With the growing popularity of Survivor Pools, FP911.com is here to help. Each week we will look at the key games. There will be a pick of the week, some safe bets, a few games to avoid, and a trap game.
Looking at the schedule this week is bordering on frightening. There are no true “gimmes” as we look at the slate of games.
Pick of the Week (3-2, 1-0 last week)
Falcons (vs. Raiders) – With questions on offense and a scheme that has yet to take advantage of their biggest asset in Darren McFadden, the Raiders have plenty of issues coming in to the weekend. Add in the fact they have given up better than 400 yards of offense to their opponents and the Falcons should be licking their chops.
Safest Bets (16-4, 3-1 last week)
Steelers (vs. Titans) – While the Steelers may be somewhat shorthanded on defense, they should have no problems with the Titans. Tennessee has given up the most points in the league to this point in the season. The Steelers have also won four of their last five meetings with the Titans, including a 38-17 win last season.
Ravens (vs. Cowboys) – The Ravens have won 13 straight home games and have averaged nearly 33 points per game at home through three games there this season. With Dallas already having trouble scoring, playing the Ravens is not going to help their cause. The hope would be that the bye week gets the team looking better, but the Ravens have an edge here.
Patriots (@ Seahawks) – First, I always say to go in order with the selections. This is where it gets hairy to me. While the Patriots have shown their offense to be far better balanced, running the no-huddle had them looking tired in the fourth quarter, especially on the line. Against a team like Seattle that does not sub in and out as much, you have to wonder if it will be as effective. That said, New England is far more talented and should come away with a road win here. Seattle is turning the ball over too much and cannot seem to move the ball through the air. Spells trouble.
Eagles (vs. Lions) – The Lions are getting healthier, that is for certain, and they will get back two key members of the defense to help against Philly. Even with that, the team has lost six of their last seven games on the road and have given up more than 30 points per game in that stretch. While the Eagles did not look great against the Ravens, they were in position to win. They enter playing well at home and defending the pass well.
Vikings (@ Redskins) – While I am starting to trust the Minnesota offense more, this seems like a tougher game to me than it might look on paper. The Redskins will likely get RGIII under center for this one despite his injury last week. They have been running the ball effectively and the last three games of this series have been decided by just one score.
49ers (vs. Giants) – The 49ers have the best defense in the league, no doubt, but there has to be a question as to how the offense will function based on the quarterback under center. With Alex Smith potentially being hurt and the alternative being a quarterback getting his first start that should be enough to make people nervous. The Giants have been strong offensively and could get Hakeem Nicks back as well. I would expect a tight game, and that is not something worth sweating out here.
Texans (vs. Packers) – I could easily say that the Texans should win here. Still, the way they played against the Jets is a concern as is the fact their run defense even with Brian Cushing was struggling. The Packers may not be as strong in the backfield, but they are stronger at quarterback than the two the Texans have faced in the last several weeks.
Buccaneers (vs. Chiefs) – I wish I had a good reason for this, but I just do not trust the Buccaneers. Their pass defense has been atrocious this season. The Chiefs have run the ball very well and the last several contests between the teams have been very close.
Cardinals (vs. Bills) – The Bills have been called out by their GM and their heart has been questioned on defense. With the Cardinals already struggling in the running game, the loss or Ryan Williams makes them even more one-dimensional than they have been. Offensively, the Cardinals have not looked good and struggled to move the ball at all against the Rams. Just see this as a matchup where the Bills are being overlooked and the Cardinals will stumble again.