NFL Survivor Pools Strategy Advice and Predictions: Week 10
by Trevor Whenham - 11/4/2013
This is the week when it all could blow apart. It is a very tough week. Or at least it will be if you have already used the Titans. If Tennessee is still available, though, then you are done here. Coming off a confidence-building road win, Tennessee hosts the hapless Jaguars. This is as easy as it possibly gets this late in a Survivor Pool. Tennessee is not the best team in the league by any means, but they are dramatically superior here, and they are at home. There is no question that this is the right play if it is there for you to play it.
If you aren’t so lucky, though, then things get much tougher. Denver at San Diego is probably a play, but I am assuming by now that no one has Denver available to play. Beyond that you are left with some tough decisions and likely a gamble. Let’s look at each of the remaining 12 games:
Redskins at Vikings: Washington is coming off a win, but it wasn’t pretty. They have lost three times on the road. Minnesota has just one win, but they showed a lot of guts against Dallas last week on the road, and that could give them a boost here. I wouldn’t trust either team.
Seahawks at Falcons: Seattle is probably playable here, though most people have likely played them. Atlanta is terrible and seems to have given up. Seattle is not nearly as good on the road as they should be, though, and they made Tampa Bay look decent last week.
Lions at Bears: Detroit is coming off a bye, but they are just 2-2 away and are hard to trust away from home. The Bears face a short week and injury issues, but they are very tough at home and will be fired up for this one. Detroit has the seeming edge, but it wouldn’t be a comfortable play.
Eagles at Packers: The Packers have been tough at home. Nick Foles just threw seven touchdown passes and only five incompletions. Do you trust the Eagles to explode on offense again? What happens if they don’t? Can Green Bay survive a shootout? Too much of a coin flip to be attractive in my eyes.
Rams at Colts: This should have been the second most playable game on the board after the Tennessee one, and perhaps it still is. But after watching the Colts get torched by Case Keenum, a QB who entered the season as the third-stringer, it is tougher to really trust them against another backup with a strong college career behind him and nothing to lose than it was a week ago. The team fought back for a gritty win, but it wasn’t pretty, and the hole left by Reggie Wayne is obviously significant. No thanks — I’m not picking them unless I absolutely have to.
Raiders at Giants: Oakland just made Nick Foles look immortal. Eli Manning has looked very mortal. Oakland hasn’t won away from home this year. Normally the Giants would be a slam dunk, but even after two wins, I still don’t trust this team at all. I would take them if I absolutely had to, but I wouldn’t like it.
Bills at Steelers: Both teams do some things reasonably well. Both have tragic flaws. On any given day they could shine or could be just plain lousy. It’s a guessing game. Not a play.
Bengals at Ravens: The Ravens have issues, but they are like a wounded animal, and they are going to be ready for this divisional game. Cincinnati is a challenged road team — their lousy loss at Miami dropped them to 2-3 away from home. If this was in Cincinnati then the Bengals would be the play, but in Baltimore I don’t trust either team.
Panthers at 49ers: For my money, the Niners are as good as any team in football right now. The Panthers are playing very well right now, though — confident on both sides of the ball, explosive, and looking to make a statement. The Niners have those two inexplicable no-shows this year, so it’s hard to trust them in this very tough game.
Texans at Cardinals: Case Keenum for President. You could have argued that picking the Cardinals at home made some sense, but then Keenum did what no one else had done for too long — remembered that Andre Johnson is an all-time great receiver. Now Houston has awoken — though they fell short after their progress was shaken in the second half after Gary Kubiak fell ill — but can they be trusted to repeat it on the road? And what effect will Kubiak’s health — which is uncertain as I write this — have on the team going forward? I’m sure not betting on it with this team. No play.
Cowboys at Saints: Dallas has not been good away from home, but they finally showed some spark late in their last game, and could build on that here. The Saints just lost to the Jets, and it wasn’t pretty. They are not right. Neither team is worth your faith.
Dolphins at Buccaneers: Miami finally got a win, but they had lost four in a row before that, so it’s hard to know what we will get. Plus, they are down two offensive linemen thanks to the desertion of Jonathan Martin and the subsequent suspension of Richie Incognito. Tampa Bay is winless, but Mike Glennon looked darned good against Seattle — good enough to win a game. No thanks.
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