NGSC Sports

EJ: Week 11 Picks + Strength Of Ten NFL Power Rankings

Typically I do both of these on my podcast throughout the week (Subscribe to Earnestly Speaking Podcast on iTunes by the way) but I decided to change it up this week. Sometimes change is good. It keeps things fresh. That’s partially why I decided this week to no longer do a live radio show and return to my grass roots of podcasting. It also allowed me to get back to more writing. So I present once again my Week 11 picks WITH the spread because well….it’s just more fun this way.


Browns (-3) over Texans

Is this real life? Are the Cleveland Browns not only 6-3 but leading the uber competitive AFC North as we enter mid November? Clearly Bernie Kosar, Webster Slaughter and Earnest Byner are walking through that door right? Seriously, this Browns team is extremely intriguing and isn’t it funny that all of a sudden no one has spoken a word about Johnny Manziel!?!?


Bears (-3) over Vikings

I gave up on Bears weeks ago when I probably should’ve stopped taking them as my NFC Dark Horse for the last 3 seasons. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment or plain stupid but this Chicago collapse has gone from complete comedy to something of almost an annoyance. No team with so much talent on one side of the ball should be underperforming to the degree Jay Cutler and company have. But I must be fair here and put 82% of the blame on that horrid Chi-town defense that would have fellow Chicago alums like Butkus, Singletary and Urlacher ashamed to be associated with this franchise.


Eagles (+6) over Packers 

Two teams I am not completely sold on bigger picture but two teams that seem to have a vendetta against me in trying to prove me wrong.

Ok that’s a LITTLE self serving there I must admit.

In a NFC that right now serves more questions than answers (mostly cause we still don’t know if we trust ‘Zona and Detroit) these teams serve what I call the upper middle card of the NFC and maybe we will get some clarity on just how good the Pack really is and whether Chip Kelly really can rehab the Sanchise for a 3rd week (2nd start).

FYI…an over/under at 55 POINTS!?!?!? That’s a steal. Wayyyy over!!


Seahawks (+2) over Chiefs 

This is in no way a disrespect to Andy Reid’s fun bunch and their sorta-kinda-not really 6-3 record but I still think Seattle starts to turn things around heavy in their favor even as they are currently riding a 3 game winning streak. Home field advantage matters to them and they should smell blood knowing that Carson Palmer (Arizona QB) is done for the season and   5 divisional match ups on the horizon to make a point across to the rest of the NFC West.


Falcons (-1) over Panthers

You know what’s really sad? Despite both teams sitting at 3-6 (ok Carolina also has that “tie” attached) both team actually sit a game behind New Orleans for the division lead with quite a bit of football to be played.


Bengals (+7) over Saints
Remember once upon a time in September when I dubbed Cincy one of the 3 elite teams in the league? Yeeeaah about that.
A battle of the 2014 Underachieving bowl. Oh and can Andy Dalton look any worse this week as an encore!?!?


Bucs (+7) over Redskins
The only thing interesting about this game is whether RG3 can get back to playing consistent football and convince the Washington brass that he is indeed their future. Otherwise….UNWATCHABLE!!


Rams (+9.5) over Broncos
Shawn Hill is back at quarterback for St. Louis which honestly means nothing but it is worth noting that the Rams are the most dangerous spoiler in the league. Don’t see them winning here as Denver has probably prioritized running the table the rest of the year out to virtually guarantee themselves home field advantage. Expect a somewhat sneaky competitive game.


Giants (+4) over 49ers

Is this where we see the desperate Niner team show its ugly head? Their margin of error has officially shrunk but there is reason to believe that they may go on an end season run as they welcome back Aldon Smith into the lineup. One problem: LB Patrick Willis officially on IR for the season AND with the Giants getting versatile RB Rashad Jennings back into the lineup this smells like an upset in the making.


Chargers (-10) over Raiders

Normally I’d like Oakland to keep this game competitive but given that the Bolts are coming off a bye and starting to get healthy, I see Rivers and company taking care of business.


Lions (+1) over Cardinals

Still strange to imagine if the season ended today both these teams would earn 1st round byes. Totally unlike their recent and long term history of these two franchises. Arizona’s schedule is brutal the rest of the way and without Carson Palmer there’s no telling which direction this team will go the rest of November. But it will be an interesting watch.


Patriots (+3) over Colts

Brady v. Luck. The battle of 2 of the most efficient offenses in the league. You honestly can’t ask for more. Will be interesting to see how much Andrew Luck has grown since these teams met last January in the postseason when the Pats made Luck look very pedestrian at Foxboro.

Steelers (-6) over Titans

Who cares about this game really?!?! Even with the Monday Night Football backdrop, Tennessee alone makes this game unwatchable and it will say more about the Pittsburgh if they don’t make fast work of them. I’m just saying…..



1) New England Patriots (7-2) – A surprisingly tough schedule on the horizon with games in Indy and Green Bay included.

2) Denver Broncos (8-2) – Running the table should be priority #1 to avoid a possible postseason date IN Foxboro.

3) Arizona Cardinals (8-1) – On top of not having Carson Palmer for the rest of the season, ‘Zona has a brutal schedule the rest of the way.

4) Dallas Cowboys (7-3) – Stopped the bleeding blowing out Jacksonville going into their bye.

5) Seattle Seahawks (6-3) – Still think bigger picture they will be in the mix for a return to the Super Bowl in a now wide open NFC.

6) Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) – When you can rehab Mark Sanchez and make him look like a quality quarterback on moments notice you definitely have grabbed my attention.

7) Indianapolis Colts (6-3) – Still think Indy is over-reliant on Andrew Luck.

8) Detroit Lions (7-2) – Jim Caldwell deserves coach of the year attention.

9) Green Bay Packers (6-3) – If they could play the Bears for 16 weeks maybe they’d crack the top 5.

10) Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) – Quietly they have become the most dangerous team in the AFC.

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Earnest Christian
Nicknamed 'EJ', Earnest hosts the Earnestly Speaking Podcast. He also covers the Miami Heat for SB Nation's Hot Hot Hoops. He spends nearly all of his downtime with his wife Lauren and son Eli.

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