Sports Editors Week 11 NFL Picks – The Colgate Maroon-News

Stuzin: Detroit Lions to New York Giants (+3)

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been shocked by the Giants’ performance this season. Running back Saquon Barkley proved the doubters wrong, leading the league in rushing yards with 931 and finishing sixth in rushing touchdowns. Also, while his yardage and touchdown numbers aren’t out of this world, QB Daniel Jones leads the league in interceptions with just two, and has a 60.2 QB rating, which ranks eighth.

As for their opponents, it looks like the Lions should have a better record than their current 3-6. QB Jared Goff does a decent job leading the offense with 2,277 passing yards (ranking 10th) and 15 passing touchdowns (ranking 8th). However, the Lions never seem to deliver the victory. With the recent success of the Giants, I expect them to cover this tight spread.

Martin: New York Jets (+3) to New England Patriots

The Jets lost to the Patriots at home in Week 8, with Zach Wilson having his worst game of the season with three picks. However, I think this game presents a great rebound opportunity for New York. Wilson was amazing two weeks ago against the Buffalo Bills in the Jets’ biggest win of the season so far; he avoided running the ball and had a 101.1 passer rating, for ESPN. Wilson’s fights against the Patriots have been a wake-up call: he needs to protect football.

If Wilson can simply avoid interceptions, the Jets defense will be able to carry this game forward. I love how Jets cornerbacks Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed stack up against the Patriots’ mediocre receiving core. The running game presents the Jets’ biggest challenge, with the Patriots backing up Rhamondre Stevenson looking like the real deal. However, the Jets defense should be able to bolster this divisional rivalry to get their first regular season win at Gillette Stadium since Brett Favre was the starting quarterback.

Fischer: Pittsburgh Steelers (+5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Is the Steelers defense back? After a stellar outing to hold the New Orleans Saints to 10 points Sunday, the return of TJ Watt has quickly revitalized “The Black and Gold.” In Week 1, the Steelers defeated the Bengals in overtime by a score of 23-20. In order for the Steelers to sweep the season series, Kenny Pickett doesn’t need to throw touchdowns—he simply has to avoid throwing interceptions, which he did against the Saints last weekend. In his sophomore regression, running back Najee Harris also struggled to catch passes, so Pickett’s improved comfort in the pocket should lead Harris to take a bigger role in the passing game.

After a bye week and a dominant performance against the Carolina Panthers in Week 9, the Cincinnati Bengals may have adjusted to the loss of Ja’Marr Chase. While all signs point to the Bengals heading for victory, playing in Pittsburgh is never an easy feat. With the “Terrible Bathrooms” on display, a battle of struggling offensive lines on a snowy day in Pittsburgh should ensure a close relationship between these two teams.

Notis: Chicago Bears (+3) at Atlanta Falcons

Though the Bears dropped a bite to the Lions in Week 10, one thing has become clear: Quarterback Justin Fields is the real deal. Fields became the dual threat quarterback fans have dreamed of since his days at Ohio State. Behind him the Bears’ offensive seems to be reborn, tearing apart the air and ground defenses. Newly acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool expanded the core of the defense and gave Fields more room to create. Although the Lions have the worst defensive rating in the NFL (according to ESPN), no one should expect Fields’ dominance to not stop against the Falcons.

The Falcons, second ESPN, have the second worst defensive rating in the NFL. Fields is evolving before our eyes and has the opportunity to play the two worst defenses in the NFL in consecutive weeks. This is the easiest way to develop a young quarterback. Fields’ development combined with the ineffective defense of the Falcons is the perfect recipe for a Bears victory.

Silverstein: Minnesota Vikings (+1.5) vs Dallas Cowboys

The 8-1 Vikings have won seven in a row, are undefeated at home, just beat the Bills in Buffalo and, of course, are some underdogs to a Dallas team that has looked a bit shaky in recent weeks. The scary thing for Cowboys fans is that their last two games have confirmed what many suspected: They aren’t necessarily much better off with Dak Prescott in center than Cooper Rush. That’s not Dak’s fault per se, but instead falls back on the unusually poor defensive play we’ve seen, with the Cowboys giving up 29 and 31 points, respectively, to the mediocre Packers and Bears. Under Rush, the Dallas defense was shutting down the teams, which allowed them to pass the ball and play safely in the air. But with the defense starting to stumble a bit, Dak had to throw the ball more than he should, leading to costly turnovers. Dallas’ playmaker defense needs to get back on track, but I don’t think that will happen against one of the most talented skill sets in the league. SKOL Vikings this Sunday in Minneapolis.

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