This week marks a special time in the NFL season. It’s Week 11, which means from here on out, there are no more bye weeks. Fantasy football players can rejoice, as can fans of all stripes, because there are two more games each week from now until the end of the regular season on January 2nd.
But what happened last week and what does it mean for our pick system? First, an excuse. Last week was a very difficult week for NFL picks. Our new pal Mark Schlereth went a paltry 6-8, and although he still maintains the best record of ESPN’s panel of “experts,” last week’s title went to Eric Allen. (Don’t worry–we had to look him up too.)
Although Allen has the worst record of anyone on the panel at 74-70 for the season, his impressive 10-4 performance has earned him the right to make our picks this week. (Remember that we’re using-still-the picks of the ESPN expert who has the best record the previous week.)
Given his past performance, we’re concerned that Allen will revert to his mediocre ways, but a rule is a rule, so hit the jump to see what he’s picked and our rationalizations.
(Just like weeks prior, the predicted winning team is in bold and italics. Since Eric Allen had the best record last week, we’re using his picks this week.)
Lions at Cowboys
A week ago most people would have called this as a close game. With a Detroit loss and a shocking Dallas win, this game looks a lot more like another step in on Dallas’ road to redemption.
Packers at Vikings
This game will either be the end of Minnesota’s season or the beginning of an epic run to the playoffs. We’re betting that despite the quality of Green Bay’s team, the Vikings have just a little more magic left in the tank.
Browns at Jaguars
For some reason Eric Allen didn’t pick this game, so we’ve picked Cleveland for him. Look for this game to mark Cleveland’s arrival as a legitimately mediocre team, and to cement Jacksonville’s place as a lousy one.
Buccaneers at 49ers
A resurgent Tampa goes across the country to face a lethargic San Francisco team. It’s a long trip for Tampa, but long trips always seem worth it when you win, which the Bucs will.
Colts at Patriots
This game has the makings of another classic as two of the best teams of the last decade face off. Indianapolis has a slew of injuries to contend with, and combined with the fact that they’re on the road in New England, it’s hard not to lean towards the Patriots.
Broncos at Chargers
It’s time for San Diego to start their annual run to the top of the AFC West. Will it be harder with much stronger than normal Oakland and Kansas City teams? Sure, but Denver of all teams won’t stand in the way.
Next week we’ll be appearing a little early, on Wednesday, in fact, where we’ll see how Eric Allen did (our guess: not well), and what it means for our Week 12 picks including Thanksgiving. Now that it’s getting dark earlier, it’s more important than ever for us all to be careful out there.