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2017 SQ Insiders: Week 11

Austin Taliaferro

Who do our Insiders have winning between the Rams and VIkings, two NFC powerhouses?

Week 10 was another successful week for our insiders. As we get closer to playoffs, these matchups start to have more and more meaning. The game of the week this time comes from the 1:00 matchups when the Los Angeles Rams will take on the Minnesota Vikings. 

If you had told anyone before the season that a Jared Goff vs. Case Keenum matchup would be the highlight of the week, you would have been (rightfully) laughed at. However this two teams have played exceptionally and should showcase a good contrast of strengths on Sunday. Our insiders were split in this one, but have the Rams pulling ahead by a point on the road. 

Check out the rest of the predictions below.

Matchup

Mitch B

Nick C

Adrian N

Detroit at Chicago
Jacksonville at Cleveland
Baltimore at Green Bay
Tampa Bay at Miami
LA Rams at Minnesota
Washington at New Orleans
Kansas City at NY Giants
Arizona at Houston
Buffalo at LA Chargers
Cincinnati at Denver
New England at Oakland
Philadelphia at Dallas
Total Record

70-4669-4768-48



Matchup

Avg Score

Winner

Why They’ll Win

Why They May Not

Detroit at Chicago25-17Detroit’s passing game is clicking right now, and Chicago just lost to Brett Hundley and the Packers. The Bears have surpassed 20 points just twice this season and those were both overtime games. As long as the Lions don’t fall into an early hole like they’ve been known to do, they should cruise to a victory.The Bears quietly have a top-10 defense and rushing attack this season. Meanwhile, Detroit was just gashed for over 200 rushing yards last week versus Cleveland. To pull off an upset, the Bears will need to feed their backs all day long. By doing so, they’ll attack one of the Lions’ weaknesses and hopefully speed the game up. Their chances aren’t great, but anything can happen in divisional matchups.
Jacksonville at Cleveland27-16Cleveland is winless, you don’t need to look much farther than that. But if you want one more thing to ease your mind, the Jaguars are first in points against at only 14.9 per game. Good luck scoring, Browns.One thing the Browns having going for them is that they can rush the passer. They rank 9th in the league in sacks currently. If the Browns are able to get to Blake Bortles early and often, then they can force him into making mistakes. If they can capitalize on a few turnovers, then it could be the difference.
Baltimore at Green Bay19-18The Ravens have had injury issues on offense from the start of the season, but their defense has remained among the best. Against a Rodgers-less Packers, Baltimore’s defense should have a big game.Despite losing their best player in Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay still boasts an improved ground game with Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. If they can produce against Baltimore’s defense, the Packers can stay alive in the playoff hunt.
Tampa Bay at Miami19-18The Miami Dolphins may be 4-5 and the Bucs only 3-6, but the Dolphins are nowhere near as good. The Dolphins have a -87 point differential, better than only the Browns, Colts, and Giants. The Bucs has a -37 point differential. In addition, the Dolphins have had the 3rd easiest schedule while the Bucs have had the 12th.The main reason why the Dolphins have struggled has been lackluster offense, but the Buccaneers defense may be the antidote. The Bucs have given up the 8th most first downs in the league and have the highest third-down conversation percentage against at 46%. If Miami converts first downs they can hold onto the ball and control the game.
LA Rams at Minnesota25-24This Rams team is special. Head coach Sean McVay is a genius, Jared Goff is playing up to his potential and Todd Gurley is the best running back in the league right now. Not to mention they have arguably the best defensive player in the league in defensive tackle Aaron Donald.The Vikings are 7-2 behind a career backup quarterback and running back. However, Case Keenum isn’t playing like any backup, as he is set to start over a healthy Teddy Bridgewater. If this defense can contain the Rams’ resurgent offense, Minnesota could have a clear hold on the second spot in the NFC.
Washington at New Orleans22-33The Saints are at a shocking 7-2, thanks in large part to their running game and defense, both of which have been weak in recent years. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are the best running back duo in the league, and rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore is the favorite for DROY.This Washington team can compete with anyone, as evidenced by their win against Seattle two weeks ago. With a now-healthy offensive line and the potential return of tight end Jordan Reed, the Redskins can compete with the best.
Kansas City at NY Giants30-15The Chiefs are a little cold as of late but shouldn’t have any issues with a 1-8 Giants team that just lost to the previously winless 49ers. After all, Andy Reid is 16-2 after the bye week over his career as a head coach. Kansas City simply has too much firepower on offense to let the Giants hang around.Kansas City is just 1-3 in its last four games and the team’s once-dominant running game has slowed down a bit. If the Giants can keep Kareem Hunt contained like other teams have lately, they’ll have an outside shot of winning at home.
Arizona at Houston20-19Houston has a lack of identity, with both Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt out for the season. Arizona can capitalize, with strong play from veteran offensive leaders Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald.While Houston is banged up, so is Arizona, as they are forced to start Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, who has a career record of 9-31. Not to mention the fact that the Cardinals have yet to beat a team with a record better than 3-6 this season.
Buffalo at LA Chargers23-26The Bills were the better team coming into this, and then they went ahead and benched starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor in favor of the rookie Nathan Peterman. Although the Bills clearly see something no one else does, Peterman is inexperienced and should struggle on Sunday.The Chargers are 2-5 in one score games this year, the Bills are 2-2. Call it luck, call it skill, call it the clutch gene, but whatever you call it, it seems like the Chargers struggle to pull out close games. The Bills will have a shot in this game if they’re able to keep the game close.
Cincinnati at Denver18-22Although the Broncos have not installed much confidence of late, the Bengals have been even worse. They’ve lost two straight and now will be looking for an elusive road win in Denver, where the defense should have enough to handle Dalton.The advantage the Bengals do have is at quarterback. Andy Dalton has been playing this season with a 13:8 touchdown to interception ratio, while his counterpart Brock Osweiler has a 2:3 ratio. If Dalton wins the duel while facing a tough Broncos defense, his team is likely to win.
New England at Oakland35-27New England struggled with their defense early in the season but were able to correct the issues. They haven’t had to correct any issues on offense as they’ve been running on all cylinders as per usual. They rank first in offensive DVOA and should be able to have their way with a poor Raiders defense.If the Raiders have any hopes of winning it’ll be in the form of a shootout. Lucky for them, it seems as if Derek Carr and the offense are trending in that direction. Over the past four weeks, Carr is seventh in air yards per attempt and second in passing yards per game. He may have just enough to outduel Brady.
Philadelphia at Dallas28-19The Eagles are coming off their bye with the NFL’s fourth-best offense and top rush defense. They’ve also won seven straight and get to face a Dallas team missing Zeke Elliott, Sean Lee, and likely Tyron Smith. Philly should have no problem in this one.Although the Cowboys are banged up entering Week 11, they’re still at home and have bounced back well from losses this season. Dallas really needs Tyron Smith to suit up, as the team’s winning formula will be controlling time of possession and setting up manageable third downs. If Smith is out there, the Cowboys can pull off an upset.
Atlanta at Seattle28-26Without Richard Sherman, this Seattle secondary is its weakest in years. Matt Ryan has bounced back from a slow start to the year, and should benefit from the loss of Sherman with a big game in Seattle.Russell Wilson is playing arguably the best football of his career, and the Seahawks now have weapons of offense in the likes of Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson, Tyler Lockett and Jimmy Graham. Look for Seattle’s offense to fare well at home against Atlanta.


Edited by Brian Kang.

SQuiz
Where did Case Keenum attend college?
Created 11/16/17
  1. Arizona
  2. Houston
  3. Toledo
  4. Utah

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