NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 10

Welcome to Week Ten, 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 Week Nine wasn’t as exciting as the week prior when it came to division games, we did see something interesting.  All three division games last week were surprisingly won by the away team.  That included the Cardinals without their star quarterback and wide receiver, still easily handling a rival 49ers squad in San Fran.  While no major upsets, we at least got a close back and forth battle where Atlanta finished as a slight upset over New Orleans.

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 this week’s division matchups:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
  • Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

The streak lives on as the Monday night matchup was decided by three or less points once again!  While Thursday may have been a blowout, the Sunday night game was only decided by eight points and then the Monday night game by only two.  It is almost unreal how close each of these prime time games continue to be!

Prime time games are in prime time for a reason.  Expect close games where the unexpected can happen. Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid this week’s marquee games:

  • Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

In a week where only 50% of home teams won their games, we saw one of the biggest upsets of the season take place in Jacksonville.  The Buffalo Bills were one of the teams many thought to be the cream of the crop in the AFC, but that didn’t stop the Jaguars from somehow holding the Bills to only six points in front of the Jacksonville faithful.  Then up in New York we saw the Giants, still missing their star running back, upset the Las Vegas Raiders who clearly didn’t handle the cross country trip well.  This is why this rule still exists!

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 this week’s games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
  • Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Football Team
  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
Step 4 – Make your pick!
My pick of the week is:
  • Arizona Cardinals over the Carolina Panthers

Last week, the Cardinals, missing two of their best players, easily beat a rival 49ers team.  Now, they return home to face a Carolina team on a massive slide and with a quarterback who seems to be falling apart.  Assuming Kyler and Hopkins are back this week, the Cardinals should be an easy pick.

Alternate pick of the week:
  • Pittsburgh Steelers over the Detroit Lions

If this weren’t the Detroit Lions, I would be more weary here, as most winless teams this deep into the season are due for a victory.  However, this is the Lions and they have proven to us before that a winless season is not impossible for them to achieve.

Alternate rule breaker pick of the week:
  • Indianapolis Colts over the Jacksonville Jaguars

While this is a division game which we normally avoid, the Jaguars just won the game of their lives, and I don’t see them doing it back to back.  They also have to travel to Indy for this game and the Colts should be able to bring the Jaguars back down to reality this weekend.

Last Week’s Record = 1-2

Season Record = 19-8

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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