NFL Survivor and Confidence Pool Picks and Advice: Week 3
Perhaps those who run Survivor & Confidence Pools need to change their rules in the wake of the NFL last season shortening overtime sessions from 15 minutes to 10. Already this year, we have had one tie each week - and those are losses in both types of pools. It's the first time since 1971 there have been sister-kissers each of the first two weeks.
I'm really not sure what shortening OT accomplished as I doubt five fewer minutes of game action is going to save the league from more concussion or CTE lawsuits. And to be fair, neither of the ties we've seen thus far should have happened. Pittsburgh-Cleveland could have been won by each kicker in the overtime. And this past Sunday's Minnesota-Green Bay tie also could have. The Vikings' kicker was especially brutal and he'll likely be making five-dollar footlongs at your local Subway soon as he was cut by the team Monday. Cleveland also jettisoned its kicker after he gagged big time again in Week 2.
Still, there's nothing worse than "losing" in a Survivor or Confidence Pool even when the team you picked didn't actually lose. Maybe each competitor gets one mulligan per tie or something.
Week 2 didn't see any major upsets, although the Saints probably should have lost again at home to a big underdog and they were my top pick. The Rams were the top choice by the vast majority of players in all competitions (I played defense and didn't go with L.A.) and they streamrolled the Arizona Cardinals. The L.A. Chargers were also a popular pick in Buffalo and the Bolts had no trouble with the sorry Bills.
Here are my Week 3 Survivor Picks in order of how I would also do my Confidence Pool selections (with occasional exceptions noted when necessary). The team listed first is my choice. As always, you should wait until the last possible minute to make your picks.
16. Minnesota vs. Buffalo: This has the biggest spread of the season, something we may say a few more times involving Bills games in 2018. They are totally sorry. Now, sometimes when there's such an obvious choice it can be wise to avoid said team just in case a massive upset wipes everyone out. I do worry slightly about the Vikings looking ahead to next week's game vs. the Rams and probably would take the points here, but I see no earthly way where Buffalo can win this game.
15. Kansas City vs. San Francisco: Yep, I'm pissed the Bears could have had Patrick Mahomes over Mitch Trubisky. Unbelievable how good Mahomes has been. Are the Chiefs this dominant? Doubtful, but they should win at home vs. a so-so Niners squad.
14. Philadelphia vs. Indianapolis: The Eagles have looked very shaky in their 1-1 start, but Sunday's return of Carson Wentz could change all that. Yeah, he might be rusty, but not enough for the Colts to steal one on the road.
13. Jacksonville vs. Tennessee: Potential letdown game for the Jags off one of their biggest regular-season wins ever. However, the Titans aren't very good, and I'm moving this to 15 if Marcus Mariota sits out a second straight week.
12. Baltimore vs. Denver: Ravens are on extra rest after losing last Thursday, while it's Denver's first road game and in the early 1 p.m. ET window.
11. Houston vs. NY Giants: Semi-short week for the Giants after they lost in Dallas last Sunday night. Eli Manning needs to retire tomorrow. G-Men blew it by taking Saquon Barkley (a good player, don't get me wrong) over Sam Darnold.
10. LA Rams vs. LA Chargers: The movie "Battle: Los Angeles" sucked (and it cost me $20 because I saw it in lower Manhattan. Idiot!). This game shouldn't. The Rams look almost as unstoppable as Alabama. Just think if they also had landed Khalil Mack as they tried to!?
9. Miami vs. Oakland: I believe the Fins are doing this with mirrors somewhat, but it's a 10 a.m. ET start time for a really bad Raiders side. Those players quit when Mack was traded.
8. New England at Detroit: Typical Patriots to land Josh Gordon. Tell me why the Browns would send him to a franchise that refused to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to Cleveland? Gordon could be a monster with Tom Brady if he stays away from the malt liquor and Maui Wowie (they still say that?).
7. Carolina vs. Cincinnati: The Bengals are on extra rest, but they aren't going to be able to run the ball whatsoever without an injured Joe Mixon.
6. Chicago at Arizona: This freaking terrifies me as a Bears fan. I can't remember the last game they "should" win away from home. Short week, Trubisky hasn't shown much improvement … this might end in a Cubs-Diamondbacks score.
5. Atlanta vs. New Orleans: The home team usually wins in this series. Falcons are pretty banged-up, but maybe last year's Saints defense was a fluke.
4. Green Bay at Washington: Aaron Rodgers > Alex Smith. Simple as that.
3. Seattle vs. Dallas: Only because the Seahawks are home and it's such a tough place to play. Poor Russell Wilson behind that porous O-Line.
2. Cleveland vs. NY Jets (Thursday): The fact we get Vikings-Rams next Thursday almost makes up for this awful matchup. Might be the first time I've recommended the Browns in a Survivor/Confidence Pool since early 2016.
1. Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh (Monday):
Ryan Conor McGregor Fitzpatrick is entertaining, I'll give him that.
Anything that keeps creepy Jameis Winston on the bench also works. The
Steelers are a mess with Le'Veon Bell jet skiing in Miami and now Antonio
Brown acting all weird.
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