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BASN NFL Picks: Week 11
By Tony McClean
Updated: November 16, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — If it’s November, it must be time for things to start heating up in the NFL. This weekend should be no exception.
With divisional games like Chargers-Broncos along inter conference games like Colts-Cowboys, Bengals-Saints, and Giants-Jags, we’ll probably see some more separation between the contenders and pretenders this weekend.
We’ll likely see more close games as well. Twelve of the 15 NFL games last Sunday were decided by eight points or less, tying Sunday of Week 17 in 2004 for the most such games on a single day since the league initiated the two-point conversion in 1994.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
Through the first nine games of the season, the 2006 NFL draft class is accounting for scrimmage yards at a record pace. Currently, there are nine rookies within reach of 1,000 scrimmage yards (at least 400 yards rushing and receiving) for the season. The record for most rookies with 1,000 scrimmage yards in a season is five, in 1980, 1981 and 1995.
Baltimore’s Steve McNair threw for 374 in the Ravens’ 27-26 comeback victory against the Titans. Who holds the Ravens’ record for the most passing yards in one game?
A. Tony Banks
B. Elvis Grbac
C. Trent Dilfer
D. Vinny Testaverde
(The answer comes at the end of the column).
LAST WEEK: 6-10 (82-58 overall)
Looks like we got a bit too upset happy last week and it cost us big time. Almost pulled out the Bills at Colts — however, close but no cigar. Not mention completely getting drilled by the Cardinals, Patriots, Chiefs, Rams, and Falcons. We had to sweat it out with the Chargers, but we also hit on the Bears and Panthers in the national games.
***image7***FALCONS at RAVENS
Believe it or not, Sunday will be the first time that QBs Michael Vick and Steve McNair will meet each other in a regular season game. While “Air” is coming off another comeback, the Dirty Birds and No. 7 got derailed by the Browns last week. If Baltimore wins, it will be their fourth straight straight win and longest win streak since winning the final seven regular season games en route to their Super Bowl title in 2000. With DE Patrick Kerney out for the season, don’t be surprised if Jamal Lewis becomes the focal point for the Ravens come Sunday.
TITANS at EAGLES
Philly looks to keep pace with the Giants as Vince Young and Tennessee come calling. Watching McNabb and VY Sunday will be like watching mirror images. Both were chosen No. 3 overall in their respective drafts, however Vince has already started as many games as McNabb did during his entire 1999 rookie season. The Eagles may be righting their ship just in time. Philadelphia’s defense has not allowed a touchdown in two of its past three games. Tennessee may not win, but they’ll likely keep this close. Three of their last five games have been decided by three points or less
BEARS at JETS
Two teams coming off huge road wins battle in the Meadowlands. Da Bears overcame a slow start and proceeded to pummel the Giants while Gang Green put themselves back in the AFC playoff picture with a win at soggy Foxboro. More and more, it’s looking the like the NFC road to Miami will lead through the Windy City. However, Lovie’s crew can’t take this one lightly. Eric Mangini has the Jets playing well and believing in themselves. While they could make things difficult for Chi-Town, I still think the Bears have enough to overcome it.
COLTS at COWBOYS
Make it 9-0 for the Horseshoes and Tony Dungy as they survived a scare from the upstart Bills. If you listen to anyone in Indy, they feel that they may be more prepared for the long haul this season. In fact, seven of their victories this year have come by seven points or fewer. And they won big games on the road as well. This week will be a challenge as well as Tony Romo (pictured) continues to impress for the Tuna Helpers. Can Dallas pull off the upset and keep their playoff hopes intact. Knowing that Dallas needs this one a little bit more than Indy, we’ll go with the home team.
CHARGERS at BRONCOS
They’ll see each other twice over the next four weeks and this first battle should be a doozy. The Bolts had a comeback in Cincy last week that would’ve made John Hadl, Dan Fouts, and all the old Chargers proud. But they’ll need to regroup fast, especially against a team that has own them in recent years. San Diego has lost six straight in Denver and 10 of the last 11 visits. The Broncos struggled with Da Raidahs last week, and it will probably be close for them again. But until Marty and the boys can prove that they can win in Denver, you have to go with the Broncos.
GIANTS at JAGUARS
Once upon a time, Tom Coughlin was face on the Jaguars. He helped lead them to the AFC Championship Game twice, finishing with a 68-60 record. Ol’ Blood N’ Guts makes his first trip back to Jacksonville since being fired in 2002. He comes in with his team still licking their wounds from last week’s showdown with the Bears. The Jags are also trying to figure out how they lost to Houston for the second time this season last week. While the Giants are still atop the NFC East, Jacksonville is fighting for its season. A desperate team? At home? On a Monday night? Sounds like the Jags to me.
Panthers over Rams: St. Loo will likely keep it close, but Carolina should hold on for the win.
Bucs over Redskins: Jason Campbell finds out quickly just how bad this offensive line really is.
Saints over Bengals: The Bayou Boys bounce back by bouncing on Cincy.
Dolphins over Vikings: Where was this effort back in September??
Steelers over Browns: Two teams just waiting to prepare for the draft.
Chiefs over Raiders: A perfect way to get Trent Green back into the offense.
Patriots over Packers: Sorry, Cheeseheads. New England won’t lose three straight.
Lions over Cardinals: The lesser of two evils pick.
Texans over Bills: I’m sorry, I got nothin’ for this game…..Absolutely nothin’……
Seahawks over 49ers: With Shaun Alexander slated to return, this could be a rout.
TRIVIA ANSWER: D. Against the Rams on October 27, 1996, Vinny Testaverde threw for a team record 429 yards in a 37-31 overtime victory against St. Louis. The 1986 Heisman Trophy winner joined his sixth team (Bucs, Browns, Ravens, Jets, Cowboys) when he was signed as a backup earlier this week by the Patriots.