NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 12
by Matt Severance - 11/22/2011
It was a pretty chalk week in the NFL for Week 11, so probably not much movement in your Survivor Pool. The only games I would even term as upsets were the Denver Tebows beating the New York Jets on Thursday night and perhaps the Eagles winning with backup QB Vince Young at the Giants on Sunday night.
But you shouldn’t be picking road teams anyways.
Plus, I did recommend to stay far, far away from both the Jets and Eagles. I also said steer clear of the Cowboys, and they were lucky to escape Washington with an overtime win.
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My top choice last week was San Francisco, which won its eighth straight game with an easy 23-7 home win over Arizona. Thus, I have used this season Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New England, San Diego, New Orleans, NY Jets, Dallas, Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
On to Week 12, which offers three Turkey Day games to whet the appetite.
Cowboys vs. Dolphins: I already used Dallas, but probably would take the Cowboys here if I hadn’t. Yes, I know the Fins suddenly look solid with three lopsided wins in a row, but I think Dallas is a very good team at home and has found itself thanks to DeMarco Murray.
Falcons vs. Vikings: This is a big one for Atlanta because it could potentially find itself tied with Detroit and a suddenly vulnerable Bears team in the wild-card chase at 7-4 if the Falcons take care of business and the Lions and Bears both fall this week, which is certainly possible. In addition, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is very ‘iffy’ with a high-ankle sprain. Even if he plays it’s hard to see how he’s 100 percent.
Jets vs. Bills: Hard to see the Jets losing three in a row, although it has happened once already. But the Bills have definitely been exposed and New York has been good at home except for that loss to the Patriots. The Jets’ last win was 27-11 at Buffalo in Week 9. They will get the season sweep.
Too Even To Bother
Packers at Lions: Three games in 11 days for the Pack, who looked very mortal in last week’s 35-26 home win over Tampa Bay. That Green Bay pass defense remains a concern, and Matthew Stafford just threw five TD passes for Detroit. This is the most important home game for Detroit in many years, so I expect a huge effort and very possibly the upset.
Ravens vs. 49ers: Amazingly, the Niners are 4-0 in the Eastern time zone this year, which has to be some sort of record for a West Coast team. The Ravens look like a Super Bowl team one week and a one-and-done playoff club the next, so I wouldn’t bet on them, although I do think they win the Harbaugh Bowl.
Titans vs. Bucs: It’s pretty much now or never for Tampa Bay at 4-6, while the Titans’ division title hopes suddenly look viable with Houston losing Matt Schaub. The Bucs showed a lot of heart last week, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they won, although Tennessee should if starting QB Matt Hasselbeck is healthy and starts, as it appears he should.
Rams vs. Cardinals: They should just fold the NFC West now and give San Francisco the next six weeks off.
Raiders vs. Bears: The Bears won’t have QB Jay Cutler, with Caleb Hanie making his first start. The Raiders, meanwhile, might not have Darren McFadden again. Too many questions here to make an informed opinion.
Seahawks vs. Redskins: Call this the Matt Barkley bowl – both would love to draft the USC star quarterback in the first round of the 2012 draft, presuming he comes out.
Patriots at Eagles: Vince Young gave the Eagles, who still don’t know if they will have Michael Vick back this week, a pulse. It’s also a short week for New England. This looked like a Super Bowl preview before the season, but now it’s a desperation game for Philly. It wouldn’t shock me if Eagles won, but it wouldn’t if they lost, either.
Chargers vs. Broncos: San Diego simply has no backbone, so I will never pick the Bolts again until Norv Turner is gone. If Tim Tebow stinks for 55 minutes and then rallies the Broncos again, I will get on board that bandwagon.
Stay Far, Far Away
Bengals vs. Browns: This seems like a huge trap game for Cincinnati after two straight physical poundings against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. I think the cracks are starting to show in the Bengals, who might again be without stud rookie WR A.J. Green this week.
Panthers at Colts: I can’t remember the last time Carolina was a road favorite. Indy can all but clinch a shot at Andrew Luck by lying down for the Panthers, but they are winless on the road and Cam Newton has come back to earth. If Indy doesn’t win this one, 0-16 looks likely.
Texans at Jaguars: How much faith do you really have in Houston backup Matt Leinart with Schaub likely out for the season? Yeah, me neither. Plus the Jags already are good against the pass – No.4 in yards allowed – and they are usually competitive at home.
Steelers at Chiefs: Everything points to a Pittsburgh win here. Everything. Chiefs are on a short week and stuck with backup QB Tyler Palko. The Steelers are off their bye and getting healthy for the most part. But Ben Roethlisberger is playing with a fractured thumb on his throwing hand. The Chiefs are the desperate team here and I never bet against a desperate team at home.
Saints vs. Giants: The Giants are another team I would just forget about because they are totally schizo. They win at New England and Philly but lose at home to the Seahawks, nearly the Dolphins, and then Sunday to a rusty Vince Young and the Eagles. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the good Giants showed up here and won.
And The Pick Is ….
I’ll take the Falcons, although I would feel better about this if rookie WR Julio Jones was playing. He’s ‘iffy’ after missing last week. But if the Vikes don’t have Peterson, this should be a very likely Atlanta win.
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