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NFL picks week 11: Chiefs vs Rams steals the show; Patriots have the bye week blues

It will be a sad week without the Patriots, but Monday night’s game between the Rams and Chiefs should very much make up for their absence.

Arizona Cardinals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Well, as much as the Patriots may have needed their bye week after that jaw-dropping 24-point loss in Tennessee last week, it doesn’t mean that I was ready for a bye week.

Even though I often come across as a pessimistic and cynical sports fan, I’m not usually one to just sit and stew in the afterthoughts of a crushing defeat. As bizarre as it was to watch Tom Brady get completely outperformed by Marcus Mariota, I didn’t sulk around for the rest of the day. Patriots fans aren’t really allowed to complain about anything for probably at least another decade — and it’s only that short if they don’t win any more Super Bowls before then — and I try to abide by that rule as much as I possibly can.

And so that loss to the Titans didn’t really faze me too much. The Pats are still in first place and there is plenty of football left to play in 2018.

But then comes the bad news. It’s now time for the bye week, and that means the freshest memory in our minds for two weeks is the Tennessee game. That isn’t exactly ideal.

But, the NFL did give us a bye week gift. Instead of watching the Patriots, we get to watch the Rams and the Chiefs, the league’s two most dynamic offenses, duke it out on Monday Night Football. I think that’s a pretty fair tradeoff, and I am greatly looking forward to that game. They might score 90-plus points.

(PS: I would like to send out a quick thank you to whoever destroyed the field at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, thus forcing the NFL to move the Rams-Chiefs game back to Los Angeles, where it should’ve been played all along. You are the real MVP.)

Let’s make some picks for Week 11.

(Home teams in caps, and lines courtesy of

Panthers (-4.5) over LIONS

It’s hard to trust the Panthers right now after that 52-21 thrashing in Pittsburgh last Thursday. But bad losses happen, and they have still won five of their last seven. The Lions, meanwhile, have lost three straight and all by double digits.

It all comes down to: who do you trust more than the other? That’s easy.

RAVENS (+5.5) over Bengals

There was no line listed at OddsShark, so I had to go to Vegas Insider for this one. But hey, I want to see Lamar Jackson in this game. Raise your hand if you want to see Lamar Jackson. If you didn’t raise your hand, stop lying and raise it.

FALCONS (-3) over Cowboys

Here’s a must-win game for two 4-5 teams to keep their playoff hopes alive. Atlanta is a little bit hot right now, and Dallas is pretty much a week-to-week team.

Additionally, the Cowboys still employ Jason Garrett as their head coach, and that’s why they aren’t getting over the hump any time soon.

Texans (-3) over REDSKINS

I can’t go against the team that has won six straight and is finally playing like a Super Bowl contender. I’ll take the Texans to cover as road favorites.

Steelers (-5.5) over JAGUARS

My “the Jags can maybe go to the Super Bowl even with Blake Bortles” mindset has pretty much worn off. Jacksonville’s season is finished, while Pittsburgh’s season is just getting started. Even without Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers are playing like they want to win a Super Bowl again.

GIANTS (-2.5) over Buccaneers

Two teams with a combined record of 5-13. If RedZone only showed this game whenever Saquon Barkley has the ball, for fantasy purposes, I would be totally OK with that.

Titans (+1.5) over COLTS

The Titans have to be pretty darn confident after beating the Patriots 34-10, right? You can’t wallop New England one week and then flop against Indianapolis the next. Pressure is on you now, Mike Vrabel and Marcus Mariota.

Broncos (+7) over CHARGERS

Sometimes, you have to live life on the edge. That’s why I’m going against literally every single instinct in my body and taking the Broncos as plus-7 road underdogs against a Chargers team that is playing pretty well. You know how they call Ron Rivera “Riverboat Ron”? You can call me Riverboat Cody.

CARDINALS (-5.5) over Raiders

The Cardinals and the Raiders, two teams with a combined three wins after 10 weeks of the NFL season. Watching paint dry would be more interesting than this game. I’ll take the Cardinals, only because they are the home team and the game is happening about 15 minutes from my apartment in Glendale.

SAINTS (-7.5) over Eagles

As much as I would love to see a shootout between Drew Brees and Carson Wentz, the Eagles are a measly 4-5 and the Saints seem pretty much unbeatable. Maybe Philly should go ahead and bring back Nick Foles.

(Couldn’t say that with a straight face.)

BEARS (-2.5) over Vikings

I had no idea the Bears would be as good they are, but they are playing like a contender. I would like to see Chicago’s defense give Kirk Cousins a long night. This should be an excellent Sunday night showdown.

Chiefs (+3.5) over RAMS

Get your popcorn and soda. It’s Patrick Mahomes against Jared Goff. It’s Kareem Hunt against Todd Gurley. It’s one super explosive offense against another super explosive offense. This game was tailor-made for Monday Night Football.

I think Los Angeles wins the game, but the Chiefs cover as 3.5-point underdogs. I’m looking for a very tightly-contested offensive shootout. I can’t wait to watch this.

Last week: 6-7-1

This week: 0-0-1

Season: 72-70-7