The More You Know, The Less You Know- After 10 weeks of NFL football if one thing stands out is that sometimes you never really know how some games will turn out. While a good number of games follow a script others deviate from the “so-called” script in ways you could not imagine. Last week The KSL took the Colts to beat the Rams rather handily. The only thing we were right about was the fact the game was going to be a blow out. Two weeks ago the KSL picked Seattle to run Tampa Bay out of Century Link Field. Seattle won but had to rally from three touchdowns down. We also took the Raiders to beat the Eagles, but missed two factors. First, the Raiders defense wasn’t strong, and that the Eagles are a far better road team than at home. Add to that Nick Foles had a career day that nobody could have predicted. The point here is that even when some games look to be obvious that’s when the old adage of “On Any Given Sunday...” kicks in. At the same time you have to give credit to those teams who pull such upsets too. One thing to keep in mind is that even the worst teams have 53 players who made an NFL roster, which is something most who have played football at any level cannot say. The reason you get a result as was the case in last week’s Rams 30 point blowout of the Colts is that one team sometime catches the other on the right day at the right time. If you are on the receiving end of a blow out loss, then the opposite is true. Picking football games is like predicting the weather, it’s not an exact science.
How January is Shaping Up- Starting as early as next week you will start seeing playoff scenarios on the national broadcast of games. You will see even more when Thanksgiving rolls around in less than two weeks. The Kingshark Line though does not wait for that, besides most fans already have the charts and graphs on their minds now. In the AFC both the Chiefs and Broncos will be in. One will win the AFC West, the other will be a Wild Card team. It’s that simple. In the AFC North, the Bengals would appear to be the favorite but have dropped their last two games in close losses to Miami and Baltimore. Don’t count the Ravens out yet. The Steelers and Browns are done. In the AFC South, despite a bad loss last Sunday the Colts on a short week rebounded Thursday night in a come from behind 30-27 win over the Tennessee Titans. Combine this with Titans loss to Jacksonville last week and the Colts should have the AFC South all but locked up. In the AFC East, we cannot really see anyone overtaking New England. The way the Dolphins have started to slide, and the Jets and Bills remembering they are the Jets and Bills, the Patriots almost could not give the division away. In the NFC West, if Seattle beats the Vikings, and the Saints beat the 49ers Sunday, the Seahawks would be a mortal lock to win the division and are basically guaranteed a top two seeding in the NFC like it or not. The 49ers with this scenario are not out of the playoff picture by any means, but they’re only route to the post season will be the Wild Card. In the NFC North without Aaron Rogers Green Bay becomes very ordinary. The Bears are also playing with a back-up QB as well. Can the Lions be anyone other than the Lions? The NFC North is up for grabs. The NFC South is between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. Whomever does not win this division most likely will be a wild card team. Someone will win the NFC East. Dallas is struggling, the Eagles would be favored if they could play all their games on the road, and the NY Giants despite an 0-6 start now have won three straight. All of a sudden they are not out of it either which is just plain crazy.
The Kinghark Line- The Kingshark line currently stands at 101-48 after 10 Weeks plus one Thursday night game. The Kingshark line took the Colts to win 27-17 in the Thursday night game over Tennessee. Indianapolis found a way to handle their business after falling behind two touchdowns late in the first half. Most of the games that are played from here on up through the end of the regular season (Week 17) will have playoff implications even if only indirectly. Much more is going to be on the line as teams know these are all big money games now. Things can only get more interesting from here on. For the Dallas Cowboys and St Louis Rams, Week 11 is their bye week. The Bye Week is a 3 ½ point favorite over the Cowboys and Rams too. All other teams are in play otherwise. Here is a look at how the Kingshark Line view’s NFL Week 11:
Baltimore@Chicago (CBS)- The Bears and Ravens meet at Soldier Field with the outcome of the game likely to have some impact on both teams post-season aspirations. The Bears missed too many opportunities last week in a home loss to the Lions while the Ravens won in overtime over the Bengals despite a last second Cincy TD that sent the game to overtime. The Ravens offensively are a team that just does not put a lot of points on the board and relies on their defense to close out games. The Bears can be very good one game and very mistake prone in the next. Jay Cutler will be out with a high ankle sprain leaving it up to career backup Josh McCown to lead the team. With all of their flaws the Ravens are still formidable. If Joe Flacco has a decent game it could be a tough day for Chicago. Ravens 17 Bears 13.
NY Jets@Buffalo (CBS)- Two instate teams battle in a game where one team maybe realizing that more than likely this is the first game of “playing out the string”. The Bills have taken three sound beatings in a row after giving most teams a run for their money early. The Jets are coming in off of a bye week and looking to make the best they can of this campaign. The Jets enter this game at 5-4 and if the season ended now the would be the sixth seed in the AFC. This game will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes which can make for an interesting game in upon itself. The Jets have more on the line, but the instate rival would love nothing more than to put a wrench in that and get some payback for a Week 3 loss at the Meadowlands. The Bills if they do nothing else here will make the Jets earn it. Jets 20 Bills 16.
Cleveland@Cincinnati (CBS)- The Bengals enter this contest returning home after a two game road swing which produced very tough overtime losses in Miami and Baltimore. The Bengals are a very good team however they have shown that winning under pressure may still not be their forte. Add to the mix an instate rival who would love to knock them off, and who won the earlier season meeting in Northeast Ohio in somewhat convincing fashion. Andy Dalton is still learning how to be a big time quarterback and to his credit has gotten up every time he has been knocked down and gone at it even harder. The Bengals despite the two losses still have control of the division provided they can win most of the remaining games on the schedule. The Bengals at home should be able to handle the Browns. However look for the Browns to battle here too. Bengals 27 Browns 17.
Detroit@Pittsburgh (FOX)- There was once a day where the thought of the Lions winning on the road in Pittsburgh would almost be either a laughable notion or a script that would never be read even in Hollywood. However these are not your father’s Lions. The problem for Pittsburgh here however is that these are not your father’s Steelers either. Big Ben has been bad for the Steelers this season. The rest of the team has been worse. The Lions suddenly lead the NFC North and with a win could take control of the division, which in itself sounds wild. This does not guarantee the Lions will do well here as the Steelers at 3-6 are still paying for a degree of pride if nothing else. The Lions can win this game but in doing so will have to earn it. If Matthew Stafford has a good day against the NFL’s fourth rated pass defense, the Lions should take this one. The Lions defense has some liabilities, but so does the Steelers offense. Lions 20 Steelers 17.
Washington@Philadelphia (FOX)- The last time the Eagles left Lincoln Financial Field, they had dropped two in a row to the division rival Cowboys and Giants scoring only 10 points in eight quarters. The Eagles then go on the road and score 76 points in two games against the Raiders and Packers, winning both games fairly easily and decidedly. Nick Foles in two weeks threw more TD passes than the Eagles had in their previous eight games prior. Philadelphia has been explosive. They are 4-5 overall, 4-1 on the road. Now the Eagles are back home where they have been horrible at best. Three of the four games they lost at home were basically near blowouts in someways. In Week 1 these two teams got together on Monday Night Football and set back the league about 20 years. The Redskins are playing for a paycheck, the Eagles are playing for the NFC Least...I mean East...The Eagles have everything going for them here except home field advantage having lost 10 in a row at home. The Eagles have to win at home sometime. They also have to realize that they have found their QB, and his name is NOT Michael Vick. Eagles 26 Redskins 23.
Arizona@Jacksonville (FOX)- The Jacksonville Jaguars return home after a long time away from Northern Florida to take on the Arizona Cardinals. At 5-4 the Cardinals are still in the hunt for a post season spot. At 1-8, the Jaguars are still in the hunt for the top pick in the April 2014 NFL Draft. The Jaguars finally got in the win column thanks to the Titans not taking their game with Jacksonville too seriously. The Cardinals got a tough game at home last week against the slumping Texans but found a way to win. This on paper looks like a game where the Cardinals should handle to Jaguars and that may happen. However the Jaguars are determined not to be a push over and will at least show up and do what they can to stay competitive. When we close our eyes and envision this game we see a battle of field goals. Josh Scobee is a very solid kicker and could go 4 for 4 on his best day for the Jaguars. The Cardinals have Jay Feely who has kicked many a field goal in his career too, and could also go 4 for 4. So what gives Arizona the edge? Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald. Cardinals 19 Jaguars 12.
Oakland@Houston (CBS)- If both teams had played to their preseason potential and a degree of their hype, this would have been a game with a piece of marque value. Instead, it will be a game that may rival Cardinals-Jaguars for worst game of the day. Both teams have pretty much gone into the tank after giving some hope to their fans early. The Raiders are in my view on an uptick but maybe now realize that this project is not an overnight one season deal. The Texans are well on their way to going back to the drawing board and facing the probability of having to reconstruct the team in the off-season. This will be another battle of the backups as Case Keenum takes on Matt McGloin. Keenam gets the edge only because he has been under center for several games and hasn’t embarrassed himself despite his team. Should be a barn burner. It will be if the Texans lose as their fans may burn down the stadium. Texans 17 Raiders 10.
Atlanta@Tampa Bay (FOX)- And here’s the third candidate for worst game of the day. The Falcons at 2-7 have fallen faster than a stone in the ocean. It’s hard to believe this was a 13-3 team just a year ago that missed the Super Bowl by 15 yards. The Buccaneers finally won their first game of the season this past Monday night in a win over the in-state rival Dolphins. Tampa also should have beaten Seattle too two weeks ago. The point is the Buccaneers are playing much better now that they realize they have nothing else to lose at this point. The Falcons in their last game against Seattle just looked like a team that was on the verge of quitting. This does not bode well for them here either. Buccaneers 20 Falcons 13.
San Diego@Miami (CBS)- The Chargers and Dolphins don’t get together too often, but when they have in the past they have put on some of the NFL’s most entertaining games. The Chargers come into the contest on a two game skid with tough losses at Washington and at home last week against Denver. The Chargers gave the Broncos a good fight last week and honestly should have beaten the Redskins. The Dolphins because of some major off field issues that have made national headlines have gone from a team on an uptick to a team in chaos. How much of a distraction this will be remains to be seen but it’s never good when you have those situations within your locker room. The Chargers if they can find their offense and get into high gear have a very winnable game before them. The Dolphins are coming off a tough loss 280 miles to their north in Tampa this past Monday and are looking to get their record back to .500 (as are the Chargers). The Dolphins have to prove that they are a team that is above the noise here to regain some respectability and have all the motivation in the world to do so. The problem with the Chargers? You simply never know what you will get with them. Dolphins 27 Chargers 24.
San Francisco@New Orleans (FOX)- The 49ers last week saw their offense shut down against a Carolina defense who was out to prove they are a legitimate playoff contender. The Saints took the Cowboys to the woodshed last weekend at the Superdome and showed they are a bonafide power in the NFC who is back. The Saints are a very strong team on both sides of the football. The 49ers have one of the league’s best defenses, but the offense and in particular the passing game has begun to raise lots of question marks. For the 49ers to win here they will have to play their best game of the season and do so in a hostile environment only rivaled in Seattle. The Saints will keep the 49ers defense busy. At the same time the Saints are also facing the best team defense they have seen this season too. A loss for the 49ers does not eliminate them from post season contention, but virtually guarantees they will be wild card hunting for the remainder of the season. The Saints on the road right now is a very tall order. Saints 24 49ers 17 ... for more on this game please click on this link: http://goldengatereport.com/articles/49ers-face-must-win-in-new-orleans-in-week-11
Green Bay@NY Giants (FOX)- In April when the league schedule came out this looked like a good game. As little as three weeks ago it looked like the Packers would roll the Giants. A lot has changed in the last three weeks for both teams. After an 0-6 start, the Giants have one their last three games and are only 1 ½ games out of the NFC Least...I mean East divisional race. The Packers with Aaron Rogers are a formidable foe. The Packers without Rogers are the Cleveland Browns especially if your backup is Seneca Wallace. The good news for the Packers is that Scott Tolzien will be the starting QB this week. The bad news for Tolzien is that there is a world of difference between QB for the Packers and being the QB for the Wisconsin Badgers. The Giants meanwhile are looking to possibly make NFL history as being the first ever team to rally from an 0-6 start to make the post season. The way the Cowboys and Eagles are going, you never know. The Giants three game winning streak hasn’t been pretty, but it’s still three wins in a row. The Packers just don’t look right without Rogers. Even the Green Bay defense is struggling now too. Four weeks ago we would not have done this, but you have to go with the hot hand. Not QB Eli Manning, but the Giants team as a whole. Giants 19 Packers 13.
Minnesota@Seattle (FOX)- The Seattle Seahawks owe the schedule maker a huge debt of gratitude as their schedule the rest of the way is nothing short of favorable. Most of the bumps remaining on their schedule are on the road. As for this game the Vikings come in having won their last game a week ago Thursday night and have had 10 days rest. The bad news is that none of that will even begin to matter. The Seahawks at 9-1 are too loaded, too tough and see the NFC West Division title coming into their sights. Seattle got an unexpected stiff test against Tampa at home two weeks ago and found a way to win. Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch & Company won’t have too many problems here. Blowout of the day potential. Seahawks 34 Vikings 10.
Kansas City@Denver (NBC)- The Chiefs and Broncos get together in this nationally televised tilt as these two teams meet twice over the next three weeks. This game could go a long ways towards determining who will take the AFC West, and who will be a wild card and a likely number five seed in the AFC post season. This will be a battle between the NFL’s top offense in the Broncos and the NFL’s top defense in the Chiefs. There is a good argument for either team to win this game. Peyton Manning is coming into the game with two bad ankles which bothered him last week in San Diego. Alex Smith has done his letter best as the Chiefs QB in making the plays he has had to make all season. This game will certainly be worth while as both teams have the potential to put on a good show. The Broncos liability is their defense which ranks in the bottom third of the league while the Chiefs offense is in the middle of the pack. Peyton Manning outdues Alex Smith here, but barely. It will make for an even more interesting match up in Kansas City in Week 13. Broncos 28 Chiefs 27.
New England@Carolina (ESPN)- The Carolina Panthers last week showed a good portion of the country that they are for real and their defense can stop any team cold and absolutely. That said, the Panthers get another test on Monday Night as they host the New England Patriots led by Tom Brady. The Panthers last Sunday held the 49ers to only two third conversions for the entire game and three and outs in all but one series in the second half. Brady has seen every defense imaginable at this point in his career and this alone won’t phase him. Cam Newton meanwhile did not have his best game last week though his receiving corps dropped passes they should have been able to catch. The Panthers only managed 10 points last week after averaging 30 a game over their last four games prior. In the end this is another game that has the potential to be highly entertaining and may come down to who has the ball last. Brady has however more weapons to work with and a better offensive line. That said, New England knows they will have to earn this one too. Patriots 23 Panthers 20.
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*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.