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NFL Week 11: Game previews, predictions

This season we've asked Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones and readers to forecast the NFL results. To make your picks, go to

Broncos at Bears, 1

Line/OU: Broncos by 1; 40½ Broncos QB Peyton Manning to miss game with foot, rib and shoulder injuries; backup Brock Osweiler, who turns 25 today, makes first career start. Healthy QB could lead to downfield opportunities for WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. DE DeMarcus Ware tied for eighth in league with 6½ sacks but is battling back issues. Bears coach John Fox facing former team for first time after leading Denver to 46-18 regular-season record over previous four seasons. Since he was traded by Denver to Chicago in 2009, first meaningful game against Broncos for Jay Cutler, who had career-high 151 QB rating last week and became first Bear with two TD passes of 80 or more yards in one game. RB Jeremy Langford has 324 scrimmage yards (145 rushing, 179 receiving) with three TDs (two rushing, one receiving) over past two games.

JONES: Bears 20, Broncos 13 READERS: Bears 54.8 percent

Redskins at Panthers, 1

Line/OU: Panthers by 7; 44½ Redskins' Kirk Cousins had perfect QB rating of 158.3 against Saints last week, completing 20 of 25, 324 yards and four TDs. Former Gators TE Jordan Reed has five TDs in past three games. Panthers have won 13 straight regular-season games and are 9-0 for first time in club history. They have scored at least 27 points in seven straight games. Cam Newton has six games in which he has thrown and ran for TD. He has 136 career combined TDs. Only Dan Marino (171) and Peyton Manning (147) had more in their first five seasons. Jonathan Stewart has rushed for 1,341 yards since Week 13 of last season, more than any other back.

JONES: Panthers 30 Redskins 20 READERS: Panthers 93.5 percent

Colts at Falcons, 1

Line/OU: Falcons by 5; 47½ Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck, 40, makes third start of season in place of injured Andrew Luck. Colts have surrendered average of 279.3 yards through air, ranking 28th in pass defense. After Falcons, Indy faces only one more team that currently has winning record, Pittsburgh. Falcons' Julio Jones leads league with 80 catches for 1,029 yards and six TDs and has shot at eclipsing Marvin Harrison's single-season receptions record (143). WR Leonard Hankerson expects to return for Falcons after missing past two games with hamstring injury. Atlanta is 3-1 at home, with only Georgia Dome loss coming in overtime against Bucs.

JONES: Falcons 28 Colts 10 READERS: Falcons 83.9 percent

Cowboys at Dolphins, 1

Line/OU: Cowboys by 1; 46 Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell started 30 games at tight end for Cowboys in 2003-05. A win gives Jason Garrett his 44th regular-season victory, tying Jimmy Johnson for second in Cowboys history behind Tom Landry, who had 250. Since Week 2 of 2014, Cowboys are 15-3 when QB Tony Romo starts and 0-8 when he doesn't. He returns after missing seven games with collarbone injury. Seven-game losing skid is club's longest in single season since 1989. Miami averages 4.8 yards per rush, fourth in NFL, but runs only 35 percent of time, third-lowest in league. Dolphins rank next to last in NFL in third-down conversion (29.5 percent) and last in fourth-down conversion (2-for-12). Rookie Matt Darr leads league with punting average of 49.1 yards.

JONES: Cowboys 17 Dolphins 16 READERS: Dolphins 51.6 percent

Jets at Texans, 1

Line/OU: Jets by 3½; 40 Jets' Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had surgery on thumb ligament of left hand on Nov. 13 but is expected to start, has thrown at least two TD passes in seven of past nine games. RB Chris Ivory has four TDs in past six games combined. Brandon Marshall has 25 catches for 293 yards and one TD in three meetings with Texans. CB Darrelle Revis leads NFL with six takeaways, including three fumble recoveries and three INTs. Texans QB Brian Hoyer has concussion and is questionable; backup T.J. Yates played first game since September 2014 when he took over for Hoyer in third quarter Monday and threw winning TD pass to DeAndre Hopkins. LB Brian Cushing leads team with 76 tackles.

JONES: Jets 13 Texans 10 READERS: Jets 67.7 percent

Raiders at Lions, 1

Line/OU: Lions by 1; 50 Raiders' Derek Carr has averaged 306 yards passing over past four games with 13 TDs and three INTs. Latavius Murray ranks 10th among NFL backs with 90.1 yards from scrimmage per game. WR Michael Crabtree was targeted season-low five times in last week's loss after scoring four TDs and being targeted 32 times previous three games, but he faces a depleted Raiders secondary. Lions have not won two straight for nearly a year. Matthew Stafford was not sacked in last week's win at Green Bay after being sacked 13 times in previous two games.

JONES: Lions 19 Raiders 17 READERS: Raiders 71 percent

Rams at Ravens, 1

Line/OU: Ravens by 2½; 41½ Ravens WR Chris Givens was traded from Rams last month and scored first TD with Baltimore last week. Joe Flacco has 13 TDs and three INTs in past eight home games. Ravens placed ex-Buc Jeremy Zuttah on IR, leaving John Urschel to make first career start at center. Rams bench QB Nick Foles for backup Case Keenum — making first start of year — so look for them to attempt to establish run with RB Todd Gurley. Rams defense leads NFC with 29 sacks. Red-zone defense has permitted TDs just 36 percent of time, best percentage in league.

JONES: Ravens 23 Rams 14 READERS: Ravens 64.5 percent

Chiefs at Chargers, 4

Line/OU: Chiefs by 3; 44½ Chiefs have won three straight after five-game skid to tie Raiders for second in AFC West, three behind Broncos; Chargers, last in division, have lost five straight. In past five games Chiefs have held opponents to average of 14 points. In past two, Chiefs have 11 sacks, seven INTs. Alex Smith needs six more passes to break Chiefs record for consecutive throws without INT, held by Steve DeBerg. Charcandrick West has rushed for 309 yards, three TDs in past four games and faces a porous defense. Chargers retiring LaDainian Tomlinson's No. 21 at halftime, joining Dan Fouts (14), Lance Alworth (19), Junior Seau (55) in having number retired. Rookie RB Melvin Gordon still looking for first NFL TD and first 100-yard game.

JONES: Chargers 27 Chiefs 20 READERS: Chiefs 71 percent

Packers at Vikings, 4:25

Line/OU: Vikings by 1; 44 Packers 9-1-1 in past 11 games against Vikings. In 10 starts against Vikings since 2010, Aaron Rodgers is 9-1 with 123.8 passer rating, 26 TDs and three INTs. Davante Adams had career-high 10 catches last week in loss to Lions. Despite three-game skid, Packers still fourth in NFL with plus-7 turnover margin. Vikings have won five straight for first time since 6-0 start to 2009 season. Adrian Peterson leads league with 961 rushing yards and with six career 200-yard games, he is tied with O.J. Simpson for most in NFL history. Vikings one of nine teams that have matched or passed 2014 victory total.

JONES: Packers 26 Vikings 17 READERS: Vikings 74.2 percent

49ers at Seahawks, 4:25

Line/OU: Seahawks by 13; 39½ Seahawks have won four straight in series, including 20-3 win one month ago when they sacked Colin Kaepernick six times and held 49ers to 142 total yards. QB Blaine Gabbert to make second start for 49ers after leading them to win over Atlanta two weeks ago. RB Carlos Hyde missed past two games with foot injury and status is unclear. Seahawks have lost two straight at home and haven't lost three in a row at home since 2008. Russell Wilson threw two INTs in last meeting with 49ers but is 4-0 against them at home. Marshawn Lynch had season-high 122 rushing yards in last meeting, his only 100-yard game this season. CB Richard Sherman has 10 straight regular-season games without INT dating to last season, longest drought of career.

JONES: Seahawks 31 49ers 10 READERS: Seahawks 100 percent

Bengals at Cards, 8:30

Line/OU: Cardinals by 4½; 48½ Cardinals haven't beaten Bengals since 2007. Bengals playing third straight prime-time game, Arizona playing second straight on Sunday night. Cardinals QB Carson Palmer drafted No. 1 overall by Bengals in 2003. QB Andy Dalton has started every game for Bengals since Palmer left. Palmer ranks second in NFL in passer rating (108), Dalton fourth (104.6). Palmer has thrown for at least 300 yards in six of nine games and is second in NFL in TD passes with 23. Cards offense has topped 400 yards in past four games and seven of nine. Arizona's Andre Ellington and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson are only players to have two runs of 45-plus yards this season. Cincy has 26 sacks and been sacked 14, a plus-12 differential that ranks third in league.

JONES: Cardinals 31 Bengals 28 READERS: Cardinals 61.3 percent

Bills at Patriots, 8:30 Monday

Line/OU: Patriots by 7; 48 Patriots have won 27 of past 31 meetings dating to 2000. QB Tom Brady has 24 regular-season wins vs. Bills, more than any other opponent. DE Chandler Jones has sack in five straight games and leads NFL with 10½. Pats are fourth defending Super Bowl champ to begin next season 9-0. They've scored in 35 consecutive quarters, besting 1999-2000 Rams, who scored in 31. Bills have not won three in row since 2011. DT Kyle Williams (knee) is expected to miss fourth game. LeSean McCoy and rookie Karlos Williams of FSU have combined for 378 yards rushing and four TDs in past two games. Williams could become first player in NFL history to score TD in first seven career games.

JONES: Patriots 35 Bills 17 READERS: Patriots 90.3 percent

Game text from Times wires Bye week: Browns, Giants, Saints, Steelers

NFL Week 11: Game previews, predictions 11/21/15 [Last modified: Saturday, November 21, 2015 7:19pm]
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