Nov 3, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) passes under pressure by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Jerry Hughes (55) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
A host of intriguing games dominate week 11 of NFL action. The contrasting styles along make for some interesting bold predictions. What are some possibilities fans can expect?
Cam Newton scores three rushing touchdowns versus New England Patriots
Having a bye week to prepare might lend the New England Patriots defense some help but in reality they are in a matchup that doesn’t favor their style. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are a ground-and-pound offense built on playing physical. While Newton can throw the football, he’s most dangerous when he tucks it and runs. Carolina has an excellent defense that will likely create some extra opportunities for the offense. As the game goes on fatigue is bound to start showing for the Patriots, especially in the warm climate of North Carolina. Once that happen, Newton will be at his most dangerous when he runs. Here’s saying he won’t throw a single touchdown pass, but he will gut New England with four rushing touchdowns.
Scott Tolzien throws for over 300 yards against New York Giants
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy never gets enough credit for his ability to adjust his team to injury situations, particularly at the quarterback spot. He’ll have a good chance to work that magic with third-stringer Scott Tolzien. He will go against a New York Giants defense that has played better of late but still has one of the worst pass rushes in football. Provided they stop the run like they have of late, it will force Tolzien to throw. However, if the kid gets time he has the receivers in James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin to do some real damage on the Giants secondary. Here’s saying he will top the 300-yard mark through the air in the Meadowlands.
Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley will each sack Big Ben twice
There is no better defensive line in football than what the Detroit Lions have constructed. At the heart of it is their two star defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. They were the reason the Lions hung on to beat Chicago last week and they have an excellent chance to showcase their abilities against a flawed Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. Ben Roethlisberger continues to get hit a lot this season and given his tendency to hold the football waiting for a big play, it will allow Suh and Fairley that precious extra time to beat the Steelers lineman. Being on the road in unpredictable weather might make it tough, but if Ben continues to play like himself then the Lions duo will each sack him not once but twice before the day is over.
Matt Forte will top 125 yards rushing against Baltimore Ravens
Last week was a forgettable one for Matt Forte. In addition to getting smothered for just over 30 yards rushing, his failure to get a key two-point conversion in the final minute cost his Chicago Bears a chance to force overtime. If anybody is need of a bounce back game, it’s him. The Baltimore Ravens don’t seem like the ideal choice to do it against considering they rank 10th overall in rush defense. However, there is an opportunity there. Word broke recently the Ravens will be without Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata for the game. Not having him in the middle and playing on a wet, slippery Soldier Field could make things very dicey for the Baltimore defense in trying to corral Forte if he finds a hole. Provided the run blocking is decent, he could top 125 yards rushing.
Alex Smith throws four touchdown passes against Denver
One often overlooked aspect of Alex Smith is his tendency to step up his game when facing great quarterbacks. Last year he threw two big touchdowns in the opener against Aaron Rodgers. Early that January he put on an instant classic when he threw three touchdowns and ran for another against the Saints and Drew Brees. Now he faces the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. It’s the first real game of the season that Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to prove their undefeated season is not a fluke. Considering he’s playing the 30th ranked NFL pass defense, the condition are right for Smith to have a breakout game to the tune of four touchdown passes.