FRIDAY AFTERNOON QUARTERBACK: NFL WEEK 11
Our Week 11 opened up with a funeral, as the Green Bay Packers saw any chance of a late playoff run freeze to death on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field when the Tennessee Titans rolled in, and rolled over them to the tune of 27-17 in a game that never even felt that close.
Ryan Tannehill looked sharp and not injured at all, completing 22 of 27 for 333 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Derrick Henry rushed 28 times for 87 yards and Treylon Burks showed up big, catching seven passes for 111 yards.
The Pack couldn’t run the ball and Aaron Rodgers was relatively pedestrian, throwing for 227 yards and two touchdowns. The good news for A-Rod is, with all the extra time off this January, he can do more research into psychedelics and mud eating.
As for the rest of us, we have 11 more Sunday afternoon games to pick and the odds, lines and totals with which to make some magic happen.
Byes: Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (-13, O/U: 41)
The Baltimore Ravens better make the most of this chance to beat a Baker Mayfield led team when they host Carolina. He’ll likely be out of the NFL in a couple of seasons and working a Fox Sports College Football desk. Ravens 34, Panthers 16
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT BUFFALO BILLS (-8.5, O/U: 42)
Thanks to the Storm of the Century, including, and I promise this is true, “thunder snow,” which should 100 percent be a new power Chris Hemsworth unleashes in the next Thor movie, this game has been moved to Detroit. I’m not sure Josh Allen should still be playing with his sprained UCL, but they tossed him out there last week, for whatever good it did. The good news for Buffalo, even banged up, is that Cleveland is just trying to sim to Week 13 and unleash the most knotted up, Charlie horsed Deshaun Watson that has ever walked the earth. Bills 27, Browns 17
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (+6.5, O/U: 44)
The Eagles lost their first game of the season a week ago while Indianapolis picked up its first win for its new head coach, Jeff Saturday. I can tell you now, as funny as it was for Saturday, who had never coached NFL football before, to beat Josh McDaniels and the Las Vegas Raiders last week, nothing would be more hilarious that Saturday starting 2-0, winning against a team that looked all but unstoppable two weeks ago. I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’m ready to find the joy if it does. Eagles 31, Colts 13
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS (+3, O/U: 41)
Don’t look now, but the Commanders could be posting a winning record halfway through November with their back up, Tyler Heinicke, leading the way. The irony of that is two-fold, as Heinicke has been o the roster for three season and been the best QB on it for all of them and, secondly, if Washington does come out of Sunday 6-5, they’ll still have the worst record in the NFC East. Commanders 24, Texans 17
NEW YORK JETS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-3, O/U: 38)
The choice is clear for the Jets this Sunday, they can knock off the Patriots and prove they’re a true AFC playoff contender, or drop a game to Mac Jones and an offense called by Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. This is their Rubicon, but, more than that, it’s a chance to give all the rest of us a break with the Pats. New York, please put us all out of our New England misery. Jets 23, Patriots 20
DETROIT LIONS AT NEW YORK GIANTS (-3, O/U: 45)
Speaking of New York misery, there is none in Giant land. Yes, atop the beanstalk everything is aces. Now, Detroit comes in with two straight wins trying to steal a golden goose or, at least keep Dan Campbell employed through the Holidays. Frankly, I don’t think the stalk can hold Campbell at this point. Giants 27, Lions 20
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3.5, O/U: 39)
This is it. The Rams’ postseason hopes come down to this game. Win, and you’re still alive even if you get curb stomped by the Kansas City Chiefs next week. Lose, and, well, Detroit is getting a solid draft pick. The good news for LA is that Andy Dalton remains the starter in New Orleans and that’s worked out pretty well for every other team the Saints have played. Rams 26, Saints 13
CHICAGO BEARS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (-3, O/U: 49)
Justin Fields is emerging as a legitimate professional quarterback before our eyes. The same eyes that watched Marcus Mariota make the dumbest throw in recent NFL history last week from his back on the turf. I feel like these QB trajectories might matter. Bears 20, Falcons 17
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT DENVER BRONCOS (-2.5, O/U: 41)
The two worst head coaches in the league meet up in the underperformance bowl, a game so bad and limp that even Cialis won’t be running adds after kickoff. The epic Josh McDaniels vs Nathaniel Hackett meeting of the minds could only be made dumber if Mike McCarthy accidentally stumbled into the stadium looking for the men’s room. Broncos 17, Raiders 14
DALLAS COWBOYS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (+1, O/U: 47.5)
There’s disrespect, then there’s the books making Minnesota give points to the Cowboys at home. Mike McCarthy is still the coach in Dallas, right? And Kevin O’Connell, a guy that’s lost just one game as a coach at any level since Dec. 5, 2021 and won a Super Bowl last February is still running Minnesota as far as I can tell. Vikings 34, Cowboys 23
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+4, O/U: 41)
This isn’t the game that will ensure Mike Tomlin records his first losing record as a head coach, but it should start the grieving process. Cincinnati dropped their season opener to this team. The Bengals responded by looking great every other week, with faceplants in-between. Last week, Cincy had a bye, so if the steak holds, this should be a cakewalk. Bengals 31, Steelers 16
Straight up: 6-9
Against the spread: 9-6
Straight up: 83-66-1
Against the spread: 81-69
Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.