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NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 2

Welcome to Week Two of season seven of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  Week One is always one of the toughest weeks to play since you don’t truly know who is good and who was just an off-season wonder.  Case in point, one of our alternate picks last week was the Cleveland Browns, a team that had one of the best off-seasons of any team in recent history, and picked by many to be a Super Bowl contender.  That was on Saturday.  By the end of Sunday, they had morphed into an 0-1 team who was absolutely embarrassed in front of their home crowd and projected to be a top five pick in the next NFL draft.  Thankfully our pick of the week (Seahawks), and other alternate pick (Chargers), were both able to pull off victories in what was a little too close to comfort on Sunday, keeping our league alive.  Time to extend our pick of the week streak to two!  Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

Last week, there were four division matchups.  The Jets and Bills game came down to the final minutes and was decided by only one point.  The Redskins were up 20-7 at half time, only to blow their lead and lose by less than a touchdown to the rival, Eagles.  Even the Raiders beat their division rival the Broncos by only eight points.  That is three of four games last week where division rivals played each other and the final tally was within one touchdown.  Division rivalries are usually incredibly entertaining, and also very unpredictable.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Tampa Bay at Carolina
  • Minnesota at Green Bay
  • Indianapolis at Tennessee
  • New England at Miami
  • Dallas at Washington
  • Jacksonville at Houston
  • Kansas City at Oakland

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

We had some awesome prime time games last week.  While many complained that Thursday was a bit of a snoozer, the reality is, it was a prime time matchup between two division rivals that was decided by only one touchdown.  Fast forward to Monday, and the Texans vs. Saints game. It was one of, if not, the best game of the week, being decided in the final seconds with both teams scoring in the final minute.  Let these games remain entertaining without putting the risk of your eliminator season on them. Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Tampa Bay at Carolina
  • Philadelphia at Atlanta
  • Cleveland at New York Jets

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

While home teams didn’t exactly dominate last week, we did see half of the games won by the home team.  We may not have seen a ton of home team upsets, but keep in mind, it was only one week. If we remember anything about the history of the NFL, the fact there were minimal upsets last week just means there are more unpredictable ones on the way.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit
  • Buffalo at New York Giants
  • Chicago at Denver

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  •  Baltimore Ravens over the Arizona Cardinals

The Ravens absolutely demolished the Dolphins last week.  They not only looked dominant running the ball, but they also were just as good throwing the ball.  They were able to win a game, on the road, in a tough environment and did it without even needing to use the legs of their very athletic signal caller.  There is a possibility that last week was a fluke and the Dolphins are just that bad, but I think the Ravens are going to be a dangerous team this year and the Cardinals are still working out the kinks of a new offense.

 Other options I like this week:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers over the Seattle Seahawks

Yes, the Steelers got manhandled by the Patriots last week, but the reality is, the Steelers always struggle against the Patriots. For whatever reason, Big Ben always seems to struggle on the road.  This team is too talented to drop two games in a row this early in the season and the Seahawks looked very vulnerable against the Bengals last week.  If Andy Dalton, without AJ Green, can throw for 400+ yards against the Seahawks defense, I’m very curious to see what Big Ben can do.

  • New England Patriots over the Miami Dolphins

Everything in our series says that we should not pick this game.  This is one of seven division matchups, a game type we always avoid.  The Patriots are also on the road, playing in Miami, a place they have not done well historically.  That being said, the Dolphins are clearly tanking, the Patriots are introducing Antonio Brown, and I expect the Patriots are going to be out for revenge after their last game in Miami resulted in the Miami Miracle.  While this wouldn’t be my first choice, it’s about as safe a pick you can get despite it going against our rules.

Pick of the Week Streak = 1 week

Overall Record = 2-1

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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