NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 11

Welcome to Week 11, 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

What a boring week for division matchups; up until Monday, that is.  While the Jaguars played the Colts close on Sunday, the other two division games resulted in Buffalo and Kansas City combining for 86 points against their division foes that combined for only 31.  However, on Monday night was the true shocker, as the 49ers hosted the Rams and easily upset one of the best teams in the NFC. 

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:

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  • Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
  • Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
  • Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
  • Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Our streak of prime time games being decided by three or less points ended for the second time this season, but it was replaced with some massive upsets.  I already mentioned above the 49ers shocking the world on Monday night, but don’t forget what the Dolphins did to the Ravens on Thursday night.  Two out of three games were major upsets last week, showing that prime time can sometimes be just as unpredictable as division games.

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:

  • New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Chargers
  • New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Once again, we saw some major upsets on the road.  The two big ones mentioned above (Miami and San Francisco), both completed unexpected victories on their home turf.  However, they weren’t alone, as the Washington Football Team also had a home upset of their own, shocking Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.  Of the five games where favorites were away teams last week, three of them ended in upsets!

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:

  • New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons
  • Baltimore Ravens @ Chicago Bears
  • Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
  • Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Cincinnati Bengals @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Step 4 – Make your pick!
My pick of the week is:
  • Cleveland Browns over the Detroit Lions

Last week we saw the Browns play one of their worst games of the season, and at the same time the Lions played one of their best and almost got their first win of the season.  This week the Browns return home and I expect them to take their frustration out on the Lions who don’t want to lose their grasp on the #1 overall pick in next years draft.  This one should be a blowout.

Alternate rule breaker picks of the week:
  • Tennessee Titans over the Houston Texans
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the New York Giants

With so many favored teams playing on the road this week, we had to break some rules for our alternate picks.  What these games both have in common is the favored team is playing at home and they are playing teams that have struggled throughout the year.  Most importantly, Tampa hasn’t won a game since week seven, and I definitely don’t see that streak continuing in week 11.

Last Week’s Record = 1-1-1 (do tie’s count? lol)

Season Record = 20-9-1

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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