Divisional clashes on week 11 of the NFL

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Updated: November 17, 2012

The Bills kicked of week 11 on Thursday night in the first of 7 divisional clashes, with a tight win over Miami. NFL Sunday features another 6 with Baltimore looking to get a firm grip on the AFC North against rivals Pittsburgh. Other divisional clashes feature, Green Bay @ Detroit, Philadelphia @ Washington, Jacksonville @ Houston, San Diego @ Denver and Tampa @ Carolina. It’s a big Sunday and 2BET2, is with you for all the big hits.

The fierce rivalry in the AFC North sees a clash of 2 inform teams as Baltimore travel to the Steelers with both looking to extend their winning runs. Two time Super Bowl winner and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury and will be replaced by veteran Byron Leftwich, a big blow in such a key matchup. The Steelers enter Sunday night’s contest trailing Baltimore by one game for the top spot in the division as Leftwich gets set to make his first start since Sept. 27, 2009 when he was with Tampa Bay. Both teams come in on winning streaks, the Steelers on 4, last time out defeating the Chiefs in a tight 16-13 game, while Baltimore are looking to make it 3 straight wins, their last one a comprehensive thrashing of Oakland 55-20, Joe Flacco with 341 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Torrey Smith starring with 2 touchdown receptions of his own in a top draw performance by the Ravens. Without their star quarterback Pittsburgh will rely heavily on their running game which should play into the hands of the Ravens that have won 11 straight games against AFC North rivals.

It’s top v bottom in the AFC South as Houston welcome Jacksonville. The Texans are 8-1 and will have to be careful they don’t get to complacent. The Texans come into the game following an impressive win in Chicago, led by a superb defensive effort. Contrasting fortunes for Jacksonville as they will be going all out to reverse their 6 game slide.

The Packers visit the Lions this Sunday looking to record a fifth straight victory and extend their winning streak over NFC North opponents to nine games in a row. After a slow start to the season, the Packers have not lost since Oct. 7 at the Indianapolis Colts. They followed up that setback with road wins over the Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams before home victories against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is tied for the NFL lead with 25 touchdown passes, connecting on four scoring strikes in Green Bay’s 31-17 victory over the Cardinals on Nov. 4. He has been picked off just five times this season. The Packers haven’t lost to a NFC North team since Dec. 12, 2010 at Detroit. And also came out on top against Detroit last season. The Lions are looking to turn things around after having a two-game win streak halted last Sunday with a 34-24 defeat at the Minnesota Vikings. Detroit fell a game under .500 and is now 0-3 against the division in 2012 despite getting a career-high 12 receptions for 207 yards with a touchdown catch by wideout Calvin Johnson. At 4-5, the Lions are last in the NFC North and now face an uphill battle to make a second straight playoff appearance.

NFC East basement battle features Philadelphia at Washington. The Redskins are facing an Eagles team that is eighth in total yards (373.3), but averaging just 17.3 ppg. The Eagles, though, have won three straight and five of the last six meetings with Washington. They also have won five of the past six matchups at FedEx Field and six of their past seven games against teams from the NFC East teams.

Peyton Manning and Denver look to get a stranglehold on the AFC West, when they host second place San Diego. A win over the team that is perceived to be their biggest threat can see the Broncos go 3 games up the Charges in second. The hosts have won four straight games since a 2-3 start, the most important of which may have been the 35-24 defeat of the Chargers in San Diego that saw Denver climb from a 24-0 halftime hole.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to remain players in the postseason race and notch their longest winning streak in four years on Sunday as they battle the division rival Carolina Panthers for the second time this year. The Bucs have won 3 on the trot and sit second in the NFC South, although some distance off the Falcons that have only lost once. Tampa Bay has averaged 37.3 points per game over its three-game winning streak and is coming off a 34-24 victory over the San Diego Chargers last weekend. The Panthers, though, enter this game just 2-7 and failed to follow up a big win over the Washington Redskins, falling last Sunday by a 36-14 margin to the Denver Broncos.

In other games on Sunday, Arizona travel to Atlanta hoping to stop their 5 game slide, when they take on a Falcons team that lost its unbeaten record last week to the Saints. Cleveland, Cincinnati and and the Jets are on the road to Dallas, Kansas and St. Louis respectively. New Orleans, looking for their third straight win including their defeat of the unbeaten Falcons last week, take on struggling Oakland, while Tom Brady and New England host Indianapolis, in what should be a great matchup considering both teams recent form. The New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts had one of the NFL’s greatest rivalries when Tom Brady was dueling against Peyton Manning. That animosity could be rekindled this Sunday when rookie Andrew Luck and his version of the Colts takes aim at Brady and the Patriots for the first time.

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