There aren’t many NFL survivor picks that require absolutely no sweating whatsoever, but we found one last week with the Patriots over the Dolphins. It was the obvious selection to make and the right time to pull the trigger in a game that moved us onto Week 13 without any hassle.
Now, though, is when it’s going to really get hard to find winners, knowing that we’re running out of teams we can select for the rest of the season.
Having picked the Chargers two weeks ago against Buffalo, we can’t pick on the Browns this week, and the Raiders were our Week 2 selection against the Jets. The Jaguars are off the board as well – not that we totally trust this team after it laid an egg at Arizona last weekend.
Pretty much our only logical selection is to roll with the Titans in Week 13 against the Texans. This isn’t a game we feel all that confident about, but it’s the best option left on the board without picking on a road team.
The last time these two teams met, Deshaun Watson was tearing up the NFL at a destructive pace, including dropping a franchise-record 57 points on Tennessee. The Texans had a 33-9 first down advantage in the game and outgained the Titans 445-195.
But Watson isn’t walking through those doors at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, and that’s really bad news for Texans backers (especially since Tom Savage is walking through the doors instead!).
Houston has been the unluckiest team in the NFL this season. Between Whitney Mercilus, J.J. Watt, Watson and Will Fuller, that’s four former first-round draft choices that have been on the sidelines for a good chunk of the season. Brian Cushing, another former first-round choice, is eligible to return to the field for the first time since he was suspended for PED usage after Week 1, but it’s anyone’s guess what he’s actually going to bring to the table.
But the biggest injuries the Texans might be facing coming into this game are along the offensive line. Duane Brown was traded right at the deadline, Derek Newton never did come back from his devastating knee injury of 2016, and now both Chris Clark and Julien Davenport are out injured, too. Greg Mancz is very possibly set to go on IR with his most recent knee injury as well. Of these five offensive linemen listed, four were scheduled to start this year. Take the four best offensive linemen away from any team in the NFL, and let’s see how well that team plays on Sundays.
The Titans understand the magnitude of this game. It isn’t a must-win yet, but it’s a game that would sure help, especially since it’s a divisional tussle. Tennessee already has one loss in the AFC South, and a second would probably put it in a position in which it has to beat Jacksonville in Week 17 to clinch this division. With two West Coast road games against the Cardinals and 49ers on tap and a home date with the Rams coming thereafter, Marcus Mariota and the gang won’t want to take any chances.
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Past NFL Survivor Picks
Week 1: Steelers over Browns (W)
Week 2: Raiders over Jets (W)
Week 3: Packers over Bengals (W)
Week 4: Jaguars over Jets (L)
Week 5: Eagles over Cardinals (W)
Week 6: Falcons over Dolphins (L)
Week 7: Cowboys over 49ers (W)
Week 8: Saints over Bears (W)
Week 9: Texans over Colts (L)
Week 10: Rams over Texans (W)
Week 11: Chargers over Bills (W)
Week 12: Patriots over Dolphins (W)