NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 3
I hate to blame everything on the year 2020, but what the hell is going on this year? I’m not sure if it was smart of me to expect a smooth start to the NFL season. But outside of the on-field play, which has been relatively decent, the injuries that have occurred through two weeks are extremely concerning for fans and the league as a whole.
In just two weeks, here is a list of players that have gotten hurt: Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa, Jimmy Garappolo, Raheem Mostert, Solomon Thomas, Courtland Sutton, Malik Hooker, and Drew Lock. And that was just in Week 2. I’ve heard some people blame the lack of training camp and preseason games, but I’m not sold that’s the cause. Barkley, Bosa, and Thomas all suffered torn ACL’s, which could happen at any point on the field whether it’s during practice or a live game. Injuries suck, but they are part of the game, and teams are going to have to find ways to adapt and make do with the other 52 guys on the roster. Here’s to wishing every injured player through two weeks a speedy recovery.
As for the survivor pool, we bounced back with 11 wins last week, including our top seven most confident plays. Here are my survivor plays ranked from strongest to weakest for Week 3 of the National Football League Season. The team I list first is my selection.
For those of you who are reading this and are unsure what a survivor pool is, or are new to the survivor pool world, give this piece a quick read as it’ll break down what it is and offer up a few strategies on how to navigate the season.
Indianapolis Colts over New York Jets: Until further notice, if you can bet against the Jets you must do so and do so with confidence and authority. The Jets suck. They barely gave an effort last week and lost to essentially a bunch of backups for the 49ers. They gave up a 55-yard run on a third-and-31. Embarrassing. The Colts played well last week to get into the win column, and we see no reason they don’t win their second game in a row.
Arizona Cardinals over Detroit Lions: I never envisioned myself recommending taking the Cardinals in Week 3 as one of my best Survivor Pool plays, but here we are. The Cards are a good football team. They are sound on defense and have an offense that can beat you in multiple ways. The Lions are trash. Matt Patricia will be fired before the end of the season. And this game will serve as another reminder that just because you worked under Bill Belichick, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good head coach. Take the Cardinals.
Pittsburgh Steelers over Houston Texans: The Pittsburgh defense is legit. The offense is a work in progress but is still 10 times better than the Texans. The Texans are a mess right now, and I’m just not sure how Bill O’Brien is still employed in the National Football League. The Steelers don’t lose very many home games. And with them being at home in this one, this is a great spot for them to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Cleveland Browns over Washington: The Browns offense showed up in a big way on Thursday and put up 35 points to beat the Bengals. While they may not hit the 35-point mark against this Washington team, they should be able to do just enough to get the win here. Washington will be playing their second straight road game after flying across the country to play in Arizona on Sunday. Cleveland gets the win and improves to 2-1.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Denver Broncos: The Broncos did an OK job to keep it close vs Pittsburgh, while the Bucs ran away with their game against the Panthers. The Bucs are now going up against a Broncos team without their starting quarterback and best receiver, Courtland Sutton. This should be a game where Brady and the offense puts up plenty of points and the defense finds some mojo by shutting down an overmatched team.
Green Bay Packers over New Orleans Saints: I’m sure you watched the MNF game between the Saints and Raiders. The Saints looked good for about 15 minutes and then fell apart. The defense couldn’t stop the Raiders, and Drew Brees looked like he couldn’t push the ball more then 5 yards downfield. That’s going to be a big problem against a Packers team who looks every bit a Super Bowl contender with Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers playing out of their minds. The Packers should be able to put up enough points to get this win and improve to 3-0.
Los Angeles Chargers over Carolina Panthers: The Chargers should have beat the Chiefs last week. Justin Herbert threw a terrible interception in the third quarter, and they should have gone for it on fourth-and-one in OT. The Chargers offense showed promise and did well to slow down the Chiefs for the most part. The Panthers just lost their best player in Christian McCaffrey, and we aren’t sure where the offense will come from. Look for the Chargers to dominate this one and get the win.
Jacksonville Jaguars over Miami Dolphins: Both teams showed a lot of fight in their games last week despite losing at the end. The Jags are the more complete team and should be able to pick apart a Dolphins defense that isn’t very good. I expect Minshew to have a big day and the Jaguars defense to step up and slow down the one-dimensional Dolphins’ offense.
Chicago Bears over Atlanta Falcons: I don’t care about this game. Both teams cost bettors a lot of money last week as the Falcons choked in the fourth quarter while the Bears allowed a Barkley-less Giants team to get inside the number and cover the spread. I’m not what the mindset of the Falcons is coming into this one, but I still don’t trust the Bears entirely.
Cincinnati Bengals over Philadelphia Eagles: Rumor has it that despite there being no fans allowed at the Philadelphia home game last week, Carson Wentz and the rest of his putrid offense was booed off the field. Give me a hungry Joe Burrow and his cast of misfits to finally get in the win column here this week.
Buffalo Bills over Los Angeles Rams: The Bills are legit. The Rams might be legit. Something has to give here in the battle of 2-0 teams. I’ll side with the team that features the better defense, and that’s Buffalo. Not to mention, they’re at home and LA is playing their second road game in as many weeks.
Las Vegas Raiders over New England Patriots: The spread on this game is Patriots -6. And if that isn’t the biggest disrespect to Vegas, I’m not sure what is. So, Cam Newton had a good game against the Seahawks, and they had a chance to win at the end… so what? They still gave up 35 points. And with the way the Raiders are playing, they should have no problems scoring points against the Patriots. Upset special; Raiders win outright.
San Francisco 49ers over New York Giants: I have no idea who is going to suit up for the Niners, but I do know who is not suiting up for the Giants. The Niners should have enough depth to overcome the Giants and get to 2-1, but this game is a toss-up for me.
Tennessee Titans over Minnesota Vikings: Somehow, the Titans are 2-0. They’ve played maybe one or two good quarters of football, yet that’s still enough for me to take them over the hapless and lifeless Vikings. Kirk Cousins sucks, and the Stefon Diggs trade is looking worse by the second. Titans run the ball over the Vikings and get to 3-0.
Seattle Seahawks over Dallas Cowboys: The Seahawks are the better team, but the line is screaming trap. It’s currently at -5 but should be upwards of -7.5 based on how these two teams have looked over the first two weeks. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dallas step up in a big way and pull off the upset win here, but I’m not confident with that happening.
Baltimore Ravens over Kansas City Chiefs: This Monday night football game is going to be fun. Two high-powered offenses going at it, and I can make a case for either team winning. That’s why, despite it being the marquee game of the week, it’s the least confident pick for me.
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