Gerry Dulac's 2019 NFL picks: Week 11

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sports 1 month ago

Last week: 6-7 (.462)

Season: 88-60 (.595)

THURSDAY

Steelers (5-4) at Cleveland Browns (3-6), 8:20 p.m. – The Steelers have won four in a row, five of their past six and have moved into the second wild card spot in the AFC because of a defense that pressures the quarterback and takes the ball away. But, despite their overall dominance of the Browns since they returned to the league in 1999, the Steelers are a modest 6-3-1 in Cleveland in the past 10 games. The Browns have scored 20 or more points just three times this season, though, curiously, two of those were against Seattle and Baltimore. They have been held under 20 points in their past three games, so don’t expect an offensive explosion against the Steelers. What’s more, QB Baker Mayfield has 13 turnovers, including an AFC-high 12 interceptions, which is not a good sign against a Steelers defense that has 26 takeaways, second-most in the league. Prediction: Steelers 17-9

SUNDAY

Houston Texans (6-3) at Baltimore Ravens (7-2), 1 p.m. – Never bet against the Ravens when playing against a good team. The better the opponent, the better they play. They proved that against Seattle and New England. The Texans are good — they’ve won four of their past five — but their defense has to be very good to contain Lamar Jackson. Prediction: Ravens, 30-23

Atlanta Falcons (2-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-4), 1 p.m. – Can someone please explain how a one-win team that had allowed 20 or more points in every game and an average of 35.3 points in their previous four games can go into New Orleans and hold a 7-1 Saints team to nine points? I didn’t think so. Prediction: Panthers, 24-20

Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at Detroit Lions (3-5-1), 1 p.m. – The Lions have never seemingly recovered from a couple bad penalties in Green Bay in Week 5. But, like the Cowboys, who had their two-game winning streak ended by the Vikings, they still manage to score points. This won’t be a defensive struggle. Prediction: Lions, 34-33

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-4), 1 p.m. – The Jaguars are a tough team to figure. They’ve won back-to-back games twice this season, but they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. The Colts are expecting to have Jacoby Brissett back and stay in the hunt with the Steelers for a wild card spot. Prediction: Colts, 20-16

Buffalo Bills (6-3) at Miami Dolphins (2-7), 1 p.m. – Don’t look now, but the tanking Dolphins have won two in a row and allowed just 30 points in victories against the Jets and Colts. The Bills don’t score a lot of points, and another loss could put the Steelers in the top wild card spot in the AFC. Prediction: Dolphins, 16-13

Denver Broncos (3-6) at Minnesota Vikings (7-3), 1 p.m. – The Broncos are coming off a bye week, so that will give Brandon Allen a little more time to get comfortable as their starting QB. But there is little about which to be comfortable against the Vikings, although they have already lost to Chase Daniel and Matt Moore this season. Prediction: Vikings, 28-13

New Orleans Saints (7-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6), 1 p.m.Still wondering how a one-win team that had allowed 20 or more points in every game and an average of 35.3 points in their previous four games can go into New Orleans and hold a 7-1 Saints team to nine points. Could it happen again in Tampa Bay? I don’t think so. Prediction: Saints, 30-23

New York Jets (2-7) at Washington Redskins (1-8), 1 p.m. – Not sure a bye week will help what ails the Redskins, whose only victory was against the then-winless Dolphins. They’ve scored 45 points in the past six games, fewer than 8 points per outing. Why, they make the Jets, who scored 34 against the Giants, look like the Patriots. Prediction: Redskins, 8-5

Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1) at San Francisco 49ers (8-1), 4:05 p.m. – The last of the unbeaten teams fell when the 49ers lost at home in overtime to the Seahawks. The 49ers had to hold off the Cardinals when the teams met just two weeks ago in Arizona. Unless the Cardinals can copy Seattle’s plan, it will be the same result. Or worse. Prediction: 49ers, 31-20

Cincinnati Bengals (0-9) at Oakland Raiders (5-4), 4:25 p.m. – The Bengals are the last of the winless teams and chances of that dubious distinction ending against the Raiders is not very good. The Bengals have scored 17 or fewer points in seven of their nine games while allowing an average of 28.7 points per game. Prediction: Raiders, 28-13

New England Patriots (8-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-4), 4:25 p.m. – This is a rematch of Super Bowl 52 won by Philadelphia, 41-33, a moment that seems like a long time ago for the Eagles. Both teams are coming off a bye, but the Patriots are the ones coming off a loss – and a big one to the Ravens. Prediction: Patriots, 27-23

Chicago Bears (4-5) at Los Angeles Rams (5-4), 8:20 p.m. – The Bears and Rams look nothing like the playoff teams they were a year ago — the Bears on defense, the Rams on offense. Until the Steelers did it on Sunday, the Bears were the last team to hold the Rams without an offensive touchdown in the regular season (Dec. 9, 2018). Can they do it again? Prediction: Rams, 23-14

MONDAY

Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-6), 8:15 p.m. – Speaking of teams that don’t look the same, the Chiefs have lost four of their past six games. What’s more, seven of their past eight games have all been decided by one possession. A horrid final drive by Philip Rivers cost the Chargers a victory in Oakland. Prediction: Chiefs, 31-28

Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com and Twitter @gerrydulac.


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