Survival Mode: Week 3

9551714-andrew-luck-von-miller-nfl-indianapolis-colts-denver-broncos-850x560Well, the Super Bowl 50 champions took care of business against the Colts last week and kept me alive in Survival for another week. The Broncos defense pounded that Indianapolis offensive line like I thought they would. And now that they took care of business for me I can’t use them anymore in Survival. So now the Seahawks and the Broncos are off the table and it’s time to look ahead to Week 3.

Now that there are two weeks of the season done I am finding out which teams I can trust and which ones I can count on to lose most weeks. In fact, I think if I just picked the team playing against the Browns for the rest of Survival I’d be just fine. The only problem is encountering that one magic moment when the Browns actually *gasp* win, because it will probably happen at least once this year, despite current appearances.

If you’ve survived, like me, then you’re looking ahead to the Week 3 matchups, unless you were bold enough to pick the Patriots on Thursday night (I wasn’t touching that one with a ten foot pole). There are a few dynamic ones on tap, but the one we want to focus on in Survival is the one that involves the team with the highest probability of victory. I always start with the home teams, because home teams statistically have a higher probability of victory. Here are the choices this week…

Buffalo (vs. Arizona)
Cincinnati (vs. Denver)
Green Bay (vs. Detroit)
Tennessee (vs. Oakland)
Miami (vs. Cleveland)
NY Giants (vs. Washington)
Carolina (vs. Minnesota)
Jacksonville (vs. Baltimore)
Seattle (vs. San Francisco)
Tampa Bay (vs. LA Rams)
Indianapolis (vs. San Diego)
Kansas City (vs. NY Jets)
Philadelphia (vs. Pittsburgh)
Dallas (vs. Chicago)
New Orleans (vs. Atlanta)

Seattle automatically gets crossed off (thank god because I definitely don’t trust them, even at home, even against a team they’ve owned lately). Then I eliminate teams that are playing divisional matchups; those games can usually flip on a dime, no matter who has the better record going in. Next, I get rid of teams that have losing records. Home advantage can only do so much for you.

That leaves Cincinnati, Tennessee, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Dallas. I never pick against a team that is undefeated (even 2-0 means they’ve been doing something right), so that eliminates Cincinnati, Carolina, and Philadelphia, leaving me with Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Dallas. Every single one of these teams is 1-1, so I compare the difference between the points they’ve scored and the points they’ve allowed.

Tennessee has a difference of -8 points. The Buccaneers have a whopping -26 point differential. Kansas City is sitting at only -1, and the Cowboys are the only positive team at a +3 difference. But they’re starting a rookie quarterback, and they’re playing a desperate team in the Bears that need a win. Kansas City routinely plays tough at home, and they’re playing a Jets team with a gimpy Brandon Marshall.

That gives the Chiefs the highest probability of victory this week, and they’re my Survival pick for Week 3.

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