Sports

Week 11 preview

Falcons at Bucs

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Atlanta (2-7, 0-4 away), Tampa Bay (1-8, 1-4 home)

Line: Even; O/U: 43.5

Synopsis: Tampa finally got its first win last week, and now faces a two-win team that has lost its last three games by a combined 61 points. But TB is minus its top two RBs for the rest of the year. The Falcons’ ground game is atrocious, but at least the ‘D’ hopes to have LB Sean Weatherspoon back for the first time since Week 2. Flip a coin.

Pick: Bucs 20-17

Jets at Bills

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: New York (5-4, 1-3 away), Buffalo (3-7, 2-3 home)

Line: BUF by 1; O/U: 41

Synopsis: NY comes off a bye after impressive home win vs. New Orleans, now will unleash its No. 1 rush defense vs. a team that likes to run. BUF is without its two key receivers, Stevie Johnson (groin) and Robert Woods (ankle). NY is just 1-3 on the road but gets back WR Santonio Holmes. Bills have lost five of six and were held to 227 yards last week.

Pick: Jets 17-13

Lions at Steelers

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Detroit (6-3, 3-2 away), Pittsburgh (3-6, 2-2 home)

Line: DET by 2 1/2; O/U: 45 1/2

Synopsis: DET loves to throw, with the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson combo rolling. Although PIT ranks No. 4 in pass ‘D,’ its secondary is banged up, and complicating matters for the Steelers is that they score just 19.9 points a game, No. 25 in the NFL, and guard Ramon Foster (ankle) is unlikely to be able to play.

Pick: Lions 26-20

Redskins at Eagles

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Washington (3-6, 1-4 away), Philadelphia (5-5, 0-4 home)

Line: PHI by 4 1/2; O/U: 52 1/2

Synopsis: PHI has won two in a row, but those were away games. They have lost their last 10 home contests but get a foe here that’s 1-4 on the road, allowing an average of 37 points in the losses. Eagles QB Nick Foles (10 TD passes, no interceptions in his last two games) will face the NFL’s No. 27 ‘D.’ WAS is No. 5 in offense. Bombs away.

Pick: Eagles 37-27

Ravens at Bears

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Baltimore (4-5, 1-4 away), Chicago (5-4, 3-2 home)

Line: CHI by 3; O/U: 42 1/2

Synopsis: BAL is 30th in rushing but gets a break here vs. a beat-up defense that is No. 30 against the run. CHI has backup QB Josh McCown starting because Jay Cutler is hurt. But McCown looked good earlier in relief, and the Ravens are 1-4 on the road and have a woeful ground game. A rainy, warm (60s) day is forecast.

Pick: Bears 26-20

Browns at Bengals

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Cleveland (4-5, 1-3 away), Cincinnati (6-4, 4-0 home)

Line: CIN by 6; O/U: 41 1/2

Synopsis: CIN comes off consecutive OT losses, but now gets an opponent that struggles offensively and is down to journeyman QB Jason Campbell. The Bengals’ ninth-rated ground game should hum – the Browns have allowed an average of 121 rushing yards in their last three outings. Look for CIN to bounce back.

Pick: Bengals 26-17

Raiders at Texans

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Oakland (3-6, 0-4 away), Houston (2-7, 1-3 home)

Line: HOU by 9 1/2; O/U: 41

Synopsis: Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor is out with a bad knee, so undrafted rookie Matt McGloin will get the call. And teams whose QB makes his first NFL start are 20-48 over the last 7 seasons, 1-4 this year. HOU coach Gary Kubiak, who had a minor stroke Nov. 3, is to call plays from the press box as Texans try to end a 7-game slide.

Pick: Texans 27-13

Cardinals at Jaguars

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Arizona (5-4, 1-3 away), Jacksonville (1-8, 0-4 home)

Line: ARI by 8; O/U: 40 1/2

Synopsis: JAX tries to build off its first win of season (vs. TEN), but its last-ranked offense produced just 214 yards last week and faces AZ’s tough ‘D’ here. Cards’ offense has been better with the emergence of rookie RB Andre Ellington. But can you trust the Cards, on the road, laying more than a TD to the spread?

Pick: Cardinals 23-17

Chargers at Dolphins

Kickoff: 1:05 p.m.

Records: San Diego (4-5, 2-3 away), Miami (4-5, 2-2 home)

Line: SD by 1 1/2; O/U: 45 1/2

Synopsis: MIA still is trying to get past its locker-room turmoil, which has led to an offensive line in disarray as it was overrun by previously winless Tampa Bay on Monday. SD is no bargain here traveling cross country, but in its favor is that QB Philip Rivers is averaging 328 passing yards in five road games, with nine TDs.

Pick: Chargers 24-20

49ers at Saints

Kickoff: 1:25 p.m.

Records: San Francisco (6-3, 3-1 away), New Orleans (7-2, 5-0 home)

Line: NO by 3; O/U: 48

Synopsis: San Francisco’s inconsistent offense (last in passing) faces a tough ‘D’ here that allows just 18.1 points a game, so the key will be how its sixth-rated defense fares against a Drew Brees-led, dynamic Saints attack that averages 35.2 points at home. But SF has a physical defense designed to give offenses like the Saints’ trouble.

Pick: Saints 26-20

Packers at Giants

Kickoff: 1:25 p.m.

Records: Green Bay (5-4, 2-2 away), New York (3-6, 2-2 home)

Line: NYG by 4 1/2; O/U: 41 1/2

Synopsis: Packers QB Scott Tolzien gets his first NFL start, and the offensive line is beat up to face the NFL’s No. 11 defense. GB will try to get RB Eddie Lacy going early, but the Giants allow just 3.7 yards per carry. NY’s offense had been disappointing, but RB Andre Brown (broken leg) played last week for the first time this year, and he ran for 115 yards.

Pick: Giants 24-20

Chiefs at Broncos

Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. (NBC)

Records: Kansas City (9-0, 4-0 away), Denver (8-1, 5-0 home)

Line: DEN by 8; O/U: 49 1/2

Synopsis: Game of the week, as unbeaten KC unleashes a defense that gives up just 12.3 points a game on a DEN attack that averages a league-high 41.2 points. Broncos QB Peyton Manning nurses a sore ankle and operates behind a shaky line, so look for KC to try to tee off. But if KC falls far behind, its meandering offense is likely to finally be exposed.

Pick: Broncos 27-17

Patriots at Panthers

Monday: 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Records: New England (7-2, 2-2 away), Carolina (6-3, 3-1 home)

Line: CAR by 3; O/U: 46

Synopsis: Carolina is ferocious on defense (no worse than No. 5 in the major statistical categories) but gets a good test here as NE’s offense now is healthy, is clicking (37 points per game in its last four) and rested after a bye. CAR, which has a solid ground game, will try to play ball control vs. the NFL’s third-worst run defense.

Pick: Patriots 27-24



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