KC Joyner's Week 11 NFL pick'em selections

KC Joyner, one of the most accurate pick'em experts in the business over the past six years, details his winners for all of the Week 11 matchups.

KC Joyner

17 Nov, 2020

My Week 10 picks went 11-3, bringing my 2020 season mark to 101-45, or a 69.2 percent win rate that is tied for ninth highest among the more than 100 analysts tracked by Pickwatch.com.

 

Here are my Week 11 picks. Each section details which team is predicted to win and provides a quick summary of why that selection was made. The picks also contain a confidence value for each selection, based on a 1-10 scale with “10” being the most confident and “1” being the least confident.

 

Now on to the picks!

 

Thursday, November 19

 

Arizona at Seattle

 

KC’s pick: Arizona

 

Confidence level: 3

 

Seattle used to make a habit of posting 400+ yards in a game, but the Seahawks have reached that mark in only two of the past five weeks. It’s part of why Seattle isn’t faring as well in shootout games, having lost two of the past three contests that fall into that category. That is not a good place to be when facing an Arizona offense that has racked up 430+ offensive yards and 30+ points in five straight games. The Seahawks have also become turnover-prone, as they have posted 3+ giveaways in three of the past four games, a pace that won’t work well against a Cardinals defense that has nine takeaways in the past four games. Add that to Arizona having won two of its last three shootout contests and the Cardinals are the pick in this one.

 

Sunday, November 22

 

Cincinnati at Washington

 

KC’s pick: Washington

 

Confidence level: 3

 

It’s very rare when a team’s third string quarterback might actually turn out to be the squad’s best quarterback, but that may be the case with Washington and Alex Smith. The Football Team had to turn to Smith last week following Kyle Allen’s season-ending ankle surgery and it led to Washington posting season highs in offensive yards and first downs. Cincinnati’s offense has fallen into a bit of a slump of late, as the Bengals have now posted fewer than 250 net passing yards in three of the past five games, a trend that won’t work well against a Washington defense that has allowed more than 250 net passing yards only three times this season. Combine those trends with Cincinnati allowing 20+ points in every game since Week 1 and it is enough to land this selection in Washington’s column.

 

Atlanta at New Orleans

 

KC’s pick: New Orleans

 

Confidence level: 4

 

The Saints have posted six straight wins and are rightfully seen as one of the powerhouse teams in the NFC, but they would do well not to underestimate a Falcons team that has won three of its past four. Atlanta has one of the most consistent offenses in the NFL, having posted 320+ offensive yards in every game this season. New Orleans has done the best job in the league of getting quality production out of every facet of its roster, a trait that will become more essential since Jameis Winston will be the likely starter in place of the injured Drew Brees. Winston’s penchant for interceptions will hinder the Saints offense, but the New Orleans defense has racked up seven takeaways over the past two weeks and should be able to offset that, so New Orleans gets the pick in this one.

 

Pittsburgh at Jacksonville

 

KC’s pick: Pittsburgh

 

Confidence level: 9

 

The Steelers are the only undefeated team in the league and rate at the top of nearly every power rankings category. Were it not for the presence of the abysmal New York Jets, the 1-8 Jaguars would easily rank as the worst team in the league. Those trends make this one of the easiest picks to make in Week 11, so why don’t the Steelers have a confidence level of “10”? It is due to their habit of Tomlining, which is the term I use to describe when a team plays down to its opponents’ talent level. Mike Tomlin’s Steelers teams have done this quite often over the years and just did this a couple of weeks ago against Dallas, so don’t be surprised if Jacksonville makes this game a lot closer than the respective talent levels indicate it should be.

 

Green Bay at Indianapolis

 

KC’s pick: Indianapolis

 

Confidence level: 3


The Packers have won three of their last five, yet the reality is in that span they were blown out by Tampa Bay, got run over by the Minnesota rushing attack, dominated an injury obliterated 49ers club, and let a one-win Jaguars team nearly pull off the upset last week. The Colts have been equally inconsistent in winning three of their last five, but the key to success for Indianapolis has been avoiding giveaways. The Colts have won every game this year when they have posted one or zero giveaways and are 1-3 when posting two giveaways. Since the Packers defense has generated two takeaways in only one game this year, this means the Colts are likely to win that statistical battle as well as this game.

 

New England at Houston

 

KC’s pick: New England

 

Confidence level: 4

 

Just when the world was ready to quote Gorilla Monsoon and stick a proverbial fork into the Patriots and declare them done, New England pulls off one of the biggest upsets of the season with a 23-17 win over Baltimore in Week 10. The Patriots held the best rushing offense in the league to only 115 rushing yards and in doing so allowed their second lowest point total this year. That is the right kind of trend to have in facing a Houston offense that had its worst offensive showing of the year against Cleveland last week, although it should be noted that bad weather played a big part in that. Even with that caveat, Bill Belichick’s squad should be able to run the ball very well against a Houston defense that has allowed 160+ rushing yards in six games this year, so the Patriots are the pick in this one.

 

Philadelphia at Cleveland

 

KC’s pick: Cleveland

 

Confidence level: 4

 

Cleveland was arguably the best run blocking team in the first month of the season and returned to that form last week by racking up 231 yards on the ground against the atrocious Houston rush defense. The Eagles used to be one of the toughest teams to run the ball against, but that hasn’t been the case this year as Philadelphia has allowed 130+ rushing yards in five straight games. Combine that with Carson Wentz either throwing too many picks or not completing a single deep pass (as happened last week) and it gives the Browns many more paths to victory in this one.

 

Detroit at Carolina

 

KC’s pick: Detroit

 

Confidence level: 3

 

Detroit has won four of its last seven games in part due to the good fortune of Todd Gurley’s goal line gaffe in Week 7 and Chase Young’s foolish hit on Matthew Stafford that led to a game-winning field goal against Washington last week. Carolina has not been anywhere near as fortunate, as prior to last week’s blowout loss to Tampa Bay the Panthers had lost four straight games by one possession. Offensive consistency looks to be the key factor in this one, as Detroit has scored 20+ points in every game this year, while Carolina has scored fewer than 20 points twice in the past five games in large part due to not having Christian McCaffrey in the lineup. Since CMC is slated to miss this contest, Detroit gets the consistency edge and the selection.

 

Tennessee at Baltimore

 

KC’s pick: Baltimore

 

Confidence level: 1

 

The Titans started off the year as one of the best offenses in the league, but that isn’t the case of late. Tennessee has posted fewer than 300 net offensive yards in three of the past four games and has tallied fewer than 230 net passing yards in five of the previous six contests. Even the Titans vaunted rushing attack has faltered, as Tennessee averaged only 87 rushing yards per game in recent matchups against Pittsburgh and Chicago. Baltimore’s offense has been equally disappointing, as the Ravens just posted their lowest point total of the year against New England and have only thrown for 200+ net passing yards in three contests. This is about as close of a matchup as one can get, so Baltimore will end up as the pick due to home field advantage.

 

New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers

 

KC’s pick: Los Angeles

 

Confidence level: 7

 

It doesn’t seem right that these two teams should only be separated by two games in the win column this season, as the Jets are easily the worst team in the league and the Chargers are only a couple of misfortunate plays away from turning at least two of their extremely close losses into wins. Rookie of the year candidate Justin Herbert has led the Bolts to five games with 400+ offensive yards and should make that six versus a Jets defense that has allowed 400+ offensive yards in three straight contests and just lost two of their top cornerbacks. Combine that with a cross-country trip for New York and it easily places this pick into the Chargers column.

 

Miami at Denver

 

KC’s pick: Miami

 

Confidence level: 7

 

Miami is skyrocketing towards the top of the AFC standings, as the Dolphins have won six of their last seven games and are arguably a top five team in the league. Defense is the key to Miami’s success, as the Dolphins have racked up at least one takeaway in every contest and have allowed fewer than 200 net passing yards in three of the past five games. The Dolphins are also experts at lighting up their end of the scoreboard, as the Fins have scored 91 points over the past three weeks. Denver’s offense has improved of late, but the Broncos scored only 12 points last week and have posted 18 or fewer points in three of the past five. Combine that with Drew Lock being highly questionable to play in this game and it pushes this pick strongly in Miami’s direction.

 

Dallas at Minnesota

 

KC’s pick: Minnesota

 

Confidence level: 6

 

Minnesota has scratched and clawed its way back into longshot NFC Wild Card contender status with three straight wins largely because they got back to playing the type of football Mike Zimmer wants them to play. The Vikings racked up 557 rushing yards and six takeaways in those three victories and their defense had its best game of the year in the Monday night battle against Chicago by holding the Bears to only 149 total offensive yards and 13 points. The Cowboys offense fell apart after Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury and that has led Dallas to average just over 10 points per game in their last four contests. Combine that with the Cowboys having allowed 200+ rushing yards in three of their last six games and this being in Minnesota and it easily lands this game in the Vikings column.

 

Kansas City at Las Vegas

 

KC’s pick: Las Vegas

 

Confidence level: 3

 

The Raiders Week 5 win against the Chiefs could have been a turnaround point for this franchise, as it ended a five-game losing streak to Kansas City and has propelled Las Vegas to victories in four of its past five contests. A power ground attack has been the key for the Raiders, as Jon Gruden’s offense has tallied 160+ rushing yards in three straight games. The Chiefs rush defense has improved a lot of late, but Kansas City has still given up 150+ rush yards in five games this year and has yet to show they can consistently hold their own against top-flight run blocking. The Chiefs can turn any game into a shootout and thus have paths to victory in this one, but the Raiders rush game edge gives them larger paths of their own and that gives this pick to Las Vegas.

 

Monday, November 23

 

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay

 

KC’s pick: Los Angeles

 

Confidence level: 2

 

Sean McVay’s offense has been the Rams calling card for years, but the reality is defense has been the key to this team’s success this season. Los Angeles just held the powerhouse Seattle offense to only 333 total yards and 16 points and they have allowed fewer than 20 points to six opponents this season. This isn’t to take anything away from the Rams offense, as that platoon has tallied 350+ yards in all but one game this season. Tampa Bay has been the ultimate boom/bust team this year and turnovers have been the key to the busts, as the Bucs are 1-2 when posting two or more giveaways this year. That is a bad trend versus a Rams defense that has generated at least two takeaways in three straight games and five total games this year, so the prediction is this will be a bust game for the Bucs and a close road victory for the Rams.