimmy Clausen and the Bears, 13-10 over the Lions thanks to a blown call, Matt Cassel’s Cowboys by a point in the last minute, and two wins over the 49ers. The Steelers, meanwhile, are coming off of a bye and are as healthy as they’ve been on offense. This will be the funeral of the legion of boom. Scratch what I said about the Jaguars, this is the best bet of the week.

Patriots (-3) over THE BROCKWEILER

While the Patriots keep losing receivers, they’re getting their line mostly healthy, and they should look more like their offense from earlier in the year than Monday night. Give Rex Ryan credit, he always puts together a defensive gameplan that confuses Brady at the line of scrimmage, and you saw him not knowing who to throw to most of the time. That should change Sunday night, and even without Edelman and possibly Amendola, and the underrated Pats defense should give Brock Ossweiler and his limited running game problems. I’d also like to offer a hot take: Peyton Manning has played his last game as a Bronco, but he’ll try to come back with someone else next year and it’s going to be even more of an embarrassment. Peyton, if you’re reading this, know that you’ve had a wonderful career, you’re a top three and probably top two all-time quarterback. Let it go. You’re tarnishing you’re legacy.

BROWNS (-2.5) over Ravens

Rather than break down the worst Monday night game the World Wide Leader has gotten so far, I wanted to use this time to give my opinion on Johnny Manziel. Like most, I loved watching Manziel in college. I loved how every time I watched him play he did something I had never seen before, and he constantly made a mockery of SEC defenses. And like most, I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt on a lot of his off-field escapades. But he’s done. There’s not a spot in this league for Johnny Manziel. He’s been giving opportunity after opportunity, and he refuses to grow up. In order to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League, you need to act like and adult, and Johnny never has, and from the looks of it never will, because he doesn’t understand. It’s a sad story, because he has all the talent in the world. But I applaud Mike Pettine on the decision he made.

For college football fans or just degenerate gamblers who will bet on anything, I’m in a weekly college football pick ’em. Here’s my picks for this week: Alabama (-13.5), Oklahoma (-7), Notre Dame (+2.5), Clemson (-17.5), Florida (+2), Nebraska, Michigan, and Baylor straight up.

NFL Record Last Week: 5-9-0

NFL Record Overall: 74-83-6

College Football Record Last Week: 5-3-0

College Football Record Overall: 49-39-0

NFL Week Twelve Power Rankings

I, like any good Patriots fan, got a bit irked when they blew the Amendola catch dead with an inadvertent whistle. It most likely cost the Patriots a big play, that may or may not have resulted in a touchdown. But, since we are all in the circle of trust here, we’ve been on the positive side of questionable calls in our day. Sure you can scream to the high heavens that Goodell or ESPN had something to do with it, but Mean Gene is probably the best ref in the business, and he got the call right once it was screwed up. Buffalo beat themselves with poor clock management, undisciplined play, and poor special teams. It is the same old song and dance every week. It won’t be as easy this week, going into Denver with a patch work offense and the only game I’ll pick New England to drop this season. Sorry Patriots fans, it’s a reality.

1) New England Patriots – Big win against a tough defense, that knocked out two more offensive weapons.

2) Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton will challenge TB12 for the MVP.

3) Arizona Cardinals – I still think Arizona trips up in the playoffs against either GB or Seattle.

4) Cincinnati Bengals – The Red Rifle is softer than dog poo.

5) Denver Broncos – When we were all expecting Brady vs. Manning XVII, we are getting Brady vs. Osweiler One.

6) Green Bay Packers – Green Bay is back to being Green Bay again.

7) Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota has a way of making things easier on their opponents in crunch time.

8) Seattle Seahawks – Nobody will want to play Seattle come January, just based on the mystique.

9) Pittsburgh Steelers – Coming off a bye week.

10) New Jersey Giants – Coming off a bye week.

11) Kansas City Chiefs – Watch out, the Chiefs are making a run.

12) Indianapolis Colts– Chuck Pagano’s team believes in him. I’m not sure how to take that statement.

13) Atlanta Falcons – That is the sound of the Falcons going down the toilet.

14) Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper had four yards receiving. You may not see that again…. Ever.

15) Houston Texans – JJ Watt is slowly climbing the ranks of biggest DB’s in football. I’m not talking about defensive backs either.

16) New Jersey Jets – The Jets started out so promising and have come back down to reality, and quickly.

17) Buffalo Bills – Undisciplined football and bad clock management continue to be the bane of Rex Ryan’s existence.

18) Miami Dolphins – Well, you let Dallas have a glimmer of hope.

19) Philadelphia Eagles – Chip Kelly should go back to coaching the other birds up in Oregon.

20) St. Louis Rams – Case Keenum looked like Rocky dragging himself off the canvas in his second title fight with Apollo.

21) Dallas Cowboys – I see a small, tiny sliver of hope in Dallas. However, that may go dark when Carolina comes to town on Thanksgiving.

22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa Bay has double the amount of wins they had all of last year.

23) New Orleans Saints – Coming off a bye week.

24) Chicago Bears – John Fox gifted a win to his previous team on Sunday. You had one job John, one!

25) Jacksonville Jaguars – Can Jacksonville make a late season run at the listless Colts? I highly doubt it.

26) Detroit Lions – Three in a row for the Martha Ford Lions!

27) Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco got hurt, so did Justin Forsett, but that doesn’t matter when you only have three wins.

28) Washington Redskins – Washington proved once again why they will never be contenders in the NFC East.

29) San Francisco 49ers – The Niners gave a valiant effort on the road in Seattle, but that isn’t enough to win football games.

30) Tennessee Titans – Tennessee needs to address the defensive line and running game in the offseason.

31) San Diego Chargers– San Diego can’t get to LA fast enough.

32) Cleveland Browns – Coming off a bye week.

NFL WEEK 11 PICKS

Obviously, the Jaguars beat the Titans on TNF.

Raiders (0) over LIONS –

The Oakland Raiders need this win more than anything.  They are tied with Kansas City in the AFC South, and they MUST win this game if they want to have a chance to make the playoffs.  Detroit is 4th in their division, so they aren’t really playing for anything, except the win.  While the game is in Detroit, the Raiders have more pressure to win the game, and more heart.  I believe the Oakland Raiders will win the game.

 FALCONS (-6) over Colts

This is a MUST win for both teams. The game is in Atlanta, so the Falcons will have home field advantage.  I had a hard time making this pick, however I do believe the Atlanta Falcons will come out with the win.  First off, Andrew Luck is not expected to play, which will make it much harder for the Colts to win.  Second, I just don’t see the Colts defense stopping the Atlanta offense.  It will be very hard to stop Devonta Freeman, who is playing at his best this year.

EAGLES (-7) over Bucs

This is also another MUST win for both teams if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs.  However, I am picking the Eagles to win this game.  While the Eagles have their issues which I’ll explain in a bit, I just don’t see a Jameis Winston led team being able to pull out the win.  Part of the issue is Tampa Bay’s defense which is not great at all.  The Eagles biggest issue is, Mark Sanchez.  There are obviously more factors, but last week the Eagles played a great first half, then Sam Bradford got hurt of course, and Mark Sanchez subbed in.  Then, in the fourth quarter, when you have to be clutch, Mark Sanchez could not finish the game.  I think this will be a very close game, but the Eagles will be able to pull out the win.  Mark Sanchez will throw at least one interception, and I think the reason why the Eagles will win this game is because of their running game, especially with DeMarco Murray in the backfield.

BEARS (0) over Broncos

With the Bears coming off a HUGE road win against the Rams last week, they will be ready to come out and battle the Broncos at home on Sunday.  It will be a lot harder for the Broncos to win without Peyton Manning, as Brock Osweiler will be the starting quarterback for the Broncos.  However, I am picking the Denver Broncos to win the football game.  Many may disagree, however, in my opinion, I think the Saint Louis Rams made some mistakes which caused the Bears to win the football game.  The Chicago Bears will lose this week to the Broncos as reality will set in.

Rams (+2.5) over RAVENS

This may be a difficult game to pick based on the stat sheet, but it is quite easy for me.  I am picking the Rams to win the game.  The Rams are 2nd in their division and need to come out with the win if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs.  As for the 2-7 Ravens, it would be a good win, but it wouldn’t do much as they have very little chance of making the playoffs.

DOLPHINS (0) over Cowboys

I think the Dallas Cowboys are not mentally tough enough to beat the Dolphins.  Each week the players are getting in fights with the media, firing snarky comments at their opponents, and they just lose.  They are currently on a seven game losing streak.  To make matters worse, they are playing on the road against the Miami Dolphins who are not consistent, but are a much better football team in my opinion.  This is an easy pick.  I pick the Miami Dolphins to win the game.

Redskins (+8.5) over PANTHERS

The Panthers will come out with the win this week.  They are the better football team overall, and Carolina is the home team.  Washington is 0-4 on the road so far this season, so I don’t think they can just come into Carolina and win.  I am picking the Carolina Panthers to win the game.

Chiefs (-3) over CHARGERS

While the Chargers are the home team in this game, I still believe the Chiefs will win.  This is a division game, so lots of things can happen, but the Chiefs NEED to win this game if they have any chance at making the playoffs.  I don’t think it will be a blowout, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers just are not playing well at all this year.  I am picking the Kansas City Chiefs to win this game.

VIKINGS  (0) over Packers

The Packers NEED to win this game, and so do the Vikings, but the Vikings are the home team, and Green Bay is 2-2 on the road this season.  Things in Green Bay just haven’t been clicking these last 3 games, and it is time for them to turn it around.  I think it will be a close game, but in the end Aaron Rodgers will have a great performance, and the Packers will get their much needed win.  This is a very hard pick to make, but in the end I am picking the Green Bay Packers to win the game.

49ers (+13.5) over SEAHAWKS

For this game, Seattle is the home team.  The 49ers are 0-4 on the road this season, and Century Link Field is a very hard stadium to play at.  I believe the Seahawks will pull off the win, especially because Colin Kaepernick has been placed on season ending IR, which will make it very tough for the 49ers.  Seattle’s defense will play a great game, and Seattle’s offense will put up just enough points to pull out the win.  However, it should be close.  I am picking the Seattle Seahawks to win the game.

Jets (-2.5) over TEXANS

While the Texans are the home team, and it will be tough for the Jets to win the game, but they will come through.  The Houston Texans just haven’t shown me enough this year.  They are pretty inconsistent to say the least.  And this isn’t the Rex Ryan coached Jets, this is the 2015 Jets, who have proven to be much better than last year’s squad.  I am picking the New York Jets to win the game.

Bengals (+5) over CARDINALS

This is going to be a tough game.  The Bengals lost to the Texans last week, and now they are going on the road to play the Cardinals.  While the Bengals are a great road team, I just don’t see their defense playing well.  Obviously Arizona has a great defense, with Patrick Peterson at the DB and Tyrann Mathieu at safety.  So, I think Cardinals’ defense will make it tough for the Bengals to score points, and it will be easier for the Cardinals to score on the Bengals defense.  I am picking the Arizona Cardinals to win the game.

PATRIOTS (-8.5) over Bills

Rex Ryan is all hyped up about that win over his former team, the New York Jets.  While the Bills did play a good game and got a good win, Rex Ryan gets all cocky when he wins games.  In week one, after Rex Ryan and the Bills got a good win against the Colts, he started talking smack about the Patriots and how he was going to beat them.  Once again, the Bills won the previous week and Rex Ryan is getting all cocky again.  Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will shut him up, as they did week 2 on the road in Buffalo.  If that isn’t enough, the Patriots are also the home team.  I do think this will be a close game, but in the end, I am picking the New England Patriots to win the game.