After a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night - and an even tougher two game losing streak - the Los Angeles Rams limp into their bye week searching for answers among the seemingly myriad of questions surrounding them.
Along with the Denver Broncos, the Rams may be taking the week off for some much needed adjustments, but there is still plenty of NFL action for fans and casual observers alike to enjoy. Here are three games that I am looking forward to in Week 11.
San Francisco 49ers (4-5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7)
When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, we’re not exactly looking at a Forrest Gump-type situation: we know exactly what we’re going to get. Coming into Monday night in what felt like a must-win situation, San Francisco rode a strong effort from the running game punctuated by quick, razor sharp passing from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a dominant win over Super Bowl hopeful Los Angeles Rams. After a first half of the season where the 49ers looked a little bit lost as to who they are, we get the feeling they have rediscovered their true identity at what just might be the perfect time.
On the other side of TIAA Bank Field on Sunday will be the Jacksonville Jaguars who have endured a 2021 campaign full of distractions, difficulties, and unfulfilled expectations. While it’s far too early to tell if number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence will live up to his lofty draft status, Jacksonville has taken on the aura of a team looking forward to the 2022 off-season and the opportunity to provide Lawrence and his golden arm with the tools he needs to prove himself. 49ers win this one in a contest that isn’t particularly close.
Point spread: 49ers -6.5 per DraftKings Sportsbook
Point total: 47
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)
In what may be the understatement of the year so far, Week 10 was a rough outing for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers. While only one of these teams took an ugly loss at home, it was the winless Detroit Lions who may have made the biggest impact by going into Heinz Field and battling the Steelers to a 16-16 draw. Pittsburgh hopes to get starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back after his bout with COVID and resume their winning ways in sunny southern California.
Things haven’t been very sunny for either Los Angeles football team as of late. The Chargers came into the season with much hope of taking the AFC West from current leader Kansas City Chiefs only to find themselves with a middle-of-the-pack unit struggling to be viewed as something other than some team’s little brother. Reigning Rookie of the Year, quarterback Justin Herbert, still leads a potent Los Angeles passing attack that can put up points against any opposing defense, however. This will be sure to put pressure on a Steelers squad coming in at 22nd defending the pass. We expect the Chargers to protect their home turf in a match-up that should come down to the game’s final moments.
Point spread: Chargers -3.5 per DraftKings Sportsbook
Point total: 48
New York Giants (3-6) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
We’re not necessarily going to call this game a”lock” but it’s pretty much a lock. Tampa Bay is coming off of two straight losses, bookending their bye, meaning it’s been three weeks since the Buccaneers have last tasted the sweet, sweet nectar of victory. This makes for a very cranky quarterback in the form of the GOAT Tom Brady and a defensive unit that has allowed over 20 points in six out of nine contests.
Meanwhile, it’s the New York Giants coming to town who don’t seem to be very good at much of anything. Ranking 23rd in offense, 21st in defense, and owners of a 3-6 record leaving them with no realistic path to a postseason berth, the Giants may not find much fight left as they watch the division leading Dallas Cowboys disappear on the distant horizon. Tom Terrific regains his Super Bowl winning swagger in this big win at home.
Point spread: Buccaneers -12 per DraftKings Sportsbook
Point total: 51