NFL Fox Sports Previews: Week 11
There’s some great matchups featuring on Fox Sports this week. Read on below.
Green Bay Packers (6-3) @ Detroit Lions (4-5)
Time & Date: Monday 19th November, 5am-8am
Coverage: LIVE on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 1 HD w/Replay at 9:30pm on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 2 HD (See TV Guide for info)
These two traditional rivals face off what is an important game – the Packers need another win to keep pace and the Lions season is in desperate straits in the tough NFC North. At the moment, that division sees the Bears leading out at 7-2 and the surprising Vikings at 6-4 pressuring the pre-season Super Bowl favourites. The last time these two teams played was the final week of last season – the Packers won 45-41 in a shootout that saw Matt Flynn pass for 480 yards and 6 TDs!
Green Bay is bouncing back from their slow start to the year. After Week 5 they were 2-3 (with one of those wins being by one point over the Saints), but since then they’ve won their last four games (including a 42-24 beatdown of Houston) and averaged nearly 32 points per game! The big difference besides the obvious improvement in offence, has been the turnovers: they gave the ball away six times in the first five games and only THREE in their last four.
The Lions are a little lost at the moment. Many people tipped them to do well pre-season, but they’ve struggled to four wins despite leading the league in passing yards and being second in total yards per game. Their defence doesn’t totally stink either – they’re only a little below average by most measures. So, what’s going on with them? Firstly – despite the huge passing yardage, Detroit are not converting those yards into points efficiently. Calvin Johnson is averaging 97 yards per game receiving, but has only scored TWO touchdowns! Indeed, they rank only 13th in points per game (24.0) and they’ve really struggled rushing the ball, which has made them unable to control and run time off the clock once they’ve got a lead.
Watch out for: A quarterback shootout – Rodgers and Stafford are going to air it out in the perfect conditions inside the dome, so we should have lots of points and entertainment on offer!
Final word and prediction: Coming off a bye week, the Packers are rested and ready for the Lions. I think they’ll be too polished for the Lions and win this one 32-28.
New Orleans Saints (4-5) @ Oakland Raiders (3-6)
Time & Date: Monday 19th November, 8:05am-11:05am
Coverage: LIVE on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 1 HD w/Replay at 11:30pm on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 2 HD (See TV Guide for info)
Two teams going in opposite directions – the Saints on the up after starting 0-4, coming off two great wins (thumping Philly and beating the previously undefeated Falcons), the Raiders going down, coming off two terrible losses (Tampa beating up on them in Oakland and then Baltimore hanging 55 points on them last week), but neither team has done well at all this year.
The Saints are the ultimate in opposites – they have the fourth best offence in the league, but the worst defence. Having coach Sean Payton suspended for the season because of ‘Bountygate’ has definitely had a big impact on their performances, but they seem to be finding a groove now and making a run for a playoff wildcard spot.
The Raiders have just struggled overall. Their biggest problem is their rushing – averaging 76.7 yards per game on the ground is second worst in the NFL. Their defence isn’t much better – giving up 31.6 points per game!
Watch out for: Two things: The wild and crazy Raider Nation to come out in force and try and lift their team after two horrible weeks – It’s definitely still a tough place to play on the road. And Drew Brees to continue his all-time NFL record of 52 consecutive games with at least one passing touchdown (Johnny Unitas is second with a streak of 47).
Final word and prediction: Saints offence too hot, Raiders defence too cold. However, the Raiders will be able to put up points themselves. This is one of those games that might be decided by a key special teams play. Saints to win, 42-34.
Right, that’s it! Got any predictions of your own? Let us know with a comment!