Lineman Week 11 NFL picks

November 19, 2011

The Wichita Lineman had a bit of a rough outing last week but we have to remember it is always hard to step in mid-season and be at the top of your game.

But the Lineman is back for Week 11 so let us see if we can get this thing turned around.

Record: 30-30. Last week 1-5; Pick of the Week: 8-2

PICK OF THE WEEK

Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) at New England Patriots (6-3) (Line Patriots minus-14.5)

Tim Tebow completed just two (count em two) passes last week in the Denver Broncos win over the Chiefs and I cringe to think what damage Tom Brady (the best NFL quarterback not named Aaron Rodgers) will do at home on the Monday Night stage.

New England still has big questions on defence yielding a league worst average of 412-yards per game but should have no problem controlling a sputtering Chiefs attack that will be without starting quarterback and ex-Pat Matt Cassel.

Even with Cassel under centre the Chiefs could generated only 13 points in losses the last two weeks to Miami and Denver and now will turn to CFL, UFL, Arena League castoff Tyler Palko, who will be making his first career NFL start.

A Chiefs defence that is tied for fourth in interceptions with 13 will not worry Brady, who is tied for second with 23 touchdowns passes and averaging league best 336-yards per game through the air.

After back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Giants, there were those ready to write off the Pats but 37-16 beat down of the Jets last week has the Beantown Bandwagon fired up again and ready to roll.

Gillette Stadium remains an imposing fortress for visitors, the Patriots winning 20 of their last 21 at home.

The Pats also like it under the bright lights collecting nine wins in their last 10 Monday Nighters. Patriot Games this Monday. Take the Pats and give up the 14.5
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Oakland Raiders (5-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-7) (Line Raiders minus-1.5)

Many people are telling me this one smells like a Vikings upset. Maybe I have a cold, because I just don’t see it.

The Raiders return to action coming off a 10-day rest while the Vikings are back on the field just six days after being clobbered by the Green Bay Packers.

The extra-time will have benefited Raiders Carson Palmer as the former Pro Bowl quarterback gets more familiar with the Oakland playbook since being acquired in a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals last month.

The Raiders start Week 11 with a one game lead top the tightly bunched AFC West but with the Chiefs on the limp and Chargers short-circuiting this division is there for the taking if the Raiders can seize their chances.

A visit to the Twin Cities kicks off a bruising tour of the NFC North and with Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit all in the on deck circle, Sunday’s tilt against the Vikings represent one of those opportunities.

Both teams do plenty of damage on the ground, the Raiders ranked fourth in league rushing
averaging 156-yards per game followed by the Vikings on 145.2 ypg.

Television talking head Ron Jaworski describes Vikings Adrian Peterson, as the NFL’s most violent running back. That would be accurate. This guy runs over people.

The Raiders counter with the double threat of Darren McFadden (questionable with a foot injury) and Michael Bush.

Palmer will have his chances against the Vikings 30th ranked pass defence that was further
weakened by a season-ending injury to cornerback Antoine Winfield in the loss to the Packers.

Vikings defence, however, is solid against the rush giving up less than 100 yards a game while
defensive end Jared Allen leads the league in sacks with 13 1/2.

The Raiders, who have had problems stopping the run giving up an average of 132 ypg, will have to focus on containing Peterson, who has rumbled for a league best 10 touchdowns.

Oakland has won more games on the road (3-1) than they have at home. The Vikings are a banged up and running out of gas.

Raiders in a romp. Take Oakland give up the 1.5.
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Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) at New York Giants (6-3) (Line Giants minus-3.5)

In Week One you might have looked at the schedule and thought that in Week 11 it would be the Eagles top the NFC East and the Giants in the basement. Au contraire.

Philadelphia is this season’s biggest disappointment while the G-Men have slowly put together a
solid campaign and could solidify their playoff credentials and place top the division by sending the Eagles to a third straight defeat driving the final dark nail into Philly’s dream season.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is questionable with broken ribs and speedy wide out Jeremy
Maclin is also doubtful with a sore shoulder but game breaker DeSean Jackson is back after being benched last week for missing a team meeting,

If Vick is unable to go, the Eagles will turn to Vince Young, a version of Vick-Lite who will have to contend with a New York defence that leads the league in sacks with 30.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning and receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz could be trouble for an Eagles secondary that will be without cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The G-Men were 28-16 winners over the Eagles in Week Three and with the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints up the next two weeks this is game the New Yorkers need another win in Week 11 with the Dallas Cowboys lurking one game back.

New York, New York, take Big Blue and give up the 3.5.
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Tennessee Titans (5-4) at Atlanta Falcons (5-4) (Line Falcons minus-5.5)

After a bonehead coaching call that cost them a chance of a win over the Saints last weekend the Falcons owe their fans a bit of a refund this Sunday and that should come in the form of big win over the Titans.

Both teams have plenty at stake as they chase down division leaders, Atlanta two back of the Saints in the NFC South and Titans two behind of the Texans in the AFC South with little room for error.

Titans are last in the league in rushing but their success Sunday is likely to hinge on running back Chris Johnson who will take on the NFL’s fourth ranked run defence.

Johnson, who ran for over 2000 yards in 2009, has not come close to matching that output this season but in Week 10 finally looked to be hitting his racking up 130-yards in a blowout of the Panthers.

The Falcons can also get the job done on the ground with running back Michael Turner but can beat you through the air as well with Matt Ryan tossing to a trio of superb receivers Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and rookie Julio Jones, who is nursing a hamstring injury.

After slow start, the Falcons are looking like the Super Bowl challengers many predicted.

Titans have exceeded expectations, the Falcons are starting to live up to theirs. Take the Falcons, give up the 5.5
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (9-0) (Line Packers minus-14.5)

Green Bay has had a disturbing of habit of letting opponents off the ropes and winning by decision rather than a knockout and coming off a Monday Night romp over the Vikings I wonder how interested the Pack is going to be about taking it through to the finish against the Bucs.

But there is no denying the Super Bowl champs have shifted into top gear entering the second half of the season and seem genuinely intrigued about the idea of an unbeaten campiaign.

If focused, it is hard to see anyone keeping pace with the Pack and that goes double for the fading Bucs who have lost their last three and four of last five.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be the league MVP and he has the Green Bay attack
humming, averaging a league best 35.6 points a game.

Rodgers has tossed a league best 28 touchdowns and can be expected to add to his total going
against a leaky Tampa defence that ranks 31st in total yards surrendered (401.2 ypg) and is 28th against the pass (263.0 ypg).

The Pack defence has been more opportunistic than consistent but finally looked like they were
ready to join the party shutting down the Vikings.

Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman has been unable to match last year’s late game heroics. He
has tossed 13 interceptions, second most in the league and now goes against a Packers defence that is tops in pickoffs with 17.

This the time of year when things begin to turn nasty in Green Bay. The Bucs are not going to like the weather or facing the pumped up Pack.

Pack a Perfect 10. Take Green Bay and give up the 14.5.
- – - -
Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at Washington Redskins (3-6) (Line Cowboys minus-7.5)

The Cowboys have put themselves back into the playoff frame with back-to-back wins over Seattle and Buffalo and now have an opportunity to solidify their bid for a post-season slot with games against Washington, Miami and Arizona.

I know what you are thinking, when and how is Cowboy QB Tony Romo going to screw it up this time.

Could happen but not this week against a Redskins team that has lost five straight and is sinking faster than the U.S. dollar.

After the John Beck experiment flopped, the Redskins went back to Rex Grossman as their starting quarterback last week and lost to the Dolphins.

The Cowboys have not performed well on the road posting a 1-3 record while the Redskins have been tough at home where they have picked up two of their three wins.

The Redskins-Cowboys is one of the NFL’s great rivalries and I expect because of that this game will remain close for awhile.

But the Cowboys are healthier, have more talent and have NFC East leaders the New York Giants in their sights which adds up to a big edge.

This game of Cowboys and Indians goes to the Cowboys. Take Big D and give up the 7.5.

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