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NFL games: Week 11

Bengals (6-3) at Ravens (6-3)

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1 p.m., Ch. 10

Ravens by 7, 40½

So the Ravens, considered Super Bowl contenders, can credit two of their three losses to the Jaguars (3-6) and Seahawks (3-6). Huh? This season never disappoints when it comes to surprises, with Baltimore losing at Seattle last week. The Ravens can't afford another letdown given the tight AFC North. They likely will be without LB Ray Lewis (toe), but there's something to be said for QB Joe Flacco, above, and his 23-5 home record. The D is a big reason, but that's impressive.

Ravens 23, Bengals 17

Panthers (2-7) at Lions (6-3)

1 p.m.

Lions by 7, 47½

Are the Lions tailing off? Since starting 5-0, they have lost three of four, including last week — in a blowout — at the Bears. This might not be a crisis, but with games against the Packers and Saints in the next two weeks, now might be a good time to figure things out. QB Matthew Stafford, above, didn't respond well to Chicago's pass rush. Part of the problem is Stafford misses RB Jahvid Best (concussion), the poor man's Matt Forte. The defense must pick up the slack.

Lions 27, Panthers 20

Jaguars (3-6) at Browns (3-6)

1 p.m.

Browns by 1, 34

It's hard to have any real convictions about a game that is so thoroughly inconsequential. Anyhow, here goes nothing. One question worth asking: What in the world has happened to Browns QB Colt McCoy? It's not so much the numbers of McCoy, above, as it is his inability to generate points. The Browns have averaged 10 over their past four games. And the Jacksonville defense is better than most believe, DE Jeremy Mincey posting 3½ sacks over his past three games.

Jaguars 16, Browns 13

Bills (5-4) at Dolphins (2-7)

1 p.m.

Dolphins by 2, 43

This game will provide some clarity for both teams. Are the Bills, once 4-1, as ordinary as their 44-7 loss to the Cowboys last week suggests? Is the Dolphins' two-game win streak a mirage? Right now, the Bills are giving us more reason to wonder than the Dolphins. Miami is tough against the run and makes teams work for their points. The running game is going well with Reggie Bush, above, and Daniel Thomas, creating some high-percentage throws for QB Matt Moore.

Dolphins 21, Bills 20

Raiders (5-4) at Vikings (2-7)

1 p.m.

Vikings by 1, 45½

Suddenly, the Raiders seem to be rising to the top of the AFC West. That's largely because of QB Carson Palmer, above. Give him credit for his superb play against San Diego last week. He completed 14 of 20 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns. That's as efficient a game as you'll see in the NFL (a 125 QB rating). The Vikings cannot seem to put anything together and are back to the drawing board after their uncompetitive outing against the Packers on Monday.

Raiders 23, Vikings 17

Cowboys (5-4) at Redskins (3-6)

1 p.m.

Cowboys by 7, 41½

The 'Skins have lost five straight, and they're losing in unsightly fashion. They've scored just 20 points over their past three games, and the quarterback carousel is in full swing. The Cowboys are trying to pull things together and can make a run at the NFC East title at this rate. Rookie DeMarco Murray, above, has rushed for 274 yards over his past two games, and now he faces a defense that has allowed 100-yard rushing performances in two of its past three games.

Cowboys 27, Redskins 14

Seahawks (3-6) at Rams (2-7)

4 p.m.

Rams by 3, 39

The last time these two played, the NFC West title was on the line in the regular-season finale. There's less at stake today. What decides this game? Well, it's hard to say because they are evenly matched. Both have struggling quarterbacks but capable running backs. But St. Louis' Steven Jackson, above, gets the nod over Marshawn Lynch. Jackson has averaged 139 yards over his past three games, in which the Rams are 2-1. Also notable, Brandon Lloyd has given QB Sam Bradford a legitimate No. 1 target.

Rams 21, Seahawks 17

Cardinals (3-6) at 49ers (8-1)

4 p.m.

49ers by 10, 40½

The 49ers look likely to sweep their division opponents this season, something that rarely happens in the league. This is one of five remaining NFC West games left on San Francisco's schedule, which makes one of the top playoff seedings and a first-round playoff bye very attainable for these winners of seven straight. The Cardinals hope to get QB Kevin Kolb back today, but Niners RB Frank Gore, above, won't give him many possessions. Gore has 11 touchdowns over his past nine games against Arizona.

49ers 28, Cardinals 17

Chargers (4-5) at Bears (5-3)

4:15 p.m.

Bears by 3½, 45

It's four straight wins and counting for the Bears. They weren't a team we took all that seriously a few weeks ago, but what they have done of late is undeniable. The defense has been playing inspired, which shouldn't be surprising when it comes to the Bears. But it's a bit unexpected given the defensive performances during the first few weeks of the season. With a veteran unit that includes the likes of LB Brian Urlacher, above right, it will give QB Jay Cutler enough chances to pull it out.

Bears 27, Chargers 24

Titans (5-4) at Falcons (5-4)

4:15 p.m., Ch. 10

Falcons by 6, 44

Welcome back, Chris Johnson. The Tennessee star, above, rushed for a season-high 130 yards against Carolina last week after a mystifyingly slow start. It's too soon to predict he'll do it again. But would anyone be surprised? On the other side, Falcons coach Mike Smith took heat for that fourth-and-inches failure in overtime against the Saints last week. But look for his players to respond positively to the second-guessing because the decision showed aggressiveness and affirmed they're playing for something.

Falcons 24, Titans 21

Eagles (3-6) at Giants (6-3)

8:20 p.m., Ch. 8

Giants by 5, 45½

A tough stretch for the Giants continues. The Eagles are 3-6, but this is a rivalry game within the NFC East. Considering this difficult portion of the schedule — it just played New England and San Francisco and takes on New Orleans and Green Bay in the next two weeks — New York needs to take care of business here. Soon, we'll know if it is a serious contender. Today, however, QB Eli Manning, above, just needs to be steady. Eagles QB Michael Vick has broken ribs, so Vince Young gets the call.

Giants 29, Eagles 20

Chiefs (4-5) at Patriots (6-3)

8:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN

Patriots by 15, 46½

This would have been a neat story featuring Chiefs QB Matt Cassel against his ex-team and QB Tom Brady. Except Cassel is out with an injury to his throwing hand, and Tyler Palko is Kansas City's quarterback. Yes, the Chiefs are going with a guy who has four career appearances (no starts) and none under the Monday night lights. As ragged as the Patriots defense tends to be (it's last overall), look for coach Bill Belichick, above, to get after Palko. That gives the ball back to Brady, and, well, that's trouble.

Patriots 33, Chiefs 17

NFL games: Week 11 11/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 19, 2011 7:45pm]
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