Welcome to week nine of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series. Last Sunday we not only went three of three with our weekly picks, but the Chiefs, Patriots, and Browns won by a combined score of 108-43. All three teams made their home crowd very happy in dominant performances, especially up in New England. Let’s keep the streak going! Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom.
Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
While last week’s division games weren’t as surprising or as exciting as the week prior, this is still my number one requirement for my eliminator challenges. Never pick a division game no matter how sure you are of the outcome. Division games are the one time where even home field advantage seems to disappear for some teams. Do yourself a favor this week and avoid the below division games:
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- New Orleans at Carolina
- St. Louis at San Francisco
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
While division games weren’t too exciting last week, the primetime games were another story. Drew Brees reminded people how great he is by taking a victory over the packers, and somehow the Colt McCoy led Redskins upset the Cowboys in Dallas. Add the Cowboys to the long list of teams who have disappointed their loyal fans in primetime this season. Keep the Cowboy’s performance in mind and avoid the below marquee games in week nine:
- Baltimore at Pittsburgh
- Indianapolis at NY Giants
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
There were very few people who expected the Steelers to beat Indianapolis last weekend, but I warned some that that the Steelers are a very historic team who play great in front of a home crowd. That being said, “playing great” is an understatement for how the Steelers’ offense looked on Sunday. Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:
- Philadelphia at Houston
- Denver at New England
Step 4 – Make your pick!
For the second week in a row I am going with a team riding high after beating a division rival. Cincinnati proved that they are still unbeatable at home (ties excluded) even without A.J. Green. If they can beat the Ravens there is no reason they shouldn’t dismantle the Jaguars. The Dolphins had no semblance of an offense last week and still easily came away with a victory and I expect the Bengals to do the same this week. My pick of the week is:
Cincinnati over Jacksonville
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Other options I like this week:
Seattle over Oakland
It’s hard to believe that I have yet to pick Seattle or Denver this season (completely unintentional), but there isn’t a much easier pick than a winless team with a rookie QB playing in Seattle. I would consider this a slam dunk.
Kansas City over NY Jets
Did you watch the Jets play last weekend? I don’t think I need to explain much on this one, even with the Jets changing QBs to Michael Vick.