Survival Mode: Week 5

9588032-kyle-rudolph-nfl-new-york-giants-minnesota-vikingsFour up, and four good. I feel like a field goal kicker whose team can rely on him week in and week out, but it gets more difficult by the week in Survival. That’s because now I have four teams I can’t ever use again, and they’re four of the best teams in the league right now. Here are my Survival picks so far this year:

WEEK 1: SEATTLE (won 12-10)

WEEK 2: DENVER (won 34-20)

WEEK 3: KANSAS CITY (won 24-3)

WEEK 4: MINNESOTA (won 24-10)

Here are my basic rules when it comes to Survival…

  • Pick the team that has the biggest possibility of victory.
  • Avoid the timeless tactic of “saving teams” (not picking a team because you want to choose them later in the season). You might not get to that point if you try and save them now.
  • Do your best to pick home teams.
  • Beware “trap games” (when a matchup looks too good to be true. It often is).
  • Never wait until the last minute to make your selection.

So far I’ve stuck to every single one of these rules, and I’ve come out perfect (not without a little sweating, though, in week one). Last week introduced the bye weeks, and this week continues that tradition, making it a bit more difficult to predict the winners. With teams like the Packers and Eagles back from bye, though, that gives me a couple of options that didn’t exist last week.

Here are my possibilities this week:

SAN FRANCISCO (vs. Arizona)
CLEVELAND (vs. New England)
DETROIT (vs. Philadelphia)
INDIANAPOLIS (vs. Chicago)
MIAMI (vs. Tennessee)
PITTSBURGH (vs. NY Jets)
BALTIMORE (vs. Washington)
DALLAS (vs. Cincinnati)
OAKLAND (vs. San Diego)
LA RAMS (vs. Buffalo)

GREEN BAY (vs. NY Giants)

CAROLINA (vs. Tampa Bay)

Then I eliminate teams playing divisional games because those have the biggest threat of surprise endings. Next, I get rid of teams with losing records because after a few games those say more about the team makeup than whatever they did last year. The last layer is taking out teams with even or losing records at home so far.

That leaves with me with the trifecta of Pittsburgh, LA, and Green Bay. All three were impressive their last time out, but none more so than the Steelers, who dusted off the Chiefs and dumped them in a rubbish bin. The Jets haven’t even played up to the caliber of Kansas City, much less what Pittsburgh looked like last week. I trust them to keep it going in the Steel City against an inferior opponent.

Pick: PITTSBURGH.

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