Vince’s View: NFL Week 11 Predictions and Game Notes, Cowboys/Vikings, Chiefs/Chargers, more

Vince’s View: NFL Week 11 Predictions and Game Notes, Cowboys/Vikings, Chiefs/Chargers, more

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

Below is the game schedule with my Week 11 NFL game predictions. Winners straight-up are in bold. The line is my pick against the spread.

You’ll also see some tremendous notes on the games, teams and players provided by NFL Communications.

Listen to The NFL Report with John Wilkerson and two rotating Sports Animal hosts, including myself, every Sunday, 10am to 12:30pm ET on 99.1 The Sports Animal here in Knoxville and streaming here at 991TheSportsAnimal.com, the WNML app or on your smart speakers. We’ll break down all these games, review what’s happened, share injury news, fantasy advice and more. You can call or text the show at 865-656-9900.

2022 Week 10 Straight-Up: 6-8 (43%)
2022 Week 10 Against The Spread: 7-7 (50%)

2022 Season Straight-Up: 92-58 (61%)
2022 Season Against The Spread: 77-73 (51%)

2021 Season Straight-Up: 158-97 (62%)
2021 Season Against The Spread: 140-115 (55%)

WEEK 11 NFL SCHEDULE

(All times Eastern) BOLD = Straight-up winner / ( ) = vs. the spread winner

Thursday, November 17(+3) Tennessee at Green BayPrime Video8:15
Sunday, November 20Chicago at Atlanta (-2.5)FOX1:00
Carolina at Baltimore (-13)FOX1:00
Cleveland at Buffalo (-7.5)CBS1:00
(-2.5) Washington at HoustonFOX1:00
(-6.5) Philadelphia at IndianapolisCBS1:00
New York Jets at New England (-5.5)CBS1:00
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans (-2.5)FOX1:00
Detroit at New York Giants (-3)FOX1:00
Las Vegas at Denver (-2.5)FOX4:05
(-2.5) Dallas at MinnesotaCBS4:25
(-3.5) Cincinnati at PittsburghCBS4:25
 (-5.5) Kansas City at Los Angeles ChargersNBC8:20
Monday, November 21(-8.5) San Francisco vs. Arizona (Mexico City)ESPN8:15

Bye week: Jacksonville, Miami, Seattle, Tampa Bay

Quality over quantity.

While stellar defensive play across the league is evident, fans, players and coaches have come to expect Sunday recipes complete with razor-thin margins, fantastic finishes and fourth-quarter drama.

NFL games this season have been separated by an average of only 9.29 points. To put that in context, the last time the league finished a season with a lower average margin of victory was 1932, when the figure was 9.13.

This past week, 12 of 14 games were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter and there have been 116 games within one score in the fourth quarter this season, the most through the first 10 weeks in NFL history.

The playoffs begin in nine weeks. As the league approaches the third turn on its 2022 track, which teams will separate from the crowded field? Whoever emerges in Week 18, expect plenty of photo finishes along the way.

The Starting 11 entering Week 11…

1.     FÚTBOL AMERICANO: Four of the last six teams to play a regular-season game in Mexico have advanced to the playoffs, and each of the last two teams to win a Mexico game went on to play in the Super Bowl (the 2017 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS and 2019 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS). This week, the NFL returns to Estadio Azteca when SAN FRANCISCO (5-4) battles ARIZONA (4-6) on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN).

  • Monday marks the NFL’s fifth regular-season game in Mexico, and 12th overall. In 1978, the league played its first Mexico game, when the Saints beat the Eagles in a preseason contest.
  • On Oct. 2, 2005, the Cardinals beat the 49ers, 31-14, at Estadio Azteca in the NFL’s first regular-season game played outside the United States.
  • And, at a preseason contest on Aug. 15, 1994, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers drew an NFL-record 112,376 at Estadio Azteca.

2.     NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 2,002: Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON is on pace to lead the league with 2,002 receiving yards and break the NFL’s single-season record established by Pro Football Hall of Famer CALVIN JOHNSON, 1,964 in 2012.

  • Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES is on pace to lead the league with 5,546 passing yards and break the NFL’s single-season record established by Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING, 5,477 in 2013.

3.     COMMANDERS OF THE MOUNTAIN: In two of the past three seasons, WASHINGTON has handed the NFL’s last undefeated team its first loss. Washington was the first to defeat 11-0 Pittsburgh in Week 13 of the 2020 season and the first to defeat 8-0 Philadelphia this past Monday night. Now, having won four of their last five, the Commanders (5-5) meet the HOUSTON TEXANS (1-7-1) on Sunday at NRG Stadium (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

4.     SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: Jets defensive tackle QUINNEN WILLIAMS meets Patriots offensive lineman MICHAEL ONWENU in the trenches at Gillette Stadium on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). Williams, the AFC’s October Defensive Player of the Month, has already matched his single-season career best with seven sacks. Onwenu, who hasn’t allowed a sack this season and has solidified a reputation as a dominant run-blocker, earned his way onto several mid-season All-Pro teams this past week.

5.     SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: Pass protection figures to be a key factor when DALLAS (6-3) visits MINNESOTA (8-1) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). The Cowboys’ defense leads the league with 35 sacks, on pace for 66 this season, which would be the most by an NFL team since New Orleans had 66 in 2000. Meanwhile, Vikings linebacker ZA’DARIUS SMITH ranks second in the league and tied for the NFC lead with 9.5 sacks. He’s on pace for 18 sacks this season, which would be the most by a Vikings player since JARED ALLEN had 22 in 2011.

  • The last time the Cowboys met the Vikings at any point in a season and both teams were at least three games above .500 was Nov. 26, 1998, when Minnesota (10-1) traveled to Dallas (8-3). Pro Football Hall of Famers CRIS CARTER and RANDY MOSS, a rookie, combined for 298 receiving yards and four touchdown catches in a 46-36 Vikings win.

6.     STREAK SPEAK: The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-4) have 13 straight wins over the NEW YORK JETS (6-3), whom they host on Sunday at Gillette Stadium (1:00 PM ET, CBS). That’s tied with Kansas City (over Denver) for the NFL’s longest active winning streak by one team over another. The Jets’ last win over the Patriots was Dec. 27, 2015. … Should the Jets break the streak, they’ll be in first place in the AFC East, having won a head-to-head game over Miami (7-3).

7.     DID YOU KNOW?: Each of the BUFFALO BILLS’ three losses this season have been by three points or fewer. The three teams that have defeated Buffalo are a combined 21-7 (.750): Minnesota (8-1), Miami (7-3) and the New York Jets (6-3).

8.     UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: Over the past 16 seasons in which either MIKE SHANAHAN or KYLE SHANAHAN have served as an NFL head coach, their teams have had 15 different leading rushers. With the elder Shanahan as head coach from 2003-13, nine different players led NFL teams over 10 combined seasons (2003-08 with Denver and 2010-13 with Washington). And from 2017-21, San Francisco had a different leading rusher in each of the younger Shanahan’s first five seasons as 49ers head coach. The 49ers could also have their sixth different leading rusher in 2022.

9.     TREND TIME: Under head coach JOHN HARBAUGH, Baltimore is 11-3 (.786) in games immediately after a bye. That’s the second-best record among active coaches (minimum seven games), trailing only ANDY REID (21-3, .875). Fresh off its bye, BALTIMORE (6-3) hosts CAROLINA (3-7) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

10.  THIS WEEK IN NFL HISTORY: Nov. 19, 1922 (100 years ago) – NORB SACKSTEDER, a 5-foot-9, 173-pound back, scores on a 35-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown pass from LOU SMYTH to give the CANTON BULLDOGS a 7-0 win over the CHICAGO CARDINALS at Comiskey Park. The victory helps Canton move closer to an eventual 1922 NFL championship and extend one of the most impressive streaks in league history, an eventual NFL-record 27 games without defeat. The NFL’s first true powerhouse, the Bulldogs go 24-0-3 over that 27-game stretch in the early 1920s, led by future Pro Football Hall of Fame player-coach GUY CHAMBERLIN.

11.  AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: In 2009, the last time the MINNESOTA VIKINGS were 8-1, they advanced to the NFC Championship Game. In 2016, the last time the GREEN BAY PACKERS were 4-6, they also advanced to the NFC Championship Game.

JUST INCREDIBLE: Last week, Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON recorded a career-high 193 receiving yards and established NFL records for the most games with at least 100 receiving yards (20) and most games with at least 150 receiving yards (seven) by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.

Jefferson, who has 4,076 receiving yards in 42 career games, also tied Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH (42 games) and ODELL BECKHAM JR. (42) for the fewest games to reach 4,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.

With at least 88 receiving yards on Sunday against Dallas (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Jefferson would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (4,163 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMRECEIVING YARDS
Randy MossHOFMinnesota4,163
Odell Beckham Jr.New York Giants4,122
Justin JeffersonMinnesota4,076*
*In third season

— NFL —

CLASS OF 2018: When BUFFALO (6-3) hosts CLEVELAND (3-6) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), two members of the 2018 NFL Draft class can reach historic milestones in their fifth seasons.

Bills quarterback JOSH ALLEN, the No. 7 overall pick in 2018, has 158 career combined passing and rushing touchdowns (123 passing, 35 rushing) and needs three more to surpass PATRICK MAHOMES (159) and CAM NEWTON (160) for the second-most combined passing and rushing touchdowns by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most combined passing and rushing touchdowns in their first five seasons in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONSPASS TDsRUSH TDsTOTAL 
Dan MarinoHOFMiami1983-871683171 
Cam NewtonCarolina2011-1511743160 
Patrick MahomesKansas City2017-211518159 
Josh AllenBuffalo2018-2212335158* 
*In fifth season

Allen leads the NFL with 3,209 combined passing and rushing yards this season and has recorded at least 300 combined yards in six of his nine games. On Sunday, he can join Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (3,545 in 2013) and ANDREW LUCK (3,532 in 2014) as the only quarterbacks with at least 3,500 combined passing and rushing yards in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most combined passing and rushing yards in their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONCOMBINED YARDS 
Peyton ManningHOFDenver20133,545 
Andrew LuckIndianapolis20143,532 
Dak PrescottDallas20193,414 
Drew BreesNew Orleans20133,400 
     
Josh AllenBuffalo20223,209* 
*In first nine games

Browns running back NICK CHUBB, selected in the second round (No. 35 overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft, leads the league with 11 rushing touchdowns and ranks third with 904 rushing yards this season.

With at least 46 rushing yards on Sunday, Chubb would become the third player in NFL history with at least 950 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns in each of his first five career seasons, joining ADRIAN PETERSON and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON.

— NFL —

QUICK 10K: Since entering the NFL as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW has 9,834 passing yards in 35 games.

With at least 166 passing yards at Pittsburgh on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Burrow can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (36 games) for the third-fewest games to reach 10,000 career passing yards in NFL history.

The players to record at least 10,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Patrick MahomesKansas City34
Justin HerbertLos Angeles Chargers35
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams36
Matthew StaffordDetroit37
   
Joe BurrowCincinnati35*
*Has 9,834 passing yards

— NFL —

BEAR GROUND: Last week, the CHICAGO BEARS became the first team in NFL history to rush for at least 225 yards in five consecutive games and the second team with at least 2,000 rushing yards (2,017) in their first 10 games of a season since 1980, joining the 2019 BALTIMORE RAVENS (2,031).

Against Atlanta on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), the Bears can become the third team since 1950 to rush for at least 200 yards in six consecutive games within a season, joining the 1972 PITTSBURGH STEELERS (seven consecutive games) and 1951 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (six).

The teams with the most consecutive games with at least 200 rushing yards within a season since 1950:

TEAMSEASONCONSECUTIVE GAMES 
Pittsburgh Steelers19727 
San Francisco 49ers19516 
Chicago Bears20225* 
Pittsburgh Steelers19765 
Miami Dolphins19755 
Buffalo Bills19735 
Chicago Bears19565 
*Active streak

Chicago has recorded consecutive games with at least 250 rushing yards and can become the fourth team in the Super Bowl era and first since 1976 with at least 250 rushing yards in three consecutive games.

The teams with the most consecutive games with at least 250 rushing yards since 1966:

TEAMSEASONCONSECUTIVE GAMES 
Pittsburgh Steelers19763 (Weeks 8-10) 
Buffalo Bills19763 (Weeks 12-14) 
Buffalo Bills19753 (Weeks 1-3) 
    
Chicago Bears20222* (Weeks 9-10) 
*Active streak

Quarterback JUSTIN FIELDS, who rushed for a quarterback regular-season single-game NFL record 178 yards in Week 9 and 147 rushing yards in Week 10, became the first quarterback since TOBIN ROTE (Weeks 8-9, 1951) with at least 125 rushing yards in consecutive games. No quarterback in NFL history has recorded at least 100 rushing yards in three consecutive games.

Fields can join KYLER MURRAY (five consecutive games in 2020) as the only players in the Super Bowl era with at least one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown in five consecutive games, and become the third quarterback, along with Murray and CAM NEWTON (five consecutive games in 2021), to record a rushing touchdown in five consecutive games in the Super Bowl era.

— NFL —

FLYING TO THE BALL: Philadelphia safety C.J. GARDNER-JOHNSON leads the NFL with a career-high six interceptions this season and has recorded an interception in each of his past five games.

With an interception at Indianapolis on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), he can become the ninth player since 1970 and the fourth since 1990 with an interception in six consecutive games.

The players with an interception in the most consecutive games since 1970:

PLAYERTEAMCONSECUTIVE GAMES
Trevon DiggsDallas6 (9/9/21 – 10/17-21)
Brian RussellMinnesota6 (9/7/03 – 10/19/03)
Doug EvansCarolina6 (9/23/01 – 10/28/01)
Barry WilburnWashington6 (9/13/87 – 11/15/87)
Lester HayesOakland Raiders6 (10/26/80 – 12/1/80)
Eric HarrisKansas City6 (10/19/80 – 11/23/80)
Lemar ParrishWashington6 (12/16/78 – 9/30/79)
Mel BlountHOFPittsburgh6 (11/2/75 – 12/7/75)
   
C.J. Gardner-JohnsonPhiladelphia5* (10/9/22 – 11/14/22)
*Active streak

 — NFL —

HOUSTON, WE HAVE SACKS: Baltimore linebacker JUSTIN HOUSTON ranks tied for fourth in the NFL with 8.5 sacks this season and has recorded at least two sacks in each of his past three games. Among active players, he ranks third with 110.5 career sacks.

With at least two sacks against Carolina on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Houston can become the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, with at least two sacks in four consecutive games.

The players with at least two sacks in the most consecutive games since 1982:

PLAYERTEAM(S)CONSECUTIVE GAMES 
Simeon RiceTampa Bay5 (10/27/02 – 12/1/02) 
Kevin GreeneHOFSan Francisco, Carolina5 (12/21/97-10/4/98) 
Reggie WhiteHOFPhiladelphia4 (11/15/87 – 12/6/87) 
    
Justin HoustonBaltimore3* (10/23/22 – 11/7/22) 
*Active streak
Kansas City, MO – November 1, 2021 – GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium: Patrick Mahomes (15) of the Kansas City Chiefs during a Monday Night Football game. (Photo by Joshua Gateley / ESPN Images)

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