NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 5
Wow, here's hoping that you ignored my advice last week in a Survivor Pool as my top four recommendations, the Rams (over Tampa Bay), Texans (over Carolina), Falcons (over Tennessee) and Ravens (over Cleveland) all lost outright! OK, I deserve a bit of a break because I was moving last week so perhaps a bit distracted, but jeez I can't remember a week like that before.
I did end up chickening out on my top picks in my competitions and going with the Chargers at sad-sack Miami even though I thought the Fins would cover a big number. They didn't. The Dolphins are completely unwatchable (sadly, they are the local team where I live so forced to watch them at times) and have been outscored 81-0 in the second half this season. Yet, we probably all will miss them this week because they are off. I still say they are going to win at least one game.
It was just a weird week all around the NFL. For example, the Saints had been 3-54 all-time when they didn't score a touchdown yet didn't against Dallas and won 12-10. New Orleans hadn't won without a TD since 1998. It was just the third time in Cowboys history they lost a game where they scored a touchdown and didn't allow one. The other two instances both happened in 2002.
Hey, at least my Bears won. And might have won bigger by LOSING disappointing starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for a while to a separated shoulder and partially torn labrum. Here's a look at Week 5, with Detroit joining Miami on the bye. The team listed first is my choice.
15. Philadelphia vs. NY Jets: Certainly will be a popular choice in any competitions. I suppose there's a slight worry that the Jets are off a bye and should get Sam Darnold back. However, Philly essentially saved its season in Week 4 at Lambeau Field and is on a half-bye having played last Thursday.
14. New England at Washington: Who will play quarterback for Washington? Who cares? What kind of blackmail evidence does Jay Gruden have on owner Dan Snyder? Only reason I can think of why Gruden is still employed.
13. LA Chargers vs. Denver: Bolts should see the return of Melvin Gordon to the lineup this week , which flat-out sucks because I have Austin Ekeler in my big-money fantasy league. Sigh. The Broncos could easily be 2-2 but have lost two games this season where they took the lead in the last two minutes of regulation before losing on a field goal as time expired.
12. Kansas City vs. Indianapolis: Rematch of last season's Divisional Round game in the snow in K.C., which was the last time we apparently will ever see Andrew Luck on a field again. I predicted a Chiefs loss in Detroit last week and was only 20 seconds from that happening.
11. Tennessee vs. Buffalo: I have this higher than perhaps I might because it looks as if the Bills will have to start horrible Matt Barkley at quarterback because of Josh Allen's concussion.
10. Houston vs. Atlanta: Still stunned the Texans were upset at home last week. Deshaun Watson has now had two very shaky games this year, although it's largely on his porous offensive line. No way he makes it the full season healthy.
9. New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay: The 55 points the Bucs hung on the Rams was the most Tampa Bay has ever scored. Has Bruce Arians actually fixed Jameis Winston?
8. Chicago "at" Oakland: We have "at" in quotes because the game is in London . Expect a monster game from Khalil Mack to remind Jon Gruden when Mack shouldn't have been traded. Chase Daniel (how many times will we hear Daniels?) takes over for Trubisky. Fine by me.
7. Minnesota at NY Giants: Daniel Jones has given the Giants a huge boost, but I don't see the rookie having much success against that terrific Vikings defense - especially with no Saquon Barkley.
6. Cincinnati vs. Arizona: The Bengals looked atrocious in Monday's loss in Pittsburgh as Andy Dalton was sacked a career-high eight times. I simply don't think Kyler Murray is ready to win on the road yet.
5. Dallas vs. Green Bay: Really the only marquee matchup on Sunday afternoon. Green Bay may not have Davante Adams, but Dallas won't have Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith.
4. San Francisco vs. Cleveland (Monday): Still not sure if the Browns are any good or not, but I like San Francisco coming off a bye week and likely to get Tevin Coleman back.
3. Carolina vs. Jacksonville: Bit of a homecoming for Jags rookie Gardner Minshew as he played collegiately at East Carolina before transferring as a grad student to Washington State. Yet he's not even the most unlikely good quarterback story in this one. Carolina's Kyle Allen has joined Patrick Mahomes and Jeff Hostetler as the only QBs in the Super Bowl Era to win his first three starts all on the road.
2. Baltimore at Pittsburgh: Not sure Monday exactly fixed the Steelers, and now obviously they are on a short week. The Ravens' defense has been gashed the past two weeks, but John Harbaugh & Co. will confuse young Mason Rudolph.
1. Seattle vs. LA Rams (Thursday): You should never pick against Seattle in a prime-time game at home under Pete Carroll.
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