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NFL's Week 11 games

Vikings (2-8) at Falcons (6-4)

1 p.m.

Falcons by 9½, 44

Falcons QB Matt Ryan has averaged 314 yards and tossed six touchdowns over his past three games. Meanwhile, Atlanta has won four of its past five, the lone loss coming against the NFC South-leading Saints when coach Mike Smith, above, took that fourth-down gamble in overtime. The Falcons have little margin for error in their playoff push with another game against the Saints and a game at Houston looming. The Vikings are playing for next season.

Falcons 27, Vikings 17

Cardinals (3-7) at Rams (2-8)

1 p.m.

Rams by 2½, 39½

This is not as much a stat as an indictment. After the NFC West-leading 49ers, the other members of the division — including the Cardinals and Rams — have a combined nine victories. That's the same as the 49ers themselves. Here, two of those also-rans get together in a matchup a handful of TV viewers in the country will be forced to watch. The Cardinals must get something out of RB Beanie Wells, above. That's possible against the league-worst run defense.

Cardinals 21, Rams 17

Panthers (2-8) at Colts (0-10)

1 p.m.

Panthers by 3½, 46

The Panthers continue to show they're shaky on defense. However, this matchup works in their favor because of the Colts' inability to — well — score. Indianapolis is averaging just 13.1 points and ranks 31st in total yards. Its defense is just as poor, so Panthers QB Cam Newton, above, could be a fantasy football dream. If Carolina wants to finish strong, it needs to win this one. Its six remaining games include contests against the Falcons, Texans and Saints.

Panthers 28, Colts 20

Bills (5-5) at Jets (5-5)

1 p.m., Ch. 10

Jets by 9½, 42

Which of these clubs had the more disappointing loss last week? Was it the Bills getting blasted at Miami, or the Jets falling apart at Denver? Either way, both teams are fading — fast. But the Bills seem to be plummeting faster. Their defense appears to have hit a wall, unable to get stops in recent games against the Jets, Cowboys and Dolphins while giving up 106 points. Jets QB Mark Sanchez, above, is struggling, but coach Rex Ryan has pledged unequivocal support.

Jets 24, Bills 17

Browns (4-6) at Bengals (6-4)

1 p.m.

Bengals by 7½, 37½

It has been a frustrating two weeks in Cincinnati with seven-point losses to AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore. That means the Bengals must win to keep pace. Fortunately for them, they play a team today that seems disinterested in scoring. The Browns have averaged 12.7 points over the past three weeks and now face the formidable Bengals defense. On offense, Bengals star rookie WR A.J. Green, above, seems on track to return from a knee injury.

Bengals 26, Browns 13

Texans (7-3) at Jaguars (3-7)

1 p.m.

Texans by 6½, 37

Just as the Texans were beginning to widen their lead in the AFC South, they learned the devastating news that QB Matt Schaub is out for the rest of the season with a broken foot courtesy of Bucs DT Albert Haynesworth. But not all is lost. Though Matt Leinart, above, is Houston's starter — not a comforting thought — the construction of this team gives him a chance. The potent running game coupled with a dominant defense makes Leinart's job manageable.

Texans 23, Jaguars 17

Redskins (3-7) at Seahawks (4-6)

4 p.m.

Seahawks by 3½, 37½

The Seahawks have quietly beaten the Giants and Ravens this season, then blew out the struggling Rams last week. The point is this is a very winnable game for coach Pete Carroll, above, and his team, who aren't in contention for the NFC West title they won last season but still can salvage something out of 2011. Keep an eye on RB Marshawn Lynch, who has broken out recently. He has run for 332 yards over his past three games.

Seahawks 23, Redskins 20

Bears (7-3) at Raiders (6-4)

4 p.m.

Raiders by3½, 41½

QB Jay Cutler's injury couldn't have come at a worse time for Chicago. The Raiders, meanwhile, should count their blessings. After all, they get to face Caleb Hanie, above, which can't hurt their playoff chances. The question here is if — or how quickly — the Bears fade without Cutler. RB Matt Forte is suddenly less unstoppable because the Raiders, led by tackles Tommy Kelly and Desmond Bryant, can focus mostly on him.

Raiders 24, Bears 17

Patriots (7-4) at Eagles (4-6)

4:15 p.m.

Patriots by 3½, 50½

Teams never seem to know what to expect when they travel to Philadelphia these days. You could wind up like the Giants last week (17-10 losers) or pull off an upset like the lowly Cardinals did two weeks ago. As it relates to this game, the Eagles — whether with Vince Young, above, or Michael Vick at quarterback — are likely to make some downfield plays. But the Patriots, with QB Tom Brady, are sure to make a few of their own.

Patriots 31, Eagles 24

Broncos (5-5) at Chargers (4-6)

4:15 p.m., Ch. 10

Chargers by 5½, 41½

There's a lot to admire about Denver QB Tim Tebow, above. He is unconventional, fearless, clutch and humble. What's not to like? But this can't and won't continue. Yes, Chargers QB Phillip Rivers is struggling — in comparison with previous seasons, at least. But Tebow hasn't beaten a top-flight quarterback during his 4-1 stint as a starter, and that's probably the difference here. Watch for Broncos rookie LB Von Miller, who has 9½ sacks.

Chargers 26, Broncos 17

Steelers (7-4) at Chiefs (4-6)

8:20 p.m., Ch. 8

Steelers by 10½, 40

The Chiefs know they're in trouble. How else to explain jumping on QB Kyle Orton on the waiver wire last week? After seeing Tyler Palko, above, start his first game in place of injured Matt Cassel, a blowout against the Patriots, they knew they had to act. But Orton isn't quite ready to take the reins, so Palko goes from facing Tom Brady to facing Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers need a win in order to keep pace with the Ravens.

Steelers 28, Chiefs 13

Giants (6-4) at Saints (7-3)

8:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN

Saints by 7, 51

The Giants showed a susceptibility to the deep ball against the Eagles last week. And guess what? They're going to see a few Monday. Their best chance is to get consistent heat on QB Drew Brees, above. It has worked for a few teams, including the Bucs, making Brees a bit less efficient. But the Giants also have to slow RB Darren Sproles and TE Jimmy Graham and WR Marques Colston and — you get the point.

Saints 24, Giants 20

NFL's Week 11 games 11/26/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 26, 2011 11:47pm]
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