NFL SPORTS: Week 11 NFL game picks: Patriots roll over Falcons on Thursday Night Football; Cowboys edge out Chiefs –

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Published: Nov 18, 2021 at 12: 50 PM

Gregg Rosenthal went 5-8-1 straight up and 6-8 against the spread on his Week 10 NFL picks, bringing his season totals to 84-65-1 and 76-72-1, respectively. How will he fare in Week 11? His picks are below.

The lines below provided by Caesars are current as of Noon ET on Thursday, Nov. 18 unless otherwise noted below.

WHERE: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
SPREAD: Saints +1.5 | O/U: 43

Like Browns-Patriots in the AFC last week, this is a massive swing game in the NFC wild-card race. The Eagles have found an offensive identity that can’t be denied and their line is playing at a higher level than the Saints’ ballyhooed unit. But Philadelphia has steamrolled three straight opponents on the ground who are soft defending the run. New Orleans is ranked first in run defense DVOA. The Saints are battle-tested, showing a toughness since Week 1 against quality opponents that the Eagles haven’t yet displayed. It could happen here, but I’m going to believe that Trevor Siemian’s quality play thus far can continue.

WHERE: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
SPREAD: Dolphins -3 | O/U: 44.5

Robert Saleh gave an impassioned defense of quarterback Mike White on Monday that had me nodding my head. White does deserve better! Give him another chance! Then the Jets decided to start Joe Flacco for this game because he’s seen more zero blitzes in his life, including when the Jets were shut out by the Dolphins a year ago. I’m picking against Gang Green on principle now because no one wins if Flacco is the best Jets quarterback for a second straight year. Miami’s offense, meanwhile, has played considerably better with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, where he will be for this game.

WHERE: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
SPREAD: Panthers -3.5 | O/U:  43

What a time for the Ron Rivera Bowl. These teams feel like mirrors, with Washington’s defense, led by Jonathan Allen‘s All-Pro bid, keying a revived group during its last three games. But the WFTers are now without Chase Young and Montez Sweat, while this Carolina defense is right back among the league’s best. No off-ball linebacker is playing better than Shaq Thompson, and the Panthers have shown that they can swallow shaky quarterbacks whole. Cam Newton‘s presence makes this game far less predictable. Part of me liked the combination of P.J. Walker and Newton so much last week that I wouldn’t mind seeing it again, just with a bigger share of Cam.

WHERE: Highmark Stadium (Orchard Park, N.Y.)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
SPREAD: Colts +7 | O/U:  50

The last seven weeks for the Colts have been building to this. They’ve fought back from an 0-3 record to .500 despite blowing two big leads and now need Carson Wentz to hold up against the league’s most cohesive defense. That’s asking too much, yet I think the underrated Colts defense is built to slow the Bills down, much like they did in the playoffs a year ago. A seven-point spread is too much for a Bills squad that, through no fault of its own, has few data points against quality opposition this year. 

WHERE: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
SPREAD:  Lions +11.5 | O/U: 43.5

Tim Boyle could start at quarterback for the Lions, but I’m not sure it matters that much to new Lions play-caller Dan Campbell. Detroit went extremely run-heavy against the Steelers, a strategy that could work against Cleveland after the Maliks (Jackson and McDowell) were blown off the ball by New England’s interior line last week. In other words, this game could get uncomfortable at home for the Browns. Baker Mayfield probably doesn’t need to get his wideouts heavily involved to beat the Lions, but this is the week to do it.

WHERE: TIAA Bank Field (Jacksonville, Fla.)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
SPREAD:  49ers -6 | O/U: 45

Which turnaround do you trust more: The 49ers’ offense finding itself while playing bully ball against the Rams or the Jaguars defense, led by a scorching Josh Allen, playing lights out the last two weeks? In an offense-first league, I’ll lean toward a San Francisco cover. It’s hard to watch Trevor Lawrence try to survive in this Jacksonville offense week after week with little progress. 

WHERE: Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
SPREAD:  Texans +10 | O/U: 44.5

Facing Lovie Smith’s predictable Texans defense should help unlock the Titans’ offense one week after they ran it 29 times for 66 yards. Yet I still can’t trust Tennessee as such a big favorite in a division matchup with so little firepower. Tyrod Taylor should make Houston’s offense more professional after a rough outing in his first game back from a hamstring injury.

WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
SPREAD:  Packers -1.5 | O/U: 49

The 8-2 Packers are barely favored against the 4-5 Vikings, a sign that Minnesota’s underlying statistics are strong and that Vegas still believes regression’s coming for the Pack. This Green Bay squad has defied expectations all season, winning nine straight against the spread with a defense that is greater than the sum of its parts and an offense that does just enough. I loved the newfound aggressiveness the Vikings showed last week, and they are talented enough to pull off the upset, but something special has been brewing in Green Bay all season that is hard to quantify, but you know it when you see it. (That’s me, giving up on real analysis. But seriously, have you watched this team?) 

WHERE: Soldier Field (Chicago)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
SPREAD:  Ravens -4.5 | O/U: 45

Justin Fields has made terrific progress. Facing Baltimore is a great test of how much progress. There are holes in the Ravens’ secondary that can be exploited, but coordinator Wink Martindale will test the Bears’ protection schemes before Fields can let go of any rainmakers. More importantly, this Chicago defense wasn’t special even with Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson on the field, as they should be again in this game. This is usually the time of year when the Ravens’ defense begins to sort out its problems. 

WHERE: Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas)
WHEN: 4: 05 p.m. ET | CBS
SPREAD:  Raiders +1 | O/U: 49.5

Here’s a game between two teams heading in the wrong direction, trying to dunk the other under water while reaching for a life raft. The Bengals’ defense gave up monster games to Mike White and Baker Mayfield before the bye week, burning the goodwill it built up early in the season. It’s possible both these teams are worse than their record — Vegas ranks just 23rd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, and Cincy’s even lower at No. 25 — but that won’t matter to Derek Carr when he picks apart the Bengals’ soft zone with a lot of underneath passes. Since I can’t pick “stay away,” let’s go with the Raiders.  

WHERE: Lumen Field (Seattle)
WHEN: 4: 25 p.m. ET | FOX
SPREAD: Cardinals -2.5 | O/U: 48

I’m not going to get too complicated here. Seattle’s defense has now played well enough for a month to believe the Seahawks can win at the line of scrimmage and do enough to beat a Colt McCoy-led Cardinals team. But if Kyler Murray returns from injury, the Cardinals are still the most complete team in the NFL until proven otherwise. (Especially on the road, where they have a +91 scoring differential against a hard schedule!) My pick here ultimately depends on Kyler’s status. He participated in Wednesday’s practice, saying he’s hopeful to start on Sunday. If that ends up being the case, the Cardinals covering is my favorite pick of the week, in part because Russell Wilson did not look remotely ready a week ago.

WHERE: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)
WHEN: 4: 25 p.m. ET | FOX
SPREAD: Cowboys +2.5 | O/U: 56

I’d feel better making this pick if the Cowboys had Randy Gregory or DeMarcus Lawrence available, but try to take the long view here. Even if Kansas City’s offense is on its way back, there’s no chance I trust it more than this Dallas attack. The Cowboys’ weapons have dominated all year; the Chiefs were dominant for one game. The return of Michael Gallup — and possibly left tackle Tyron Smith this Sunday — makes the ‘Boys even more fearsome, and their defense has also been far better all season than the surging Chiefs’ unit.

When it comes to picks, the hardest decision to make is whether you evaluate a team based on the last week, the last month, the entire season or go even further back. The Chiefs present a particularly challenging case because of their track record, but there’s just no question the 2021 Cowboys have been a superior team on both sides of the ball. I believe Dallas is ready for a win like this.

WHERE: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, Calif.)
WHEN: 8: 20 p.m. ET | NBC
SPREAD: Steelers +6 | O/U: 47

This game is tough to pick early in the week. Chargers defensive linemen Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery are currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list, leaving their status for Sunday night in question. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ben Roethlisberger are also iffy because of COVID protocols. The Steelers are hoping for the best, with injuries to Chase Claypool, guard Kevin Dotson, cornerback Joe Haden and outside linebacker T.J. Watt. These aren’t just starters, but most of Pittsburgh’s best players. These Chargers can’t do much well lately on defense, and that’d be doubly true without their best D-linemen. That said, the Steelers have one of the few offenses that isn’t positioned to take advantage. I’ll take Justin Herbert’s chances to find a way, but I won’t give away many points in what’s close to a coin-flip game, assuming Pittsburgh gets some of the stars back. Check back later in the week.

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