Last week’s survivor pick was a walk in the park, as the Saints cruised by the Jaguars in a game where the score (21-10) wasn’t really indicative of the fact that the Jags never showed much interest in winning it. The other team I was considering, the Packers, also won easily, so if you took either of those squads (and had been listening to me up until that) then you’ve made it through the first four weeks unscathed, congratulations. The bad news is things are going to get tougher from here on out, as bye weeks limit your options, and you start to use up most of your preferred options. That brings us to week 5.
Let’s start by taking a look at the teams with the biggest point spreads in their favor: New York Giants, New England, New Orleans, Houston and Green Bay. Right away lets eliminate Houston since we used them in week one (and I wouldn’t trust them this week anyway against a dangerous Oakland team and without Andre Johnson). We can also get rid of the Saints since we rode them to victory last week (plus I don’t really want to go against Cam Newton unless I have to, as he has shown the potential to steal a game by himself early in his NFL career). That leaves us with three realistic options in the Giants, the Patriots and the Packers. Of the three, I think the Packers are the best team by quite a margin, but they also happen to have the toughest matchup. The Falcons have a ton of offensive weaponry, and although Green Bay should win this game, I think there are better spots to use Green Bay than in a road game against a tough foe in a primetime matchup (picking them would basically go against ever cardinal rule I have in survivor football). So that leaves us with the Giants and the Patriots.
There is only a 1 point differential in spreads, so we need to look a little closer. The Patriots are facing a bitter, division rival who are eager to prove that they belong in the discussion of the AFC’s best teams despite a rough start to the season. The Jets are a perennial playoff contender, and the Patriots defense was really bad before Jerod Mayo got hurt. Meanwhile, the Seahawks, while dangerous at home, are awful on the road. Tarvaris Jackson, despite his good game last week, is a well below average quarterback, and the Seahawks have very few real weapons. The Giants, meanwhile, are rolling, having won their last 3 in a row. They can make a few mistakes in this game and still comfortably win, while the same cannot be said for New England. When you look a little deeper, I feel like this isn’t even that close a question. Your pick this week should be the Giants, and just be thankful that despite having used up some teams and a reduced slate of games, that this match up is available. While not quite a gimme, I feel good about our chances of staying alive for another week.
Pick: 1) New York Giants 2)New England 3) Green Bay
Already used: Houston, Pittsburgh, San Diego, New Orleans