Week 14 was a pretty wacky one in the NFL with the culmination being the Dolphins Monday Night Football upset win over the Patriots. In all there were seven upsets among the 16 games, and there’s no doubt that if your Survivor Pool wasn’t already finished or wasn’t at least close then it probably is now.
Every week in this spot I will go down the list of favorites (mostly teams favored by more than three points) to narrow down my Survivor Pool picks for the week. I decide on the matchups I like and then my next move is to put those teams in a list and then do further research in order to narrow down my picks to the teams I want to use for the week.
I would like to thank those that wrote in with complements on the blog last week. We will probably keep it going next year but that is still somewhat in the air.
This week I will avoid analyzing the most popular teams that have probably already been used by most Survivor Pool players and instead will write about the matchups for those teams that may still be available.
NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 15
Detroit -5.5 vs. Chicago: The Lions have won eight of the last nine meetings in this series, so if you are in the precarious position of having to chose them this week then you can hang your hat on that. Both teams stopped losing streaks last week with a win. But I would have to say the Bears looked a lot better in a blowout on the road in Cincinnati while the Lions barely got by a really bad Tampa Bay team. Chicago had lost five straight heading into that game while the Lions were on a two-game slide. I would not be too excited about taking the Lions in this spot and would look elsewhere if possible.
Jacksonville -11 vs. Houston: While I would not bet the Jags laying this many points against the spread, I do think they win this one and if you still have the Jags available then you should definitely use them. Jacksonville has only a one-game lead in the division, so they won’t slip up here. Houston is down to their third-string QB –Tom Savage is pretty awful but T.J. Yates is even worse. The Texans have won six of the last seven matchups, but with their horrible QB situation Jacksonville should be able to win comfortably. If you haven’t used the Jags yet then feel blessed that you have such a strong favorite this late in the season.
Washington -4.5 vs. Arizona: This is a pick I would feel pretty confident in, and there’s a great chance that the Redskins are available as they have faced one of the more difficult schedules in the NFL this season. And it’s because of that schedule and the resulting poor record that I think this team is a bit underrated. This also seems like a proud team, and I’m sure that blowout in Los Angeles on Sunday didn’t sit well with the players and I could see an inspired effort this week.
Baltimore -7 at Cleveland: The Browns have to win at some point this season, don’t they? As many bad teams as we have seen in the NFL over the years, only one squad has ever lost all 16 games. You have to figure that the players on Cleveland will try to play their best in order to avoid that dubious distinction. But this team might have blown their chance last week as they let Green Bay come back and win that game in overtime, and they are probably in tough shape to get a win here against a pretty good ballclub (although it’s one I think is a tad overrated).
Out of these games I previewed I would put them in this order in terms of confidence: