NFL Survivor Pool Advice - Week 4
by Drew Mangione - 09/26/2007
They tased me bro! The San Diego Chargers decided to fall apart this season and take me down with 50,000 volts of disappointment. I stand by the pick, though. Brett Favre & Co. are playing out of their shoes and have now stunned me twice. Norv Turner is a joke. He may turn this team around by year's end, but with the talent on that squad, a trained giraffe could probably oversee a 9-7 squad.
I'm folding like a cheap lawn chair under the weight of heavy favorites who just can't live up to their potential. I hope you're all alive out there. Going into this season, I would never have expected Philadelphia, San Diego and Cincinnati to be 1-2. They are and Houston, Tennessee, Detroit and Tampa Bay stand at 2-1. That's why the NFL is great. The smallest changes can make or break a team.
Though I've lost one suicide-eliminator-survival pool slot each week, the good news is that my big pool is down to nine and the small one stands at six. At this rate, I'll be investing in second chance pools before long. This is one of those tight weeks also-just two games with spreads of more than a touchdown and just two with spreads greater than 10 and lots of tight lines.
Here's my advice for Week 4:
Baltimore Ravens (-4) at Cleveland Browns (1 p.m. Sunday): The Ravens are now 0-3, against the spread that is. These pools rely only on straight up wins, but if a team that is supposed to be good cannot muster the offense to support a defense that isn't playing up to its capability, it makes for risky picks.
New York Jets (-3.5) at Buffalo Bills (1 p.m. Sunday): The Jets got off the schnide, but the defense crumbled against the run, letting the weak offensive line of Miami push Ronnie Brown through for three touchdowns. The Jets are the better team and their record is deceiving, but with the D shaky, now is not the time to consider picking against the Bills, who somehow find a way to be decent.
St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-13) (1 p.m. Sunday): Stephen Jackson is out this game, leaving the door open for rookie Brian Leonard, who excelled at Rutgers. We in Northern New York know him as the local kid who has made good in the NFL. Here's the thing though: NNY's village of Carthage lays claim to Orioles' Manager Dave Trembley. How well has he done? Ok, I've said too much. The Cowboys are awesome so far and the Rams suck.
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) (4:15 p.m. Sunday): For my money, the Colts are the weakest of the league's four best teams. Denver barely beat Oakland and Buffalo, then lost to Jacksonville. Manning's crew is at home and Jay Cutler is the second coming of Jake Plummer with three TDs to four interceptions. Oh, and the Colts are 7-1 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. Can you tell where I'm leaning on this one?
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-11.5) (1 p.m. Sunday): I find myself longing for the Dennis Miller days of Monday Night Football. Tony Kornheiser said Norv Turner might be a scapegoat. "Scapegoat"? No, he's the big change between this year and last. He's the head coach and the team is stocked with studs. Now when Herm Edwards gets fired from his gig as head coach of Larry Johnson and the Kansas City castaways, he'll be properly called a scapegoat.
New England Patriots (-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (8:30 p.m. Monday): I believe the Pats have the best chance to go 16-0, so I'd expect them to win once again. However, a road game against arguably the best offense they've faced yet is not the time to get too cocky picking them, even if Tom Brady's passer rating is a ridiculous 141.8. Besides, you should have used them last week.
Pool 1 pick 1 (35 participants): Seahawks, Bears, Patriots, Cowboys
Pool 1 pick 2 (35 participants): Steelers, Jaguars, Chargers (L)
Pool 2 (22 participants): Eagles (L)
Pool 3 (18 participants): Lions, Bengals (L)
Pool 4 (10 participants): Cowboys, Broncos, Steelers, Colts