Welcome to Week Five of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series. While we weren’t perfect last week, we did hit on two of our three picks. Our pick of the week, the LA Rams, unfortunately played down to their opposition but thankfully still came out victorious, and the Ravens easily handled the Washington Football Team. However, the Cowboys got absolutely destroyed by the Browns, making it a sad day in Jerry World and our community, as it prevented perfection for us in Week Four. 2-1 is still not good enough, time to get back to 3-0! Feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!
Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
Finally, division matchups are back! While it has been a couple weeks, don’t forget how the Chargers have already taken the Chiefs into overtime. That same Chargers team has already lost to the Jaguars and the Washington team beat their rival, the Eagles, for their only victory of the season. Get ready for more fun in Week Five! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:
- Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
- Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
- Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
- New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
Last week we got four prime time games, and most of them didn’t disappoint. While the Jets-Broncos game on Thursday night wasn’t the most exciting matchup on paper, the two teams combined to score 65 points! Then on Sunday night, the Eagles traveled to San Francisco and upset a hobbled 49ers team. While the Monday games weren’t as exciting, two for four wasn’t a bad showing for the bright lights! Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:
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- Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears
- Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks
- Los Angeles Chargers @ New Orleans Saints
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
While home field advantage seems to be non-existent in this new Covid world, we did see some substantial upsets in Week Four. Down in Carolina, the Panthers, missing their star RB, continue to surprise, beating the Cardinals at home. We also saw Detroit take New Orleans to the brink, only losing by six and the Colts barely beat Chicago by a score of 19-11. Even the undefeated Seahawks were only able to beat a 1-3 Dolphins team by one score. We will keep an eye on this rule for 2020 but for now I’m still going to play it safe and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears
- Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets
- Los Angeles Rams @ Washington Football Team
- Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns
Step 4 – Make your pick!
My pick of the week is:
- Seattle Seahawks over the Minnesota Vikings
To put it very simply, Seattle is very very good. On the other side of the field is Kirk Cousins, who has a history of not being the best prime time performer. While I normally avoid prime time games, with this matchup in Seattle and with Russell Wilson having his sights set on an MVP trophy, I’m going with Seattle as my pick of the week.
Other options I like this week:
- New England Patriots over the Denver Broncos
If you could tell me that Cam Newton was 100% playing this week, this would be my pick of the week. However, with the uncertainty this early in the week, I can’t put all my faith in them yet. Honestly, I think the Broncos left it all out on the field last week and the New England defense should smother them no matter who plays QB on Sunday.
- Baltimore Ravens over the Cincinnati Bengals
Yes, this is a division game, but it’s also the most obvious pick of the week. While teams like New England and San Francisco are very appealing, uncertainties around injuries and Covid make them very tough picks to hang your season on. This matchup is in Baltimore, and the only team the Ravens have lost to so far this season are the Chiefs. However, the reason this is an alternate comes down to the Bengals. While they may be 1-2-1, they haven’t lost a game by more than five points this season. They should have beaten the Chargers in Week One, lost by five to the Browns in Week Two, and then tied the Eagles and beat the Jaguars. While these aren’t exactly power house teams, who’s to say what the Bengals can do in Baltimore. My gut says Ravens win easily, but my brain doesn’t want to risk it all on them.
Last Week Record = 2-1
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Season Record = 8-4
Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!
Thanks for reading!