NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 3

Welcome to week three of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series.  Last week we reached our first perfect 3-0 week for the season.  Our pick of the week, Pittsburgh, was able to defend home field advantage against a Denver team that lost their starting quarterback early in the game. 

As for our two alternate picks, the Cardinals and their quick footed quarterback were way too much for Washington as expected and we all knew Tom Brady wasn’t starting a season 0-2 for his new team.  Time to go for 3-0 a second week in a row!  Feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

While we didn’t have nine division matchups like in week one, we did have six in week two, and we had some good ones.  Cleveland only beat Cincinnati by five and Tennessee only beat Jacksonville by three, which was the same point differential in Miami where Buffalo was victorious. 

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However, the biggest thriller of all was the Chargers rolling out their rookie quarterback unexpectedly and taking the defending super bowl champion Chiefs into overtime.  Division games are always closer than they should be, week after week after week.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • No Division Matchups This Week
    *in fear of the impact of Covid, the schedule makers did something interesting this year.  They scheduled 0 division matchups for weeks 3 and 4 in case the schedule needed to be shorted.  Thankfully it never came to that, but it just gives us more options for week 3!

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

I already mentioned in step one that the Thursday night game came down to less than a touchdown difference between the winner and loser, but the same thing happened Sunday night. 

In fact, the Sunday night game came down to the final play where the Seahawks barely hung onto the victory with a defensive stand late.  Then let’s talk about Monday, where the Saints, a team many expected to compete for a Super Bowl, fell at the hands of the Las Vegas Raiders. 

For whatever reason, when primetime hits, some teams rise to the occasion while others shrink in the bright lights. Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Of the sixteen games last week, eleven were won by the home team, a rate of almost 70%.  We saw a team like the Raiders upset the Saints, we saw a miracle in the Cowboys coming back to beat the Falcons in the strangest way and don’t forget how close the Chargers came to upsetting the Chiefs in their brand new LA stadium.  While home field advantage may not be what it used to be, I would still be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Tennessee Titans @ Minnesota Vikings
  • San Francisco 49ers @ New York Giants
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

Los Angeles Chargers over the Carolina Panthers

Last week the Chargers had a rookie QB take the reigns and almost beat the defending super bowl champions.  This week those same Chargers host a Carolina team who is missing their star running back and is traveling across the country.  While this might not be the most popular pick of the week, I’m not sure the Panthers have enough of an offense to keep up with the Chargers.

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Other options I like this week:

Indianapolis Colts over the New York Jets

For those of you who didn’t pick Indy in week one (congrats), now is a time to use them.  The Jets are just plain bad.  They went up against a 49ers team that lost their starting quarterback, running back and one of their best defensive players and still couldn’t do anything while playing at home.  Now they go on the road to play a Colts team that absolutely humiliated the Vikings last week.  I’m not sure Sam Darnold has much more success against the same Colts defense.

Arizona Cardinals over the Detroit Lions

If you didn’t roll with Arizona last week, you have another chance this week.  The Cardinals look like the real deal with a revamped defense and one of the best wide receivers in the league on their roster.  They also host a Lions team that just got run all over by the Packers last week.  Expect another rushing performance for the record books from Kyler who is making an early case for MVP.

Last Week Record = 3-0

Season Record = 5-1

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

Thanks for reading!


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