Resources: Yahoo survival pool pick distribution • SurvivorGrid.com
Week 6’s biggest killer: NY Giants over Denver (33.68)
Week 6’s biggest success: Houston over Cleveland (31.08)
My picks so far: Buffalo – Oakland – New England — Seattle — Philadelphia — Atlanta (x)
There’s no way around it: Last Sunday stung.
Watching my pick of the Atlanta Falcons go down in second-half flames to the Miami Dolphins was one of those losses that makes you wonder why you deal with the frustration of survival football year after year. The defending NFC champion Falcons came into the game as a 13-point favorite, off a bye week, had the game at home and held a 17-0 lead over JAY CUTLER by halftime. I felt so good about my future that I may have even peeked at the Week 7 schedule to see what was ahead for my entry.
You know what happened next. The Dolphins put up 20 points in the second half while the Falcons were held scoreless. I was forced to fulfill my end of our “Funishment” bet that left this proud Chicago guy eating a hot dog with ketchup AND crickets Wednesday afternoon. You can watch the whole thing here.
I’m not alone in my mourning, of course. The Broncos were picked over the Giants at a much higher rate than the Falcons and they crushed a lot of bids on Sunday night. For the second straight week, over half of the Yahoo players pool was eliminated and we’ve seen four straight weeks of 30 percent or more of the pool biting the dust. It’s a lot messier than last year when most of the teams that were supposed to win actually won.
What a novel concept, Falcons.
Yeah, I’m bitter. Anyway, I’m still going to be here every week trying to help the rest of you navigate the rest of the way to the jackpot. In the survival world, you can never have enough information.
Week 7 is one ugly beast. Seven of the top nine picks are on the road. There will be eliminations, it’s just hard to tell where they’ll pop up.
In the end, the pick I like best is the Vikings over the Ravens in Minneapolis because it allows me to sidestep all the road games and put my chips (if I had any) on a Vikings defense that should be able to handle Joe Flacco and Co. as easily as Jacksonville’s unit did last month in London.
Or, for that matter, the Bears defense, which didn’t give up a touchdown to the Ravens last Sunday despite the game being played in Baltimore. The Ravens’ passing attack is the second worst in the league and while they manage OK on the ground, I can’t see them getting things going against the Vikings on their home field. Taking Minnesota here takes you out of the running of picking them against the Browns next week, but I’d rather ride out the storm in the hear and now. Plus, next week’ Vikings-Browns game is in London and we all know how we feel about those London games.
Other thoughts: All of that said, if anyone is planning on taking the Titans and Vikings against Cleveland for two straight weeks, I won’t be able to maintain a clean conscience if I try to talk them out of it … The Browns have already played all three AFC North teams so if you want to pick against them the rest of the way, you only have to account for their bye in Week 9 (assuming you haven’t picked against them vs. an AFC team yet) … The Cowboys visit to the 49ers was definitely going to be my “stay away” pick if the Zeke suspension stood, but I still don’t like that game with him in the lineup. The Niners have just been a little too close in most of their games to make me feel great about picking against them at home … Finally, a clarification: I got some blowback on social media saying I shouldn’t “save” teams for later. The person in question had only four people left in his pool and he didn’t think it was worth saving the Texans. I completely agreed with him. The advice here is geared toward pools with thousands of entries (like our $100K contest) and reaching the final weeks of December. Everyone needs to consider their specific situation when getting their picks in each Sunday … Jay Hart is the only person on our panel without a miss so far this season and he’s going with the Titans. He’s also on the hook for Funishment again and promises to eat a milkbone out of a doggie dish on Facebook Live should Tennessee falter.