If you didn’t survive Week 2 of the NFL season, perhaps you should try something else next year, like daily fantasy. The eight biggest favorites of the week all won their games, and while some games were closer than others, the chalk mostly prevailed.
I was pretty spot on with my assessment of the top plays of last week. My pick of the Raiders was the easiest of the week, and they cruised to a 45-20 win, outscoring the hopeless Jets in every quarter.
Those that rolled the dice a little bit and backed the Ravens to beat the Browns were rewarded, but Baltimore still didn’t look great on offense. The Ravens could only muster 337 total yards of offense. While the defense was lights out, it’s hard to trust Baltimore except against the dregs of the NFL.
Seattle nearly knocked a ton of people out of their pools. San Francisco managed to take a fourth-quarter lead on the road against the Seahawks, but the home team finally scored its first touchdown of the season midway through the final frame in order to get the win.
There is only one double-digit favorite in Week 3, and I’m sure you can guess who that is. The New England Patriots are a 13.5-point home favorite against the Houston Texans, and everyone is immediately back on the Patriots bandwagon.
It’s a little scary that the Pats went from ‘done’ to favorite to win the Super Bowl again in the span of two weeks when all that changed was a win against a team that went 8-8 each of the last three seasons. New England still has the same questions on defense and some of its most important contributors on the offensive end are banged up. Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practice this week, and that’s concerning against a very good Texans defense.
Houston hasn’t been impressive this season, but this is still one of the best defenses in the NFL. The team is on the right path with Deshaun Watson under center instead of Tom Savage, and he is slowly starting to pick things up. Watson is capable of one or two big plays per game, which is a little scary with this defense backing him up. Most people will take New England if they can this week, but I’m going to stay away.
The Steelers will be another popular option to those that have them available. Pittsburgh’s defense should be able to feast on a team that isn’t great on offense for the third straight week, but the performance on the offensive end is a bit concerning. Le’Veon Bell hasn’t been able to get on track after an extended holdout, and the Steelers have had early-season hiccups on the road in recent years.
Philadelphia is another popular choice this week. The Eagles have looked good through two weeks, but people who are jumping on them are mostly just fading the Giants. The G-Men are better than people think and this is not the right time to use Philly.
Instead, go with Green Bay. The Packers are going to be hopping mad after being routed by Atlanta last week, and it feels like this team is due for a breakout performance on the offensive end. Aaron Rodgers is just a little bit off with his receivers, but no quarterback in the NFC is better when he is humming.
The Bengals enter this game in some turmoil. Cincinnati is woeful on the offensive end, and this offensive line can’t protect Andy Dalton for anything. Dalton may be benched if he struggles early in this game, which would only throw gasoline on the fire. Additionally, this defense has yet to face a team as talented as Green Bay is on offense and will struggle to keep up. Look for the Packers to win by double digits.
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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