BASN NFL Picks: Week Eleven

By Tony McClean
Updated: November 15, 2007
NFL Sunday TicketNEW HAVEN, Ct. — Call it the week of decision in the NFL. With some interesting divisional games (Redskins-Cowboys, Browns-Ravens) and some even more interesting conference battles (Giants-Lions, Colts-Chiefs), the playoff push is truly beginning in earnest.

And of course, there’s Team Tivo, otherwise known as the Patriots, who will seek to become only the 10th team since 1970 to start a season at 10-0. They’ll travel to Buffalo to take on a team on a roll of their own.

The Bills are tied with the Green Bay Packers for the league’s second-longest win streak, winning their past four games. The Patriots will roll into Buffalo with this season’s longest win streak, nine games.
We’ll get to that just a bit later. We have all of this and the Turkey Day games just around the corner.

When the Carolina Panthers play at the Green Bay Packers this Sunday, history can be made. If Panthers QB Vinny Testaverde (44 years, 5 days old on Sunday) starts against Packers QB Brett Favre (38 years, 39 days old on Sunday), they would combine for the oldest starting QB duo in history (82 years, 44 days).

Prior to Adrian Peterson’s record-setting day, which opposing player had the most rushing yards in a single game against the Chargers?
A. Priest Holmes
B. Eric Dickerson
C. Terrell Davis
D. Curt Warner
(Answer comes at the end of this column).

LAST WEEK: 8-6 (78-50)
Considering some of last week’s upsets (Rams over Saints; Broncos over Chiefs), this wasn’t a bad week. We took a chance on the Giants at home at the Boys from Motown on road (again!!!!!) and got burned badly. However, we did have the Jags, Chargers, and Bears.

Isn’t it kinda weird that it’s taken over a half of a season before the Cowboys and Redskins have met. While conspiracy theorists in D.C. mull over that, you can’t deny justy how Dallas as distanced themselves with their division foes. They can improve to 4-0 in the NFC East and put a stranglehold on the division race if they win Sunday. The Skins lost an unexpected shootout at home to Philly last week and just haven’t been playing well the last few weeks. I think they’ll keep it close, but it just seems like Tony Romo will find a way to pull it out.
Pick: Cowboys.

I know Payton Manning did his best Rex Grossman impersonation last Sunday night, but I just don’t know how the Bolts pulled that game out last week. Meanwhile, the Jags got an important road win at Tennessee last week to put themselves back in the playoff picture. David Garrard will likely be back under center for Jacksonville Sunday. Since the beginning of October, San Diego has outscored their opponents 144-83 while winning four of their last five games. I think they may be starting to peak.
Pick: Chargers.

Playoff preview or elimination game? That’s what’s facing these two 6-3 teams who are both coming off bitter losses. Like a maroon, I placed my faith in the Boys of Motown on the road and well, you know what happened. I also thought Big Blue was ready to change the endings to their second half starts and well, you know what happened. Now they both play each other in a game that has both jockeying for possible playoff positions. I’ll got with my first instinct and not pick the Lions for the second straight week. If they win, don’t blame me.
Pick: Giants.

They lost their previous meeting against the Pats 38-7. They’ll likely be playing without their standout rookie running back Marshawn Lynch. They’re more than two touchdown underdogs at home to a team that’s on pace to score 631 points and looking to improve to 10-0. So, why the hell do I think the Bills can pull this upset off. Because the football gods owe them big time from that debacle against Dallas. And I’m one to believe that the football gods will reward this team from that disappointment. Oh, guys, by the way. Do one thing for me? SCORE AN OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWN!!!
Pick: Bills.

Vince Young’s offensive slump finally came back to bite Tennessee in the butt last week in their home loss to Jacksonville. Running for a season low 62 yards as a team didn’t help either. However, they’ll face a Denver team whose defense ranks second-to-last in run defense. They did shutdown K.C. and Larry Johnson last week at Arrowhead. While I know that they always seem to play better at home, I think the Titans are looking to bounce back on both sides of the line after being smacked in the mouth by the Jags last week.
Pick: Titans.

Colts over Chiefs: Losing Dwight Freeney will hurt, but the Horseshoes won’t lose three straight.
Steelers over Jets: The Black & Gold may be the league’s most versatile team.
Browns over Ravens: Romeo’s boys bounce back hard against the ex-Browns.
Eagles over Dolphins: He won’t get enough votes, but Brian Westbrook should be mentioned in the MVP race.
Bears over Seahawks: Can “Sexy Rexy” save Chi-Town’s season? Stay tuned……
Packers over Panthers: One more slight detail before the Detroit and Dallas express begins.
Bucs over Falcons: Sorry, I just don’t think the Dirty Birds can win three straight.
Saints over Texans: Will the real New Orleans team please show up this week? I sure hope so!!
Rams over 49ers: Only because it’s on the schedule.
Raiders over Vikings: Without “All Day” playing, this game is as interesting as eating plain rice cakes.
Cardinals over Bengals: As a courtesy to the 12 folks at this game, dress warmly.
A. On November 4, 2001, Kansas City’s Priest Holmes ran for 181 yards in a 25-20 win at Arrowhead Stadium.