The Rules of Survival: Week 9

Well, after a few weeks of nail biters (meaning I stayed awake way too long on some Sunday and Monday nights praying for a victory by the team I picked), this week was no different (overtime, no less), but my record improved to 8-0. It’s been a while since I was able to follow my own advice so perfectly, and even longer since I’ve been 8-0 in a double-elimination survival league. Now the hard part begins.

This week there are 6 teams on a bye, meaning fewer games, so fewer teams to pick from. That’s always difficult. But first, here’s how I’ve done 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
Week 7: ARIZONA def. Baltimore 26-18
Week 8: CAROLINA def. Indianapolis 29-26

On a side note, Oakland defeated the Jets, which was my alternate pick, so I could have won twice last week. I love it when that happens.

Now, here are the games this week. I’ll start by looking at the home teams…

PITTSBURGH vs. Oakland
CAROLINA vs. Green Bay
NEW ENGLAND vs. Washington
NEW ORLEANS vs. Tennessee
NY JETS vs. Jacksonville
MINNESOTA vs. St. Louis
BUFFALO vs. Miami
SAN FRANCISCO vs. Atlanta
TAMPA BAY vs. NY Giants
INDIANAPOLIS vs. Denver
DALLAS vs. Philadelphia
SAN DIEGO vs. Chicago

As usual, I get rid of the home teams that I’ve already used, as well as the divisional contests. Then I eliminate teams that have a losing record, playing against teams with a winning record. And that leaves the issue I was worried about. There is a lot of parity in the remaining contests, so what distinguishes them from each other. So I’ll eliminate home teams that have worse records than their counterparts. That narrows down the field, and leaves me with New Orleans against Tennessee, or Minnesota vs. St. Louis.

While Minnesota looks like a playoff team right now, St. Louis is opportunistic on defense and can keep this one close. If I’m looking for the team with the highest possibility of winning it won’t be in this matchup. The one that looks most possible is a rejuvenated New Orleans squad taking on an out of sorts team that just fired its coach. That’s who I’m hanging my hat on this week to get me to 9-0.

Good luck this week.

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