We don’t do the “I told you so” thing here at Contest General all that often, but we were spot on when we suggested that Pittsburgh could be in some trouble against Jacksonville last week. Of course, we never envisioned Ben Roethlisberger chumping up five picks and failing to get the Steelers to 10 points, but the concept was correct. Instead, we eased our way to a victory with the Philadelphia Eagles.
This week has no shortage of teams that would make obvious choices for your NFL Survivor Contest. There are five squads that are favored by more than a touchdown, and that doesn’t include an Oakland team that is likely to be a huge favorite by the time Sunday rolls around over the Chargers now that we know Derek Carr is going to be back in the lineup.
We couldn’t possibly trust Houston against Cleveland, even for as good as Deshaun Watson has been. The Texans defense was a sieve last week against the Chiefs after J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus went down, and the infusion of Kevin Hogan into the Browns starting lineup can’t possibly make them any worse.
The same is true with the Patriots. We’re not interested in road teams for survivor all that often (look at what happened when we trusted Jacksonville in Week 4 against the Jets).
San Francisco has been coming close enough to make us avoid wanting to sweat that one out at Washington, and we don’t think Denver has any business being favored by double digits over the winless Giants.
The Falcons? They’re a much different story.
The last time we saw Atlanta was two weeks ago when it was embarrassed 23-17 at home by the Bills. There were plenty of survivor entries that were wrecked that day. That said, Julio Jones didn’t play in most of that game, and Matt Ryan looked sort of lost without him. Jones has been limited at practice all week, but he claims that he’s good to go for Sunday.
Atlanta is too good to get upset by a second straight AFC East team not named New England.
This, though, is just as much about Miami being awful as it is our confidence in Atlanta being solid. The Dolphins have yet to put 20 points on the board in a game this year, and they’re averaging just 231.3 yards per contest, which is easily dead last in the NFL.
Adam Gase just seems to have this stubbornness about him that he’s going to make Jay Cutler work come hell or high water. Cutler, though, still looks insanely uncomfortable. Even in last week’s win over Tennessee, he threw for just 92 yards on 26 pass attempts, numbers that would have gotten the ‘Fins killed by most other teams in the NFL. It just happened to be that Tennessee was playing without Marcus Mariota.
The Miami defense deserves all the credit in the world for keeping this team in games. That said, this is easily the most dynamic offense the team has faced this year. Slowing down both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman out of the backfield is virtually impossible, and Jones figures to be in line for his first massive game of the season at some point in the not-distant future.
We figure that this is going to be the easiest of the duels to see go our way in Week 6.
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