Friday Five, Week 11

How did we get here? It’s Week 11 of the NFL Season, the weekend before Thanksgiving. This season is flying by—as is the year 2022. We have four teams on a bye again this week and an International Game on Monday Night Football. So, Sunday is fairly normal. Let’s dive in and look at the five matchups I like best on the Sunday slate.

Sunday Early Games:

Chicago Bears (3-7) at Atlanta Falcons (4-6)
About:
Justin Fields has been red hot of late, and that has sparked the Bears’ offense. It hasn’t always translated into wins, though. On the flip side, the Falcons were atop the NFC South much of the season. Now they’re just 4-6 and seem to be slipping out of the playoff race. That makes this a somewhat crucial game for both teams. Both want a good draft pick but both are also trying to show strides. Will the Bears’ rising offense get it done or with the Falcons remain the most improbable team in the playoff race?

New York Jets (6-3) at New England Patriots (5-4)
About:
These two teams are both in the playoff race. They’re also at the bottom of their division—the best division in the NFL right now. The Patriots have leaned on the defense while figuring it out on offense. The Jets are getting better on both sides of the ball. Both teams are fresh off a bye and both want a win to keep moving ahead in the playoff race. This is the young guns against the wily team put together by Bill Belichick. This should be a lot of fun.

Los Angeles Rams (3-6) at New Orleans Saints (3-7)
About:
Both these teams came into the season with playoff aspirations. Both are quickly sliding out of playoff consideration. The defending champion Rams are now 3-6, last place in the competitive NFC West. They’re also beat up, and will be without Cooper Kupp Sunday. The Saints, meanwhile, have had some hiccups adjusting to life without Sean Payton. They’ve had some moments but there haven’t been enough moments to keep them on the right side of the ledger. Can either climb back in the playoff race? They’d need a win Sunday.

Sunday Late Games:

Dallas Cowboys (6-3) at Minnesota Vikings (8-1)
About:
Both these teams had improbably finishes in Week 10. The Cowboys lost to a flagging Green Bay Packers team in the end. The Vikings, meanwhile, went into Buffalo and beat Josh Allen. Both are contenders in the NFC and this one will have major implications when it comes to the playoff field. The Cowboys are desperate for a win, now sitting in third in the NFC East. The Vikings, meanwhile, are chasing the NFC’s top seed. Who will come out on top among these NFC contenders.

Sunday Night Football:

Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)
About:
The NFL flexed into this one, and it makes sense. The Chiefs are the top seed in the AFC once again. The Chargers have been decimated by injuries, particularly among Justin Herbert’s receivers, leaving them clinging to playoff life. Can the Chargers get the win at home to remain in the race and possibly challenge for the division? Or will the Chiefs get the win and practically sew up the AFC West? There’s a lot on the line for the Chargers in their second straight Sunday night game.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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