4 Potential NFL Upsets in Week 11

Elsa/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

The NFL is the king of parity as far as professional sports leagues go. Parity leads to upsets. In Week 10, the Cleveland Browns upset the Cincinnati Bengals, the San Francisco 49ers upset the New Orleans Saints, and the New York Jets upset the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is a look at four games with upset potential in Week 11.

All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.

Al Bello/Getty Images

Al Bello/Getty Images

1.  New England Patriots (7-2) over Indianapolis Colts (6-3)

Point Spread: Colts favored by 3 points

The Colts are hosting the Patriots on Sunday Night Football in Week 11. Both teams are coming off of a bye in Week 10, and this game has major AFC playoff implications. The Patriots are trying to stay ahead of the Denver Broncos in the race for home field advantage in the AFC playoffs, and the Colts are trying to stay within striking distance of Denver and New England for a first-round playoff bye. Both teams have been on fire offensively, but the Patriots have really turned it on defensively. Getting Brandon Browner up to speed has given the Patriots a dynamic duo at cornerback and Dont’a Hightower has filled in nicely for Jerrod Mayo. Offensively, tight end Rob Gronkowski remains a constant mismatch that the Patriots will likely continue to exploit in this game, while MVP-candidate Tom Brady is playing better than ever. Andrew Luck will almost surely have some success against the New England defense, but the Colts’ defense may not be able slow down the New England offense. At the end of the day, Tom Brady is arguably the best big-game quarterback in NFL history, and if anyone can overcome the game-changing Indianapolis home field advantage, it’s the 37-year-old Brady.

Patriots Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 367.0 total yards per game (9th)
  • 265.8 passing yards per game (8th)
  • 101.2 rushing yards per game (19th)
  • 31.2 points per game (3rd)

Patriots Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 355.1 total yards allowed per game (16th)
  • 235.1 net passing yards allowed per game (14th)
  • 120.0 rushing yards allowed per game (22nd)
  • 22.0 points allowed per game (12th)

Colts Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 451.2 total yards per game (1st)
  • 337.4 passing yards per game (1st)
  • 113.8 rushing yards per game (14th)
  • 32.2 points per game (1st)

Colts Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 361.7 total yards allowed per game (18th)
  • 263.6 net passing yards allowed per game (27th)
  • 98.1 rushing yards allowed per game (9th)
  • 23.4 points allowed per game (18th)

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

 

2.  Detroit Lions (7-2) over Arizona Cardinals (8-1)

Point Spread: Cardinals favored by 2 points

The Cardinals are 5-0 at home this year, but will be playing behind backup quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton has a 2-1 record in 2014 when filling in for the injured Carson Palmer, but has to face the Detroit Lions, who have one of the best defenses in the league, in Week 11. Having home field advantage will help Stanton and the Cardinals, but they may be over-matched in this game. Expect the Lions to take away Cardinals running back Andre Ellington, and force the game into Stanton’s hands. Calvin Johnson is back and playing for the Lions, and his mere presence will be game-changing. The Lions have been finding ways to win tight, low-scoring games all year, and in this matchup of premier defenses, their experience and success in close games may be the difference maker.

Lions Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 340.1 total yards per game (19th)
  • 262.3 passing yards per game (9th)
  • 77.8 rushing yards per game (31st)
  • 20.2 points per game (24th)

Lions Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 283.4 total yards allowed per game (1st)
  • 212.1 net passing yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 71.3 rushing yards allowed per game (2nd)
  • 15.8 points allowed per game (1st)

Cardinals Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 330.9 total yards per game (24th)
  • 247.3 passing yards per game (13th)
  • 83.6 rushing yards per game (29th)
  • 24.8 points per game (12th)

Cardinals Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 352.8 total yards allowed per game (15th)
  • 274.2 net passing yards allowed per game (30th)
  • 78.6 rushing yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 18.9 points allowed per game (4th)

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

3.  Atlanta Falcons (3-6) over Carolina Panthers (3-6-1)

Point Spread: Panthers favored by 1.5 points

As weird as this may sound, this game actually has NFC playoff implications. The NFC South has been horrendous in 2014, and both of these teams are squarely in the mix to win the division. The Falcons come in with the more talented roster and have been playing better in recent weeks. The Panthers will have a very difficult time defending Atlanta’s aerial attack, and their best player, quarterback Cam Newton, is battling several nagging injuries. The Falcons have struggled on defense, but they have a clear-cut, game-changing type of advantage offensively.

Falcons Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 369.7 total yards per game (8th)
  • 280.8 passing yards per game (32nd)
  • 97.2 rushing yards per game (24th)
  • 24.3 points per game (13th)

Falcons Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 404.8 total yards allowed per game (31st)
  • 233.8 net passing yards allowed per game (14th)
  • 124.0 rushing yards allowed per game (24th)
  • 26.4 points allowed per game (24th)

Panthers Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 320.8 total yards per game (25th)
  • 225.4 passing yards per game (19th)
  • 95.4 rushing yards per game (27th)
  • 19.8 points per game (25th)

Panthers Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 376.8 total yards allowed per game (25th)
  • 254.4 net passing yards allowed per game (23rd)
  • 122.4 rushing yards allowed per game (23rd)
  • 28.1 points allowed per game (29th)

 

Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Steve Dykes/Getty Images

4.  Seattle Seahawks (6-3) over Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)

Point Spread: Chiefs favored by 1.5 points

This game has the potential to be one of the better games in Week 11. The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks are obviously talented on both sides of the ball, and the Chiefs have been one of the better teams in the NFL over the last month. Kansas City has always had one of the best home field advantages in the league, and the fans at Arrowhead Stadium will undoubtedly be rowdy with a team like Seattle coming into town. With all that being said, Kansas City has yet to beat a team of the Seahawks’ caliber in 2014. Marshawn Lynch was stellar in Week 10, and he should get a heavy workload in this game. If the Seahawks are able to slow down Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, and force the game into quarterback Alex Smith’s hands, the Seahawks have a great chance to go into Kansas City and upset the Chiefs.

Seahawks Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 365.3 total yards per game (10th)
  • 194.4 passing yards per game (31st)
  • 170.9 rushing yards per game (1st)
  • 26.7 points per game (7th)

Seahawks Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 307.0 total yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 227.2 net passing yards allowed per game (8th)
  • 79.8 rushing yards allowed per game (4th)
  • 21.2 points allowed per game (10th)

Chiefs Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 331.3 total yards per game (22nd)
  • 195.6 passing yards per game (30th)
  • 135.8 rushing yards per game (5th)
  • 24.1 points per game (14th)

Chiefs Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 320.9 total yards allowed per game (7th)
  • 205.3 net passing yards allowed per game (1st)
  • 115.6 rushing yards allowed per game (20th)
  • 16.8 points allowed per game (2nd)