NFL Sunday Preview, Week 11: Divisional battles and a nomadic matchup between the Browns and Bills highlight the Sunday slate

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt York/AP/Shutterstock (13621881be) Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) gets past Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (26) in the first half of an NFL football game in Las Vegas Colts Raiders Football, Las Vegas, United States – 13 Nov 2022

NFL Sunday Preview, Week 11: Divisional battles and a nomadic matchup between the Browns and Bills highlight the Sunday slate

Los Angeles Rams (3-6) at New Orleans Saints (3-7)

Time/TV: noon CT/FOX

It’s difficult to find two more frustrated teams in the NFL than the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, who meet Sunday afternoon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Both teams are 1-4 over their last five games and are dealing with serious injury issues all over the field. Los Angeles lost star wideout, Cooper Kupp for at least the next four to six weeks after last week’s loss to Arizona, adding insult to injury for a team also missing virtually every offensive lineman on the roster with NFL experience. Key Saints’ defenders Marcus Davenport, Marcus Lattimore, and Cam Jordan are all unavailable this week, while wide receiver Michael Thomas is out for the season. It’s difficult to see either offense doing a ton of scoring, given what they’ve done of late. The Rams will certainly be glad to get Matthew Stafford back after he missed last week due to a concussion, but the situation around him is grim – and on the Saints’ side, faith has been wavering for weeks in Andy Dalton’s ability to lead the offense to much success at all. Each team desperately needs a win to keep any playoff hopes alive, although it is difficult to imagine either team pulling away from the other in their current forms.

Chicago Bears (3-7) at Atlanta Falcons (4-6)

Time/TV: noon CT/FOX

The Chicago Bears have found their footing in a big way on offense in recent weeks, scoring 29 or more points in four consecutive games as quarterback Justin Fields now sits seventh in the NFL in rushing yards. The Bears have the NFL’s top rush offense by a wide margin, topping the next closest team by more than 30 yards per game. Unfortunately for Chicago, they’ve managed to pair offensive progress with defensive regression, losing three in a row and allowing 38.3 points per game over that time. Hoping to climb back to relevance, the Bears now travel to Atlanta to take on a Falcons team very much still in the race in the weak NFC South. The Falcons enter Sunday’s game with a few extra days of rest, having lost on the road at Carolina in Week 11’s Thursday Night Football game. Atlanta ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game and should be able to extract even more out of Cordarrelle Patterson this week than they did a week ago in Charlotte. The Falcons have seen more success defending the opposing run game than Chicago, which ought to work to their advantage – but Atlanta’s 32nd-ranked pass defense could create major issues if Justin Fields can escape the pocket and find guys like Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet in the secondary.

Cleveland Browns (3-6) at Buffalo Bills (6-3) (played in Detroit, MI)

Time/TV: noon CT/CBS

With several feet of snow on the ground in Buffalo and safety concerns regarding both Cleveland’s travel and fans’ ability to attend the game, Browns vs. Bills has been moved to Detroit’s Ford Field Sunday afternoon. The change should make for a more crisp, offensively-oriented football game but nullifies Buffalo’s generally strong home-field advantage. The Bills lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Minnesota Vikings last week, fumbling away an opportunity to run out the clock on a win and ultimately falling in overtime. The Cleveland Browns’ loss last Sunday was more embarrassing, a 39-17 blowout defeat in Miami to the high-powered Dolphins. The Browns have struggled to look like the same team week to week but will need to be at their best if they’re going to top the angry Buffalo Bills. Buffalo has suddenly dropped two games in a row and now trails the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East standings. Josh Allen has struggled with turnovers of late, but the Bills are licking their chops with two straight games on a fast track in Detroit coming up. Cleveland’s defense ranks 31st in the NFL, allowing 26.4 points per game, while Buffalo’s next opponent – the Detroit Lions – is 32nd, allowing 29.3 points per game.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)

Time/TV: noon CT/CBS

A week ago, the Philadelphia Eagles were seemingly an unstoppable force while the Indianapolis Colts had all but drifted into oblivion after being blown out by the Patriots, firing their head coach, and hiring another with zero coaching experience at the NFL level. After Indianapolis’ solid win in Las Vegas and Philadelphia’s crash down to earth in Monday night’s loss to Washington, Eagles vs. Colts is suddenly a lot more interesting. New head coach Jeff Saturday pivoted Indianapolis back to veteran quarterback Matt Ryan in the win, and running back Jonathan Taylor had his best game of the year with 161 rush yards and a touchdown. If there’s one area the Eagles have struggled consistently of late, it’s stopping opposing running backs – Houston’s Dameon Pierce rushed for 139 yards in Week 9, and Washington controlled the ball for more than 40 minutes while rushing for 152 yards last Monday night. Stopping Jonathan Taylor will be no easy task, and the Eagles may also be without several contributors on offense. Dallas Goedert was placed on injured reserve following an injury Monday night, and A.J. Brown is currently listed as questionable heading into Sunday’s game. Jalen Hurts has been excellent all year but might face more adversity than he’s seen all season at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.

New York Jets (6-3) at New England Patriots (5-4)

Time/TV: noon CT/CBS

With the Buffalo Bills’ recent struggles, the top of the AFC East is suddenly available for the taking – and with the entire division above .500 entering Week 11, it’s anyone’s guess who comes out on top in the coming weeks. Sunday’s matchup between the New York Jets and New England Patriots will go a long way in determining which is a legitimate contender, a rematch of a game New England won 22-17 just three weeks ago. The win over New York was part of a stretch that has seen the Patriots win four of five, but both teams should be plenty rested after their bye last week. The Jets haven’t beaten the Patriots since 2015, losing 13 straight to the bullies from Foxborough. With a seemingly star-studded crop of rookies and a young head coach oozing with confidence, the 2022 Jets have looked the part of a team capable of breaking the inauspicious streak. If they’re going to do so Sunday afternoon, they’ll need quarterback Zack Wilson to take better care of the football than he did when he threw three interceptions against New England in Week 8.

Detroit Lions (3-6) at New York Giants (7-2)

Time/TV: noon CT/FOX

The New York Giants’ 7-2 start has been a shock to everyone outside the Giants’ facility – and while it can be argued that New York’s success is a result of one of the league’s easiest schedules, it is hard to argue with a team that continues to win at the rate they have. The Detroit Lions haven’t produced a similarly surprising season, but travel to New Jersey following an impressive road win in Chicago last week. That win was the Lions’ first away from Detroit all season, bucking a trend that has seen Jared Goff consistently struggle in games played outdoors. They face a much more formidable challenge against the stout Giants’ defense this week and will be greeted with a windy day in the mid-30s to boot. Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley is salivating at the opportunity to play the Lions, fresh off his 152-yard performance against Houston last week. Detroit’s run defense ranks 31st in the NFL, allowing more than 160 yards rushing per game.

Carolina Panthers (3-7) at Baltimore Ravens (6-3)

Time/TV: noon CT/FOX

The Baltimore Ravens come home for Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Carolina Panthers well rested from the bye and are hoping they’ll get a few weapons back on offense as well, with Mark Andrews and Gus Edwards trending toward playing. The Panthers picked up their third win of the season last Thursday night against Atlanta and are hoping to finally build some momentum in a season that has been disappointing from the start. They’ve seemingly chosen to turn back to Baker Mayfield at quarterback, who hopes to finally prove his worth to the frustrated fans in Carolina. A win in Baltimore would undoubtedly do that, but it doesn’t feel likely, given the Ravens’ recent performances. The Ravens have won three straight despite injuries and now look healthier as their second-ranked rush offense takes on the Panthers’ 26th-ranked rush defense.

Las Vegas Raiders (2-7) at Denver Broncos (3-6)

Time/TV: 3:05 p.m. CT/FOX

The Denver Broncos’ defense has dominated almost all comers this year, allowing a league-best 16.6 points per game through their first nine games. Despite that, the Broncos are just 3-6 due to an inept offense – and in Week 11, Denver comes face to face again with a Las Vegas team that scored a season-high 32 against them in Week 4. The Raiders team Denver welcomes to Empower Field at Mile High this week is a bit more bruised up than the team they saw back in Week 4. Las Vegas is now without pass catchers Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller and has been really struggling on the scoreboard as a result. The Raiders have lost three consecutive games to opponents with losing records, and a desperate, revenge-seeking Denver team may not greet them so kindly at elevation either. A key matchup to watch will be Raiders’ start wide receiver Davante Adams and Broncos’ second-year corner Patrick Surtain II, pitting Las Vegas’ top target against a cornerback in Surtain opponents have grown afraid to target in the passing game.  

Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6)

Time/TV: 3:25 p.m. CT/CBS

The Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers renew their divisional rivalry Sunday afternoon from chilly Acrisure Stadium, a rematch of Week 1’s thrilling overtime win for Pittsburgh. The Steelers lost T.J. Watt in that game, but have since returned to better health on the defensive side of the ball. Similar claims cannot be made of the Cincinnati offense, which is still operating without top target Ja’Marr Chase. Chase led the Bengals with 10 catches, 129 yards, and a touchdown in their previous matchup with the Steelers, a void that players like Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd will try to fill Sunday afternoon as Cincinnati seeks revenge. Cincinnati’s defense gets back defensive tackle D.J. Reader for Sunday’s game, a reinforcement they’re hoping helps them slow Joe Mixon down in the run game and puts increased pressure on Steelers’ rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. With a win, Cincinnati can give themselves the chance to tie Baltimore atop the AFC North and establish dominance with three wins in two years over their divisional rivals.

Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)

Time/TV: 7:20 p.m. CT/NBC

The Kansas City Chiefs matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers is the next chapter in a rivalry that has seen incredibly exciting games lately, so it is no surprise that the game was flexed into Week 11’s Sunday Night Football slot. Kansas City won Week 2’s matchup 27-24, and four of the last five games in the series have been decided by six points or less. Los Angeles needs the win like blood, clinging to a 5-4 record despite injuries hampering them for much of the 2022 season. The Chargers are slated to get Keenan Allen and Mike Williams back for Sunday night’s game, a duo they’re hoping gives the offense a much-needed boost. Kansas City, meanwhile, will be without two of their most important weapons as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman have both been ruled out at wide receiver. Los Angeles can pull back within a game of the Chiefs atop the AFC West with a win, while Kansas City is playing for the opportunity to maintain its firm hold on the AFC’s top overall seed.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *