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.
Despite some very tight games, things went far more according to plan last week. If you have made it this far, congrats! Now let’s keep it rolling.
Pick of the Week (2-2, 1-0 last week)
Ravens (@ Chiefs) – On the road or not, the Ravens seem to have the best matchup this week. The Chiefs have lost three games by a combined 51 points with their lone win against the Saints. They have turned the ball over 15 times already this season and Matt Cassell is not going to find room to pass against this secondary. Baltimore creates plenty of pressure and their offense has been clicking.
Safest Bets (13-3, 4-0 last week)
Texans (@ Jets) – There continues to be way too much intrigue surrounding the Jets. They are going to be without Santonio Holmes, further limiting a poor passing game. Shonn Greene has not pushed the ground attack forward either. There is significant pressure on Mark Sanchez to perform given that Tim Tebow is behind him. The Texans have been playing all too well. They do not stumble here.
Bears (@ Jaguars) – Did you see what the Chicago secondary did to Tony Romo and his far more seasoned receivers? Think they should have similar success against a younger quarterback with less experienced receivers? No one has averaged fewer points per game than the Jaguars and they will be without Laurent Robinson. On top of that they are allowing 405 yards per game. Bears should be ok in this one.
49ers (vs. Bills) – Not a shot at the Bills here. I do not think they were as bad as they were made to look last week. Still, they cannot get enough pressure right now to force the action. The Patriots ran the ball all over them and the 49ers should be able to do the same. The San Francisco defensive line should have no problem getting into the backfield and is the key to this matchup.
Cardinals (@ Rams) – The Cardinals have won 11 of their last 13 overall and have won 10 of their last 11 against the Rams. That includes six in a row on the road. With neither team running the ball particularly well, the answer comes in the passing game. Arizona’s pass defense was strong against New England and still looked decent against Miami. Sam Bradford is in the bottom half of the league right now in passer rating. The emergence of Andre Roberts gives the Cardinals an additional weapon that they sorely need. I just do not see this going the way of the Rams.
Falcons (@ Redskins) – The Falcons should not have problems scoring, but the question will be their ability to defend Robert Griffin III and contain the Washington running attack. The Falcons’ strength has been in pass defense as they have given up 140 yards per game so far on the ground. In addition, they struggled to defense Cam Newton in the pocket last weekend. They could still pull out a win here, but this is a situation where you might sweat out an entire game going with the Falcons as your selection.
Patriots (vs. Broncos) – I saw what the Patriots did against Buffalo. I also saw a Bills team that got no pass rush and was too thin at linebacker to make plays, forcing them to cheat up their safeties. The Broncos will put pressure on Tom Brady and have a strong second level that will limit the ground attack. Also know that Brady is just 2-6 against Denver lifetime.
Chargers (@ Saints) – This game should be another battle all about offense. The Saints give up ground like you read about. The Chargers have been able to exploit passing defenses when needed but are only throwing for 215 yards per game and have not exactly been playing the league’s elite teams. The Saints desperately need to find a way to win and will need to do it through the air. The Chargers have been good against running games but we have seen them beaten down field.
Giants (vs. Browns) – With the injuries piling up, the Giants are becoming an increasingly difficult team to pick. Missing Ramses Barden and Hakeem Nicks could hinder the offense. Defensively, starting safety Kenny Phillips will likely be out as well. Cleveland is allowing plenty of yardage through the air and 403 yards per game overall, but this seems like a place where they could slip up. The Giants struggled against the Bucs and stumbled last week as well.
Packers (@ Colts) – Call me nuts here, but I want no part of a team that will be rallying around an ill coach. There is nothing that says the Packers should lose this game. But on the road in this type of environment has me questioning if this is the game I would want to stake my season on. Add in the Greg Jennings injury and I am simply calling this a game of caution.