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Brian Eller

My picks for Week 11 in the NFL

Chicago at Miami -- I'm still not a huge fan of Thursday night football games. I enjoy the matchup on Sunday nights, love Monday Night Football, but football on Thursdays (other than Thanksgiving) isn't that great. Speaking of teams that aren't that great, we have the Bears and Dolphins. Miami finally won at home last week and now has a chance to make it two straight. I had faith in Jay Cutler a week ago, but my confidence in him is about as inconsistent as his arm. Let's go with Miami.

Buffalo at Cincinnati -- The Bills finally won their first game last Sunday and have a realistic shot at beating the Bengals, who are in complete shambles. That being said, I've always hated the Bills on the road and the Bengals still have some firepower on offense. I like the Bengals in easily the worst game of the week.

Detroit at Dallas -- This one goes out to my boss, Jeff Nations. He gets peeved when I don't pick the Lions because true fans are passionate. My hats off to you, Mr. Nations. For this loyalty, I'll take the Lions over the Cowboys. It's a turf team traveling to a turf stadium, and while the Cowboys' offense is shaky, the Lions, even without Matt Stafford, have the edge.

Washington at Tennessee -- I'm not sure what was worse for the Redskins -- dealing with the Donovan McNabb saga during the bye week or the absolute beat down suffered at the hands of the Eagles on Monday night. The latter won't linger as long, but I think that was more embarrassing by far. The Titans enter Week 2 with Randy Moss off of a close loss, but against Washington's defense, he might just score five touchdowns.

Arizona at Kansas City -- When two teams in the worst divisions in football get together, we know we're in for a treat. I still think the Chiefs have the best chance at winning the division, but their performance at Denver a week ago was less than promising. Of course, who could blame them? They must've seen my upset pick and knew it was a foregone conclusion. Luckily, with Max Hall under center for the Cards, I can't see Todd Haley doing much negative finger-waving.

Green Bay at Minnesota -- **Upset Special** This is it for the Vikings. They're 3-6, hosting the Packers are 6-3. That means another loss to them would all but finish them in the divisional race. Behind that motivation, I actually like Brett Favre (just died a little inside typing that) and think he'll overcome this week's injury and lead the purple and white to a win.

Houston at New York Jets -- My fantasy team has been torn to shreds, the latest hit coming at the hands of Matt Schaub, who is sidelined with injuries. On the other hand, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is pulling out late-game heroics like he's John Elway. Will we see another one on Sunday? I don't think so, but only because he won't have to in this blowout.

Oakland at Pittsburgh -- I saw some people on ESPN.com picking the Raiders in this one. Are you serious? Listen, I think what Oakland's doing is positive and should give Bay Area fans some hope for the future. But when your greatest weapon is running back Darren McFadden and you're up against the top-ranked rush defense in the NFL, it's going to be a long day for the Raiders.

Baltimore at Carolina -- Speaking of long days, I can't imagine how nervous Brian St. Pierre must be. Oh, haven't you heard? He gets the starting nod as the Panthers welcome the Ravens. That Baltimore defense showed its age last Thursday in a loss to Atlanta, but Ray Lewis and Co. still know how to shut down an offense, particularly a St. Pierre-led one. I like your name, Brian. Just not your chances.

Cleveland at Jacksonville -- As we struggle to figure out who the best team in the league is, the hottest team might just be the Browns, fresh off of wins against New England and New Orleans. Jacksonville, meanwhile, needed a hail-mary play to upend Houston last week, so in the toughest game of the week, I'll stick with the Browns. Cleveland does rock, after all.

Atlanta at St. Louis -- That "best team in the league" could be the Falcons, who looked pretty impressive in their win over the Ravens. This won't be an easy win over the Rams, mind you, who have found their future in Sam Bradford. But I like Michael Turner to tear it up on the ground for multiple touchdowns this weekend.

Seattle at New Orleans -- It's the battle of former USC boys, as coach Pete Carroll leads his Seahawks across the country to face Reggie Bush, who will make his return with the Saints after breaking his leg earlier in the year. It's always a daunting task to travel to the other side of the country, especially when Drew Brees and an invigorated Bush await. Saints here, folks.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco -- This was another tough game for me, as both teams have surprised me this season. I thought Tampa Bay wouldn't be 6-3 heading into Week 11, nor did I think the 49ers would be the opposite. But alas, here we are, and the mojo of Josh Freeman has me sold on the boys in Tampa. It's a long trip to the West Coast, but they're up for it, says I.

Indianapolis at New England -- Everybody's favorite matchup is here as the Colts and Patriots clash in their annual contest. It's truly amazing to see just what Peyton Manning and Tom Brady do when you look at the list of their combined wide receiving options. Both are locks for the hall of fame, but someone's got to win here. Let's go with the pretty boy in this one.

New York Giants at Philadelphia -- What will Michael Vick do for an encore? The question should be, what can he do? After throwing four touchdowns and rushing for two more last Monday, fans and media are simply gaga over this re-discovered talent. I think people have been too quick to jump back on this bandwagon, however. I mean, calling that performance the single-greatest quarterback day in NFL history? Come on. How quickly we forget when Steve Young threw six touchdowns passes IN THE SUPER BOWL in 1995. My money says it comes crashing down to earth as the Giants take home the win.

Denver at San Diego -- Thank you, Josh McDaniels, for helping my upset pick come true for the second time this year. Unfortunately, I can't reward you with another vote of confidence. The Chargers are busy making their late push again and Phillip Rivers will likely end up top 3 in the MVP voting. That's enough for me to pick against Denver. Sorry, boys. Maybe next week, or when you can stop the run.

Last week: 8-5
Season: 42-25

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