Welcome to this week’s edition of NFL Breakdown. We focus on three games you need to check out and all the info that you’ll need ahead of the contests. This week we will look at the matchups between the New England Patriots vs Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans, and Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears.
New England Patriots vs Arizona Cardinals
- Spread: Cardinals -1.5 (-110)
- Point Total: 49.5 (-110)
Is it Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, or both? This question is seemingly answered as the New England Patriots, sans Brady, sit below .500 through 10 games for the first time in 20 years. The Bucs are in the mix for the number one seed in the NFC. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has only thrown 4 TD passes so far this year, though he has rushed for 9. It does not help that the AFC East (minus the Jets) is more competitive than it has been in 20 years. Losing Rex Burkhead certainly will not help, however, they have 87 running backs to throw out there for the rest of the season. The end of the year cannot come soon enough for Belichick and Co. They are currently 4-6 against the spread and in over/unders.
Arizona really screwed up. They win against Seattle last week and they have a commanding lead in the NFC Best. Instead, they gave Russ too much time to win the division and host at least one playoff game. Seattle has a slightly easier schedule, so it is imperative that Kyler Murray and the Cardinals win every game to finish the year. The Rams are still in the mix as well, so each week is going to count. Kliff Kingsbury and his team are 5-5 against the spread and have not hit an over on the road so far this year.
Both team’s defenses are average at best. Arizona is second in the league in rushing yards per game and New England is fourth. The Cardinals lead the league in yards and are 7th in points per game. I have gotten absolutely killed on “easy ones” this year, but this is an easy one. Cardinals and the under. Murray has a ton to play for and there are too many weapons on that Arizona offense.
Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans
- Spread: Colts -3 (-118)
- Point Total: 51.5 (-110)
The Indianapolis Colts are now far and away the most featured team in the weekly breakdown. Somehow, they are always an intriguing matchup, and somehow, I literally always get it wrong. Last week they made me look like a fool against Green Bay. Philip Rivers threw for 288 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a pick as Indy won in overtime. That game really says more about how good the Colts are than anything about the Packers. They are 3-2 against the spread and 2-3 in over unders at home this year.
As much as I get my Indy picks wrong, the Titans are a close second. Something has to give and I am betting it is the Titans. Just two weeks ago they were doubled up by Rivers and Nyheim Hines. It took another Derrick Henry homerun last week for them to beat Baltimore in overtime. Tennesse is 21st in opponent completion percentage and that just will not cut it as the season begins to wind down. Ryan Tannehill is quietly on track for his best statistical season to date. He is five touchdowns and 858 yards shy of his career-best numbers.
The Colts lead the division by way of the head to head tiebreaker. Should the Titans win this week they would take the lead by record and hold a better record in the division as the playoff picture begins to take shape. Indianapolis will continue to make the breakdown until I get it right. Colts and the over. Rivers is rolling.
Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
- Spread: Packers -9 (-110)
- Point Total: 44.5 (-110)
Green Bay really took an L last week. That overtime loss to the Colts has to sting. Luckily, running back Aaron Jones will have a more favorable matchup against the Bears. The Packers have not lost back-to-back games yet this year and are 6-4 against the spread. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made everyone look good, getting Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Robert Tonyan, and Allen Lazard involved on several different occasions. Similar to the “is it Brady or Belichick” question, we have potentially answered the “is it Rodgers or McCarthy” riddle.
Chicago is second place in the division, 5-5, and on a four-game losing streak. They have not won since beating the Buccaneers by 1 on October 8th. The only game I personally would feel comfortable picking them to win for the rest of the year is their matchup against the Lions. Their defense does hold opponents to a sixth-best 20.9 points per game, but the offense is atrocious. As the year trudges on that defense is going to slow down based simply on the fact that they are always on the field.
It would not surprise me even a little bit if Green Bay put up 45 by themselves. Neither team has particularly impressed in over/unders this year, but I expect the Packers to look to distance themselves against a formidable defense to send a message to the rest of the league. Packers to cover the 9 and the over.
Week 11 Recap: We do not talk about Week 11. Week 11 does not exist.
- Last Week Against the Spread: 0-3
- Last Week Over/Under: 1-2
- Season Against the Spread: 12-12
- Season Over/Under: 7-5
*Odds via DraftKings