The Rules of Survival: Week 4

Three weeks down, and not a scratch. Sometimes it’s luck, but most times it’s probability… and luck. I’ll be the first to admit that it was tempting to go with Seattle this week, but even Seattle, even at home, since they were 0-2 it wasn’t a sure thing. And I wanted the closest thing to a sure thing, so Green Bay was the choice. Green Bay took care of business, and I’m 3-0 on the Survival Season.

It only gets harder from here. Here’s how my choices have gone so far:

Week 1: New England def. Pittsburgh 28-21
Week 2: Cincinnati def. San Diego 24-19
Week 3: Green Bay def. Kansas City 38-28

Average margin of victory: 7 points. But I guess average doesn’t really matter, so long as the teams still win. Now we’re far enough in the season where it’s okay to judge teams based on what they’ve done this year instead of whether or not they made the playoffs last year. That’s why even though the Colts won last week I’m not jumping on their bandwagon anytime soon, and especially not this week. It also means that even though the Eagles won last week I’m not betting on them on the road against a divisional rival.

As always, I start with the home teams…

Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
Miami vs. NY Jets (but it’s in London)
Atlanta vs. Houston
Buffalo vs. NY Giants
Chicago vs. Oakland
Cincinnati vs Kansas City
Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Washington vs. Philadelphia
Tampa Bay vs. Carolina
San Diego vs. Cleveland
Denver vs. Minnesota
San Francisco vs. Green Bay
Arizona vs. St. Louis
New Orleans vs. Dallas
Seattle vs. Detroit

Then I cross off the divisional games. No matter how hot any one team is, you can throw records out when facing a divisional rival. Yes, even in the Indianapolis/Jacksonville game. Then we rule out Chicago, New Orleans, and San Francisco, who have looked like the three worst teams in the league the past two weeks. Besides, the Bears are forced to go with Jimmy Clausen again, New Orleans suddenly can’t win at home, and Colin Kaepernick is turnover happy.

Atlanta and Denver are both 3-0 but they’ve done it differently. Is that Atlanta offense better than the Houston defense? Can the Denver offense get a running game going so they can keep Adrian Peterson off the field? These are the most precarious 3-0 records I’ve ever seen, so I’ll avoid both games this week. Either one could be an upset special. San Diego vs. the Browns could very well be a tossup the way both teams have been playing lately, while the same can be said for that Bills/Giants matchup.

That leaves me with Cincinnati and Seattle, both on track and both playing in the friendly confines of their home stadiums. Of course, though, I’ve already chosen Cincinnati in Survival so the obvious choice is the Seahawks on Monday night against a Detroit team that still looks out of sorts, and that has no running game to speak of to this point. Seattle has the highest probability of winning this week, so they’re my choice.

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