Home / American Sports / Divisional Clashes Galore in Week 11 of the 2015 NFL Season

Divisional Clashes Galore in Week 11 of the 2015 NFL Season

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 27: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings gets pulled down while Jamari Lattimore #57 of the Green Bay Packers provides backup on October 27, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Just two perfect teams remain going into Week 11, after the Cincinnati Bengals were surprisingly beaten at home by the Houston Texans on Monday Night. The New England Patriots are the only AFC side to be 9-0, while the Panthers remain perfect in the NFC. Two teams that were perfect,the Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers, have both on losing streaks (2 and 3 respectively). The Dallas Cowboys are now officially one of the worst teams this year, having lost their last seven games. They are among six teams who have only won twice in 2015. Another of those is the Detroit Lions, who shocked Green Bay last week with a last gasp victory.

There are five divisional clashes this week, which all bare importance to the grand scheme of the playoff picture. Tennessee travel to Jacksonville to kick the weekend off (AFC South) with the three late Sunday afternoon kick offs all being inter-division games. San Diego host Kansas City (AFC West), the Green Bay Packers travel to Minnesota (NFC North) and Seattle host the San Francisco 49ers (NFC West). Monday night sees the Buffalo Bills travel to New England in the AFC East.


Thursday Night Football:

Tennessee Titans (2-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)

The first game of the weekend sees the Tennessee Titans travel to EverBank Field to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is an AFC South match-up in which both teams still have a shot at making the playoffs due to the poor quality of the division. The Colts lead the way with just a 4-5 record, meaning both these teams are only within two games of the top spot. The Titans have the 5th ranked defence in the league, and will be tough for the Jaguars to break down, but they did beat the Titans in their last encounter, back in December 2014.

Last time out, the Jaguars beat the Ravens in a close game, while the Titans were the 13th straight team defeated by the Panthers as they continued their perfect run this season to 9-0. These two have to play each other twice before the end of the season, and with the Titans not having Jason McCourty or Kendall Wright this week through injury, their task will be tougher.

The Jags go into this one as slight favourites, but the Titans will be confident about pulling off an upset, especially with rookie Marcus Mariota at the helm.


Sunday Evening Games:

Indianapolis Colts (4-5) @ Atlanta Falcons (6-3)

The Georgia Dome plays host to the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday, as the Falcons look to come off their bye week with a successful game in front of their home fans. The Colts also had their bye week during Week 10, so both sides will be refreshed and raring to go for this one. The Falcons were 6-1, but have suffered two straight defeats to leave them hanging on to a Wild Card spot in the NFC, while the Colts, despite being just 4-5 lead the AFC South.

Atlanta won the last time these two teams met back in 2011, but things have changed since then, with Andrew Luck taking over from Peyton Manning as the Colts QB and leader. However, Luck was among those who have not taken part in practice and is likely to miss out again this week for the travelling Indianapolis, along with Andre Johnson and Phillip Dorsett. The Falcons look like they will just have one man out, as Robenson Therezie did not take part this week.

The Falcons will be favourites here, despite having lost their last two, but the Colts know a win could strengthen their playoff position.


St Louis Rams (4-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-7)

Despite having the 5th ranked passing game in the league, the St Louis Rams are struggling at 4-5. The Ravens are worse off though, having won just two of their nine matches this season. That has left them third in the AFC North, with very little chance of reaching the playoffs, still three games behind the Wild Card placings in the AFC. The Rams have an outside chance at 4-5, two games behind the Falcons and Packers, who currently occupy the NFC Wild Card places. The Ravens won the last regular season game between these two, but that was back in 2011, the year before Baltimore went on to lift the Lombardi Trophy. Oh how things change…

Both of these teams are looking to bounce back from defeats last week, while the Rams have lost their last two. They will be strengthened by the return of Christopher Long from injury, while the Ravens will still be without Breshad Perriman, who has been placed on IR with a knee injury.

Baltimore might be at home, but the M&T Bank Stadium is expected to play out a Rams victory on Sunday.


Washington Redskins (4-5) @ Carolina Panthers (9-0)

The undefeated Panthers host the 4-5 Washington Redskins this Sunday afternoon, as they aim to continue this fantastic winning run they find themselves on. Having won their last four games in 2014, the Panthers current winning run stands at 13, and they will be looking to make it 14 at the Bank of America Stadium. They sit atop the NFC South, and are the #1 seed in the National Conference as it stands. The ‘Skins could go top of the NFC East with a victory here, as the Giants (5-5) take their bye week in Week 11. They will be looking to build on their thrashing of the Saints last week (47-14).

The Redskins will be at least two men light for ‘off-the-field conduct’, which sees Silas Redd and Junior Galette both banned, but they hope to have DeAngelo Hall, Keenan Robinson and Alfred Morris back in time for the trip to Carolina. Jared Allen and Charles Tillman look like missing this one after not participating in practice this week.

Carolina are the clear favourites in this one, but the Redskins will be looking to cause an upset on the road.


Denver Broncos (7-2) @ Chicago Bears (4-5)

The big news for this one is that Peyton Manning has been benched. He threw four INTs last week in their defeat at home to Kansas City, their second straight loss after being perfect through seven. They have been helped by boasting the best defence in the league, which has taken the edge of Manning’s poor performances. The Bears will fancy their chances against Brock Osweiler at Soldier Field. However, the Broncos have won the last two meetings, and sit at the top of the AFC West by three games. Chicago have struggled, and sit three wins behind the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North.

Peyton Manning is the big injury news for the Bengals, but Owen Daniels, DeMarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders all missed practice this week and are doubtful to play. Eddie Royal and Matt Forte are the two big names in the Bears camp that could miss out this week after limited practice time.

This should be a tight game, especially with the change of QB for the Broncos. The Bears might just have the edge this Sunday.


Oakland Raiders (4-5) @ Detroit Lions (2-7)

Ford Field plays host to the game between the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders this weekend. After surprising the Packers in a surprise 18-16 victory last week, the Lions will be up for this home match. They still sit bottom of the table with just two wins, and sit five wins behind the division-leading Vikings. The Raiders, on the other hand, have lost their last two, but with the Broncos faltering down the stretch, they have a chance, just three wins behind.

The last time these two came up against each other, the Lions won by a single point, but with WR Calvin Johnson questionable for this week’s game, and Josh Wilson placed on season-ending injured reserve. The Raiders seem to have a full roster available, with Clive Walford and Amari Cooper recovering from slight knocks in the Vikings game last week.

The Raiders will be slight favourites, but the Lions have the momentum coming into this one.


New York Jets (5-4) @ Houston Texans (4-5)

The Jets travel south to face Houston in an AFC battle. The Texans have a big chance of winning the AFC South, as they come into Week 11 with the same record as the table-topping Colts. The Jets are in the same division at the perfect Pats, and will be looking for a Wild Card spot to extend their season into January. The Texans gave the Bengals their first defeat of the season with just a 10-6 scoreline on Monday, while the Bills beat the Jets for their second win in a row.

The Texans do have several injuries, however, with QB Brian Hoyer among those who are questionable for this Sunday. DeAndre Hopkins and Chris Polk also missed practice on Wednesday. Antonio Cromartie would be the big loss for the Jets as he is questionable this week.

The Texans will go into the game as favourites having claimed the big scalp last week.


Dallas Cowboys (2-7) @ Miami Dolphins (4-5)

Sunday sees the first regular season match between the Cowboys and the Dolphins for nearly five years, and both have indifferent records in 2015. The Cowboys have lost their last seven after being 2-0, and that run is likely to continue against the 4-5 Dolphins. Miami come in on the back of a victory against the Eagles last week, but they remain five wins behind the Patriots in the AFC East. The Cowboys are three wins behind the Giants in the uncompetitive NFC East.

Dallas may have Tony Romo back this week after a collarbone injury, but Dez Bryant did not participate in practice on Wednesday. He is questionable for the weekend. Jelani Jenkins and Koa Misi are the only two Dolphins players that did not practice Wednesday.

The Dolphins will be clear favourites for the visit of Dallas this week.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)

Also in the NFC East, the Eagles are just a game behind the Giants, who take their bye week in Week 11. With a victory, they will go above the New York side to take top spot in the division. The Buccaneers have the perfect Panthers at the top of their division, and will be looking to go for a Wild Card spot. The Eagles lost last week against the Dolphins, and will be looking to come back with a victory over the Bucs, who themselves, beat the Cowboys in Week 10.

However, both Sam Bradford and Ryan Matthews have not passed the protocol test for their respective concussions and have not practiced this week. Vincent Jackson is expected to miss the game for Tampa, while Jacquies Smith and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are both questionable for Sunday’s clash.

With home advantage, the Eagles will be slight favourites to win this week, but it could go either way.


Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) @ San Diego Chargers (2-7)

The first of Sunday’s divisional match-ups sees the Kansas City Chiefs travel to San Diego to face the Chargers. The Chiefs won both games last year and will be hoping to push for the playoffs with another victory at the Qualcomm Stadium this weekend. At 4-5, they still have a chance of winning the AFC West, especially with Peyton Manning out for what could be a considerable length of time. They are only three victories behind the Broncos, while the Chargers will struggle to reach the playoffs this year, having only won twice in 2015.

Malcom Floyd was a big loss last week, after tearing his shoulder cartilage in Week 9, and along with Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates both being questionable, the Chargers are a few men light. James O’Shaughnessy is the Chiefs only real injury, having been placed on the IR list with a foot problem.

The Chiefs will go in as favourites after comfortably beating Denver last week.


Green Bay Packers (6-3) @ Minnesota Vikings (7-2)

After recent weeks, this has become a major game, and it is arguably the game of Week 11. The Green Bay Packers were 6-0, but three straight defeats has seen them drop below the Vikings in the NFC North, thanks to Minnesota winning their last five games. Their rushing game, with Adrian Peterson having the most yards on the ground in the league, has got them through some tricky games, but they have lost to Green Bay in the last two encounters. A win here for either team could go a long way to deciding the winner of the division.

Jared Abbrederis is definitely out of Sunday’s game, while Aaron Rodgers, the Packers QB is a doubt with a shoulder injury. Clay Matthews is also questionable after only practicing for a short time on Wednesday. For the Vikings, the big news is that Peterson is questionable with a hamstring injury, while Eric Kendricks could make a return after missing out last weekend.

The Vikings go in as favourites due to the form guide, but the Packers can always produce when it counts.


San Francisco 49ers (3-6) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-5)

After being dominant in the NFC West for the past five years, both of these teams are struggling in 2015. Seattle won the return game in San Francisco four weeks ago, and will be looking for a repeat here as they chase down the Arizona Cardinals who sit atop the division. The 49ers really need a win to have any chance of playoff football, but they will have to break down the 2nd best defence in the league to do so.

Reggie Bush is out for the year, and fellow RB Carlos Hyde did not practice with the 49ers on Wednesday, whilst Na’Varro Bowman was another that did not take part. Anquan Boldin was also limited on Wednesday. Both Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch did not take part in Seattle’s Wednesday practice session, while Bruce Irvin is likely to miss out on Sunday’s game.

The Seahawks go in as favourites but this one could go either way on the night.


Sunday Night Football:

Cincinnati Bengals (8-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (7-2)

The Cardinals rank in the top 8 in total offence (1st), total defence (3rd), passing (4th) and rushing (8th), while the Bengals are in the top 13 in all of those four categories as well. This is a game that will be played to a high standard on both sides of the ball on Sunday night. The Bengals surprisingly lost to Houston on Monday night, and will be looking to bounce back from that against a 7-2 Arizona side that leads the NFC West by three games.

The Cardinals do have issues in the WR department though, as both Michael Floyd and John Brown did not take part in Wednesday’s practice session. Larry Fitzgerald was also limited, meaning they could be down to their second string set of receivers on Sunday. Vontaze Burfict has been limited in practice this week, but he is the only issue the Bengals have on the injury side.

Cincinnati will be looking bounce back after Monday’s defeat, and that makes them favourites for this big match-up.


Monday Night Football:

Buffalo Bills (5-4) @ New England Patriots (9-0)

The final game of Week 11 is an AFC East clash, that has produced some big games in the past. In September, the Patriots won a 72 point thriller, as they embarked on this perfect run. They go into the game looking to make it 10-0 on the season, while the Bills will aim to pull off an upset and go 6-4 in the AFC playoff hunt.

Kyle Williams, the Bills DT is out of the game on Monday with an ongoing knee injury that has sidelined him for the last three weeks. The Patriots will be without star WR Julian Edelman for the rest of the regular season, at least, with a foot injury. He underwent surgery on Monday, while fellow receiver, Keshawn Martin, is still out with a hamstring problem. Jamie Collins is also a doubt for the Pats with a virus.

New England will still be favourites for this one, even with the injury to Edelman. It would be a surprise if they were not 10-0 at the end of the weekend.


Byes: Cleveland Browns (2-8), New Orleans Saints (4-6), New York Giants (5-5), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)

Of those on a bye week in Week 11, both the Giants and Steelers are in good positions when it comes to the playoffs. Pittsburgh are 6-4, currently two wins behind the Bengals, and they will be hoping for an Arizona victory on Sunday night to give them a better chance of winning the AFC North. The Giants are leading the way in the NFC East, but the Eagles could go level with them at 5-5 with victory this weekend. The two play each other in the final game of the season in what could potentially be a decider.

The Saints are still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot, but currently sit at the bottom of the NFC South, a division in which the Carolina Panthers are bossing with their perfect record. Along with the Cleveland Browns, who are 2-8, the playoffs seem a long way away in 2015.


Playoff Picture Before Week 11:


Division – Patriots (9-0), Bengals (8-1), Broncos (7-2), Colts (4-5)

Wild Card – Steelers (6-4), Bills (5-4)

In the Hunt – Jets (5-4), Chiefs (4-5), Raiders (4-5), Dolphins (4-5), Texans (4-5), Jaguars (3-6)



Division – Panthers (9-0), Cardinals (7-2), Vikings (7-2), Giants (5-5)

Wild Card – Packers (6-3), Falcons (6-3)

In the Hunt – Redskins (4-5), Buccaneers (4-5), Rams (4-5), Seahawks (4-5), Eagles (4-5), Bears (4-5), Saints (4-6), 49ers (3-6)

Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos detroit lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants New York Jets Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tennessee Titans Washington Redskins

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