NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 4

NFL Eliminator Challenge

Welcome to week four of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series! What a week last week.  We saw upsets galore as Jacksonville destroyed Baltimore, the lowly Jets dismantled the Dolphins, the Bills upended the Broncos, and even the Steelers lost to what many thought was a lifeless Bears team.  That’s before we even mention losses by the Seahawks and Panthers, who have struggled early this season.  That brings us to our two eliminator picks from last week, the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.  Talk about a scare.  The Patriots took the final minute for a spectacular victory and the Packers had to wait till overtime for a come-from-behind victory of their own.  Both certainly gave us a fright, but at the end we went 2-0, and that’s all that matters.  Hopefully you went with my picks and are still alive!  Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom!

 

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

What a week for division games. The Rams and 49ers played in a shootout on Thursday night, putting up a combined 80 points!  The Saints and Jets both shocked division rivals.  Then the Eagles Giants games came down to an improbable field goal by a player who was on the practice squad not long ago.  As I said last week, these games are not only incredibly entertaining, they are also very unpredictable.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
  • Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
  • Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
  • San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
  • Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

We already discussed the shootout on Thursday night, but how about the shocker on Sunday night? The Oakland Raiders were absolutely shut down by the Redskins defense as Kirk Cousins lit up the Raiders secondary.  Even on Monday night, while the Cardinals fell to the Cowboys, senior citizens Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald put on a show in a losing effort.

Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
  • Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks
  • Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Excluding the London game last week, ten of fourteen games were won by the home team. This included upsets by the Jets, Bears, and Bills just to name a few.  The biggest surprises were teams like the Seahawks and Raiders who seemed to really struggle with their trip from the west coast moving east.  This is a tough time change for west coast teams, and often we see them struggle traveling east.

Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins (London – both teams are away!)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets (who would ever thought the Jags would be a favorite!)
  • Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers

Step 4 – Make your pick!

The Bills played a great game last week, outlasting the Broncos at home. That being said, while their defense played great, their offense didn’t exactly blow them away.  This week they have to leave their home to travel and play against one of the top offensive teams in the league.  While Atlanta has shown they are vulnerable, I think their offense will put up too many points for Buffalo to stay close.

My pick of the week is:

  • Atlanta Falcons over Buffalo Bills

 

Other option I like this week:

  • New England Patriots over Carolina Panthers

If you didn’t take New England last week, you will have plenty of other opportunities, one of which being this week. While Houston did play them tough, Carolina has flat out looked bad this season.  They were absolutely destroyed last week by a bad New Orleans team, and if Carolina can’t score more than one touchdown against arguably one of the worst defenses in the league, I don’t know how they will outscore Tom Brady with the hot streak he is on.

  • Dallas Cowboys over Los Angeles Rams

What have we said about west coast team traveling east? Also, if the 49ers can put up almost 40 points against the Rams, what do you think Dak and Zeke can do against them?  Expect a high scoring affair once again.

 

Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!

Thanks for reading!

 

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