NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 3

Welcome to week three, season nine, of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  For those of you who are new to our series, we follow four simple steps to make our picks.  While these are not hard rules (more like guidelines and suggestions), they have historically worked out well for us in the past.  We are happy to have you join our eliminator community and feel free to hit me up on twitter to give me your thoughts!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

While there were certainly some division blowouts last week (looking at you AFC East), there were also some nail biters and upsets across the league.  After dismantling the Green Bay Packers the week prior, New Orleans traveled to Carolina with very high expectations.  Instead of an easy victory, the Panthers came to play and upset their division foe by a score of 26-7.  We also got to watch the Giants take their division rivals down to the wire in a Thursday night matchup that was decided by only a single point.  While not all division games were great last week, we did get a few good ones!

Every single year one of the top teams gets upset by an underdog division rival.  The problem is you never know when it is going to happen.  Unless you can predict the future, I recommend avoiding these division matchups:

  • Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
  • Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
  • Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

In week one, the Thursday night game was decided by only two points.  In week two, TNF upped their game and gave us a showdown decided by only a single point.  It got even better on Sunday night where the Chiefs and Ravens went back and forth, and for the second prime time game of week two we got another one decided by just one point.  While the Monday night game wasn’t as exciting, as I said last week, when two of the three prime time games are this good, you can’t complain!

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:

  • Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans
  • Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
  • Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Similar to week one, we saw eight teams win in front of their home crowd in week two.  While we didn’t see a ton of upsets, we did see Carolina easily defeat the Saints, and the Ravens barely held off the favored Chiefs.  Not exactly overwhelming evidence for home field advantage after two weeks, but the season is still young!

While home field advantage may not be what it used to be, the stress behind travel and being out of your comfort zone is still a real thing and something you should be careful with.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans
  • Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions
  • Arizona Cardinals @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Los Angeles Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

Denver Broncos over the New York Jets

This pick is less about the 2-0 Broncos and more about the 0-2 Jets.  Zack Wilson just looked flat out bad last week again the Patriots and the Broncos defense is just as good.  While I don’t expect a blow out here, I do expect the Broncos to hold the Jets to single digits on the scoreboard, and that should be enough for an easy victory.

An alternate option I like this week:

Buffalo Bills over the Washington Football Team

The Bills looked absolutely dominant against the Dolphins on the road last week, and now they return home to host a Washington team that barely beat a bad Giants team while dealing with multiple injuries across the board.  While I expect the Washington defense to get after Josh Allen, I think the Bills will put too many points on the board for Heinicke and company to keep up.

Rule breaker pick of the week:

Baltimore Ravens over the Detroit Lions

Even though the Ravens are playing on the road here, they proved last week that they are going to be one of the best teams in football this season.  On the other side of the field is an 0-2 Lions team that is going to be incredibly overmatched in this one.  This could get out of hand quickly.

Last Week’s 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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