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.
Not as solid a week last week and there are some tough games this week to pick. We’re getting to see a lot of divisional games and those just can go either way. We look to avoid most of those this week.
Pick of the Week (6-2, 1-0 last week)
Bears (@ Titans) – The Bears have been picking opponents apart all season long, forcing at least two turnovers in every contest. Though Matt Hasselbeck has played well against the Bears in the past, the team has had a few internal issues with Kenny Britt complaining about play calling and Jared Cook looking for a trade. The Bears are very tough to run on, holding opponents to less than 80 yards per game on the ground.
Safest Bets (24-8, 2-2 last week)
Ravens (@ Browns) – The Ravens are 3-0 coming off a bye under Harbaugh, and though they have struggled on the road they have always played well at Cleveland. Yes, the Ravens defense is a concern here, but they have won nine straight against the Browns and the extra time to prepare will help them get back in the win column.
Packers (vs. Cardinals) – The Packers have won three in a row and are 3-1 at home this season. While they have been short handed, they certainly have shown an ability to win even without key members of the team. They likely get Jordy Nelson back for this contest which will boost the offense. Arizona has become one dimensional on offense and is 31st in the NFL in total yards.
Texans (vs. Bills) – First, the Texans have proven to be the best team in the AFC. Second, they want to prove a point against Mario Williams. Third, the Bills are giving up 177 yards per game…on the ground. I would love to say this is a trap game and the Texans will struggle, but I just do not see a way that ends up being the case.
Raiders (vs. Buccaneers) – The Buccaneers have struggled of late and have been giving up more points and offense over the last four weeks than their total numbers indicate. They gave up 140 yards rushing to Minnesota, 102 to New Orleans, and 145 to Washington over the last three weeks since the bye. The Raiders will rely on Darren McFadden to keep pushing that effort. Add in giving up over 300 yards per game through the air and the Raiders being at home and this is a good matchup.
Chargers (vs. Chiefs) – I have no idea what to do with the Chargers or Norv Turner. On paper, they should have dominated the Browns. On paper, they should own the Chiefs. Kansas City does not even really know who they want to play quarterback let alone who is healthy enough to do so. But strange things seem to happen on Thursday nights. Stay away.
Redskins (vs. Panthers) – No doubt Robert Griffin III is doing everything he can to win these games, but his receivers are not helping him out enough. The Panthers are going back to a run dominated offense but seeing a defense giving up over 315 yards per game through the air is far too tempting. Considering Cam Newton just found a way to throw for 300 yards against a far tougher Bears defense, I think he can do so here as well.
Eagles (@ Saints) – Desperation or not, this is a game I just want to avoid. The Eagles have shown no heart defensively and the Saints find new and creative ways every week to get torched by their opponents. The Eagles know they have to win and Michael Vick knows it better than anyone. On the road, at night, against a good offense I just do not see it happening.
Lions (@ Jaguars) – People keep trying to persuade me that the Lions are getting better. Last week they had to come from behind again after trailing into the fourth quarter. The Jaguars have one of the worst records in the NFL, but Detroit going on the road with a hit or miss attack could give people fits.
Falcons (vs. Cowboys) – Love the fact that the Falcons are 7-0 on Sunday night heading into this game, but I’m concerned that it actually looks too easy on paper. Dallas actually has the second-best pass defense in the league against a pass-first team in Atlanta that has struggled to run the ball. While Dallas may struggle running the ball themselves, Atlanta is beatable through the air…if the right Tony Romo shows up.