With the growing popularity of Survivor Pools, FP911.com is here to help. Each week we will look at the key games. There will be a pick of the week, some safe bets, a few games to avoid, and a trap game.
Hard to believe we are already going to call this a â€œtough weekâ€ but I think there are reasons for that. Looking across the list of games, only two matchups stick out as where I would want to place my money early. In other games, we saw some ugly showings in Week One from the favorites and it should have you rightly questioning whether to trust them yet (Iâ€™m looking at you, New Orleans).
Pick of the Week (1-0, teams used: Eagles)
Patriots (vs. Cardinals) â€“ I hate using the Patriots this early, but look at this schedule. They are simply the safest bet. The Pats are 10-0-0 in openers at Gillette Stadium and have won 15 of their last 17 overall. The Cardinals can take advantage of the New England secondary, and will have to in order to win. That said, there is a reason Kevin Kolb was not starting to begin with.
Safest Bets (4-0)
Texans (@ Jaguars) â€“ How could you not like what you saw from Houston last week against Miami? The Jaguars let Adrian Peterson run wild and will get a dose of the same with Arian Foster. Houston beat Jacksonville in both meetings last year. They forced plenty of turnovers against Miami and will get a similarly young quarterback in this matchup.
Giants (vs. Buccaneers) â€“ The Giants have won the last three meetings against the Buccaneers and this is a team not ready to go to 0-2. While the running game may be stalled, Tampa Bay can be beaten through the air. The Giants will be able to exploit that. Tampa Bay was strong in their opener, but heading on the road will be a far tougher test.
Steelers (vs. Jets) â€“ We are all thinking it â€“ the Jets putting up 48 points was a fluke. They will NOT do that against the Steelers. Iâ€™ll take history here. The Jets are 1-8 all-time at Pittsburgh. The Steelers will get back James Harrison and Dwight Clark while the Jets are likely to miss Darrelle Revis.
Bengals (vs. Browns) â€“ Part of this is looking for another game where we have a good spread and some good history to run with. Cincinnati is better than what they showed against the Ravens, no doubt about that. The Bengals have won three straight against the Browns and seven of eight home games in the series. With Joe Haden out for Cleveland, I like the matchup better.
Saints (@ Panthers) â€“ Either selection here is tough. The Saints are stuck going on the road after a tough home loss. Cam Newton is a more mobile quarterback and the Panthers will likely get Jonathan Stewart back as well. The Saints seem to struggle when Sean Payton is not calling plays. It was seen when he hurt his knee and in last weekâ€™s loss. Tougher matchup than it might look. Nothing good here.
Bills (vs. Chiefs) â€“ Seeing a lot of people take the Bills here. The Chiefs were touted by some as a playoff team and will get some of their key defensive players back in the lineup. Tamba Hali returns from suspension and Brandon Flowers is possibly back on the corner. The Bills have some injury concerns and were torched by the Jetsâ€™ receivers.
Cowboys (@ Seattle) â€“ Everyone is excited about the Cowboys and everyone is down on Seattle. People will be quick to point out that Tony Romo has been sick against Seattle. What they miss is that three of his four starts against the Seahawks were at home and this is a tough place to play. Remember that the Seahawks have also won eight of their last nine home openers.
Redskins (@ Rams) â€“ The Rams were a clock stoppage error away from stealing a win from the Lions. While they did not look great offensively, they forced Matthew Stafford into several bad interceptions. They could do the same to Robert Griffin III. Also do not discount the fact that Sam Bradford may want to show the Rams they made the right call to stick with himâ€¦
Raiders (@ Dolphins) â€“ The Raiders played well and largely beat themselves against the Chargers last week. With how well they played, you would think this could be a solid pick. Think carefully though. While Miami is bad, this is a West Coast team coming east to play a 1pm game. This never works out well for anyone.