Okay, last week wasn’t my best week, but if we’re being honest, nobody was predicting some of the upsets we saw. Miami winning their second straight? Nonsense. The Falcons blowing out the Saints? In what world? And yeah, yet again, I picked against my Raiders, and they let me down… but that changes this week.
Last Week’s Record: 6-7
Overall Record: 92-50
LOCK Record: 6-4
Ryan’s NFL Picks (2019): Week Eleven
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns: Pittsburgh Steelers
For so, so, so many reasons, I wanted to pick the Cleveland Browns. I want them to win, make no mistake, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting hot at the right time. They’ve won four in a row, including most recently, a dominant victory over the Los Angeles Rams. I just don’t have high hopes for Baker Mayfield and company.
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers: Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey is falling behind Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson in the MVP race, so he needs to have a big game. I’d say they’re a lock, but the Falcons just pummeled the New Orleans Saints, so who the hell knows what they’re capable of. I’m picking the Panthers, but don’t be surprised if the Falcons pull off some nonsense.
Dallas Cowboys @ Detroit Lions: Dallas Cowboys
Stupid Detroit Lions should’ve beaten the stupid Chicago Bears last week, but Matthew Stafford had to return to rookie form and get injured. Hey, at some point, the Dallas Cowboys are going to realize football games are 60 minutes long, right? I feel like they’d probably have the best record in football if they could just figure out how to play immediately after kickoff.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis Colts
I don’t trust this pick at all. I really don’t. The Jags will have Nick Foles back for the first time since the first game of the season, and who knows what that means for their offense? Meanwhile the Colts have slipped out of playoff contention almost overnight with losses against bad teams. I’m picking the Colts right now, but if they drop this one, I might not make that mistake again.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins: Buffalo Bills
Man… Miami’s starting to figure things out, and it’s going to cost them. They’re not in line for the first overall pick anymore, meanwhile Houston and Pittsburgh are crawling towards the playoffs. How come nobody’s giving them the same grief that the Raiders got for trading great young players away to playoff teams? Nonsense.
As for the Bills… this is a must-win game. That seems silly, but the reason they’re still a trendy playoff team is their strength of schedule. You can’t drop games that you should win with relative ease like they did last week. They better win this one, and it better be a blowout.
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore Ravens
This game actually figures to be a lot of fun. Two of the better young quarterbacks in professional football fighting for playoff positioning. Why isn’t this game being flexed to primetime? We have to sit through Bears/Rams in a game that would’ve been great… last season. This was honestly a toss-up, but I went with the hot hand, as the Ravens are on fire right now.
Denver Broncos @ Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota Vikings (LOCK OF THE WEEK)
Man, Minnesota… if you don’t win this one, I don’t know what to tell you. It took me about 30 seconds to remember who was even starting at quarterback for the Broncos, this game is at home, and the Donkeys are such a dumpster fire that they shouldn’t be beating anybody this season.
New York Jets @ Washington Redskins: New York Jets
Gross. People are going to pay money to watch this game in person, and for so, so, so many reasons, I pity them. I’m picking the Jets because at least on paper, they have talent, which is more than I can say for the most mismanaged franchise in professional sports.
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: New Orleans Saints
Man, I feel bad for Tampa Bay. Their secondary is atrocious and consistently getting worse, and now they have to face a Saints team that overlooked the Atlanta Falcons last week. They’ll be angry, they’ll be well-prepared, and they’ll run up the score on the Bucs.
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco 49ers
There ya go, Jimmy G. Back to cute little bite-sized fluff teams that make you feel like a good quarterback. Nobody needs to remind you about how you basically lost the Seahawks game by yourself on several occasions, just keep beating up on sub .500 teams.
After all… the rest of your schedule isn’t as easy.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders: Oakland Raiders
Y’all ready? Because after 10 weeks, I’m finally picking my Oakland Raiders, at home, on a long week, against a winless team, and we’re gonna lose. I’ve been a Raiders fan for long enough to know that just when things start getting good, that’s when the collapse happens. We’re gonna give up like 300 yards to Joe Mixon and Derek Carr’s gonna have one of those games where he sees his own shadow. Bet.
New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles: New England Patriots
This should actually be a really good game. The Patriots got exposed a little bit against the Baltimore Ravens, and the Eagles are an unpredictable team. I’m going with New England because I can’t think of a team I’d rather play less after a loss and a bye than the Patriots. I’m sure there’s a million twitter accounts out there tweeting about how infrequently the Patriots lose consecutive games, so bringing it up would be redundant.
Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles Rams
Gross. This game would’ve been must-see TV a year ago, but now? Neither squad looks half as good as they did in 2018, and it’s hard to figure out what went wrong. Neither quarterback has played well, but that’s not all that’s wrong. Todd Gurley isn’t himself, Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald combine (10) for fewer sacks than the league-leader, Shaq Barrett (11), and Raider rookie Josh Jacobs has more yards than the entire Bears offense.
Something’s gotta give, and I guess I trust Sean McVay’s ability to coach good players more than I trust Mitch Trubisky to wake up on Sunday as an adequate quarterback.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers: Kansas City Chiefs
Please, please, please let the Chargers win this game. I can’t tell you how fantastic it would feel to wake up next Tuesday knowing the Oakland Raiders are alone at first place in the AFC West. But I’m not a dreamer. The Chargers went out and laid an egg against Oakland, they’re not going to be able to knock off Kansas City.
And “playing at home” means absolutely nothing to the Chargers. Sure, the Chiefs aren’t one of the bigger fanbases in football, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they outnumbered Charger faithful on Monday night.