Welcome to the seventh edition of eliminator breakdown, hence forth to be known as the NFL Eliminator Challenge due to popular demand! Last week we were able to continue our streak as the Arizona Cardinals were able to overcome a turnover prone Redskins team. Unfortunately our backup pick somehow was able to miss a field goal in overtime to seal the first (and probably only) tie game of the season. Hopefully you took my advice and went with Arizona and we can get your streak to seven this week! Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom.
Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
Last week there were some great division rivalry games as well as some surprising ones. I certainly didn’t predict that the Browns would completely manhandle the Steelers, just like I didn’t think the Oakland Raiders would come so close to beating the very hot Chargers. Division games are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:
- NY Jets at New England
- Seattle at St. Louis
- Kansas City at San Diego
- NY Giants at Dallas
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
I wouldn’t say either prime time game was an upset last week, but at the same time I certainly didn’t expect the Giant to get shutout against a division rival. Just like we saw with Cincinnati the week prior, some teams just decide not to show up to these nationally televised games, and that’s why I avoid them. Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below marquee games:
- San Francisco at Denver
- Houston at Pittsburgh
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
While Denver, Green Bay, and Baltimore all won on the road last Sunday, only one of them was in a convincing fashion. Denver surprisingly struggled early against the Jets and it took a miraculous final drive for Aaron Rogers to pull off a last second come from behind victory. Take a look at the game in Philly and you’ll see how a home crowd can energize a team to a great victory. Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:
- Cleveland at Jacksonville
- Arizona at Oakland
Step 4 – Make your pick!
This week I am going with a team that makes me very nervous but everything says they should be victorious by the time the final whistle blows. The Baltimore Ravens looked unbeatable last weekend against a struggling Tampa Bay defense who couldn’t seem to cover a wide receiver if their life depended on it. This week the Ravens host the Atlanta Falcons, a team that has yet to win on the road this season and seems to find more issues every week. While Atlanta is loaded with talent, they just can’t find a way to put it together on the field and that is why I am going with Baltimore as my pick of the week:
Baltimore over Atlanta
Other options I like this week:
Chicago over Miami
As a Dolphins fan it hurts to make this pick, but I just don’t see how Miami’s defense is going to be able to match up with the towering Chicago receivers. The only thing that makes me nervous here is Chicago has yet to win a game at home this season. That being said I regretfully expect that to change this week.
Indianapolis over Cincinnati
Another week without A.J. Green spells trouble for the Bengals. While I expect them to put up a fight, I don’t believe Andy Dalton can go score for score with Andrew Luck who is having a very impressive season so far.
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