Week 11 Matchup Predictions
Texans win 28-10.
Chargers (4-5) @ Broncos (6-3): Remember what happened last time these two faced off? The Chargers took a nice 24-0 lead into the half, then got blasted 35-0 in the second half to lose 35-24. This time, Peyton won't get his offense to a slow start, and fluky special teams turnovers won't give the Chargers short field opportunities. However, Philip Rivers won't throw three fourth quarter interceptions again, so the score won't be that different.
Broncos win 35-20.
Colts (6-3) @ Patriots (6-3): Who would have thought that in Week 11 Andrew Luck and Tom Brady would be going head to head with the same record? Luck has been incredible this season, and while I don't at all believe he's the league's MVP, I can see where people are coming from when making an argument for him. What this game comes down to, however, is Andrew Luck keeping up with Tom Brady in Tom Brady's house. The Colts' and Patriots' defenses have given up the same exact amount of points this season, but Brady runs the league's highest scoring offense, while Luck is behind center for the 22nd highest scoring offense. Some day, Luck will scare Brady and have his shot at taking him down, but not yet.
Patriots win 38-27.
Ravens (8-2) @ Steelers (6-3): I would have gone with a Steelers in a heartbeat if Ben Roethlisberger were playing in this one, but with Byron Leftwich behind center, it becomes much more difficult. The Ravens are a completely different team outside of Baltimore, averaging 36.8 points at home, but only 17.5 on the road. However, the Steelers will be playing their first game without Big Ben, which leaves Byron Leftwich - who hasn't started a game since 2009 - as their signal caller. While both of these teams have become aerial threats that can put points on the board, I'm thinking this will be more of an old school Ravens-Steelers defensive battle due to it being in Pittsburgh and Big Ben being hurt. Because of that, I'm picking the team with the top ranked pass defense and top ranked total defense.
Steelers win 17-13.
Bears (7-2) @ 49ers (6-2-1): I think I'd usually go with the Bears in this matchup, but with no Jay Cutler (out, concussion), it's a whole different story. Jason Campbell is a fine game manager, but he's far too conservative and the Bears gave him very few opportunities to push the ball downfield after he replaced Cutler last week. The 49ers, who give up only 3.7 yards per carry, will force the Bears to put the game in Campbell's hands. The 49ers ultra efficient offense won't turnover the ball to give the Bears the short field opportunities that they usually receive, so there will be a ton of pressure on Campbell to sustain long scoring drives without turning the ball over. If he's conservative, he won't be able to move the ball, but if he's aggressive, he'll be overwhelmed by the 49ers' defense and likely end up giving the ball away.
49ers win 24-16.