NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 13
by Matt Severance - 11/29/2011
Find me a true upset from Week 12. Did several dogs cover? Indeed they did. But for NFL survivor pool purposes, there really were no games that likely shook up your competition. I wasn’t surprised by a single result in Week 12 – about the only ones that came close were the Chiefs hanging with the Steelers (I warned you to stay away from that one) and Dallas needing a last-second field goal to beat Miami.
My top pick last week was the Falcons, who suddenly look like the third-best team in the NFC behind Green Bay and New Orleans. Atlanta had little trouble with a Vikings team missing Adrian Peterson. Thus, I have used this season Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New England, San Diego, New Orleans, NY Jets, Dallas, Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Atlanta.
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On to Week 13, where two of the three prime-time games of the week are atrocious. It would have been 3-for-3 but NBC was able to flex out Patriots-Colts for Lions-Saints on Sunday night.
Bears vs. Chiefs: It’s the “Backup Bowl” with Chicago’s Caleb Hanie, off three picks in a loss at Oakland last Sunday, likely to face former Bear Kyle Orton, who reportedly asked to be waived by Denver so he could play in Chicago. One problem: the Chiefs had a higher waiver priority. I think the Bears win because they are at home, but this game looks like 9-6 and it could go either way. But I have to put it in this category because of a lack of good options this week.
Raiders at Dolphins: I’d feel a lot better about Oakland if Darren McFadden was back. The Raiders should have beaten the Bears by at least a few touchdowns last week for how often they were on Chicago’s side of the field, but Oakland kept settling for Sebastian Janikowski field goals. Miami has won two in a row at home, both by double digits. Hmm …
Patriots vs. Colts: The annual game of the season now is a pathetic mismatch with Indy on the way to 0-16. The purge has started with the Colts, who fired their defensive coordinator this week and are going to Dan Orlovsky at QB. Obviously, I would take New England here if I hadn’t used the Pats already.
Steelers vs. Bengals: Already used Pittsburgh too, but the Steelers handled the Bengals a few weeks ago in Cincy and I see no reason why they won’t again. I might worry a little if Troy Polamalu is out with a concussion, but reportedly he will be cleared to play. Plus, LaMarr Woodley may be back too.
Buccaneers vs. Panthers: This is how thin the ranks are this late in the year: I am pondering a 4-7 Bucs team that has lost five in a row as the pick this week. But for what it’s worth, only one of those five losses came in a true home game (one in London, rest on road). Carolina got its first road win last week in nearly two years, but that doesn’t count because it was in Indy.
Saints vs. Lions: Yes, it’s a short week for New Orleans, but Drew Brees and Co. showed on Monday night that they are all but invincible in their dome. Plus, the Lions won’t have Ndamukong Suh.
Too Even To Bother
Eagles at Seahawks (Thursday): Philly’s season is officially over after the Eagles pretty much quit after taking a 10-0 first-quarter lead over New England last Sunday. The players seem to have tuned out Andy Reid, who may not be back. Plus, Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin are probably out again. I have zero faith in the Seahawks, either, but why bother picking a game where neither team has much to play for.
Bills vs. Titans: The Bills were a nice story early in the season but clearly have been figured out, especially QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Think Buffalo regrets giving him that big contract extension earlier this season? Chris Johnson showed some life for the Titans this week, but there’s no way can I pick them on the road. Just walk away from this one as well.
Texans vs. Falcons: Houston now will have to rely on its defense and running game with Matt Leinart joining Matt Schaub on season-ending IR. At least Houston’s newest starter isn’t also named Matt. But the bad news is it’s rookie T.J. Yates. Still, Houston could pull this out at home. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Giants vs. Packers: Tom Coughlin’s job is on the line here, I believe. If the G-Men upset the Pack, New York could use it as a springboard to winning the NFC East. If Green Bay rolls, which is certainly possible, I would expect that the Giants go further into the tank and Coughlin to be a goner. It would be typical New York to win this game on a short week after looking so lousy the past few weeks.
Chargers at Jaguars (Monday): I despise the Bolts, who have done so little with so much talent for several years. Norv Turner is a goner, no question. The Jags play their first game without head coach Jack Del Rio, who was fired Tuesday. Blaine Gabbert has been struggling big-time, but he will keep his QB job for the Jags. This might be the worst MNF matchup in years.
Stay Far, Far Away
Broncos at Vikings: I am not betting my potential survivor pool winnings on Tim Tebow, and I don’t care what his record as a starter is. Certainly Denver’s chances to win would increase if Adrian Peterson is out again for the Vikes, but I’m not biting.
Jets at Redskins: What is it with the New York teams? They both seem to have multiple personalities. The Jets seemed to turn things back around with a win over Buffalo last week, but they also have just one win on the road and that was at Buffalo, a team the Jets clearly own. I could see “Good Rex” lead the Skins to an upset here.
Ravens at Browns: Trap, trap, trap. Baltimore has done this type of choke job a few times already this season, at Jacksonville and Seattle. And the Ravens come off nice wins over playoff-caliber teams Cincinnati and San Francisco, both at home. A letdown is coming.
Cowboys at Cardinals: Trap, trap, trap. Dallas has won four in a row to take over first in the NFC East, but three of the four were at home and the other was at a crappy Redskins team in which Dallas was taken to overtime. The Cowboys should get Miles Austin back this week, which will help. But the Cards are playing better, having won three of four. And maybe Patrick Peterson changes the game here with another punt return TD.
And The Pick Is ….
I don’t particularly like any of the ‘worth considering’ teams that I haven’t already used. But I think the Bears can get it done at home with Matt Forte, defense and special teams in a low-scoring affair vs. KC, whether it’s Orton or Tyler Palko for the sliding Chiefs. So Chicago it is.
Allen Eastman is on a roll for his NFL picks. His incredible 411 System, the top NFL betting system in the nation, is on a 5-1-1 run the last few weeks and it is 81-47-4 the last four years overall. He will have a 7-Unit Game of the Year on his weekend card this week and a one-week package is only $99. Also, check his Insider’s Page HERE for free sports picks daily.
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