NFL Preview: Cards-Vikings, Ravens-Cowboys, Seahawks-Eagles Headline Sunday Action

Dak Prescott
The Associated Press

In 2016, the pro sports landscape grew more political than perhaps in any other year of the modern era.

Some fans have soured on the NFL due to a small group of national anthem protestors. You could make a strong argument that a more politicized environment plagues the NBA

The NFL employs a few twentysomething millennials, who probably have been indoctrinated by leftist teachers, Black Lives Matter, and cable news propaganda, acting out on their brainwashing (they have a lot of company right now), and lashing out at the police.

In the NBA, three coaches, all over 50, recently trashed president-elect Donald Trump with ad hominem attacks filled with vitriol.

“I don’t think anybody can deny [Trump] is openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic,” said Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy.

“The disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments [during Trump’s campaign] that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, and I live in a country where half the people ignored all that to elect someone,” said San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

“All of a sudden you’re faced with a reality that the man who is going to lead you has routinely used racist, misogynistic, insulting words,” said Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

In the NFL, you didn’t hear one coach, GM or owner—the adults in the room—say a derogatory word about Trump.

In the NBA, three prominent coaches smeared our next president, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, attacked him repeatedly before the election. You can make a strong argument the NFL’s political gymnastics are a lot less offensive than the NBA’s.

So maybe it’s time to give the NFL another chance, and not blame an entire league for the behavior of a few manipulated youngsters, in a country filled with them.

And if you do chose to jump back on the NFL’s bandwagon, this would be a good week to do it, with some great match-ups such as Philadelphia at Seattle and Baltimore at Dallas.

Let’s take a closer look at the action…

Tennessee Titans (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5)

The Colts have beaten the Titans ten games in a row. But the 2016 Titans are much improved, so the streak is certainly in jeopardy.

And the Titans are amazingly healthy for a Week 11 game. They have no players listed on their injury report, which is remarkable for this time of year.

This game is a toss-up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)

A lot of football statistics (and there are more than ever) are meaningless, but one that definitely matters is the turnover ratio.
The Chiefs lead the NFL with a +14 turnover ratio, and that is a major factor in their won-loss record.

And if their defense wasn’t talented enough, they get back their best defender, linebacker Justin Houston, from the injury list.

The Chiefs should win this game.

Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1) at Minnesota Vikings (5-4)

Playing at home last week, the Cardinals barely beat the lowly San Francisco 49ers.

Something isn’t right with the Cardinals, considered a Super Bowl contender entering the season.

The Vikings, ravaged by offensive tackle injuries, have lost four in a row, but they should be able to manufacture a home-win spearheaded by their top-shelf defense.

Chicago Bears (2-7) at the New York Giants (6-3)

All signs point to the Giants in this game, but it might be closer than they’d like.

First off, the Giants face offensive line issues, and the Bears boast a very good pass rush.

Secondly, 40 MPH winds are expected, so this could negatively effect the Giants’ potent passing attack.

The Giants should win, but it might be tougher than expected.

Baltimore Ravens (5-4) at Dallas Cowboys (8-1)

The NFL’s #1 defense travels to Dallas to try and contain the dynamic Cowboys rookie duo of QB Dak Prescott and RB Zeke Elliott.

Baltimore has won five straight games against rookie quarterbacks. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees, a former Bill Belichick assistant, has a lot of disguised looks that can baffle rookies.

Don’t be shocked if the road team pulls an upset. The Ravens are loaded at receiver and Dallas is missing two secondary starters.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7) at Detroit Lions (5-4)

The Jaguars are an enigma. They field a lot more talent than their record indicates.

“[Jacksonville] is a dangerous team,” Lions wide receiver Golden Tate said. “They have a lot of good, high draft picks. I would say collectively that haven’t clicked yet, but there not far off.”

The Lions are fresh off a bye-week, and should prevail at home against the underachieving Jaguars.

Buffalo Bills (4-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-5-1)

The Bills have lost three in a row.

Their secondary gives up too many big plays, so they made some lineup changes.

The Bengals record isn’t great, but they remain in contention in the watered-down AFC North.

This game of two very inconsistent teams is too close to call.

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-5) at Cleveland Browns (0-10)

The rebuilding Browns are winless, but that might not matter.

“We are not focused on wins and losses this year,” Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Browns told this week. Strange message to send to your team.

Well, considering how poorly the Browns’ defense is playing, now facing QB Ben Roethlisberger, expect an 11th loss.

Miami Dolphins (5-4) at Los Angeles Rams (4-5)

Somewhat strange move by Rams coach Jeff Fisher. At 4-5, in wildcard playoff contention, he benched starting quarterback Case Keenum, and decided to start rookie Jared Goff.

Does he really think that a rookie, who has never played an NFL game, is going to keep him in playoff contention?

The Dolphins have won four in a row, and should make it five.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) at Seattle Seahawks (6-2-1)

The Eagles have lost four road games in a row.

This shouldn’t come a huge surprise since most rookie quarterbacks struggle on the road, and Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz has been no different.

The Seahawks should win this game.

New England Patriots (7-2) at San Francisco 49ers (1-8)

San Mateo’s Tom Brady was a huge 49ers fans growing up. Believe it or not, at the age of 39, this is the first time he will play the 49ers on the road, and he’s pumped. Brady bought a ton of tickets, and there will be a huge Brady rooting section at Levi’s Stadium.

The 49ers have the NFL’s worst defense, so Brady should be able to provide many exciting moments of his cheering section, and get the Patriots their eighth win.

Green Bay Packers (4-5) at Washington Redskins (5-3-1)

The Packers are a mess as evidenced by last week’s 47-25 blowout loss to Tennessee.

Injuries are a big reason why and that could be a problem this week once again, with four starters out.

But while many point the finger at QB Aaron Rodgers, he did play three consecutive solid games prior to last week’s debacle.

While this game might favor Washington, if Rodgers plays like he did the three games before Tennessee, the Packers certainly could pull the road upset.

Houston Texans (6-3) at Oakland Raiders (7-2)

This game takes place in Mexico City.

The Texans gave free agent Brock Osweiler a four-year $72 million contract to fix their quarterback position.

After nine games, the Texans rank 32nd in passing. For the uninitiated, 32 teams make up the NFL.

But to the Texans’ credit, they have managed to go 6-3 getting very little from the quarterback position.

However, that shouldn’t become 6-4 after playing the red-hot Raiders.