NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 2

A great man once said, “I love it when a plan comes together!”  Welcome to week two of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  We had a very good week last week.  Our pick of the week, the Ravens, won by a convincing score of 47-3, and our two alternate picks (the Vikings and Patriots) were also both successful in winning in front of their home crowds.  Not only were we successful, but we saw lots of other upsets across the league, which we will get to in a bit.  Read on as I reiterate and analyze my 3 key steps from last week and feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!


Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

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What a week for division matchups.  Many people were very successful last season picking against the Browns every week, but this year that strategy no longer worked as the Browns and Steelers matchup ended in a rare tie.  However, the shocker that ended many of your friend’s eliminator seasons before they ever got started was the Tampa Bay win over New Orleans, a surprise to us all.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games (and we have a lot this week):

  • Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
  • Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
  • Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
  • Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
  • Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
  • Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
  • Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
  • New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Moving on to more upsets, while the Bears came very close to upsetting the Packers (new rule, never pick against Aaron Rodgers), we did see a huge upset on Monday night.  The New York Jets led by a rookie QB absolutely demolished the Lions in Detroit.  I don’t know anyone who saw that coming and I know a lot of people had Detroit as their picks for the week.  However, if you listened to me and avoided these games, you are still alive in week two.  Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
  • New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
  • Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

While there were not a lot of favorites on the road in week one, we did get one upset as my Miami Dolphins, in the longest NFL game in league history, were able to overcome two lightning delays and upset the Titans in front of their home crowd.  Even some of the worst teams in the league know how to turn it up when the home crowd has their back. Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • New Orleans Saints over the Cleveland Browns

While I do not normally like to go into week two picking a team that lost in week one, this week I am making an exception.  The New Orleans Saints were picked by many to be Super Bowl contenders this year and took an embarrassing loss in week one to a division rival at home.  That being said, Tampa Bay had an offensive showing that we probably won’t see again by them this season and I don’t see the Browns offense being able to win a shootout like last week’s game was.  I expect Sean Payton and Drew Brees to ask the home crowd for forgiveness this week with a convincing win over the 0-0-1 Browns.

Other options I like this week:

  • San Francisco 49ers over the Detroit Lions

If you watched the Monday Night game, you know like I do, that the Lions may be in for a long season.  Traditionally coaches from the Bill Belichick tree have not done well once leaving the confines of “The Hoody” and I feel like Detroit may learn that the hard way this season.  East and west coast teams also don’t do well when traveling to an opposite coast. Add in the fact that Detroit is coming off a short week and this spells recipe for disaster.

  • Washington Redskins over the Indianapolis Colts

While I’ll admit this isn’t my favorite pick of the week, I do think Alex Smith at home is the play over Luck who is still getting back in his groove.  I also don’t know how much faith I want to put into a Colts team that couldn’t beat Andy Dalton while playing in Indy.  I think this may be closer than my other two picks, but I do feel the Redskins are the team to go with.

Week 1 Record: 3-0

Overall Record: 3-0

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

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