Week 4 was a bloody one on the survivor front. Whether you did the sensible thing and picked a team like Dallas against the Rams or New England against the Panthers, or did the incredibly wackadoodle thing and picked Jacksonville over the Jets like we did, you ended up at the death knell of your survivor season.
Survivor pools can start at any point of the season at Contest General, so in the spirit of getting a second lease on survivor life, we’re going to continue on with this column for the rest of the season, continuing to pick a new team every week without any repeats.
Week 5 certainly presents a tough task at hand, though. There is only one team — Pittsburgh over Jacksonville — favored by more than a touchdown.
We could take the easy way out and play the Steelers, but this just strikes us as a tremendous trap. Jacksonville has shown some flashes this year of being a team capable of winning the AFC South. The defense that Tom Coughlin is starting to build is getting scary, even if the end results don’t meet the hype quite yet.
Blake Bortles might be a disaster of a quarterback, but Leonard Fournette is a beast of a tailback. The Steelers are certainly good and should win this game, but we think there’s a more sensible pick on the board.
There aren’t going to be a ton of opportunities to use the Eagles this year, but this is certainly one of them. The men from the City of Brotherly Love are hosting an Arizona team that arguably should be 0-4 instead of 2-2. Those wins over the Colts and 49ers were far from inspiring.
With David Johnson still sidelined, the Cardinals are missing some serious pop offensively. Carson Palmer has been sacked 17 times in four games against a mostly suspect schedule, and without the relief of Johnson on the ground, no back has even 100 rushing yards yet this year. Larry Fitzgerald is his usual dependable self, while Jaron Brown has provided a nice spark. That said, none of these receivers mean anything if Palmer can’t stand in the pocket and get the ball out of his hands.
This is why the Eagles play makes a ton of sense.
In his weekly press conference, Palmer referred to the Eagles front seven as “maybe the best we’ve seen this year.” He’s not joking. Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan might make up the best interior pass-rushing duo in the NFL, and Brandon Graham and Chris Long have been terrorizing quarterbacks all year. Philadelphia is incredibly aggressive with its blitz packages, and this surely won’t change against Arizona’s woeful offensive line on Sunday.
The Eagles have had to escape their last two games against the Chargers and Giants, but they’ve been consistent, if nothing else. Carson Wentz has been picked off just twice in 147 pass attempts, and opponents are having a difficult time figuring out how to slow down Zach Ertz and the rest of these receivers. The Cardinals are strong in the secondary, but this game is going to test their linebackers and safeties more than their corners.
Toss in the travel across the country for Arizona, and it’s easy to see why this game should land in the win column for Philly.
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