I'm not sure if you guys have noticed, but every time you think 2020 can't get any crazier, it somehow gets crazier. I mean, forget the Hail Mary, the real craziness that happened in Week 10 was the fact that the Browns, Raiders, Cardinals and Dolphins all won on the same weekend. I thought we would live to see talking hamsters before we would see that happen.
Those four teams all finished under .500 last year with a combined record of 23-40-1, and now, less than one year later, they're all in the playoff race and they have a combined record of 24-12. If that's not 2020 in a nutshell, I don't know what is.
I mean, the Browns scored 10 points in a game on Sunday and still won, which should surprise me, but it doesn't, because they're somehow 6-0 this season in games where they score EIGHT or more. EIGHT POINTS! The Browns are undefeated when scoring EIGHT POINTS. I don't even know how that's possible.
I also don't know how it's possible that I went 11-3 with my picks in Week 10, but I somehow did. I finally took into account everything I thought I didn't know and factored it in with everything I do know about what I don't know. (That paragraph was way more confusing than I was planning for it to be, which I think actually makes it a perfect metaphor for the 2020 NFL season).
Let's get to the Week 11 picks before things get weird here.
Actually, before we get to the Week 11 picks, here's a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. Also, as you may or may not have heard, I'm now in charge of the NFL newsletter here at CBSSports.com. If you want to buy someone a gift for the holidays, but you don't want to actually spend money on them, just subscribe them to the newsletter. It's the gift that keeps on giving. All you have to do is click here and enter their email address.
Since I'm now running the newsletter, you might be thinking that I'll be way too busy to podcast, but nope. If there are two things I'm never too busy for, it's podcasting and listening to N'Sync.
Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson won't listen to N'Sync with me, but they do join me three days per week (Monday, Tuesday and Friday) on the Pick Six podcast, which is our daily NFL podcast here at CBSSports.com. You can listen to Tuesday's episode below. The reason you're going to want to listen is because we spent way more time than we probably should have talking about whether the 4-5 Vikings have any shot at making the playoffs.
That being said, we all know the answer to the Vikings playoff question is no, so let's just move on and get to the picks.
NFL Week 11 Picks
Who'll cover the spread in Week 11? Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Kenny White join Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break down every game; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Arizona (6-3) at Seattle (6-3)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox/Amazon/NFL Network)
If there were two things I never thought I'd see this season, it was a team winning on a Hail Mary and me correctly picking a Thursday game two weeks in a row, and guess what? They both happened in Week 10. I'm telling you, 2020 is crazy.
Sure, we all heard about the pass Kyler Murray threw to DeAndre Hopkins, which was impressive, but the true miracle of Week 10 is that I got another Thursday pick right. I didn't plan to update you guys on my Thursday picks every week this year, but after I started 0-6, I decided I needed to publicly shame myself until I could get things turned around and that plan worked, because I'm now 2-6. More importantly, I'm 2-0 in the month of November, which is definitely how I'm going to sell this to anyone who asks how I'm doing on my Thursday picks this year.
Anyway, I should probably talk about the game now. I feel like I've babbled long enough. This is a big game for both teams, but I think it's a bigger game for the Seahawks, because if they lose, that means they'll have lost four of their past five and more importantly, the Cardinals will have swept them on the season, which will make it nearly impossible for Seattle to win the division.
When I look at the Seahawks, I see a team that's trying to figure out their offensive identity (Their defensive identity is apparently to let the other team score as quickly as possible to get the ball back in Russell Wilson's hands). The "Let Russ Cook" philosophy was good in theory, but Wilson has been burning a few dishes over the past few weeks to the point where they're not even edible, which is my way of pointing out that he has thrown seven interception over his past four games. Wilson needs some help and the Seahawks need to figure how to make that happen.
For some reason, this week has the feeling of a get-right game for Wilson. For one, the Seahawks are playing at home, which is notable, because they're one of only two NFC teams who are still undefeated at home this year. Although there won't be fans, the Seahawks will still have a home-field advantage. I mean, have you ever visited Seattle in November? Imagine Cancun, except the exact opposite. Seattle is cold, rainy and miserable in November.
Not only is this a home game for the Seahawks, but it's being played at night. Since Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012, the Seahawks have gone 18-3 at home in prime-time games, and what has happened here is that I've talked myself into picking the Seahawks, which actually might be a good thing for the Cardinals since the opposite of what I pick always seems to happen in their games.
The pick: Seahawks 34-27 over Cardinals
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Tennessee (6-3) at Baltimore (6-3)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
The last time these two teams played each other came back in January when the Titans absolutely shocked the Ravens 28-12 in a divisional round playoff game that no one thought Tennessee was going to win. Well, almost no one. Apparently, there was at least one person in the country who saw the upset coming.
Who was that person? Glad you asked.
That was back when my picks were good. Now they're just sometimes good. Anyway, the only reason I'm mentioning that pick is because I feel like there's a good chance that this week's game is going to play out a lot like that playoff game, which isn't good news for Baltimore.
The biggest problem for the Ravens is that they've gotten worse since that game was played. The offense has regressed and the defense still can't stop the run, which you may or may not have noticed if you watched the Ravens play the Patriots on Sunday night. The Ravens are surrendering 4.5 yards per carry on the ground this year and I think we can all agree that that's not ideal when you're about to face a guy like Derrick Henry.
Although the Ravens aren't as good as they were last year, that statement also applies to the Titans. Tennessee's defense has been like a Rubik's Cube this year, except the cube only has four squares and everyone can solve it. The Titans are surrendering 398.1 yards per game this year, which is the ninth-most in the NFL. The Titans defense is so bad that I want to predict a shootout, but the Ravens offense has been struggling so much that I'm not even sure they know what a shootout is anymore.
I was going to pick the Titans by a field goal, but I don't trust their kicker, so I'm going to say Tennessee wins by a touchdown.
The pick: Titans 30-23 over Ravens
Green Bay (7-2) at Indianapolis (6-3)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
I don't usually pick games based solely on where they're being played, but I have to do that here because the Packers have NEVER won in Indianapolis. There are only two cities where the Packers have never won a game, and somehow, Indy is one of them. As someone who grew up 90 minutes away from Indianapolis, I know exactly why this is happening: These quaint midwestern cities suck you in with politeness and good manners and then when you least expect it, they spit you out. The irony here is I'm pretty sure that also describes Philip Rivers, who was clearly built to live in the midwest: He's overly polite and he has nine kids.
As fun as that Rivers clip was, I don't think this game is going to come down to him. I think it's going to come down to how well Aaron Rodgers plays against Indy's defense, and spoiler alert, I don't think he's going to play well.
The Colts have actually been one of the best pass defenses in the NFL this year. For one, they've held opposing quarterbacks to a QB rating of just 78.9, which is the best in the NFL this year (To put that in perspective, Dwayne Haskins has a QB rating around that level, so the Colts basically make every quarterback look like Dwayne Haskins). Also, the Colts have given up the second-fewest passing yards in the NFL this year. Since they're so good against the pass, you might think you can run on them, but that's not the case, either. Indy is surrendering just 91.8 yards per game on the ground, which is the third-best number in the NFL.
Guys, I'm being sucked in by Indy's folksy charm and I think I'm going to have to pick them. I really hope they don't spit me out.
The pick: Colts 23-20 over Packers
L.A. Rams (6-3) at Tampa Bay (7-3)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
I once read that Tom Brady goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. nearly every night, which actually makes a lot of sense, because he plays like a guy who goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. every night. For day games, that means Brady looks awesome, because he's always refreshed, but for night games, it looks like Brady would rather be in bed than playing football.
The Buccaneers have been so bad in prime-time games this year that coach Bruce Arians has decided he's going to change up the schedule this week to get his team ready for Monday night.
If you're changing up your schedule in Week 11, you've already lost. The Buccaneers have completely psyched themselves out. They're in their own head.
If you've lost track of what the Buccaneers have done in prime time this year, it hasn't been pretty: They're 1-2 with losses to New Orleans and Chicago. Their only win was a two-point victory over the Giants and as we all know, a two-point win over the Giants is practically the same as a loss.
When you're trying to beat the Buccaneers, the one thing you need to do well is have some sort of pass-rush. If you can put pressure on Tom Brady, well, we've seen what happens when you put pressure on Tom Brady, you win 38-3 or 20-19 like the Saints and Bears did earlier this year. The bad news for the Buccaneers is that the Rams are one of the best teams in the NFL at getting to the quarterback. They've got 31 sacks on the year, which is the third-most in the league. I have a feeling Aaron Donald is going to be putting Tom Brady to bed right around 8:30 p.m. on Monday.
The pick: Rams 27-23 over Buccaneers
Lock of the Week
Kansas City (8-1) at Las Vegas (6-3)
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Like the Seattle Seahawks, the "Lock of the Week" has hit a midseason rut. Four week ago, the "Lock of the Week" was so hot that I started looking at timeshares in St. Lucia, but now, I've missed four straight weeks against the spread and I can't even afford to buy things off the dollar menu at McDonald's. Life comes at you fast.
Due to all of this, I've decided not to overthink the "Lock" this week. I'm going with one of the pick that's almost always a lock: Picking Andy Reid to win off the bye. Giving Andy Reid a bye week to prepare for a game is such an unfair advantage that the Chiefs really shouldn't even get a bye as long as he's their coach. In his 21-year career, Reid has gone 18-3 after the bye week and this includes last season, when the Chiefs absolutely destroyed the Raiders 40-9 off the bye.
Of course, let's be honest, Reid doesn't even need an extra week to prepare for the Raiders, and that's because we all know there's a 100 percent chance that Reid has spent the past 40 days planning to get revenge on the Raiders, who beat the Chiefs 40-32 back in Week 5. Although Reid doesn't seem like a guy who would generally be out for revenge, I think he will be in this game. After the Raiders' Week 5 win, Las Vegas decided to do a "victory lap" around Arrowhead Stadium and let me just tell you that Andy Reid has not forgotten about that victory lap.
Multiple times Andy Reid mentioned the Raiders taking a victory lap around Arrowhead after they beat the Chiefs earlier this year during today's presser. Clearly, the team took that personally.— Robert "Blue Checkmark" Rimpson (@Rimpsanity) November 16, 2020
That victory lap was a horrible idea. I mean, did no one tell the Raiders that they have to play the Chiefs again and that the second game against Kansas City was going to be against ANDY REID COMING OFF THE BYE? You never poke a bear that's coming off a bye. Everyone knows that.
The only reason I'm not predicting a 300-point Chiefs win is because they just placed both of their starting tackles (Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz) on the COVID list and although they will likely play Sunday, there's no guarantee they'll be on the field.
The pick: Chiefs 41-30 over Raiders
Lock of the week record: 10-2 straight up, 6-6 against the spread
NFL Week 11 picks: All the rest
Browns 30-20 over Eagles
Falcons 26-23 over Saints
Bengals 34-27 over Washington
Steelers 31-17 over Jaguars
Lions 30-23 over Panthers
Patriots 20-17 over Texans
Dolphins 23-16 over Broncos
Chargers 24-16 over Jets
Vikings 31-23 over Cowboys
Best pick: I had so many best picks last week that I lost track of them all, but I guess that's what happens when you correctly pick 11 out of 14 games. I mean, it took 10 weeks, but I think I've finally turned the corner guys. To celebrate my fantastic week, I decided to stay up late on Monday to watch "Holiday in Handcuffs," which is easily my favorite handcuff-related Christmas movie of all-time. Everyone on Twitter likes it, too.
Holiday in handcuffs deserves an Oscar— mrs werich (@_awray11) November 14, 2020
As much as I love the movie and agree with that person's tweet, the Cleveland Browns will win seven Super Bowls before "Holiday in Handcuffs" wins an Oscar, which is unfortunate. It's shocking that the Oscars have existed for more than 90 years and there's still no category for best handcuff-related Christmas movie.
Worst pick: Last week, I predicted that the Ravens would destroy the Patriots and that definitely didn't happen and all I can say is that the joke was on me for not doing more homework on the game. First of all, I had no idea New England was going to be hit by a category 76 Hurricane while the game was going on. If I had gotten my meteorological degree in college like I had originally planned, then I would have known about the weather and I would have gotten the pick right. Also, I failed to take into account that Bill Belichick has somehow acquired a Staples Easy button.
Cam Newton said Bill Belichick knew exactly what the Patriots would need to do to win tonight. Called him a "football whisperer."— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) November 16, 2020
"I'm beginning to thing he either has a Staples easy button, a Buffalo Wild Wings button or a straight direct line to the football gods."
I think Cam Newton is joking here, but if you were to tell me that any of this is actually true, I would probably believe you. Also, it would explain a lot.
Finally, if you're still reading, you might be wondering which teams I've done well picking this year and here's the answer:
Teams I'm 9-1 picking this year (Straight up): Chiefs, Jets (8-1), Steelers (8-1)
Teams I'm 7-2 picking this year: Ravens, Texans, Jaguars, Chargers, Packers, Lions, Saints, Giants (8-2).
Longest winning streak: Jaguars, Lions (Six straight games correct for both teams)
Longest losing streak: Cardinals (Four straight games incorrect).
Also, there's no team I've been worse at picking than the Arizona Cardinals (2-7). I've also been horrible at picking the Falcons (3-6). Apparently, bird teams are killing me this year. I hate bird teams.
Straight up in Week 10: 11-3
SU overall: 92-53-1
Against the spread in Week 10: 7-6-1
ATS overall: 68-76-2