Week 11 NFL Late Game Previews


Photo Courtesy of Robert Robinson


Denver Broncos (3-6) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (7-2)


Preview

This AFC West divisional matchup features two teams that are on opposite sides of the spectrum this season. The Chargers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL while the Broncos are sitting at an embarrassing 3-6. A Los Angeles win would put them in a good spot for their divisional chase of the Kansas City Chiefs. At this point in the season, the Broncos don’t have much to lose but still have some dangerous talent that always gives them a chance to win. If that talent shows up, this game could be a lot closer than people expect.


Players to watch

For the Chargers’ offense, all eyes will be on star running back Melvin Gordon. He is currently fifth in the NFL in rushing with 672 yards and seven touchdowns. Gordon will be running against a Broncos defense that has struggled against the run, ranking 26th in the league in run defense. For the Broncos, quarterback Case Keenum will need to get going if they want to stay in this game. He will be facing a Chargers pass rush that could be see defensive end Joey Bosa returning. They also must get a run game going with running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in order to keep a balanced attack.


Keys to the game

Denver Broncos

Establish the run

Put pressure on Rivers

Limit turnovers


Los Angeles Chargers

Protect Rivers

Capitalize on the deep ball/big plays

Keep feeding Gordon


Injury list

Denver Broncos

Dymonte Thomas, DB - Ankle (Out)

Brandon Marshall, ILB - Knee (Out)

Max Garcia, OG - Knee (Out)


Los Angeles Chargers

Joey Bosa, DE - Foot (Questionable)

Antonio Gates, TE - Knee (Questionable)

Trevor Williams, CB - Knee (Out)


Top 5 Fantasy Players

Melvin Gordon, RB (LAC)

Keenan Allen, WR (LAC)

Philip Rivers, QB (LAC)

Phillip Lindsay, RB (DEN)

Emmanuel Sanders, WR (DEN)

Prediction

With this being a divisional matchup, I picture it being a close game for at least three quarters. The Broncos will make some plays in the beginning of the game and some key stops in order to stay in the game. However, this Chargers offensive attack will take over in the fourth to pull away with the victory. I have the Chargers by two scores, pulling them closer to the Chiefs for the top of the AFC West.


Final Score: Chargers 27, Broncos 17


Written by: Ryan Lippert



Oakland Raiders (1-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals (2-7)

Preview

Two bottom of the barrel teams are set to square off for the battle for the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Raiders are currently set to pick 1st with Arizona coming in at 4th. Oakland remains the only 1-loss team in the league and will head to the desert to face off against the 2-win Cardinals, who picked up both their wins against division rival the San Francisco 49ers. This is set to be one of the most frustrating games to watch in week 11; both teams are unproductive offensively, and have been poorly coached to this point in their dying season. This game will have lasting implications on the future of these organizations. It may be wiser to play for draft position, but this is the NFL, and giving up on a season will usually have you on the street without a job. Both teams will be trying to build confidence, as the players and coaches pride is on the line in this battle of bottom feeders.


Players to watch

Byron Leftwich ignited a stagnant offense last week against Kansas City, but David Johnson’s stock was boosted the most. Last week marked the emergence of an elite dual-threat back. Johnson finished the outing with 183 yards and 2 scores, opening up the field for playmakers like Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. Expect Josh Rosen to get them involved early, but the key to this game will be to protect the ball, as Rosen has turned it over 10 times in just 7 contests. Chandler Jones will be tasked with pressuring Derek Carr, as Carr could turn in a 400 yard performance or dud out in any given week. The Doug Martin resurgence is real; he has been their most productive player since Marshawn went on IR, and he will need to have a big game against the NFL’s 28th ranked run defense.


Keys to the game

Oakland Raiders

Pressure Rosen

Stop David Johnson

Force Turnovers

Arizona Cardinals

Protect the Ball

Get David Johnson Involved Early

Play Aggressively

Take Chances


Injury list

Oakland Raiders

Martavis Bryant, WR - Knee (Out)

Jordy Nelson, WR - Knee (Out)

Nick Nelson, CB - Illness (Questionable)

Kyle Wilber, LB - Knee (Questionable)

Gareon Conley, CB - Groin (Questionable)


Arizona Cardinals

Budda Baker, S - Knee (Out)

Chad Williams, WR - Ankle (Out)

Phil Dawson, K - Hip (Questionable)

Rudy Ford, S - Heel (Questionable)

Rodney Gunter, DT - Not Injury Reported (Questionable)

D.J. Humphries, OL - Knee (Questionable)

Mike Iupati, OG - Back (Questionable)

Robert Nkemdiche, DT - Calf (Questionable)


Top 5 Fantasy Players

David Johnson, RB (AZ)

Derek Carr, QB (OAK)

Doug martin, RB (OAK)

Larry Fitzgerald, WR (AZ)

Josh Rosen, QB (AZ)

Prediction

Expect David Johnson to control the game from the first snap. He provided the explosive playmaking ability this past Sunday many thought would be in full swing 10 weeks ago. The Cardinals offense has been turnover-prone and stagnant for the majority of the season, ranking last in offensive production. If this continues, the Raiders will have an excellent chance to take home their second win of the year. However, with the Raiders ranking 28th in takeaways this season, there won’t be many opportunities to steal this game. This contest heavily favors Arizona, and Josh Rosen will have plenty of room for a breakout game in this week 11 matchup.


Final Score: Cardinals 23, Raiders 16


Written by: Jason Feiner



Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) vs. New Orleans Saints (8-1)

Preview

The hottest team in the NFL looks to continue its streak as the New Orleans Saints welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to the Superdome. The Eagles are coming off of a home divisional loss to the Cowboys and are looking to stay alive in their wide-open division. The Saints, meanwhile, will have to play two games at home in a five-day span, hosting the Falcons on Thanksgiving night. This game has the potential to be the best contest of the season, so we’re looking to see if these squads can live up to the hype. It’s very possible that this is a potential NFC playoff game if the Eagles can swipe the division away from Washington.


Players to watch

It’s a quarterback showdown, as Carson Wentz will look to go blow-for-blow with the NFL MVP frontrunner Drew Brees. Brees has more help though, with a stout running game in Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, along with Michael Thomas to beat the Eagles over the top. Pass rush could be a factor, as both quarterbacks enjoy a clean pocket, but aren’t afraid to tuck it if the play can’t be reasonably completed. Look for the Saints secondary too, as their roster is healthier than Philadelphia’s, with Ronald Darby going on the IR just last week.


Keys to the game

Philadelphia Eagles

Keep Wentz upright

Restrict the running lanes

Get Brees in the ground


New Orleans Saints

Get the two-headed monster going

Brees’ continuing his deadly accuracy

Pass rush generation


Injury list

Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Mills. CB- Foot (Out)

Darren Sproles, RB- Hamstring (Out)

Josh Perkins, TE- Knee (Out)

Haloti Ngata, DE (Questionable)

Tim Jernigan, DT- Lower Back (Out)

Lane Johnson, OT (Questionable)


New Orleans Saints

Marcus Davenport, DE- Toe (Out)

Terron Armstead, OT- Pectoral (Out)


Top 5 Fantasy Players

Drew Brees, QB (NO)

Alvin Kamara, RB (NO)

Michael Thomas, WR (NO)

Carson Wentz, QB (PHI)

Zach Ertz, TE (PHI)

Prediction

All signs point to this game being the best contest of the Sunday games, and I don’t believe it will disappoint. However, New Orleans may slip up here, as they’re trying to focus on this scheduling conflict of having two games in a five-day span. The good side is both games are at home, so they won’t have to travel anywhere. Philadelphia is depleted in the secondary, and with #9 on the other side, that is the last situation any team wants to be in. New Orleans wins in a shootout, but don’t be surprised if it comes down to the final two minutes.


Final Score: Saints 35, Eagles 31


Written by: Joe Carlino



Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) vs. Chicago Bears (6-3)

Preview

This game could quite possibly determine the winner of the NFC North, and thus have major playoff implications. The Vikings are coming off of a bye week, and are looking to build upon their week 9 victory over the Detroit Lions. Minnesota has won four of its last five games, and two of the team’s three total losses have come against the Saints and the Rams, the top teams in the NFC. The Bears, on the other hand, are on a three-game win streak and are looking to continue to build momentum going into the home stretch of the season. Chicago currently sits a half game ahead of Minnesota, and it’s worth noting these teams meet again in Week 17. If at that point they are still within a game of one another, this game could be considered a scrimmage.


Players to watch

Mitchell Trubisky has been a pleasant surprise this season under Matt Nagy. The second year QB will have his hands full against a surging defense that is finally as close to full strength as they’ve been all year. Defensive end Danielle Hunter currently has 11.5 sacks on the season, including 3.5 last game in addition to a fumble recovery returned for a TD. The return of Everson Griffen, along with a possibly healthy Xavier Rhodes and Anthony Barr, is a scary thought for any opposing offense. On the opposite side of the ball, Kirk Cousins will have his hands full against the likes of Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Leonard Floyd. It will take a valiant effort from both offensive playmaking groups to win the game for their respective teams. Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, and Adam Thielen, or Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, and Allen Robinson… which weapons will prosper? Your guess is as good as mine!


Keys to the game

Minnesota Vikings

Continue to target Thielen

Exploit Chicago’s secondary

Protect Cousins

Limit Chicago’s explosive plays


Chicago Bears

Force Cousins into quick release

Exploit pass game mismatches with Tarik Cohen

Throw the kitchen sink (lots of gadget/misdirection plays)


Injury list

Minnesota Vikings

David Morgan, TE - Knee (Out)

Andrew Sendejo, S - Groin (Out)

Anthony Barr, LB - Hamstring (Questionable)

Mike Remmers, G - Lower Back (Questionable)

Tom Compton, OG - Knee (Questionable)


Chicago Bears

Dion Sims, TE - Concussion (Out)

Javon Wims, WR - Knee (Questionable)

Bilal Nichols, DT - Knee (Questionable)


Top 5 Fantasy Players

Adam Thielen, WR (MIN)

Mitchell Trubisky, QB (CHI)

Dalvin Cook, RB (MIN)

Tarik Cohen, RB (CHI)

Kirk Cousin, QB (MIN)

Prediction

This game is about as even a matchup as it could get. The Bears and Vikings defense couldn’t be closer in terms of ranks and statistics. They are 2nd and 3rd in sacks, 2nd and 3rd against the run, 11th and 12th against the pass, 3rd and 4th in yards allowed. The list goes on and on. So it’s nearly impossible to take one side or the other defensively. Offensively, it’s a different situation. The Vikings certainly have the more well rounded, more talented, and more proven offensive weapons, but the X-factor is playcaller Matt Nagy. He’s one of the league’s best at getting the most out of his players and setting them up for success. All that being said, I lean slightly towards the veteran QB and playmakers of the Minnesota Vikings, and believe they will edge out a victory at Soldier field.


Final Score: Vikings 27, Bears 24


Written by: Jack Bourgeois

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