Week 11 includes some potential division deciding matchups, and just maybe… the most anticipated game of the NFL season.
Houston Texans at Washington Redskins:
Both of these division leaders must win this week as they hold onto first place by slim leads.
The Houston Texans are on fire after a slow start, they’ve won six games in a row and hold sole possession of the AFC south. But, with the Titans winning over New England last week, the Texans have no room for error.
Houston has the advantage of coming off a bye week to face Washington. The extra week off should allow this up and down team to take a look at where they are. The Texans need consistency, and after barley winning over Denver it looks like they don’t have it yet.
The Redskins lead a terrible division by only two games over the Dallas Cowboys. Washington has perfected an old school playing style in a new school game.
Quarterback Alex Smith limits his number of throws and takes care of the football. While Adrian Peterson keeps the ball moving in the ground game. The approach seems to be slow and steady wins the race in Washington this season.
Both of these teams have played slightly above average this season, with slightly above average quarterback play. Houston has the better weapons offensively, but the Washington defense has been stout all season. This game has an important outcome for playoff seeding and is a must watch this week.
Prediction: Houston 24 Washington 16
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears: Sunday Night Football
These two will play each other again after the contest this week, and possibly even a third time if both make the playoffs.
The Vikings have been treading water all season, hoping to sneak into a playoff spot and turn on the burners from there. Dalvin Cook only returned a few weeks ago, giving backup Latavius Murray reps that normally he wouldn’t see.
Kirk Cousins’ first season with the team has been disappointing record-wise for the Vikings, but he ranks seventh in the league in passing yardage and holds a respectable 17:5 touchdown to interception ratio.
The big blow for the Vikings was losing Stefan Diggs rioght after Dalvin Cook returned to the team. Diggs has been the power behind the finesse of fellow wideout Adam Thielen this season.
The Bears continue to exceed expectations this season. Second year quarterback Mitch Trubisky has proven that he is the guy Chicago should build their team around offensively.
The reason for the sudden outburst of points from the Bears as of late is due to the emergence of Allen Robinson. Robinson was touchdown-or-bust for the first few weeks of the season, before suffering a minor injury. But in his return last week the former Jaguar broke out for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Both Robinson and Diggs expect to play in this matchup, making the passing game pivotal in this contest. It’ll be up to two defenses that have been painfully inconsistent to stop one of these potentially explosive offenses.
Prediction: Bears 28 – Vikings 26
Kansas City Chiefs at L.A. Rams: Monday Night Football
This might be the most anticipated — and entertaining — game of the entire 2018 NFL season. Two powerhouse offenses face off in a battle between conferences for the best record in the NFL.
The Rams are 9-1 with their only loss coming to the Saints two weeks ago in what was a possible NFC Championship game preview. It’s difficult to find any issues with this L.A. team, they have performed almost perfectly so far this season.
The Rams have dominated the run game with the unstoppable force of Todd Gurley. Gurley is currently on pace to score more than 20 touchdowns this season, only a few off from the record LaDainian Tomlinson set in 2006.
The passing game for L.A. has blossomed along with the development of Jared Goff. The Rams acquired Brandon Cooks as a deep threat and the supporting committee has stepped up. This team may be one veteran receiver away (Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Dez Bryant) from an undefeated season next year.
The Chiefs have had similar success behind their young quarterback this season. Patrick Mahomes is just ahead of Goff in passing yards and touchdowns this season. But the Chiefs offense has slowed down as of late.
Running back Kareem Hunt has been able to take some of the load off of Mahomes for the offense, but a weak offensive line has plagued the ground game for Kansas City. Fortunately for them, Mahomes is quick on his feet and a natural at expanding the pocket with his legs.
By acquiring Sammy Watkins to compliment Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs offense has added a new dynamic in the passing game that could open up the rushing attack for Hunt.
Both these teams are at the top of their conferences, and nothing is stopping this game from being a classic “Anything you can do I can do better” game for each offense.
Prediction: Rams 42 – Chiefs 35
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