NFL picks, predictions against spread for Week 11: Patriots edge Eagles, Bears upend Rams, Cowboys top Lions

first_imgMORE NFL WEEK 11:Updated playoff picture | Power rankingsHere’s a complete look at our latest pigskin prognostications in managing the number for favorites and underdogs.NFL Week 11 picks, predictions against the spreadGame of the Week: New England Patriots (-3 1/2) at Philadelphia EaglesSunday, 4:25 p.m. ET p.m. ET, CBSThe Patriots usually play well after a bye under Bill Belichick. The Eagles, however, are coming off a bye themselves, and Doug Pederson did do some great big-game coaching against Belichick in the Super Bowl a couple years ago. Tom Brady has the bigger advantage against a bad Eagles secondary while Carson Wentz draws a tough, deep Patriots secondary. Philadelphia will run well enough to stay in the game, but Brady will outduel Wentz with a game-winning drive.Pick: Patriots win 27-24 but fail to cover the spread.Game of the Midweek: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (-2 1/2)Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime VideoThe Steelers are coming off massive wins against the Colts and Rams to get into AFC wild-card position behind the Ravens in the North. But the Browns are the ones who have beaten the Ravens, and despite the recent results, Cleveland is equipped better than Pittsburgh, especially offensively. The Dawg Pound will be pumped for prime time, and the Browns will continue to save face with a more settled Baker Mayfield outplaying Mason Rudolph.Pick: Browns win 24-20 and cover the spread.Upset of the Week: Chicago Bears (+7) over Los Angeles RamsSunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBCMitchell Trubisky used the Lions to break out of a massive slump while Jared Goff went deeper into his struggles against the Steelers. The Bears can run the ball on the Rams to make Trubisky comfortable while the Rams face more tough sledding for Todd Gurley and more pressure on Goff. Chicago should have a good fan presence, as well, Sunday night in Los Angeles.Pick: Bears win 23-20.Lock of the Week: Minnesota Vikings (-11 1/2) over Denver BroncosSunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBSWe picked on the Vikings as mild underdogs at Dallas in Week 10, and they decided to throw that in our face by holding off the Cowboys to get a big win. So now we’re making up for that disrespect by expecting them to dominate at home against the Broncos. Bad opponent at home in an early afternoon game? That’s easy pickings for Kirk Cousins.Pick: Vikings win 33-10 and cover the spread.Dallas Cowboys (-3 1/2) at Detroit LionsSunday, 1 p.m. ET, FoxThe Lions can’t stop Ezekiel Elliott or Dak Prescott in any way, including covering Elliott or Prescott’s wide receivers. The Lions also might be without Matthew Stafford for another week, and Detroit presents no threat in the running game. One-dimensional, downfield passing doesn’t work against Dallas.Pick: Cowboys win 31-14 and cover the spread.New Orleans Saints (-5 1/2) at Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday, 1 p.m. ET, FoxThe Saints will go back to basics against the Bucs after losing to the lowly Falcons last week. The formula is leaning on their running game to open things up for Drew Brees downfield. From there, it’s being prepared to swarm Jameis Winston and force key turnovers. Winston has had some success against New Orleans, but it will be Tampa Bay’s overall defense that crumbles Sunday.Pick: Saints win 31-21 and cover the spread.Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-5 1/2)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FoxThe Panthers should have no trouble running Christian McCaffrey to another big day, which will set up downfield shots to Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore, receivers whose combined speed and quickness can give the Falcons’ secondary trouble. Atlanta will try to play divisional spoiler on the road in consecutive weeks, but Carolina tends to play better pass defense at home, and its opponent can’t exploit its weakness in run defense.Pick: Panthers win 30-20 and cover the spread.Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-3)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBSNick Foles returns to start for the Jaguars but steps into a matchup against a defense that performs its best at home. Should Jacoby Brissett miss another game, the Colts might be in trouble with Brian Hoyer against Jacksonville’s pass rush and secondary. But let’s assume he will play and Indianapolis can grind out a win, this time with better clutch play in the fourth quarter. Pick: Colts win 23-19 and cover the spread.New York Jets at Washington Redskins (Pick ’em)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FoxThe Jets got a confidence-building win for Sam Darnold and Adam Gase with their defense also making big plays against the Giants. The Redskins will make a ton of mistakes offensively this week to help New York, while Washington can’t stop either Le’Veon Bell or Darnold’s veteran receivers.Pick: Jets win 23-16 and cover the spread.Buffalo Bills (-5 1/2) at Miami DolphinsSunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBSBuffalo is good at taking care of weak opponents, but ex-Bill Ryan Fitzpatrick has led Miami to two straight wins after scaring his former team on the road three weeks ago. Josh Allen will make a few more plays than Fitzmagic this time to save the day.Pick: Bills win 20-17 but fail to cover the spread.Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-4)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBSThis should be fun with Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson running wild and throwing deep. But the difference comes down to the Ravens being able to run the ball better in this matchup and having the superior, deeper secondary to limit the deep-ball damage. Watson will make one or two more key turnovers than Jackson, who will keep building his MVP case against another candidate.Pick: Ravens win 31-24 and cover the spread.Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-14 1/2)Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FoxThe Cardinals made the 49ers sweat in Arizona a couple weeks ago, but even on a short week, San Francisco will be ready to take care of another division opponent at home in wire-to-wire fashion. The 49ers will fly out of the gate with Jimmy Garoppolo staying hot in this matchup. They’ll also run more effectively and get after Kyler Murray more often in the rematch.Pick: 49ers win 30-13 and cover the spread.Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders (-11 1/2)Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBSThe Raiders will just feed Josh Jacobs and watch him destroy the Bengals’ run defense, and Derek Carr also will make some comfortable deep plays off play-action. There’s no reason to think this tanking Cincinnati team will be competitive in the Black Hole against a team coming off a long week. Zac Taylor will be schooled by Jon Gruden and his staff.Pick: Raiders win 31-17 and cover the spread.Kansas City Chiefs (-3 1/2) vs. Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico CityMonday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN The Chiefs were supposed to play this game in Mexico City against the other Los Angeles team last season, a shootout they lost in LA, instead. Kansas City will get back on track with plenty of Patrick Mahomes, set up well by the running game, ripping apart the Chargers’ defense. Philip Rivers will keep slumping against an underrated pass rush, and Melvin Gordon will not run well enough to save the night.Pick: Chiefs win 34-27 and cover the spread.Stats of the Week:Week 10 record straight up: 5-7Week 10 record against the spread: 6-6Season record straight up: 96-50Season record against the spread: 79-62Upsets of the Week: 5-5Locks of the Week: 4-6 Last week was another brutal one of NFL game picks and predictions thanks to plenty more surprising results that went against what we thought we know about teams. The only thing we can do is work to make our fearless forecast more formidable for Week 11.This week’s schedule brings us 14 more games with four teams enjoying late bye weeks. The matchups are still rather compelling, leading with New England and Philadelphia back in action.last_img read more

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Will Jason Garrett be fired by Cowboys? Without key playoff wins, a contract extension won’t come

first_img (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/89/67/jerry-jones-11242019-getty-ftrjpg_g2hl106gj1k41vz6y20y7hv6h.jpg?t=-1605087458&w=500&quality=80 When the Cowboys lost games to the Saints and Vikings, some pointed to Jones’ compliments of New Orleans’ Sean Payton and Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer as passive-aggressive criticism of his own coach. After the Cowboys’ loss to the Patriots in Week 12, Jones abandoned any and all subtlety.”Special teams is a total reflection of coaching,” Jones said after a blocked punt contributed to Dallas’ loss. “With the makeup of this team, I shouldn’t be this frustrated.”Added Jones, via the Fort Worth Star Telegram: “It’s frustrating to be reminded of the fundamentals of football and coaching that beat us out there. So, yeah, I’m frustrated.”The Tuesday after the Patriots game, Jones redirected some of the blame to himself while refusing to let Garrett and his coaching staff off the hook.”When you’re general manager, which I am, those coaches are out there at my ultimate decision,” Jones said during a radio interview. “It’s very much within my realm of purview, if you will, to not only be standing there as an owner but be standing there as the general manager who put the staff there to begin with. People seem to think it’s particularly harsh to have criticism, and they think when you look at the other side of the field and call a job well done, that might mean that’s extraordinary criticism of the job you’ve done on the other side of the field. At the end of the day, the buck stops with me.”I am highly critical, and I am continually evaluating the performance of everyone involved with the game.”Jason Garrett’s contract extensionSimply put: If Jones wanted Garrett to continue as the Cowboys’ coach regardless of how the 2019 season plays out, the team owner already would have extended the coach’s contract.In 2015 following his fourth season on the job, Garrett signed a five-year, $30 million contract extension that would keep him in Dallas through 2019. Via Spotrac, below is the breakdown of his base salaries and yearly cash.YearBase salaryYearly cash (total)2015$6 million$6 million ($6 million)2016$6 million$6 million ($12 million)2017$6 million$6 million ($18 million)2018$6 million$6 million ($24 million)2019$6 million$6 million ($30 million)It’s worth noting this is not an unprecedented situation for Garrett, who also coached the 2014 season under the final year of his contract. Following three straight 8-8 seasons, the Cowboys that year went 12-4 and won the NFC East before they were defeated by the Packers in the divisional round of the postseason. (Yes, that was the Dez Bryant catch game.)”I do my best work without a net. I really do,” Jones said at this year’s NFL Combine when justifying his decision to let Garrett coach on the last year of his deal once again.Yet these Cowboys, already with five losses in 2019, will not reach 12-4. Which is why many assume Garrett needs to lead Dallas to a deep playoff run to save his job. He might even be sensing it, as well.When NFL Media reported last week that Garrett would be a head-coaching candidate for the Giants if the Cowboys were to fire him, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio speculated Garrett’s camp leaked the info in an effort to maintain leverage. Hey, Jerry, if you let me go, a division rival will want to hire me. Based on what Jones said during a radio interview in October — “He would be a very sought after coach if he were out here in the open market” — the team owner would agree.Yet this is another example of Jones contradicting himself with his actions; or, in this case, inaction. If Jones thinks Garrett would be such a hot target in the open market, why would he let the coach hit the open market?When Garrett did hit the market back in 2015, before Jones extended him, there reportedly wasn’t much interest from other teams that had head coach openings.We’ll find out upon the expiration of Garrett’s contract after this season whether that’ll be the case again. The Cowboys likely will not fire coach Jason Garrett during or after the 2019 season. That’s because team owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t need to fire him. Garrett’s contract is set to expire when Dallas’ season ends.The lack of a contract extension for the 53-year-old Cowboys coach is the biggest elephant in a room full of them. Jones’ frustration as the Cowboys have limped to a 6-5 record in Garrett’s 10th season as coach seems to be rising to the level of a fan base that appears eager to move on from Garrett. But thanks to the playoff picture, Garrett’s job should be safe through December. Nothing is guaranteed beyond Week 17. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/28/3/jason-garrett-041019-getty-ftrjpg_gemgt62ej3kw1gqkd07cbphoh.jpg?t=126458506&w=500&quality=80 Jason Garrett’s record: Playoff wins and lossesGarrett’s resume over his 10-year head coaching career in Dallas paints the picture of a good-but-not-great coach who has done just enough to stick around.Garrett has just one losing season, a 4-12 record in 2015 when injuries to quarterback Tony Romo, among others, derailed the Cowboys. He has produced winning records in five of his nine seasons and .500 records in three.Below are Garrett’s regular-season wins and losses.YearGamesWinsLosses20108532011168820121688201316882014161242015164122016161332017169720181610620191165Total1478364Ultimately, though, Garrett as the coach of the Cowboys is judged by his postseason success or failure. He has a 2-3 record in five playoff games in nine seasons.Below is a breakdown of the results of those postseason appearances.SeasonOpponentRoundResult2014vs. LionsWild cardW, 24-202014at PackersDivisionalL, 26-212016vs. PackersDivisionalL, 34-312018vs. SeahawksWild cardW, 24-222018at RamsDivisionalL, 30-22Will the Cowboys fire Jason Garrett?With Garrett’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, the Cowboys will not fire him as long as they’re in playoff contention. ESPN confirmed that with a Thursday report suggesting Jones won’t fire Garrett before season’s end “no matter what.”The only scenario in which an in-season firing is plausible is Dallas being eliminated from the postseason before Week 17. If that were to happen, and if Jones decided to move on, he could avoid delaying the inevitable and get a head start on his search for a new coach.Otherwise, based on rumors surrounding the Cowboys and apparently increased pressure on Garrett, there are two scenarios: Either Dallas will make a run to the NFC title game and Garrett will save his job, or Jones will choose not to extend the coach, and the Cowboys will move on. MORE: Ranking the Cowboys’ replacements for Jason GarrettGarrett joined the Cowboys in 2007 as the offensive coordinator on Wade Phillips’ staff. Garrett added assistant head coach to his title in 2008, and when Phillips was fired halfway through the 2010 season, he assumed the role he has held ever since.A decade later, Garrett is under the most pressure he has felt during his coaching stint in Dallas. His overall record entering Week 13 of the 2019 season was 83-64, not including a 2-3 mark in five playoff games. Based on what Jones has said about his expectations for the Cowboys this season, they need to reach at least the NFC championship game for Garrett to earn a contract extension.With that in mind, below are the three factors at play when it comes to whether the Cowboys will part ways with Garrett. Like all things Dallas Cowboys-related, it starts with Jerry.What Jerry Jones has said about Jason GarrettThe Cowboys owner and GM has mastered the art of claiming to be committed to the head coach while not actually committing to the head coach. His comments before the 2019 season, when Dallas was coming off a divisional playoff loss to eventual NFC-champion Los Angeles, are a good example.”I think I’ve made clear how I feel about Jason in terms of where he is right now as far as our ability to help us win football games,” Jones said in a radio interview. “I think if you look at what we’ve done over the last few years, you’ll see a pretty good winning record there.”(But) it’s not enough, not enough.”Added Jones last summer when asked about the status of Garrett’s contract (more on that later): “There’s no secret that I want (Garrett) to be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for as long as I’m around to spell it. Let’s see what’s ahead. I expect us to be a better team (in 2019). I think our personnel supports that. Our experience gained supports that. I am real impressed with the staff that Jason has put together. So I expect us to be better, and as a part of that should result in maybe advancing our record, or if you will, our place in the playoff.”It should result in that. That’s the assumption you make that if you’re a better team and you’ve put together a sound one that can stay healthy, then you should be able to do better than you did last year.”So the message — get to the conference title game, or else — was clear. And it’s not an unreasonable expectation. Sporting News, after all, picked the Cowboys to win Super Bowl 54.Jones basically echoed these thoughts when asked about the status of his coach as the Cowboys jumped out to a 3-0 start in 2019. Things changed when Dallas lost its next three games, including an embarrassing defeat against a previously winless Jets team. Keep in mind the Cowboys head coaching job is one of a few in the NFL that almost any coach would desire. BetOnline already has odds on who will be Dallas’ coach in 2020, and the list includes big-time names like Urban Meyer, Josh McDaniels, Lincoln Riley, Sean Payton, Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Jim Harbaugh, Chris Petersen and … Peyton Manning?Regardless of how many of those would be legitimate candidates for the Cowboys job, the point is Jones would have more than enough options in his search for a coach who can manage something better than a .565 regular-season win percentage and get Dallas to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995.Garrett has been good. But good, as Jones put it, is “not enough.”last_img read more

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AFC confident it is not dead

first_img…APNU not kicking AFC – party leaderDays after revealing that it was contesting the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGEs) as a single unit, following inconclusive talks with dominant partner – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – over the last several months, the Alliance for Change (AFC) on Wednesday said the November 12 polls will give it a chance to prove its electoral worth, and it remains confident of gathering additional votes. At that party’s press conference at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday, the AFC said it would not be kicking against the Coalition’s dominant force at LGE polls.Reporters probed the AFC on its relevance in the current political landscape following WPA Executive Dr David Hinds saying that APNU got what it wanted from the AFC; and AFC Leader Raphael Trotman, in responding, said that contrary to what that political analyst has posited, the AFC and the APNU have one principal rival, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).“I don’t believe that the APNU is getting ready to kick us anywhere; we work well together at the national level, (and) we have no intentions of kicking the APNU,” Trotman asserted.Speaking at the AFC press briefing, party chairman Khemraj Ramjattan indicated that the decision to contest the upcoming LGE alone will prove if the AFC is in fact dead or alive.“The press people, columnists and analysts have been indicating that the AFC is dead, but this (elections) is a great opportunity to prove otherwise,” he noted.The party, in fact, said on Wednesday that while the APNU/AFC coalition is strong in national Government; as a single unit, the AFC is confident that it would demonstrate electoral growth.Impasse with APNUAlliance for Change executives also avoided some of the questions members of the media fielded on what led to the breakdown of talks with the APNU ahead of this year’s Local Government Elections. Facing questions on the Cummingsburg Accord’s 60-40 per cent arrangement, which was signed on Valentine’s Day 2015, executives declined to say how high or low the party was willing to go with talks.“There was no rejection of any formula; we just didn’t reach an agreement,” Executive Member David Patterson noted.Having declared the AFC an “awesome elections machine”, Patterson and his colleagues brushed aside assertions that the AFC had been rejected by the Coalition’s main group, the PNC-R, or the APNU as a whole, from having a seat at the table.Patterson also highlighted that the Cummingsburg Accord did not address the LGEs.The AFC has been coming in for much criticism, especially from the parliamentary Opposition, for what many describe as the submissive role it has been playing since joining forces with APNU. The AFC top leadership had, in mid-November last year, moved to revise its governing agreement with its majority coalition partner. The Cummingsburg Accord, the arrangement which guides the two partners, has a lifespan of a minimum of three years and maximum of five years, and was focused primarily on the General and Regional Elections.However, a stalemate ensued after the two sides could not come to terms on several policies, many of which the AFC members chose not to identify. They did highlight that the Parking Meter Project in the capital city Georgetown was one of the policies which were opposed. The AFC also said it had decided to contest Local Government Elections alone since last year as a test, before National elections in 2020.The AFC will not contest LGEs in all constituencies, but will have a presence in all 10 regions. The APNU and AFC coalition won the national and regional elections in 2015, but the main Opposition PPP gained victory at the 2016 LGEs in the majority of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs).last_img read more

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DONEGAL FRIENDS TO TAKE ON EPIC RUN FOR ABANDONED BABIES

first_imgTwo Donegal friends are to take on an epic 100km run from Sligo to Letterkenny this weekend in aid of charity.Deirdre Boyle from Creeslough and Pauric O’Donnell from Letterkenny hope to complete the run in two days this Friday and Saturday.The pair are traveling to Uganda on July 19th to volunteer with the Loving Hearts Babies Home in Kampala, Uganda. They have been training hard for the 2.5 marathon run by clocking up to 70 miles each over the past eight weeks.“The level of support we have received from friends, family and strangers is absolutely fantastic – the generosity of Irish people knows no bounds. It’s a difficult challenge we’ve set ourselves but we’ll be keeping our focus on the reason we’re doing this and the kids who are going to benefit from it,” Deirdre explained.Neither Deirdre or Pauric are strangers to running with both running marathons in the past but nothing comes close to the task of running two Ultramarathons one day after another.Pauric added “It’s the hardest challenge we’ve ever set ourselves, but we’re confident that with the support we’ve received and in the training we’ve completed that we will be able to achieve our goals and raise as much as possible for the orphanage in the process.” The Loving Hearts Babies Home (www.lovingheartsbabies.com) is a place abandoned babies from 0 to 2 years call home.They are committed to observe and maintain the dignity and rights of the abandoned/orphaned babies by providing the basic individual needs as enjoyed by other privileged babies with caring families.Pauric would like to thank Danny Ryan and the rest of the Core Training Group from Letterkenny for helping prepare him for the run as well as John Grant, Damien McGoohan and Terance Boyle who are their support crew this weekend.Deirdre would like to especially thank her family and friends who supported her in the build up to the run including John Boylan, Conal McFadden and her sister Evelyn for all their training help and everyone else who has sponsored and offered help to her efforts!Special thanks also goes to Tommy Gallagher from CorePro Fitness, Letterkenny who worked hard as the physio for the guys and to Brian McMonagle who has generously donated the use of the HydroTherapy in Aura Leisure Centre to the runners in the build up to the weekend – something that Pauric and Deirdre found essential in their training recovery and run preparation. If you’d like to sponsor the guys, in the knowledge that every penny will be taken straight to those who need it, you can do so on their online donation page here…http://www.give2go.ie/profile/DeeboyleDONEGAL FRIENDS TO TAKE ON EPIC RUN FOR ABANDONED BABIES was last modified: July 4th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:charityDeirdre BoylePauric O’DonnellSligo to Letterkennylast_img read more

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