Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 2:31 PM
MORE JIM SEZ NFL WEEK 11 GAME PREVIEWS!
Hey, wanna hear something a tad strange when it comes to Sunday's NFL Week 11 action?
Of the 24 teams that will be playing on this November 22nd, only 8 teams sport winning records while 16 teams are below the .500 mark. Egads! Signs that this is a "top-heavy league" this year? You betcha! In any event, even teams such as the 2-7 Dallas Cowboys still have a shot when it comes to nabbing a post-season berth - although Cowboys' QB Tony Romo should "cool it" with this talk of getting on a run now that he's back after America's Team lost its last seven games in a row!
My handicappers and bloggers will have all the weekend winners and you can get NCAA Football, NFL Week 11 play and all the NBA/NCAA Basketball action when you check with us here at Jim Hurley's Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online. Check is any time after 1 p.m. ET today and after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday/Sunday.
NFL WEEK 11 GAME PREVIEWS
INDIANAPOLIS (4-5) at ATLANTA (6-3) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
First things first: This one's a "wash" in terms of NFL post-bye teams as both the Colts and Falcons (along with San Diego and San Francisco too) are fresh off their byes and we remind you that NFL teams are a scintillating 17-7 against the odds (a sizzling .708 winning percentage) when coming off their bye weeks here in 2015.
Still, these aren't exactly the teams we knew in the past as Indianapolis goes here without injured QB Andrew Luck - yes, veteran Matt Hasselbeck's really had a "second career" this season - while 5.5-point favorite Atlanta is hoping to turn the beat around as that 5-and-oh SU (straight-up) start has deteriorated with three losses in its past four games and go ahead and blame QB Matt Ryan and this offense for nine turnovers and a paltry 16.8 ppg average in these last four tilts.
Spread Notes - Atlanta started off this 2015 season on a four-game pointspread winning streak but the Falcons have dropped their last five in a row to "the number" and overall this NFC South squad is an ugly 5-13 ATS (against the spread) as betting favorites the past two-plus seasons. Indianapolis, meanwhile, is 4-5 against the Las Vegas prices this season but that's not bad considering the Colts started out at 0-4 ATS.
DENVER (7-2) at CHICAGO (4-5) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
No shortage of storylines here: Numero uno on the list is the benching of Denver QB Peyton Manning - yes, his head coach Gary Kubiak tried to take Manning off the griddle by saying he's injured (and he just might be with plantar fascia issues) but this is a lack of production matter and wonder how many of you "fantasy league" folks drafted long-time backup-turned-Week 11 starter Brock Osweiler here ... hmm.
Two other key storylines - well, that's easy as Bears' boss John Fox was the Broncos' head coach the past four years and brought 'em to a Super Bowl during that time plus let's not forget the revival of Chitown slinger Jay Cutler who just last week engineered a pair of road wins within a six-day period (see triumphs over San Diego and St. Louis). If Cutler - a former Bronco himself - can zing it quickly against this cat-quick Denver defense, than the 1-point favored Bears could stay on this little roll but keep in mind CB Aqib Talib (one-game suspension for eye-poking Indianapolis TE Dwayne Allen) is back and his matchup with WR Alshon Jeffery (team-leading 36 receptions for 515 yards) is price-of-admission stuff here.
Spread Notes - Chicago's covered five of its last six games following a brutal 0-3 ATS start to this season but did you know the Bears are a pitiful 5-14-1 spreadwise as hosts the past two-plus seasons? Denver enters this tilt at Soldier Field with a bizarre 4-3-2 ATS log this year though note the Broncos are just 1-3-2 vig-wise since Week 4.
On Sunday Night, it's ...
CINCINNATI (8-1) at ARIZONA (7-2) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
No-brainer "flex game" for the folks at NBC - what, you wanted that Kansas City Chiefs-San Diego Chargers bash that was originally scheduled here? - but now the $64,000 question is whether or not the visiting Cincy Bengals can play their "A game" off a short week with travel.
Yes, the Bengals again came up woefully short in a prime-time affair on Monday Night Football with that 10-6 loss to 10-point dog Houston - but let's not blame it all on QB Andy Dalton who pretty much disappears into the background here with ex-Cincinnati and current Arizona QB Carson Palmer gobbling up all the media attention (and what about that comment by an unnamed Bengals player that said Palmer "quit" on Cincy years ago?).
The game plan for the 5-point favorite Cards is more Palmer downfield chucks - he's thrown for 737 yards and 7 TDs in back-to-back road wins in Cleveland and Seattle (there was a bye week there in between those road games) and more than a smattering of runs from born-again RB Chris Johnson whose 734 yards rushing actually has him second in the league behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (961 rushing yards) ... now that's a real believe-it-or-not stat fact!
Meanwhile, the Bengals need to take a chill pill while playing another under-the-lights game and Dalton needs to get into a working rhythm early - expect Marvin Lewis' crew to work on short stuff and RB Jeremy Hill (he was MIA against the Texans on MNF) must be a chain-mover that keeps the heat off Dalton here.
Spread Notes - Arizona is 6-3 versus the vig this season and note the Cardinals are a dandy 27-14-1 ATS overall since the start of 2013. On the flip side, Cincinnati is an electric 7-1-1 against the odds this season and 28-16-4 spreadwise against non-divisional foes the past four-plus seasons.
NOTE: Catch our NFL Week 11 roundup, Monday Night Football Preview - that's the Buffalo Bills at the New England Patriots - and all the latest NCAA Football News/Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.