Busy with the holiday, and the only games I got to see this week were Tom Brady stomping the 49ers under the Santa Clara drizzle, and...
... our mighty bandwagon continuing its Commitment to Excellence!
So let's just go straight into Pick 'Ems
San Diego at Houston: Even though Brock Osweiler is so ineffective that Football Outsiders' numbers place him at about the effectiveness of a replacement level QB kneeling down every snap from the shotgun, the Texans are 6-4, largely on the back of their 4th ranked run offense, and their 4th ranked pass defense. They simply smother passing attacks and then make other teams have to beat them at their own ground-and-pound style of football. San Diego is the exact opposite: they're the 5th ranked pass attack and the 5th ranked run defense. The two have this in common: these approaches bring them wins at home, but they're both 1-4 on the road. Since Houston is at home, I'm picking them here.
Jacksonville at Buffalo: The best 2-win team ever hits the road looking for win number 3. Both teams are building up some impressively long injury reports, but Shady is expected to start and that's pretty much all that matters on the Bills' side. No matter. This is the week the Jaguars passing game starts to come alive. You just wait. Jacksonville.
Carolina at Oakland: Start saying it with me: Derek Carr, "MVP". With the Raiders currently sitting at 8-2 and gearing up to chase that first round bye position, it's a discussion that's going to start heating up. This week, last year's MVP comes to town, with a team that has picked itself up off the mat and gotten to 4-6 thanks to wins in 3 of the last 4. Cam is still dangerous, but there's no stopping the pride of Fresno. TOUCHDOWN, RRRRRRRAAAIIIIDDDERRRRSSS!!
Kansas City at Denver: In a year of, let's face it, not the best football, the AFC West is a lone shining beacon of actual competition. KC and Denver are both 7-3 and yet they're looking up at the 8-2 Raiders, making these head-to-head divisional contests almost playoff level games. Denver continues to get as much as it can out of Siemian, who is "dealing with discomfort in his shoulder" (you have to switch hands sometimes, dude). Denver's been kind of turnover happy lately, which plays well for KC, because they really don't rank all that highly in any phase of the game except for their #1 turnover differential. Still, both teams have been much sounder at home than on the road, so I'll take the home team Denver this time. Especially after KC lost to a bunch of Aguayo field goals last week, WTF.
Green Bay at Philadelphia: Well, so much for thinking the Packers couldn't slide further. A week after Tennessee threw 47 points up on them, Washington dropped 42. This is a team in free-fall, going into the 3rd game of a 3-game road trip. Philly's hot start petered out, but they've been trading wins and losses in competitive games. Green Bay still has a powerful passing game and a high ranked run defense, and their shoddy pass defense might not be something Philly is in position to exploit. If Green Bay loses their 5th straight, it could actually put the Mike McCarthy regime at risk. So I'm probably doubling down on last week's mistake, but give me Green Bay to at least clamp the artery.
Week 11 Results
Certis: 4-1 oh god no
Rat Boy: 3-2
Season to Date
Rat Boy: 28-26
Running Man: 14-10