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.
Strong slate of games here with plenty to think about. As it gets later in the year, we are learning a bit more about each team and it makes for some more interesting matchups than not.
Pick of the Week (4-2, 1-0 last week)
Packers (@ Rams) – While the Green Bay defense is banged up, Aaron Rodgers has been playing incredibly well over the last three weeks. The Rams are averaging less than 20 points per game and their offense has not exactly set the world on fire with yardage either. The Packers can also hang their hat on the 585 yards and five touchdowns Rodgers has had against the Rams in two games.
Safest Bets (19-5, 3-1 last week)
Vikings (vs. Cardinals) – Arizona has been good defensively, but that has largely been through the air. They still give up over 110 yards per game on the ground and have given up 276 yards in the last two. That will be how Minnesota plays this game. Minnesota has won all three games at home this year and Arizona will again be playing the quarterback shuffle.
Bills (vs. Titans) – Just a matchup I like. Tennessee has struggled against the pass all season and their run defense is not as good as the 56 yards it surrendered against Pittsburgh. Additionally, the Titans have not done a lot on offense overall all season and surrendered nine sacks in the last two weeks. With Shawn Merriman coming back and a defense that improved last week, the Bills stand in good shape to take the win here. Add in the Titans are 0-3 on the road and it’s a good fit.
Bears (vs. Lions) – The Bears have won seven of their last eight against the Lions overall. Of late, they have been dominant on defense and are 2-0 at home on the season. The Lions have struggled putting the finishing touches on games and defensively are giving up more than 27 points a game. I like what I have seen out of the Chicago offense lately and it looks like one of the better matchups of the week.
Giants (vs. Redskins) – Not exactly an easy game to call and, like the Bears game, goes against my better judgment of picking division matchups. Still, the Giants were really able to slow down the 49ers on the ground last week and should look to do the same here. The difference will be Robert Griffin. That said, the Redskins simply have not played enough defense all year to stop the scoring attack of the Giants. Bet here is that both teams score, but the Giants are able to do more against the Washington defense to get the win.
Patriots (vs. Jets) – Stay away. Stay FAR away. If you can tell me what offense New England will run (the one that threw 58 times last week or the one that ran for over 200 yards just a couple weeks ago), what Jets offense will show up (the one that thinks Mark Sanchez can throw the ball or the one that dominated on the ground last week), which New England defense will be there (the secondary burned by Seattle or the one that picked off Buffalo four times), and which Jets defense will show up (the one from the San Francisco game or the one from last week), then you can take this one. Not me.
Steelers (@ Bengals) – An injured center and Pro Bowl safety to go with a suspended nose tackle makes it hard to like the Steelers here. The running game of the Steelers is suspect due to injuries as well. While the Bengals have lost two in a row and have lost four in a row to the Steelers, picking Pittsburgh is going to likely result in an ulcer while you watch the game.
Texans (vs. Ravens) – This is more a statement about the Ravens than the Texans. I think too many people are saying the Ravens are done because of the key injuries suffered last week. This is still a 5-1 team with a lot of pride. Matt Schaub has struggled against the Ravens in the past and Baltimore has won all six meetings against Houston.
Colts (vs. Browns) – Cleveland is a different team with Joe Haden on the field than they were without him. Haden changes the game and makes everyone around him that much better. Indy has been very good against the pass this season, but the Cleveland running game has shown that they can get the job done there as well without needing to rely on rookie Brandon Weeden.
Saints (@ Buccaneers) – Yes, the Saints won a game and yes the Buccaneers have one of the worst pass defenses in football. That does not make this a guaranteed win for New Orleans. You can run on the Saints, who have given up 173 yards per game on the ground. Doug Martin will take advantage of this. The Saints also give up nearly 290 yards passing per game themselves and are last in the league in total yards allowed per game.