NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 15

Welcome to week fifteen of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  Last week we got back to our 3-0 ways.  While the Chiefs and Chargers victories were closer than expected, all that matters is the score at the end of the game.  Time to finish the season strong.  Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

For my loyal readers out there, you know I love when the Patriots play the Dolphins in Miami.  Every year analysts talk about how well Miami plays at home, and every year they say this year is different and the Patriots are going to win by double digits.  Like every other year, every respectable analyst picked Tom Brady, and New England.  Like almost every year, guess who won last weekend, in spectacular, history-making fashion.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
  • Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

This past slate of primetime games included a pre-season Super Bowl pick (Jacksonville), losing by three touchdowns to division rival, Tennessee.  It included an in-season super bowl pick (Rams), being held to only six points against the Bears.  It even included last year’s NFC runner up Vikings being held to one touchdown, when they easily could have been shut out.  Needless to say, we saw some top teams get completely shut down in the bright lights of prime time.  Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (Sat)
  • Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
  • New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

The Cleveland Browns, 0-16 one season ago, beat the Carolina Panthers, at home last Sunday.  The previously 2-10 San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos at home.  Even the lowly Oakland Raiders beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at home.  Home field advantage is real folks.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Houston Texans at New York Jets
  • New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Baltimore Ravens over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Baltimore Ravens are playing both for a playoff birth and possibly a division title.  They barely lost to one of the top teams in the AFC, playing in one of the toughest stadiums in the league.  I expect them to rebound against an inconsistent Buccaneers team while playing in front of the Baltimore faithful.

Other options I like this week:

  • Atlanta Falcons over the Arizona Cardinals

This pick is less about picking the Falcons, and more about picking against the Cardinals.  Arizona is just flat out bad, and I don’t see how they can compete against the likes of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.  I expect this game to get out of hand early.

  • Jacksonville Jaguars over the Washington Redskins

This is purely a pick against a team that honestly is running out of people to play quarterback.  I expect a very low scoring game, and Jacksonville’s defense should be the difference here.

 

Overall record: 33-9

Last week record: 3-0

 

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

https://twitter.com/DE_aaron

Thanks for reading!

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