2009 NFL Week 11 Picks & Predictions

Here are my locks (locks, ha!) for Week 11 in the NFL:

Chargers (6-3) at Broncos (6-3), 4:15PM ET
Denver quarterback Kyle Orton is questionable this week with an ankle injury, which means Chris Simms could make his first start of the season. Simms looked Brady Quinn-like bad in a loss to the Redskins last week and I wouldn’t expect much out of him if I were a Broncos fan. If Simms starts, I fully expect the Chargers to load up to stop Knowshon Moreno and force the former Bucs’ QB to beat them through the air. It’s not going to happen and even if Orton does start, how effective can he be on a bum ankle? About as effective as he was last year for the Bears on a bum ankle? The Chargers are hot, have revenge on their minds and are eyeing sole possession of first place in the AFC West. Plus, Philip Rivers is playing just as well as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Kurt Warner. I’m taking the Chargers to win outright and to cover.
Odds: Chargers –2.5.
Prediction: Chargers 31, Broncos 16.

Redskins (3-6) at Cowboys (6-3), 1:00PM ET
Now that the Cowboys have once again established that they’re still the same inconsistent team under Wade Phillips as they’ve always been, I’m wondering if the Redskins can pull off a huge upset this week in Dallas. Then again, without the brutal play of Chris Simms’ aiding them in victory, I can’t see Washington winning this weekend. In fact, I see this game being a blow out since the Redskins will once again be without running back Clinton Portis and Albert Haynesworth is doubtful to play as well. The Redskins have shown the ability to stop the pass, but if the Cowboys can control this game with Marion Barber and Felix Jones then Washington doesn’t stand a chance. Dallas’ offense should rebound from its horrid performance last week as long as the ground attack can help set things up for Tony Romo and the passing game. Washington just doesn’t have the players to compete with Dallas for four quarters and given how bad the Redskins’ O-line has played this season, they’re going to have trouble stopping the Cowboys’ solid pass rush.
Odds: Cowboys –11
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Redskins 13.

Falcons (5-4) at Giants (5-4), 1:00PM ET
I would love to predict a victory for my Falcons this Sunday in East Rutherford, but I just don’t see it happening. Michael Turner is out with a high ankle sprain, Matt Ryan is in the midst of a complete funk and the defense can’t stop the run. Throw in the fact that the Giants are at home and should be well rested coming off the bye and I see trouble for Atlanta. Ryan and backups Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood are certainly capable of leading the Falcons to victory this weekend and the road team has won the past seven games in this series. But “Matty Ice” just hasn’t looked like the same player as he did earlier in the year and if he can’t cut down on the turnovers than the Giants will prevail. Since both of these teams are desperate for a win, I envision a tight game throughout. But all the intangibles are in the G-Men’s favor and I see them ending their four-game skid.
Odds: Giants –6.5.
Prediction: Giants 20, Falcons 16.

Eagles (5-4) at Bears (4-5), 8:20PM ET
Looking at both of these teams’ records, one might suggest that they’re both on the same level as one another. But nothing could be further from the truth. Outside of Lance Briggs and the struggling Jay Cutler, the Bears simply don’t have the talent to match up with the other contenders in the NFC Wild Card race – including the Eagles. Matt Forte is a good, young running back but he’s useless thanks to an inept offensive line filled with veterans whose better days are behind them (Orlando Pace, Olin Kreutz), fringe starters (Frank Omiyale, Josh Beekman, Kevin Shaffer) and one underachieving youngster (Chris Williams). The Eagles may be struggling at the moment, but they’ve got better overall talent than the Bears and I think they’ll prove that this Sunday night at Solider Field. Cutler has been brutal in night games (not that necessarily means anything) and continues to think that he has to do everything on his own (which means a lot). If Chicago can’t run the ball (they haven’t all year) then Philadelphia should soundly beat them on their own turf.
Odds: Eagles –2.5.
Prediction: Eagles 20, Bears 10.

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