The Rules of Survival: Week 7

Well, it’s 6 weeks in, and I’m still perfect, relying on metrics that are tried and true, but still crossing my fingers because there’s a reason why they actually play the games. It only takes one bad pick to make you doubt yourself, and then it might as well be over, so I’m still going one week at a time. In Week 6 the Jets took care of business after a slow start so I march on.

But there are several top teams on a bye this week, so there are less games to choose from. Count in the teams I’ve already used, and the metrics should do their work in short order. With that being said, though, from here on out it’s going to be tricky to maintain strict adherence to those metrics. We’ll see how it goes this week.

Here are my picks 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
Week 4: SEATTLE def. Detroit 13-10
Week 5: ATLANTA def. Washington 25-19
Week 6: NY JETS def. Washington 34-20

It’s funny, but I just realized that I’ve picked against the Redskins two weeks in a row. It was a complete coincidence. And it might happen again this week since they’re not playing a divisional matchup. Oh wait, they’re at home so no. Anyway, as always I start with the home teams…

SAN FRANCISCO vs. Seattle
JACKSONVILLE vs. Buffalo
KANSAS CITY vs. Pittsburgh
MIAMI vs. Houston
TENNESSEE vs. Atlanta
ST. LOUIS vs. Cleveland
WASHINGTON vs. Tampa Bay
DETROIT vs. Minnesota
INDIANAPOLIS vs. New Orleans
NEW ENGLAND vs. NY Jets
SAN DIEGO vs. Oakland
NY GIANTS vs. Dallas
CAROLINA vs. Philadelphia
ARIZONA vs. Baltimore

Then I get rid of the teams I’ve already chosen, as well as the divisional matchups (those can turn ugly in a second, and the teams know each other way too well). Wow, that didn’t really take care of much this week, so I move on to getting rid of home teams that have two wins or fewer. That leaves me with a very manageable three possible teams to choose from this week: Indianapolis, Carolina, and Arizona.

Baltimore strikes me this season as s team that just has not been right on both sides of the ball. Joe Flacco will likely have to throw the ball 60 times in that matchup against the Cardinals. I don’t like that, especially when Steve Smith will be blanketed for most of the game. Philadelphia is coming off a dominant (if error-filled game) against the Giants, and the Saints have looked better of late on the defensive side.

But I like Carson Palmer the best against that Ravens secondary that has given up a ton of yards and points to offenses so far this season. The Ravens might have some wins on their horizon, but they need to move on to the rebuilding phase sooner rather than later, which will be evident after Monday night. Go with the Cardinals at home against Baltimore in Week 7.

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