NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 8
by Matt Severance - 10/28/2010
Well, who didn’t see this coming? Here is my lead paragraph from last week:
OK, I’m starting to get a bit cocky when it comes to Survivor Pool advice, because my first six top selections of the year haven’t come even remotely close to losing through Week 6. And of course, I just jinxed myself in Week 7 by typing that. Let’s hope not.
So, of course, the Cleveland Browns upset the team I recommended as my top choice, the Saints, in New Orleans. #*@#&!#&! And I even wrote a few weeks ago that the champs were too inconsistent to choose, but I just couldn’t resist the lure of them at home against a freaking rookie quarterback making his second NFL start. Drew Brees suddenly looks ordinary at best without a running game.
Oh well. Maybe you chose last week not to listen to me – or maybe you can buy back into your Survivor Pool, as some certainly do offer that with limitations. Thus, I will continue with this column and still keep the teams I picked previously off the board.
My only other recommendation last week as Baltimore, and frankly I would have picked the Ravens over the Bills if I hadn’t already used Baltimore. And the Ravens were lucky to beat hapless Buffalo in overtime.
The top two “steer clears” last week turned out to be sage advice. The 49ers lost at previously winless Carolina while the Denver Broncos were absolutely humiliated, 59-14, by Oakland.
Anyways, on to Week 8. Off my board are the Saints, Steelers, Colts, Chargers, Packers, Ravens and Titans. I’m going to say that I don’t see one lock this week, so it’s a tough one to pick. In fact, as of this writing there is only one team favored by more than a touchdown (the Chiefs).
Have No Fear
Kansas City (vs. Buffalo): Truly, this is one of the most evenly matched weeks in the NFL that I can remember. I guess you almost have to go with Kansas City, even though I’m not a true believer. Plus, Buffalo is playing much better of late and Ryan Fitzpatrick is actually the league’s second-rated passer. I wouldn’t touch the line on this -- K.C. giving 7.5 – but the Chiefs shouldn’t lose to the Bills at home.
San Diego (vs. Tennessee): Do you realize that the Chargers lead the league in both offense and defense yet are 2-5? They completely dominated New England last week statistically, but they kept turning the ball over, which has been a consistent issue. San Diego has an AFC-high 18 turnovers, and its defense hasn't forced one in the last three games. But there’s no way this talented team can fall to 2-6, right? Obviously it’s a bit concerning that the Titans had two weeks to prepare for this one.
New England (vs. Minnesota): There’s really no way Brett Favre doesn’t play, but I might like the Vikings in this game if he didn’t – he just has been that bad at times this year. So Favre will tough it out on what no doubt will be a numb ankle thanks to a painkilling shot, but how much can he really move around? Plus, the Vikes are winless on the road and the Pats are unbeaten at home.
Honestly, every other game. Going to try something different and give a line on every other game regarding the favorite:
Dallas vs. Jacksonville: Would you really risk your Survivor Pool on Jon Kitna and a team that has obviously quit? Plus, David Garrard is back for the Jags.
St. Louis vs. Carolina: Sure, the Rams are better. However, you don’t need to be banking on them until maybe 2011. Plus, Matt Moore makes Carolina better.
Cincinnati vs. Miami: Fins are 3-0 on the road.
Detroit vs. Washington: Can you believe the Lions are actually favored? Matthew Stafford is back, but, like St. Louis, you don’t want to be using Detroit in 2010.
San Francisco vs. Denver: Do you realize there are four former first-round QBs on these two rosters (two No. 1 overall picks on the Niners) and none will be starting? This game’s in London. And both teams are lousy, so why even pay attention to this one? English fans probably won’t.
N.Y. Jets vs. Green Bay: Super Bowl preview? Simply too good of a matchup to risk a pick on.
Arizona vs. Tampa Bay: Bucs unbeaten on road, Cards the same at home.
Oakland vs. Seattle: Raiders held without a touchdown one week and then score eight in three quarters the next. Who knows which one shows up?
New Orleans vs. Pittsburgh: There’s a chance Reggie Bush returns, which the Saints badly need, but Steelers have best run defense in league. Certainly this could also be a Super Bowl preview.
Indianapolis vs. Houston: Texans finally solved the Colts in Week 1, but Indy has been pretty dominant in two home games so far.
Good luck in what’s a very tough Week 8 and see you next week.
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