Well, crap. We got eliminated in our suicide pool last week. We tried to save teams by going with Jacksonville over Arizona, but the Jaguars laid a monumental egg. The way to go with this strategy was with Washington over St. Louis (which was our No. 2 pick) or maybe Buffalo over Tampa Bay. The two obvious picks, Green Bay vs. Cincinnati and Tennessee vs. Houston, also lost, so it was a bad week for a lot of people.
So we start over this week and try to give you some more good options below. We’re tracking our main selection for our record for the year.
Before we get to the picks, remember that you can join the Football Relativity group on ESPN’s Eliminator Challenge to test your suicide-pool skills.
1. Houston over Jacksonville – After last week’s win at Tennessee, we now believe the Texans are at least an above-average team. They’re not as good as the Jets, but they’re OK or maybe even good. And after last week, I’m pretty convinced that the Jaguars are bad. Jacksonville needs a win, but I don’t think they have the ability to get one. The Jags came out so flat last week that I can see them getting throttled again this week. So we’ll take Houston, which is traditionally a good home team, this week and save some more powerful teams for later.
2. Baltimore over Cleveland – The Ravens are really, really good as they proved last week on the road against San Diego. Cleveland, on the other hand, is terrible. This is a huge mismatch that is a solid eliminator pick if you don’t have a stomach for any risk at this point. I’d prefer to keep the Ravens for later in the season, but they’re a solid pick.
3. Philadelphia over Kansas City – Like Baltimore against Cleveland, the Eagles/Chiefs game is a mismatch. The reason the Ravens are a better pick is that it’s still possible that Kevin Kolb could have a meltdown given his inexperience. But that’s the only red flag I see on this game for the Eagles.
The trap to avoid: Minnesota over San Francisco – The Vikings are touchdown favorites at home, but that’s because the 49ers are still an undervalued team. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Niners went into the Metrodome and won, and I certainly wouldn’t bank on the Vikings winning the game.
Last week: L Jacksonville (over Arizona)
Week 1: W New Orleans (over Detroit)