• Football’s a Tough Game: Pigskin Pundit’s Picks, Week Eleven

    Surge Summary: A banged up NFL faces week eleven. Herein, Pigskin Pundits’ picks for the upcoming games.

    by Pigskin Pundit  

    This week there are more busted-up ribs around the NFL than in the dumpster behind Smokey John’s BBQ.  Mid-season injuries are coming hard and fast, giving second-teamers opportunities to step up and be noticed.  Playoff races are also taking shape, with a huge clot of second-place teams nipping at the heels of the division leaders.  Pete Rozelle is happy…somewhere.  Last week I sparkled at 11-3 (whoever thought the Pats would throttle Baltimore?), and stand at 96-51 (65%) on the season.  Here’s the picks.

    Cardinals at Seahawks – Rematch in Seattle, and Coach Carroll better hope Bobby Wagner has another monster game and Pete gets his running backs back, or his quarterback is going to be ON his back or back on his heels.  If these things don’t happen, Kingsbury’s Cardinals are going to be looking at back-to-back smackdowns of Seattle, and the Squawks will be moving back in the pack behind AZ and LA, with their backs to the wall.  That beep-beep you hear is the victory van backing up to Arizona’s locker room.  Redbirds are back!

    Bengals at WFT – Here’s a win for Cincy.  They have been playing close-but-no-cigar for most of the season as Beg, Burrow & Steal does everything he can to win games.  This is a winnable game, and the battered Washington offense is living on Burrowed time, because Father Time (Alex Smith) will be under center.  This remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington doesn’t have a happy ending.  Crouching Tigers maul the Whosits.

    Falcons at Saints – There is life in Georgia, and Matty Heisman has his weapons back.  Gotta hand it to Ryan, he is consistently a top-ten QB and he stays upbeat, even when his team is getting beat up.  They will likely give New Orleans all they can handle this week, especially with Brees running on spare ribs and Winston winging it. That said, Payton’s pious pigskinners pound the perditious Peaches poignantly.

    Steelers at Jaguars – Only the Ravens have allowed fewer points than Pittsburgh, as the Steel Hurtin’ hits like an I-beam and remains unconquered this season.  Their defense is finely tempered and hardened, while their offense has shaken off the rust of age and injury again.  Jacksonville continues to be an enigma, as they play ‘QB of the Week’ like WFT…. not a winning strategy.  I see changes coming in Jaguarland, but winning isn’t one of them.  Steelers cage the Cats.

    Patriots at Texans – Can the Patriots win on the road with just a running game?  Can Houston stop the run enough to beat this one-dimensional shell of a former juggernaut?  I think the Pats have a better chance of stopping Deshaun Watson’s passes than the Texans have of stopping New England’s ‘ground me a pound of that’ running attack.  Houston, we have a problem.  Pats rocket to .500 in Spacetown.

    Eagles at Browns – I think all four teams in the NFC Least are avoiding winning this horrible, weakling division, because they DON’T want to have to play a playoff game against a real NFL franchise.  They’ve seen the competition, and they want no part of it.  Cleveland is better than Philly, period.  Not great, but better.  We’ll be listening for another of Doug Pederson’s odd, damning-with-faint-praise post-game commentaries on Carson Wentz, who may not be a bust yet, but he’s awfully close.  Browns down the clowns from Liberty Town.

    Lions at Panthers – Battle of the Big Cats, and with McCaffrey still out and Teddy now unsteady on his legs, the Lions are looking like the kings of this jungle on Sunday.  Stafford to Golladay has been effective, and Detroit’s D has played better of late.  Another close one, but the Lions should be the mane attraction in this catfight.  A Golladay keeps the Panthers at bay.

    Titans at Ravens – This matchup comes at the right time.  Both 6-3 teams are fighting to stay ahead of a pressing crowd of second-tier playoff hopefuls, with four other 6-3 AFC teams currently and the Patriots possibly pressing into those ranks, after drowning the Ravens in a Foxboro monsoon Sunday night.  Both coming off a tough loss, both second in their divisions, and both wanting to right the ship.  Football fans win, as this should be a very watchable game.  Baltimore is a little beaten up on defense and Derrick Henry is a punisher, but Tennessee is not great against the run, so that levels out.  In this pick ‘em, give the edge to Harbaugh’s Harbingers.  Ravens return to the rookery roisterously.

    Jets at Chargers – Gang Green goes west, and gets jolted by the Bolts and Air Bear while Joe Flunko & Company keep Trevor Lawrence’s seat warm for him.  Nuff said.

    Dolphins at Broncos – Remember the movie Inception, where everything was layers of illusion and it was hard to tell what was real?  That’s Denver, only now it’s called Interception, and it’s hard to discern who Drew Lock is throwing to, when four balls end up hitting the wrong-colored jerseys.  Brian Flores has his team playing some defense these days, and this game is likely to hinge on how well Lock protects the ball.  This week, the Dolphins leap Mile High as they pursue the Bills.  Win one for the Flipper!

    Cowboys at Vikings – The Lowboys invade the Norsemen’s lair this week, representing their worst season in decades.  The Andy ‘Don’t Call Me Royal’ Dalton is fragile as fine china, one concussion away from registering TILT, and Dallas continues to be in general disarray.  The Vikes are waking up to take a run at the playoffs after showing us who the Bears really aren’t.  This week in Minneapolis, the crowd will be singing ‘Purple Reign’.

    Packers at Colts – Division leaders spar in this match of potent offense against rigid defense.  Green Bay struggled and had to come from behind to beat Jacksonville last week, while Indy made a statement against powerful Div-rival Tennessee.  Two of the greatest passers of all time square off, so this game’s a treat.  I was premature to assume Indy’s demise last week, but it’s hard as heck stopping Davante Adams and Aaron Jones for 60 minutes, no matter who you are.  In a squeaker, the Pack is sleeker.

    Chiefs at Raiders – Raiders bested KC in Week 5, but I don’t see a repeat in Vegas, or anywhere else for that matter.  Andy Reid ‘won’t get fooled again’, to cop a line from The Who.  The Raiders are a good second-tier team, but they aren’t the new nemesis of the Chiefs.  KC beats the house in Vegas.

    Rams at Buccaneers – This MNF game is a lot more interesting than I would have thought a few weeks ago.  LA is a good team in a good division, one which is very much up for grabs.  Brady faces the same pressure in his own competitive neighborhood, so this one should garner millions of eyeballs nationwide.  The edge goes to the Jolly Rogers, because the Rams haven’t beaten a really good, balanced team yet.  Welcome to Monday Night…BUH Buh buh bumm….

    Enjoy the games!

    -PP (Nate Clark)

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: Adapted from: Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA – Brandon Scherff Injury, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74206175

    Nathan Clark is a conservative commentator who resides with his wife in New Hampshire. He is passionate about preserving the vision of our nation’s Founders and advancing those tried and true principles deep into America’s future. His interests range broadly from flyfishing, cooking and shooting to pro sports, gardening, live music and fine-scale modeling.

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