So I'm curious how your Survivor Pool handles ties. Last Sunday night, the Seahawks and Cardinals played probably the most entertaining 6-6 game in NFL history, only because each team's kicker shockingly missed a bunny to win the game in overtime. Arizona's special teams was a disaster in a game that the Cardinals should have definitely won.
It was the first tie in Seahawks history and Cardinals' first tie since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. The last tie in the NFL had been in 2014, when Carolina and Cincinnati tied 37-37. And there had not been a tie with no touchdowns scored since 1972. Every competition I have been in -- including Confidence Pools -- considers a tie a loss, but that game was probably too evenly matched to where anyone in your Survivor Pool made a choice, so it's likely irrelevant.
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Week 7 was largely chalk with no earth-shattering upsets. San Diego winning 33-30 in OT in Atlanta might have dinged a few people. The Falcons blew that one, gagging away a 17-point lead and then not being able to convert a 4th-and-1 at their own 43 at the start of OT. I still think Coach Dan Quinn made the right choice. Miami's home win over Buffalo was also a modest upset, although less so with Bills top running back LeSean McCoy basically on one leg with a hamstring injury. He wasn't supposed to play at all but did and then left early. And I suppose Philadelphia's home win over previously unbeaten Minnesota was a surprise.
My top recommendation was Cincinnati over Cleveland, but I'm quite sure that was the majority choice in your league. The Browns are going to burn you at some point -- I think. Even that sorry franchise can't ruin the sports euphoria in Cleveland from Tuesday night with the Cavs' banner raising and the Indians' World Series Game 1win over the Cubs (dang it!).
Here are the picks for Week 8 with the recommended team first. It's a rather difficult week to pick a clear winner. It's the most teams this season on the bye week thus far: Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers, 49ers and Ravens. Not like you would use any of those clubs right now (with Steelers missing Big Ben).
New England at Buffalo: As usual, I'm not making my pick until the last possible second. I like this one as long as McCoy does sit out because he's so important to the Bills. I also can't see the Patriots allowing Buffalo to sweep them. New England lost at home 16-0 in Week 4 when Jacoby Brissett was under center. Tom Brady is a slight upgrade on him.
Minnesota at Chicago (Monday): This would probably be my top choice after the Patriots if it weren't a Monday night game. I don't like being locked in to that last game because you never know what can happen between the Sunday games and Monday night. Sadly, I'll have to watch my Bears because there's no World Series game next Monday.
Dallas vs. Philadelphia: Someone playing in this game will win Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016: Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott or quarterback Dak Prescott, or Eagles QB Carson Wentz. The Eagles looked really good defensively in beating the Vikings, but the Cowboys are off their bye and Philly hasn't been near as strong away from home. This might end up being my top pick.
Cincinnati vs. Washington: This is the NFL's final game of the season in London (at 9:30 a.m. ET) but not last game outside the United States in 2016 (I'll leave you hanging on that one). I'd just steer clear of this and all London games with too many intangibles with travel, etc.
Carolina vs. Arizona: Yep, I believe in the 1-5 Panthers this week. It's a mini-short week for Arizona off last Sunday night's sister-kisser. Carolina, meanwhile, is off its bye week and obviously desperate because a loss means the season is over.
Indianapolis vs. Kansas City: First meeting between the teams since the epic Colts comeback to beat the visiting Chiefs 45-44 in the wild-card round following the 2013 season. Both Andrew Luck and Alex Smith went crazy in that game.
Tampa Bay vs. Oakland: Best pirate wins! Raiders made a smart move, in my opinion, of staying in Florida following last week's win in Jacksonville. They are working out this week just south of Tampa in Bradenton. So the early Pacific time kickoff shouldn't be a factor for Oakland. What has gotten into Tampa's Jacquizz Rodgers?!? Doug Martin who?
New Orleans vs. Seattle: That Seahawks offense was totally inept in Arizona last Sunday. Certainly New Orleans is nowhere near as good defensively as the Cards, but Drew Brees will lead the Saints to a lot more than 6 points.
Houston vs. Detroit: This is one of those I'm simply taking the home team. Short week for Houston, and the Brock Osweiler signing looks like a horrible mistake thus far. He was just terrible in Monday's loss in Denver. But the Lions usually play lousy on the road.
NY Jets at Cleveland: I so wanted to pick the Browns this week! And they do have a legitimate chance of winning if Cody Kessler can play. He was knocked out last week with a concussion. It's possible that Josh McCown could return but if not and if no Kessler, it's fifth-round rookie Kevin Hogan under center. I don't give Cleveland a chance with him -- even though the Jets are back to interception-machine Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB.
Denver vs. San Diego: Short week for the Broncos off Monday's easy win over Houston. The Chargers are really entertaining to watch as all their games seem to go down to the wire. This one might, too, but I lean the home side. Bolts are going for rare season sweep of series.
Green Bay at Atlanta: Is Aaron Rodgers fixed or was his big game last Thursday simply a matter of facing the Bears in Week 7? Probably the latter. Here's guessing that the Packers' Ty Montgomery was a popular pickup in your fantasy leagues this week if available. The do-it-all receiver now qualifies at running back in my league (yep, I have him): Schwing!
Tennessee vs. Jacksonville (Thursday): Why, oh why, NFL are you forcing this dreadful matchup down our throats a third straight season on a Thursday night?!? Thank God there's a NBA doubleheader on TNT opposite this. The teams' Color Rush uniforms are fit for Halloween. Ghastly.
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