Week 11 features some tantalizing match-ups for football fans. Plenty are “Game of the Week” worthy, thus making my decision for the true highlight event quite difficult. Of all the high-profile match-ups, I have to say Rams at Vikings intrigues me the most. I feel as though many fans circled Philadelphia at Dallas due to the whole divisional-rival thing, but Los Angeles at Minnesota is the real attention grabber of week 11. Other notable match ups this week include Atlanta at Seattle, New England at Oakland in Mexico City, and Washington at New Orleans.
Let’s get to it.
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Stoked for this game. Who would have expected both of these teams to be 7-2? No one. Especially the Rams, who have been one of the worst teams in the league over the past decade-and-a-half or so. The last time they finished over .500 was 2003. Last year, they went 4-12 with a -170 point differential. What a turnaround it has been this year. Los Angeles leads the NFC West at 7-2 and own a league leading point differential at +134.
Then we have the Vikings, who certainly had higher expectations in 2017 than the Rams but I do not think many expected them to be where they are at. Sure, Rodgers going down for the season has given them a pretty clear lane to the division title but with the level they are playing at, they are deserving of it. Their defense is as anticipated but the surprise is the offensive production with Case Keenum under center. Sans Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook, the Vikings have proven that they are at the very least a playoff team. I expect this to be a very close game but I have to give the rollin’ Rams the slight edge here: 24-23.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT DALLAS COWBOYS
This match up just has a pleasant ring to it. It seems like any NFC East match-up is always one that gets the fans excited. I love this game, but it has to fall second to the LA and Minnesota game solely because it will be lacking a guy named Ezekiel Elliott. You know, that guy who wears #21 for the Cowboys? Yeah him, he’s pretty good. Unfortunately he is serving a six game suspension so the ‘Boys will attempt to get the job done without him. Luckily, they are at home which helps but I do not think they can pull this one off against Philadelphia.
The Cowboys only hope is that Alfred Morris and Rod Smith can run it down the Eagles throat, which I just do not see happening. Philadelphia is ranked first in the league in rush yards allowed per game at 66.4. I expect it to be competitive but ultimately Dak and company will lack the fire power to keep up with Wentzylvania. Eagles 31 Cowboys 20.
ATLANTA FALCONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
This will be a rematch of last years NFC Divisional playoff round. The Falcons took that one 36-20 at home vs Seattle. You bet Pete Carroll’s team will be seeking revenge. Both teams are missing an extremely valuable player. Devonta Freeman will (listed as doubtful) be out with a concussion and Richard Sherman is out for the year with a ruptured achilles. Tevin Coleman will play a key role for Atlanta. If Freeman does sit this one out, Coleman will be heavily relied on out of the backfield, with some help from Terron Ward.
Seattle will rely on quality play from corner backs’ Jeremy Lane and Shaquill Griffin to to fill the role of Richard Sherman. This could be a tough task for them as they will be going up against the big and fast Atlanta receivers, Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. The Falcons looked great last week, but one solid performance is not a enough to convince me they are back to last year’s form yet. I am going with Seattle in this one: 26-20.
Jacksonville 27, Cleveland 10
Tampa Bay 16, Miami 17
Baltimore 20, Green Bay 17
Detroit 23, Chicago 17
LA Rams 24, Minnesota 23
Arizona 20, Houston 13
Kansas City 27, NY Giants 16
Washington 20, New Orleans 31
Buffalo 17, LA Chargers 23
Cincinnati 16, Denver 20
New England 31, Oakland 23
Philadelphia 31, Dallas 20
Atlanta 20, Seattle 26