NFL Survivor Pool Picks - Week 7
by Matt Severance - 10/17/2008
I can't see Washington losing at home to the Rams. Will it be closer than it should be? Very possibly, especially with St. Louis coming in off that bye with the week to prepare and the Redskins apt to suffer a bit of a letdown after back-to-back road wins against Dallas and Philly. … It has all the makings of a trap game.
That was a paragraph taken from my Week 6 Survivor column - and only if I had taken my own advice and stayed far, far away from that game last week, because I have been knocked out of my Survivor pool thanks to that freaking Washington loss!
So, dear reader, I hope you will stick with this column, as I'm guessing that Redskins upset also eliminated many of you, but some pools do have a one-time buy-back option and there are even a few pools that I know of where everyone was eliminated because of the Skins and Cowboys last week, so it's a do over. Thus, I'll keep writing, and hopefully you will keep reading.
BTW, I also mentioned being very wary of the Vikings last week coming off a short week and playing the Lions … and Minnesota nearly also lost as a near two-TD favorite, but its last-second field goal was the difference. That's the beauty of the NFL for you. And the aggravation.
Here's my look at this week's apparent lopsided games, starting with your best options:
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati. Taking the Steelers probably would have been my No. 1 choice this week, and I hadn't yet chosen Pittsburgh this year. With QB Ryan Fitzpatrick again starting for Carson Palmer and the Bengals possibly desperate enough to start Cedric Benson at running back (Cedric Benson!), this seems like a lock Steeler win. However, there are two reasons I might think twice here: 1) RB Willie Parker tweaked his knee again and may not play, which severely hampers the Pittsburgh running game; 2) I never recommend taking a road team in an intradivision game. Cincy will not go 0-16 this year, and I have little doubt at least one win comes against a fellow AFC North foe. Still, the Steelers are rested after their bye week and should get the victory, even if it's close.
Dallas at St. Louis. In my Week 6 column, I said I would be taking Dallas in Week 7 against the putrid Rams. Of course, that was before the Rams won at Washington and Dallas became a glorified soap opera this week with Tony Romo's injury, Pacman Jones' suspension and the trade for Lions WR Roy Williams - which means Dallas now easily leads the league in Roy Williamses. After originally being declared out four weeks, Romo may now play through the broken pinkie. If he's in, Dallas won't lose this game, as I think the Cowboys are actually glad to be rid of the Pacman headache. However, if Brad Johnson starts at QB, well, I wouldn't put my faith in him.
Seattle at Tampa Bay. The Bucs may go off as the biggest favorites on the board this week. The Seahawks won't have Matt Hasselbeck and just can't get healthy. I'll admit, I've been very wrong about Tampa Bay this week, and I was there last week when it pummeled Carolina in a very impressive performance. I still don't think Tampa Bay is among the elite of the NFC, but the Bucs should handle Seattle on Sunday night without much problem. For what it's worth, I did already use the Bucs in my previous life as an eligible Survivor Pool participant.
San Francisco at N.Y. Giants. I try to stay away from teams on a short week, as the G-Men will be after that surprising loss at Cleveland. Still, the 49ers appear to be regressing, and the Super Bowl champs will no doubt bounce back big this Sunday. Note: I also had used the Giants previously this year.
Tennessee at Kansas City. This is the other apparent mismatch among all the games this weekend, but I don't like this game one bit - it smells like a major trap. The Titans are the league's lone unbeaten, but it's not like they are dominating teams. They do come in off a bye week but no doubt will be looking ahead to next Monday's game with the Colts. And don't forget that Kansas City upset then-unbeaten Denver at Arrowhead in Week 4. Plus the Chiefs also are coming in off a bye. Stay away from this one.
Good luck in Week 7, and we'll be here next week.