NFL Survivor Pool Advice - Week 7
by Drew Mangione - 10/18/2007
The ring had an ominous feel to it. What call in the fading hours before daylight isn't a concern when it wakes you from a dead sleep? I could see on my phone that it was the Conquistador, a tragic figure, that 28-year-old predator still running strong in college town. I opted to answer the call on the off chance that he needed bail money. Turns out, all he needed was an answer to his simple question: Who did you pick this week?
The 3 a.m. round table of degenerates from my largest suicide-eliminator-survivor pool had not seen my last post here on Doc's. This crew of three represented all but two of the remaining contestants in the pool besides me. Each had picked the Chargers, like me, but upon hearing my groggy misgivings regarding my choice, one changed his pick to Tennessee and finds himself out of the running this week.
My good fortune may be short lived though. If last week was slim pickings, this week is like Paris Hilton-emaciated, with picks that might seem good, but lack redeeming qualities. I've used up my gems, leaving me with a tough road. My only consolation is that everyone else has used up the lock teams as well. Good thing I've found a second chance pool.
Here's my advice for Week 7:
New England Patriots (-17) at Miami Dolphins (1 p.m. Sunday): It's a race. It's a race. Which one will have a one in the other column first? It won't be a tie. Why waste words giving a rationale?
San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants (-10) (1 p.m. Sunday): A battle of opposites. They've been heading in different directions all season and right now it's the G-men on the rise. Still, I had high hopes for the bay squad at the start of the year and I expect this one to be close. The Giants won four straight last year after a slow start and struggled against a weak Houston team, before losing four straight. Overconfident?
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins (-7.5) (1 p.m. Sunday): The 'Skins have won five straight against the Cardinals and seven of 10. I find this spread intriguing, as I have no faith in Joe Gibbs's squad. Both of these teams struggled against the league's worst -- Washington won 16-13 over Miami and Arizona 34-31 over St. Louis. Some might look at Tim Rattay's performance last week and throw in the towel, but before that abysmal performance his career numbers weren't that bad (28 TDs-20 interceptions.)
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-9) (1 p.m. Sunday): Remember the Katrina comeback game? It was the beginning of something beautiful last year in New Orleans and Atlanta has been mired in ugliness only this year. Sure, the Saints have struggled, especially on defense, but it's not as though Atlanta's shown prowess on offense. If you look at the season stats, this seems like a good time to start the statuesque Byron Leftwich since the Saints have just six sacks in five games. However, since word came he would start Vegas moved the line another 1.5 points, so I'm guessing they saw that five of those sacks came last week.
New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals (-6) (4:05 p.m. Sunday): I hate my life. Can you pick this game? Both teams are awful. The Jets are probably worse, but I can't tell.
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-9) (4:15 p.m. Sunday): The Seahawks looked awful last week, but they've won four straight against the Rams, even when Marc Bulger was healthy. If he's back, then the Rams might have a chance, but last week's loss to the Saints was one of only a handful of home losses in the Holmgren Era. I expect the noise to mess with the Rams inexperienced line and let Seattle bounce back.
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (-9.5) (4:15 p.m. Sunday): The Vikings have won five straight in this matchup, but those wins came when Randy Moss was there. Two weeks ago, I'd have taken Dallas without hesitation. However, with how Moss's Patriots dismantled the Cowboys and the performance of Adrian Peterson against the Bears, I'd lay off this game. The Bears went from 98.8 rushing yards per game up to 134.2. The Cowboys come in allowing just 79.7 per game, a number I'm guessing will also rise.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) at Denver Broncos (8:15 p.m. Sunday): I've received much prodding and pushing to take this game. Denver has lost to Jacksonville and San Diego at home this year and the team's two wins came against the lowly Bills on the road and the Raiders at home. It's hard to hinge my hopes this late in the season on a road team, but coming off a bye with a road divisional game next week, I may regret not pulling the trigger.
Pool 1 pick 1 (35 participants): Seahawks, Bears, Patriots, Cowboys, Tennessee, Chargers, Saints
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, Patriots, Ravens, Seahawks
Second Chance (27 participants): Patriots