NFL Survivor Pool Advice - Week 9
by Drew Mangione - 11/01/2007
Another perfect week for me and even though the stock of sure-fire selections available has dwindled, so finally has the population of my survivor pools. There may well be light at the end of the tunnel. The Bears trapped one contestant in my big league and another two in my smallest league. (Didn't they hear Kitna predict a 10-win season?) We're down to four contestants from 35 in one pool and just me and another buffoon in the pool of 10.
I'm back in New York now, no longer deluded by the irrationality of Panthers fans breathing nonsense about knocking off the Colts. They had me nervous. Instead, I'm back in a territory where Bills fans heckle me as though their team is any good, just because they beat the train wreck that is the New York Jets. But even if things were looking up for either team, the ceiling is miles high with the seemingly invincible Patriots looking down.
Since the Pats and Colts face each other this week in what should be a great game, the only real heavyweights left are Dallas and Pittsburgh. Each of them has a divisional matchup, but at least the Steelers are on the road. Only four games have a spread of four points or more, so roll the dice folks and get ready for the excitement. My suggestion: Take advantage of that extra hour of sleep, then get yourself a healthy dose of good food, left over Halloween candy, and some fine drink for Sunday. You may need to drown your sorrows.
Here's my advice for Week 9:
Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans (-4) (1 p.m. Sunday): Forget whether the semi-petrified Vinnie Testaverde or the talented, but underachieving David Carr is at the helm. The real question is whether Kris Jenkins and Julius Peppers can help return this defense to the one that just two years ago held teams below 92 ypg. Or will we see the one that is on pace to be the team's worst rush defense since George Siefert held the clipboard? The Titans have the No. 5 ranked rushing offense (150.9 ypg) and the best rushing defense (63.9 ypg) in the NFL.
San Diego Chargers (-7) at Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m. Sunday): For both of these teams running the ball is key. The Chargers have the all-world LT and the Vikes have his heir apparent in Adrian Peterson. On paper, the purple and gold is superior, gaining 155 yards and allowing just 68 yards on the ground, compared to the powder blues getting 123 yards and giving 90 on the ground per game. But if dueling men empty their six shooters and both still stand, the one with a second gun is best equipped to win. Phillip Rivers is that second gun and Chris Chambers is that brand new bullet.
Washington Redskins (-4) at New York Jets (1 p.m. Sunday): This is a game of one bad defense running into a worse defense, but if you've got nuts, my upset pick of the week is my boys and their new young arm.
New England Patriots (-6) at Indianapolis Colts (4:15 p.m. Sunday): This may be the second biggest spread this weekend, but leave it alone! That said, this season may settle the debate of whose better, in my mind at least. Sure, Peyton is essentially his own offensive coordinator, but Brady has perhaps the second most responsibility at that position. I say look at the weapons. Brady was on par with Payton when the now catchless-in-Seattle Deion Branch was his best option and the Colts had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Now Tom-Tom appears poised to crush the 2004 records with Randy Moss running his sidelines.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-9.5) (8:30 p.m. Monday): Is the interstate battle over Edgar Allen Poe's long dead corpse going to add a little motivation for the Ravens since Philly never graces the team's schedule. I doubt it, but I had to squeeze some non-football news item in here. The Ravens have won three straight including the first of three straight losses immediately preceding the Steel curtain's eight game tear toward the XL title. Add in the bye week and I don't know how I feel. Still, it's the biggest spread and I can't take the two teams I feel better about for my big pool.
Pool 1 pick 1 (35 participants): Seahawks, Bears, Patriots, Cowboys, Titans, Chargers, Saints, Giants, Steelers
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, Titans, Chargers
Second Chance (27 participants): Patriots, Colts, Titans