2022-11-16 · 7 min read · NFL/Football
NFL Buffalo Bills

Yahoo Sports | Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

The NFL made history last week, playing in Germany for the first time, while we saw a series of comebacks which captured the headlines over the weekend and a big upset on Monday Night Football.
Thanks to a 32-21 victory by the Washington Commanders over the Philadelphia Eagles, everybody has at least one loss this season, so the 1972 Miami Dolphins can pop the champagne as they will remain the only unbeaten Super Bowl winner for at least another year.
Looking ahead to Week 11, we have several divisional matchups that could significantly impact the playoff picture as the season rolls along.
Here is a look at this week's matchups and my predictions.
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers
Tennessee has been doing just enough to get by, scoring under 20 points in four straight games but only allowing more than 10 points once over that stretch.
Ryan Tannehill threw a pair of touchdowns last week, but the AFC South leaders are a run-first, second and sometimes even third offense, and they have a running back who can shoulder plenty of work in Derrick Henry, who is second in rushing yards with 923.
Perhaps all Aaron Rodgers needed to get his game on track was to face his former coach Mike McCarthy with the Packers QB looking much more like the MVP from 2021, bringing his team back from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Dallas Cowboys in overtime.
The running game with Aaron Jones was sharp, but Matt LaFleur's secondary has come up big all season, and they were there to stop the Cowboys when needed in the final quarter plus OT.
  • Prediction- Tennessee Titans 14-17 Green Bay Packers
Matt LaFleur's team is money in prime-time games with a .900 winning percentage since he became the coach and the newfound confidence of Rodgers plus a struggling passing attack in Tennessee has me leaning towards Green Bay to win two in a row.
New York Jets at New England Patriots
Fresh off one of his best performances as a quarterback, Zach Wilson has a shot at redemption as he takes on a Patriots team that picked him off three times at the end of October.
Given Robert Saleh's defensive expertise, it is perhaps no surprise to see the Jets as one of the top defensive units in the league, currently ranked fifth, with CJ Mosley fifth in the NFL regarding tackles with 88.
The Patriots are starting to string together some strong performances, winning back-to-back contests, but still last in the AFC East with a record of 5-4.
In their last encounter against the Colts, they gave Sam Ehlinger fits, sacking him nine times, three of which came courtesy of Matthew Judon, who leads the league with 11.
  • Prediction- New York Jets 20-23 New England Patriots
Bill Belichick is 53-5 in home games against opposing quarterbacks playing in their first or second NFL season, and I expect Wilson will try to overcompensate for his previous poor outing against the Pats, which New England's defense should take advantage of.
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
The Raiders and Broncos came into 2022 with plenty of hope for a turnaround, each adding an offensive guru and some big-name weapons.
Both have been disappointing as the Raiders D gave up 147 yards on the ground to Jonathan Taylor last week, while they allowed over 400 yards of total offense for a second consecutive week.
Over in Broncos country, Denver has scored 10 points or less in two of their last three games, losing 17-10 at Tennessee on Sunday.
Their defense keeps them in ball games, allowing the second-fewest yards per game (290.4), while they haven't been able to get the ground game going all year, ranked 27th in rushing.
  • Prediction- Las Vegas Raiders 14- Denver Broncos 20
Outside of Davante Adams, no one has helped out Derek Carr in the passing game, as the Raiders QB has only thrown for 300 yards or more once all season, and I expect the Broncos' defensive unit to confuse him with some tremendous disguised coverages.
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
It was not the return to Green Bay that Mike McCarthy was hoping for as his Cowboys gave up a 14-point lead to lose at Lambeau, dropping their record to 6-3.
Their formidable defensive line was held in check against the Packers, with just two sacks on Aaron Rodgers, but they still lead the league in team sacks with 35.
Speaking of comebacks, the Minnesota Vikings had quite the fourth quarter in Buffalo last Sunday as Kirk Cousins finished with 357 yards passing and a touchdown, while Justin Jefferson had 10 grabs for 193 yards and a score.
The Vikings are 8-1 and running away with the NFC North division, having beaten some tough AFC teams this year in Buffalo and Miami.
  • Prediction- Dallas Cowboys 24-27 Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings' passing attack is on fire, and while Cousins still makes mistakes, when you have receivers like Jefferson to depend on, all you need is a big play or two to win.
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
Chicago has the best running attack in the NFL, led by Michael Vick 2.0, AKA Justin Fields, who has 325 rushing yards in his last two games, though the Bears don't have much else, ranked 24th defensively with the worst passing attack in the league.
If there's one team, they could move the ball against Atlanta might be it as Arthur Smith's squad is the worst defensive unit in the league, allowing the third-most points in the NFC.
  • Prediction- Chicago Bears 26-23 Atlanta Falcons
These are two of the best running attacks in the NFL, but overall, Chicago is a little bit better at defending the pass, so we'll give them the edge.
Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens
Fresh off a bye week, the Ravens aim to pad their lead atop the AFC North, as Lamar Jackson has been a one-man wrecking crew for Baltimore on the ground, with the Ravens third in the NFL for rushing, but struggling through the air, seeded 28th in the passing game.
The Panthers are 0-4 away from home but coming off a big victory against the Falcons last Thursday (25-15), with D'Onta Foreman rushing for 130 yards on 31 carries.
  • Prediction- Carolina Panthers 20-35 Baltimore Ravens
Both teams can run the ball effectively, but the Ravens' depth at that position is stronger than Carolina’s, and defensively Baltimore has improved since acquiring Roaquan Smith, whereas the Panthers have not proven they can make stops at critical junctures.
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
Cleveland's offense took a step backwards last Sunday against the Dolphins, losing 39-17 with their pass defense allowing a QB rating of 135.1 to Tua Tagovailoa, and an overall rating of 98.4 to opposing QBs in 2022.
Buffalo has lost two in a row as Josh Allen has not looked like himself, tossing two interceptions in an OT loss to the Minnesota Vikings, as they currently find themselves in a heated race for the division title in the AFC East.
  • Prediction- Cleveland Browns 21-37 Buffalo Bills
There are too many receiving weapons that Cleveland will have to contend with in the passing game against the Bills, so I expect Stefon Diggs to have a big outing and Allen to clean up his poor throws against a weak secondary.
Washington Commanders at Houston Texans
After beating the best team in football, the Washington Commanders will take on the NFL's worst this weekend, with Taylor Heinicke losing only once as a starter.
If their record isn't clear enough to outsiders that the Texans' season has been brutal, the stats back up that claim, as Lovie Smith's team is 25th in passing, 28th in rushing, 25th in team defense and 30th offensively which should tell you all you need to know about Houston in 2022.
  • Prediction- Washington Commanders 27-20 Houston Texans
Heinicke has been smarter with his decision-making, whereas Davis Mills has forced many throws down the field and outside of Dameon Pierce; the Texans have been dismal.
Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts
The Eagles are no longer perfect, losing on Monday night, as poor decisions killed them against the Commanders, with four turnovers, one more than they had before that encounter.
Jeff Saturday's first game as interim Colts coach was a success as the running game, ranked 21st in the NFL, came to life, with Jonathan Taylor racking up 147 yards on the ground, while Matt Ryan looked more like the calm, cool and collected QB we remember from years ago in Atlanta, completing 21 of his 28 passes, without an interception.
  • Prediction- Philadelphia Eagles 24-17 Indianapolis Colts
Finding those holes against the third ranked defensive unit in Philadelphia will not be easy for Indy this weekend, while Jalen Hurts rarely repeats a poor performance in consecutive games.
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints
The Rams' offense was already a mess before losing to the Cardinals last weekend and things have gone from bad to worse.
Playing without Cooper Kupp will make them that much more ordinary, as Matthew Stafford has not been nearly as accurate in 2022, while he struggles when facing pressure and might not even be available because of concussion protocol, putting a lot of pressure on John Wolford.
New Orleans is the fifth-ranked offense in the NFL; however, lately, Andy Dalton and company have struggled to finish their drives, averaging 11.5 points in back-to-back losses.
  • Prediction- Los Angeles Rams 14- 21 New Orleans Saints
Even with Kupp in the lineup, the reigning Super Bowl champions have had a hard time moving the ball, while their running game has been invisible.
The Saints have not been that much better, but there are some dependable game-breakers like Alvin Kamara who could make the difference in this one.
Detroit Lions at New York Giants
The Lions' defense struggled against the run last week but managed to get the job done as Jared Goff threw for 206 yards in the second consecutive victory for the second-worst defensive unit in the NFL.
The Giants look rejuvenated in 2022, second in the NFC East with a 7-2 record, while Saquon Barkley is finally living up to expectations, leading the league with 931 yards on the ground, 152 of which came against the Texans last week.
  • Prediction- Detroit Lions 25-35 New York Giants
The Lions have made strides; however, they have not shown they can slow down opposing offenses consistently this season, and Goff could be under a lot of pressure to score points time and again this weekend.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati is fresh off a bye week, scoring 42 points to defeat the Carolina Panthers, improving to 5-4 this season.
Joe Burrow has completed over 70% of his passes for a rating of 102.6 in 2022.
The Steelers' pass defense stepped up last Sunday, picking off Saints quarterback Andy Dalton twice and allowing a passer rating of 62.9.
  • Prediction- Cincinnati Bengals 24-14 Pittsburgh Steelers
Burrow is tough enough to contend with when he takes sacks, but he should have a lot more time to find open receivers in this game, as the Steelers have only tackled the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage 17 times all year.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers
Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes in a victory against the Jaguars as the AFC West-leading Chiefs continue to cause headaches for opposing defenses, with Mahomes leading the league in TD passes (25) and KC second in the passing game this year and third in overall offense.
Justin Herbert and the Chargers' offense have been anything but sparkling this season, but their secondary has been exceptional at covering tight ends, with an 82.5 rating allowed in 2022 against those big pass catchers.
  • Prediction Kansas City Chiefs 33-26 Los Angeles Chargers
LA have a physical pass coverage which could make it difficult for Travis Kelce to get open, but Mahomes has shown he doesn't need to rely on one or two guys to move the ball and score points.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
The 2022 edition of the 49ers has been about grinding it out, with two dependable backs in Christian McCaffrey and Eli Mitchell, combining for 127 yards on 32 carries, while their defense does the rest, allowing a league-low 280.6 yards per game.
The way they Arizona defeated the Rams was perhaps the most shocking, as their 27th-ranked defense allowed under 200 yards through the air (190).
They picked off John Wolford once and most impressively held arguably the best receiver in the game today, Cooper Kupp, to just three catches for -1 yards.
  • Prediction San Francisco 49ers 27-17 Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals, across the board, improved defensively last week, but they were playing against a backup QB and one of the worst rushing attacks in the league.
San Francisco, on the other hand, will present a much more formidable challenge to their run stoppers, with the Cards are already allowing an average of 4.5 yards per carry to running backs this year, and the Niners' ground game is likely to be a decisive factor in the sweltering heat of Estadio Azteca.
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By: Joel Lefevre


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