NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 5
by Mett Severance - 10/6/2011
I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting for that earth-rattling upset in the NFL, because so far this season because I sure haven’t seen a result I consider all that shocking.
In Week 4, I would only consider there were two medium-level upsets: The Bengals winning at home over the Bills and the 49ers going to Philly and sending the “Dream Team” to its third straight loss. For what it’s worth, I warned you to stay away from both Buffalo and Philadelphia last week. The Bills were very much due for a huge letdown game after an emotional home win over New England the week before. And as for the Eagles, they are just not right and have been utterly dominated in the second halves of games this year (21-3 against the Niners), especially in the fourth quarter.
The three games I recommended last week were the Bears at home over the Panthers, the Bucs at home over the Colts and, my top pick, Packers at home over the Broncos. Both Chicago and Tampa Bay tried to choke their games away, but both managed to hang on. Green Bay, behind a historic Aaron Rodgers performance, had no trouble whatsoever. Could this team go unbeaten? I have used Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New England and San Diego.
Anyways, let’s keep it going in Week 5. Things get a bit more difficult this week as the bye weeks begin. Off are the Browns, Cowboys, Rams, Dolphins, Redskins and Ravens.
N.Y. Giants vs. Seattle: I’ll just come right out and say the G-Men will be my top pick this week, mostly because the Giants have probably the easiest visiting team on the schedule in Week 5. Plus, the Seahawks have to travel across country and play at 10 a.m. on their local clocks. That almost never turns out to be a good thing.
Saints at Panthers: If the Panthers can allow the Bears 34 points, I don’t see how Drew Brees doesn’t put up 40 at least. The Saints also don’t want to drop their first division game of the season. I will say that Carolina could well cover here.
Chargers at Broncos: As noted above, I’ve used the Chargers. And this could be a bit of a trap game with San Diego coming off a two-game homestand and it being the Bolts’ final game before their bye. But I think the Broncos are wretched.
Too Even To Bother
Eagles at Bills: I find it hard to imagine that the Eagles would lose a fourth game in a row – would that put Andy Reid in trouble? – but then again, I found it hard to imagine the Iggles losing a third straight last week. The Bills look legit at home. This should be a shootout.
Chiefs at Colts: Yawn! The Colts better win here because then they have three straight on road and are staring at 0-8.
Cardinals at Vikings: Another yawner. I do think the Vikes, who could easily be 4-0, do get their first win. A loss here and it’s probably time for Christian Ponder.
Jaguars vs. Bengals: They could play this game at my high school stadium and still probably not sell it out.
49ers vs. Bucs: I do like San Francisco with Tampa Bay on the short week and making that cross-country trip. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if the Bucs won in the fourth quarter behind Mr. Clutch Josh Freeman.
Patriots vs. Jets: Can’t believe that New England is a 9.5-point favorite over a desperate arch-rival. I think the Jets play their best game of the season this week.
Packers at Falcons: I’m calling the Atlanta upset right now, but I also wouldn’t bet on that or risk my survivor pool ever picking against Green Bay. But this is the Pack’s first dome game of year and that could affect some playcalling due to crowd noise, etc.
Stay Far, Far Away
Steelers vs. Titans: Pittsburgh seems too well-coached to lay another egg, as it did last week at Houston (and in Week 1 at Baltimore). But perhaps no team is more banged up than Pittsburgh, which will be without James Harrison and probably Bryant McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall and Aaron Smith, among some others. Big Ben will play, but he will be gimping around on a bad foot and a porous and injury-plagued offensive line. Plus, Chris Johnson seems to have found his game for Tennessee, which has won three in a row.
Texans vs. Raiders: Houston does look much better this year, especially on defense. Plus, the Texans have been very impressive in two home wins. But Andre Johnson is out, and the Raiders could well control time of possession and ride Darren McFadden to an upset.
Lions vs. Bears: You might be on the Lions’ bandwagon, as they are the media darlings right now. And this will be their first “Monday Night Football” home game since 2001, so the fans will be jacked up. But Detroit has fallen way behind the past two weeks and can’t run the ball. Chicago could certainly win this game.
And The Pick Is ….
I looked at the Saints for a minute, but have to go with the home team if all else is equal. So go with the Giants.
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