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NFL morning game thread: Panthers Watch in effect for a non-49ers Sunday

We break down the Week 11 morning games and provide an open thread for discussion

The 49ers don't play until Monday, which marks the fourth Sunday in the last five weeks we have not had the 49ers playing on Sunday. The 49ers will play on Sundays the rest of the way, so we're almost through the Sunday abyss.

The Week 11 Sunday schedule is pretty solid for us, so we should be sufficiently entertained. We even get three afternoon games instead of the two we've had quite a bit over the last few weeks. While 49ers-Bears is the biggest game of the weekend, today's schedule provides some matchups that can benefit the 49ers.

The Carolina Panthers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11 Panthers Watch. The Panthers are scuffling along at 2-7 and we are certainly big fans of that. They host a Bucs squad that has won three straight and is suddenly in the thick of the playoff chase. These Bucs are a fun team to watch and I think are a legitimate playoff contender. Divisional road games are never easy, so we'll see if they can handle their business and boost that third round pick for the 49ers.

Packers vs. Lions is a pretty big deal for the NFC North, particularly if the 49ers beat the Bears. A loss doesn't end Detroit's playoff chances, but it puts them in a serious hole.

Eagles-Redskins marks the starting debut of rookie QB Nick Foles in a game that seems more or less like an elimination game in the NFC East. The winner climbs to two back of the Giants, while the loser drops to three back. That is not a huge difference in games, but at this point in the season, given how both teams are playing, that could be a death blow.