NFL Week 11 preview

Byron Leftwich will be leading the Steelers when the play the Ravens on Sunday.

Don Wright/AP

Byron Leftwich will be leading the Steelers when the play the Ravens on Sunday.

Green Bay at Detroit

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Packers by 3.

Records: Packers 6-3 (4-5 vs. spread), Lions 4-5 (4-5 vs. spread).


Comments: The Lions, last year’s feel-good team, have returned to cellar-dweller status . . . Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, who threw 41 TD passes in 2011, has just 11 this season . . . Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers is first NFLer with 25 TD passes through nine games in two different seasons . . . Packers coach Mike McCarthy is 11-1 vs. Lions . . . In last game vs. Green Bay, Detroit’s Calvin Johnson collected 11 catches for 244 yards . . . Player to watch: Packers CB Tramon Williams is tied for NFL high with 15 interceptions since the start of 2010.

Key injuries: PACKERS: OUT: WR Greg Jennings (groin, abdomen), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), TE Andrew Quarless (knee), S Charles Woodson (collarbone). QUESTIONABLE: LB Terrell Manning (shoulder), CB Sam Shields (ankle). LIONS: OUT: S Amari Spievey (concussion), DT Corey Williams (knee). DOUBTFUL: S Louis Delmas (knee). QUESTIONABLE: CB Chris Houston (ankle), WR Calvin Johnson (knee).

San Diego at Denver

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Broncos by 8.

Records: Chargers 4-5 (4-5 vs. spread), Broncos 6-3 (6-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Who’s hotter than the Broncos? . . . Denver has won four straight, including a 35-24 decision at San Diego Oct. 15 . . . Peyton Manning has thrown for 1,226 yards, 10 TDs, and zero INTs in four home games . . . Chargers QB Philip Rivers is 5-1 with 9 TDs and a 102.5 passer rating at Denver . . . Broncos CB Chris Harris had two picks in Oct. 15 game . . . San Diego’s Malcom Floyd has five catches for 157 in last two games at Mile High . . . Player to watch: Denver’s Demaryius Thomas has 100-plus yards receiving in three of four home games.


Key injuries: CHARGERS: OUT: DT Aubrayo Franklin (knee). DOUBTFUL: T Jared Gaither (groin). QUESTIONABLE: RB Ryan Mathews (neck), TE Dante Rosario (hamstring). BRONCOS: OUT: CB Tracy Porter (illness). DOUBTFUL: G Chris Kuper (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Elvis Dumervil (shoulder).

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Time: 8:20 p.m., NBC Line: Ravens by 3½.

Records: Ravens 7-2 (4-5 vs. spread), Steelers 6-3 (4-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Byron Leftwich gets the start at QB for the Steelers after edging out Mike Tomczak and Bubby Brister . . . Leftwich hasn’t started a game since 2009 . . . Steelers lead the all-time series, 18-14, and have won 11 of last 13 against AFC North foes, but Ravens have won four of last six vs. Pittsburgh and 11 straight vs. AFC North . . . Mouthy Ravens LB Terrell Suggs has 13½ sacks vs. Steelers . . . Not-so-mouthy Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley has 9½ sacks vs. Ravens . . . Player to watch: Ravens QB Joe Flacco has thrown for 1,501 yards and 9 TDs in last six vs. Pitt.

Key injuries: RAVENS: OUT: CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen). DOUBTFUL: DE Pernell McPhee (thigh). QUESTIONABLE: NT Terrence Cody (arm), S Christian Thompson (thigh). STEELERS: OUT: WR Antonio Brown (ankle), T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), S Troy Polamalu (calf), QB Ben Roethlisberger (right shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: LB Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring).

Chicago at San Francisco

Time: Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN Line: 49ers by 6.

Records: Bears 7-2 (5-4 vs. spread), 49ers 6-2-1 (5-4 vs. spread).

Comments: This could be a really good game or it could be Jason Campbell vs. Colin Kaepernick . . . Da Bears lead the series, 29-28-1 . . . 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was Bears QB from 1987-93 . . . San Fran’s Frank Gore has rushed for at least 100 yards in three straight vs. Chicago . . . Bears CB Charles Tillman has forced NFL-high seven fumbles . . . 49ers’ Randy Moss has 86 career catches vs. Chicago . . . Player to watch: Bears’ Brandon Marshall has 51 catches for 690 yards and six TDs in his last six games.

Key injuries: BEARS: OUT: QB Jay Cutler (concussion), DE Shea McClellin (concussion). DNP: DT Matt Toeaina (calf), LB Brian Urlacher (not injury related). FULL: WR Alshon Jeffery (hand), DT Henry Melton (back). 49ERS: No information reported.

Arizona at Atlanta

Time: 1 p.m., Fox Line: Falcons by 10.

Records: Cardinals 4-5 (3-5-1 vs. spread), Falcons 8-1 (6-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Atlanta’s ageless wonder, John Abraham, has 11½ sacks in his last dozen games . . . Arizona’s Daryl Washington has nine sacks in his last 10 games . . . Arizona RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (sounds like a mystery writer) has 2 TDs in last three games . . . Player to watch: Falcons’ Rowdy Roddy White has 60 catches for 932 yards and 7 TDs in last eight home games.

Key injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs). QUESTIONABLE: DE Calais Campbell (calf), CB Jamell Fleming (back), TE Todd Heap (knee), CB Greg Toler (hamstring). FALCONS: OUT: WR Kevin Cone (groin), S Charles Mitchell (calf). QUESTIONABLE: DE John Abraham (back), WR Julio Jones (ankle), RB Michael Turner (groin), DT Vance Walker (ribs), LB Sean Weatherspoon (ankle).

Cleveland at Dallas

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Cowboys by 7½.

Records: Browns 2-7 (4-4-1 vs. spread), Cowboys 4-5 (4-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Brandon Weeden (2,088) is 360 passing yards shy of breaking Tim Couch’s Browns rookie record . . . Dallas’s Tony “Smiles” Romo is 20-3 with a 111.7 passer rating in November . . . Cowboys TE Jason Witten has 58 catches in his past six games . . . Player to watch: Cleveland WR Josh Gordon leads all rookies with 417 receiving yards.

Key injuries: BROWNS: OUT: CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), S Ray Ventrone (hand, calf). QUESTIONABLE: CB Joe Haden (oblique), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). COWBOYS: OUT: C Phil Costa (ankle), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), DE Sean Lissemore (ankle). DOUBTFUL: C Ryan Cook (knee), CB Mike Jenkins (back), RB DeMarco Murray (foot).

Cincinnati at Kansas City

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bengals by 3½.

Records: Bengals 4-5 (3-5-1 vs. spread), Chiefs 1-8 (3-6 vs. spread).

Comments: Series is tied at 13-13 . . . Cincy QB Andy Dalton (his hair matches his uniform) has 92.3 passer rating and 8 TD passes on the road in 2012 . . . Chiefs LB Tamba Hali has 5 sacks in his last six games . . . Matt Cassel is one TD pass shy of 60 for his Chiefs career . . . Player to watch: Bengals WR A.J. Green has a TD reception in eight straight games.

Key injuries: BENGALS: DOUBTFUL: WR Marvin Jones (knee), S Reggie Nelson (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: C Jeff Faine (hamstring), WR Andrew Hawkins (knee). CHIEFS: OUT: G Jon Asamoah (thumb), WR Jon Baldwin (head, neck), TE Jake O’Connell (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: G Ryan Lilja (knee), QB Brady Quinn (head).

New York Jets at St. Louis

Time: 1 p.m., CBS Line: Rams by 3½.

Records: Jets 3-6 (5-4 vs. spread), Rams 3-5-1 (6-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Nice to see the locker room overhaul has really paid off for the Jets. Oy . . . Rams rookie Chris Givens has at least one 50-yard reception in five straight games . . . Jets are 5-0 when RB Shonn Greene rushes for 100 yards . . . St. Louis’s Robert Quinn has 8½ sacks in last nine games . . . Player to watch: Jets TE Dustin Keller has 17 catches for 207 yards in last three games.

Key injuries: JETS: QUESTIONABLE: WR Jeremy Kerley (heel, hamstring), RB Joe McKnight (ankle), DT Sione Po’uha (back, ankle), RB Bilal Powell (concussion), LB Bart Scott (toe). RAMS: QUESTIONABLE: LB Mario Haggan (thigh), WR Austin Pettis (toe), DE Eugene Sims (knee), S Darian Stewart (knee).

Philadelphia at Washington

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Redskins by 3½.

Records: Eagles 3-6 (1-7-1 vs. spread), Redskins 3-6 (4-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Redskins’ Robert Griffin III leads all rookie QBs with a 65.6 completion percentage and a 93.9 passer rating . . . . . . Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan is the lone NFLer with at least 10 sacks (12) and 2 INTs (2) . . . Player to watch: Eagles TE Brent Celek has at least one TD catch in two straight vs. Washington.

Key injuries: EAGLES: OUT: WR Jason Avant (hamstring), WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring), RB Chris Polk (toe), QB Michael Vick (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: G Danny Watkins (ankle). REDSKINS: QUESTIONABLE: WR Pierre Garcon (foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee).

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Buccaneers by 1.

Records: Panthers 2-7 (4-5 vs. spread), Buccaneers 5-4 (7-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Buccaneers have scored at least 28 points in a franchise-record five straight . . . Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams has rushed for at least two TDs in four of last eight vs. Tampa Bay . . . Carolina rookie LB Luke Kuechly has a team-high 88 tackles . . . Panthers DE Charles Johnson has 25½ sacks in last 31 games . . . Player to watch: Bucs QB Josh Freeman has thrown 13 TDs and 1 pick in his last five games.

Key injuries: BUCCANEERS: QUESTIONABLE: T Jamon Meredith (ankle). PANTHERS: OUT: DE Antwan Applewhite (hamstring).

Jacksonville at Houston

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Texans by 15½.

Records: Jaguars 1-8 (4-5 vs. spread), Texans 8-1 (7-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Texans have won four straight in the series . . . Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny has a team-high 70 tackles (he deserves to be on a winning team) . . . Houston RB Arian Foster has scored at least one TD in 11 straight games . . . Player to watch: Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert has thrown for 828 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 INTs on the road this season.

Key injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), RB Greg Jones (thigh), S Dwight Lowery (ankle), CB Rashean Mathis (groin). TEXANS: OUT: RB Ben Tate (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: TE Owen Daniels (back), LB Tim Dobbins (shoulder).

New Orleans at Oakland

Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Saints by 5.

Records: Saints 4-5 (5-4 vs. spread), Raiders 3-6 (3-6 vs. spread).

Comments: Marques Colston (55 TDs) needs one TD to pass Deuce McAllister for most in Saints history . . . Raiders FB Marcel Reese has 15 receptions in his last two games . . . Oakland’s Denarius Moore has a TD catch in four of his last five games . . . Saints LB Curtis Lofton has a team-high 81 tackles . . . Player to watch: Raiders TE Brandon Myers already has career highs in receptions (44), yards (499), and TDs (2).

Key injuries: SAINTS: OUT: DE Junior Galette (ankle), T Zach Strief (groin), CB Corey White (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Darren Sproles (hand). RAIDERS: OUT: RB Mike Goodson (ankle), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: S Tyvon Branch (neck), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring).

Jim McBride can be reached at
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of