Each week this season, OutKick will get you primed for an NFL Sunday on the couch by telling you which games deserve the most attention. For Week 11, here we go…
NFL Sunday Games Worth Watching From Opening Kick Until Final Whistle
- New York Jets (6-3) at New England Patriots (5-4), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main storyline: There are three games on Sunday that feature two teams with winning records, one in each window. And for the early afternoon, this is that game. Who would have thought a few years ago that these two teams would meet in Week 11 and it would be the Jets who have the better record?
Every team in the AFC East has a winning record and if the Patriots can win at home, that will continue into Week 12. OutKick’s Geoff Clark thinks that’s exactly what will happen and he’s backing New England in this one.
- Dallas Cowboys (6-3) at Minnesota Vikings (8-1), 4:25pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: OutKick’s Armando Salguero wrote a detailed piece on why this is the Game of the Week, which you can read here.
- Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-4), 8:20pm (NBC)
Main storyline: This is a massive game for the Chargers in a battle between the class of the AFC West. They should have won in Week 2 in Kansas City on Thursday Night Football, but Justin Herbert threw a pick-six from inside the Chiefs’ 5-yard line.
To have any chance to win the division, they will need to win this game. They get back wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Chargers are currently 50-50 to make the playoffs according to Vegas odds, and no matter what happens on Sunday, those are going to change one way or another.
Games To Flip To During Commercials Of Better Games
- Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: The Eagles lost their perfect season following a Monday Night Football defeat at home to the Washington Commanders. This is a good bounce-back spot against the disaster that is the Indianapolis Colts, but Indy went back to Matt Ryan and won last week. Our betting expert Geoff Clark likes the Colts to not only cover the spread but win outright. Can Jeff Saturday really move to 2-0 after all of the criticism?
- Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6), 4:25pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: I love the AFC North. For my money, it’s the best division with regard to rivalry games; Browns/Steelers, Browns/Ravens, Bengals/Steelers, Bengals/Browns, Steelers/Ravens … all are worthy matchups no matter what the two teams look like.
Both the Bengals and Steelers come into this contest off victories, though the Bengals win came prior to last week’s bye. When we saw Cincinnati last, Joe Mixon was ruining my fantasy football weekend by scoring five touchdowns. This is a big game for Cincinnati to keep pace with Baltimore in the North.
I Guess It’s OK If This Game Shows Up On NFL RedZone
- Cleveland Browns (3-6) at Buffalo Bills (6-3), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: Although I don’t think this will be particularly close — I like Buffalo to bounce back in a big way — I do think there will be a lot of points. I’m on the Over in this one, and Overs are fun. Why? Here’s what I wrote:
“All of the hubbub about this game has been about the weather in Buffalo forcing the contest to be moved to Ford Field in Detroit. But once you get past that, you end up with two of the league’s more prolific offenses — it’s true, Cleveland has a Top 10 offense according to EPA/play — against one of the worst defenses in the NFL (Cleveland) and a very banged up Bills defense.”
- Detroit Lions (3-6) at New York Giants (7-2), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: I feel for FOX this weekend. Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, the top broadcasting duo for the network, are headed to this game. That means they looked at the slate and said, “This is the game where we need our top guys.” When that game is Lions at Giants, you know you have a bad draw.
That aside, I think this does have a chance to be a good football game. The Giants have a sneaky-good offense — they’re 7th in the NFL in EPA/play — and a below-average defense. The Lions have a league-average offense and the absolute worst defense (it’s not particularly close). That means there should be some points put up and points are fun.
If You’re A Fan Of These Teams, I Guess You Might Care. But I Don’t.
Another week, another large batch of games going into the “I don’t care” bin. I know the NFL has tried in recent years to put more divisional matchups in the front and back of the schedule to get more exciting games when attention is at its highest, but it really waters down these midseason weeks. Oh, well.
- Chicago Bears (3-7) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-6), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: Justin Fields has been fun to watch over the last few weeks and I’m super thankful I grabbed him off of waivers in fantasy. But, I still think he’ll always be a much better fantasy QB than a real-life one. Just don’t expect the run to come to an end this weekend against Atlanta’s below-average defense. This game would be a lot more fun if Atlanta weren’t a super boring team, but they are.
- Washington Commanders (5-5) at Houston Texans (1-7-1), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: This game isn’t great, but it’s saved from the bottom tier because Washington is still alive in the suddenly competitive NFC East. Plus, I’m betting on this one and I actually like Houston to pull the upset. Why? More quotes from … well, me:
“This is really more of a fade of the Commanders. Washington is … coming off their biggest win of the season and are now on a short week. They knocked off the undefeated Eagles in Philadelphia and have to get back on the road to travel to Houston to play a team that they know they’re better than.” That screams letdown game, so this one could actually be an interesting watch. Not enough for me to really care, but enough to stop me from punting the TV.
- Carolina Panthers (3-7) at Baltimore Ravens (6-3), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: The rationale here is really the same as above; I’ve got the Ravens in a survivor pool and this game should be a blowout. But Baker Mayfield — named the starter for this week — could do something stupid against a team he historically struggles against (1-4 in his last five starts against Baltimore) and that’s always fun. Plus, Baltimore is a division leader, so their games at least matter.
If This Game Shows Up On My TV, I’m Punting It Off My Back Deck
- Los Angeles Rams (3-6) at New Orleans Saints (3-7), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: These two teams are becoming weekly fixtures in this tier and now they play against one another. Andy Dalton vs. a clearly injured Matthew Stafford in front of a banged up offensive line with no Cooper Kupp on an NFL Sunday afternoon? Yikes. It’s reasonable that the only players being started in fantasy in your league this week from this game is Alvin Kamara and the kickers and defenses. That’s what you want in an NFL game — to tune in for kickers and defenses.
- Los Vegas Raiders (2-7) at Denver Broncos (3-6), 4:05pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: The AFC West has truly become the division with the clearest divide between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Although the Chargers have been injured, they clearly have the team and the talent to be a contender in the conference. The Chiefs, well, that goes without saying. But these two teams are both hot garbage. Derek Carr is crying after games and Russell Wilson is still using audibles from his time in Seattle and his Broncos teammates think he might be losing his mind. Sometimes train wrecks are fun. This one isn’t.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ