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NFL Week 11 schedule: 5 things to watch for on Sunday

5. Do the Vikings handle business?

This game should be easy for the Minnesota Vikings. They are coming off a huge win against the Dallas Cowboys and now welcome the lowly Denver Broncos into town. Denver is 3-6 and already traded wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, and it starting quarterback Brandon Allen with Joe Flacco out for the year. At 7-3, this is an opportunity for Minnesota to solidify itself in the NFC playoff picture and move within a half-game of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.

4. How does Jacoby Brissett look?

Brissett is coming back after missing one game and most of another with a knee injury. The Indianapolis Colts lost both those affairs to drop to 5-4, putting them on the outside looking in for postseason play. Now, the Jacksonville Jaguars come to Lucas Oil Stadium, and Brissett is back in action. He’ll need to play some of his best football against a terrific defense, and without his best weapon, T.Y. Hilton.

3. Which team gets eliminated in L.A. on SNF?

The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams meet in the L.A. Coliseum on Sunday, and the loser is all but finished in the NFC playoff race. Chicago is 4-5 and on life support, while the Rams are 5-4 and looking at a daunting task ahead. Should the Bears lose, that would give them six losses. They would likely need to win out, and they still play the Vikings and Packers on the road, along with homes dates against the Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs.

2. Do the Raiders avoid the ultimate trap game?

The Oakland Raiders are playing good football. They are 5-4 and rolling along, actually challenging Kansas City in the AFC West. Now, the winless Cincinnati Bengals come to town. While this should be a blowout, history says these are the kinds of games which present trouble to the favorite. Oakland needs to keep focused and win both this week and next (against the New York Jets in the Meadowlands) before taking on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 13.

1. Who takes the tough loss?

Every week, there’s at least one team that nobody expects to lose… that loses. Last week, the New Orleans Saints were the victim. This week? We’ve already talked about the Raiders and Vikings. Could the Baltimore Ravens fall to the Houston Texans at home? Wouldn’t be an enormous upset, but it would surprise. How about the San Francisco 49ers? Can the Arizona Cardinals pull the stunner? There’s always, always one.

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