Saturday, November 17, 2012

NFL - Week Eleven Preview

The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers  ...

The rivalry is renewed once again this weekend when the two teams meet on Sunday Night Football in the Steel City.

Only thing is Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pictured lower left) is out of action for this week's big game with a share of first place in the AFC North at stake.
Big Ben was injured in his team's win last Monday night when we was sacked against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Meanwhile, the Ravens ran up the score against the visiting Oakland Raiders, 55-20 to improve to 7-2 this season and enjoy a one-game lead over the Steelers in the division race. Pittsburgh has won four straight games.
These two teams have dominated the AFC North for the better part of the 2000's. (Cincinnati won the division in 2005 and 2009 to interrupt the norm.)
The Ravens also have injuries on their side as linebacker Ray Lewis and defensive back Lardarius Webb are both gone for the season while LB Terrell Suggs continues to progress after being brought back to the active roster quicker than anticipated because of the depletion on the defense.
This game should be a slug fest once again as QB Joe Flacco leads the Ravens against the Byron Leftwich led Steelers offense.
Byron Leftwich?
Yes, that Byron Leftwich who was slinging the ball around for the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier in the decade of the 2000's.
Don't be misled however, because the Steelers offense has seen a rejuvenated running game in recent weeks and their defense is tops in the NFL.

Prediction - Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 17 (possibly in OT)

The rest of the action for Week Eleven (in capsule form) follows ...

Green Bay (6-3) at Detroit (4-5) - Packers seem to have it rolling again while the Lions have been erratic all season long.

Cincinnati (4-5) at Kansas City (1-8) - Can the Chiefs get the home win? It's possible.

New York Jets (3-6) at St. Louis (3-5-1) - Fresh off that big tie game with the 49ers, the Rams will seek to ground the Jets.

Philadelphia (3-6) at Washington (3-6) - Two teams playing out the string in the 2012 season.

Tampa Bay (5-4) at Carolina (2-7) - Can the Bucs keep things going? Beware the Panthers at home.

Jacksonville (1-8) at Houston (8-1) - All the makings of an upset, right? Not this week ... Texans roll!

Arizona (4-5) at Atlanta (8-1) - How will the Falcons and "Matty Ice" respond after their first loss in 2012 season?

Cleveland (2-7) at Dallas (4-5) - The Browns are just the tonic the Cowboys need heading into the traditional Thanksgiving Day home game later this week.

New Orleans (4-5) at Oakland (3-6) - Who dat? Saints continue to get their mojo back.

San Diego (4-5) at Denver (6-3) - The Chargers' season is unraveling quickly and Head Coach Norv Turner's days (again) appear to be numbered. Meanwhile, Broncos' QB Peyton Manning leads the league in passing.

Indianapolis (6-3) at New England (6-3) - Welcome to the rivalry Andrew Luck ... Patriots roll!

Chicago (7-2) at San Francisco (6-2-1) - This Monday Night Football tilt should be a good one, even with both teams having to go with the back up quarterbacks.

The Heftyinfo picks for this week  . . .     (Home teams are listed in BOLD)

Buffalo over Miami
Green Bay over Detroit 
Kansas City over Cincinnati
St. Louis over New York Jets
Washington over Philadelphia
Carolina over Tampa Bay
Houston over Jacksonville
Atlanta over Arizona
Dallas over Cleveland
New Orleans over Oakland
Denver over San Diego
New England over Indianapolis
Pittsburgh over Baltimore
San Francisco over Chicago

Last Week's Record:  8-5-1


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