Cleveland gave us a bit of a scare at the end, but Antonio Brown and Pittsburgh did just enough for the Steelers to get a 21-18 win in Cleveland last week. Brown was the motor of the Steelers offense on the afternoon, accounting for 182 of the team’s 290 total yards of offense, showing why he is the most productive receiver in the NFL.
If you were one of the 10 percent of people who took New England in the first week of the season, our condolences. People who backed the Patriots set the record for shortest amount of time alive in an NFL Survivor Pool after being eliminated in the first game of the 2017 NFL campaign. Tom Brady looked human in the loss, completing less than 50 percent of his passes, and the Patriots defense was torched by the Chiefs. Keep this result in the back of your mind in the coming weeks.
Almost every other popular survivor pick panned out. Pittsburgh and Buffalo were the two most popular picks of the week, and while neither covered, both were able to get the win. However, if you bet on Tom Savage, you got what you deserved. Savage had yet to throw a touchdown pass in the NFL prior to last week’s loss to the Jaguars and still hasn’t after his abysmal performance in the rout.
There are three very popular picks that most of the people still alive in Survivor Pools will be on this week.
Baltimore is going to be a chic pick because people are still down on the Browns. The Ravens defense looked fantastic last week in shutting out the Bengals, as Andy Dalton had the worst game of his career.
However, Baltimore’s offense didn’t look good at all. The Ravens managed just 268 total yards of offense and won because of Dalton’s five turnovers. Additionally, Cincinnati did have a little bit of success on the ground against this front seven.
Cleveland didn’t look bad in its opener against Pittsburgh. Rookie DeShone Kizer led two long touchdown drives and had a pretty successful debut all things considered.
Stay away from the Ravens. This game screams trap, and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Browns get a win.
Seattle will probably be the most popular pick on the board in Week 2. The Seahawks are the biggest favorite, and many people will look for them to bounce back after a tough road loss in Green Bay.
Last week, the Seahawks looked really bad on offense, and that’s concerning against a porous Packers defense. Seattle could only manage 12 first downs and 225 total yards of offense. While you might argue that this was just shaking off the rust in the first game, the Seahawks have been notoriously slow starters over the past three seasons. Seattle lost three of its first six in 2014, four of its first six in 2015, and three of its first seven last year.
The 49ers have a pretty competent defense. They held the Panthers to under 300 total yards of offense last week and constantly stood tall with their backs against the wall. Carolina didn’t have to move the ball far to score because of great starting field position, but San Francisco’s defense played well.
It’s hard to call you an idiot for taking the Seahawks despite the red flags, but there is one safer pick on the board.
Now is the time to bet against the Jets. Oakland surprised me with how well it played in the first week of the season, as the Raiders moved the ball pretty well against the Titans. Derek Carr didn’t look like he had missed a step in his first week back, while Marshawn Lynch had a decent performance in his return.
Meanwhile, the Jets are just bad. They could only muster 11 first downs against a Buffalo team that is clearly reloading and now have to come cross-country for this game. Josh McCown averaged less than five yards per pass attempt, and the running game picked up 2.5 yards per run.
Oakland fits all of my criteria for my survivor plays. The Raiders are the second-biggest favorite of the week (-13) and are playing at home. They were sharp in their first win of the season, and I have no problem backing them here.
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Past NFL Survivor Picks
Week 1: Steelers over Browns (W)
Week 2: Raiders over Jets