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My Week 11 Picks for the NFC North Division: A Fan’s Opinion
In week 10, I was a perfect 2-0 as both the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears won their games decisively. Rather than taking a moment to gloat however, I will look ahead to the games on tap for the NFC North division in week 11. Here we go.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders:
Being that the Vikings have struggled this season, it would be difficult for me to predict them to win against any team at this juncture. This is especially true after watching them lose 45-7 to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. On the other side, we have the Oakland Raiders, who are currently the only team in their division with a winning record at 5-4. While nothing about either team blows me away, I think the Raiders have enough talent to win against a Vikings' team that has fallen on hard times this year.
Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers:
The Panthers lost to the Tennessee Titans last week while the Detroit Lions came up a bit short in Chicago. With the exception of last week, the Panthers were usually a team that played their opponents pretty close until the late stages of the game. After starting the season at 5-0, the Lions have dropped three of their last four games, so I expect them to come out playing with a sense of urgency. While the Lions are only 2-2 at home, they need to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt. With that being said, Detroit should win this one.
Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
It almost seems unfair to discuss this game because most of us already know what the outcome will be. Even though the Packers' defense has been less than stellar, no has been able to hold their offense in check, which is a big reason as to why they are 9-0. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, have been an up and down team that plays well one week and not so great the next.
The Packers have averaged over 30 points per game and have won every contest by at least six points. While it is too early to starting discussing an undefeated season, they definitely will beat the Buccaneers this week. I'm going on record by saying they will win by at least 10 points.
Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers:
A few weeks ago, the Chargers were sitting pretty at 4-2 while the Bears were at 2-3. Now it seems that the both teams have gone in opposite directions. The Chargers have dropped to 4-5, while the Bears have won four straight, including an impressive 37-13 romp over the Lions last week.
The Bears' offensive line has come a long way since the beginning of the season. They have done a better job of protecting Jay Cutler(notes) and creating running lanes for Matt Forte(notes) as well. The defense has also been a force over the past few weeks, making Chicago a formidable opponent on both sides of the ball.
Despite the trends coming into this game, the final result could go either way with both teams fighting for playoff spots in their conference. While the Chargers have shown the ability to be explosive at times, I see the Bears extending their wining streak to five games.
James Tillman is a resident of the Chicago-land area, who has been an NFL fan for over 20 years. James is also a fan blogger on Yahoo! Sports and NJFFL Dynasty. For interesting discussions about the NFL, NBA and MLB, follow him on Twitter @jtillman9693.
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