No big opening. Just happy football is back after a three-day rest. I think I have a problem. (OK, I know I have a problem.) Get me to 8 p.m. already.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
SEATTLE over Dallas
I’ve yet to use the defending champs in this space, but this week is the week to do it. There are a few factors working in their favor beyond the obvious two: they’re very good (especially Russell Wilson) and they’re even better at home. (Rocket science, I know. Vegas is really afraid of me after that analysis.) But there’s more: Dallas has been good this year because they’ve committed to the run. This has allowed them to a) prevent Tony Romo from being bad Tony and turning the ball over like he’s prone to do on occasion and b) it eats up clock, allowing their mediocre defense to be on the field for less time.
How does that matter, you ask? Seattle is the best run defense in the league. Dallas won’t be nearly as effective as they’ve been so far this year, which means we’ll see more of Romo (not necessarily a good thing) and more of Dallas’ defense (definitely not a good thing). Add in that Richard Sherman should lock down Dez Bryant and you can really see Dallas’ offense struggling in this one.
The other games this week scare me. Cincinnati is a touchdown favorite at home, but looks likely to play without A.J. Green. Thankfully they get Vontez Burfict back into the fold to help their defense. Denver travels to New York to take on the Jets, which seems great because of how bad the Jets’ secondary and offense have played in recent week. I just hate trusting road teams. The same theory applies as San Diego goes to Oakland, who clearly is the worst team in the league. A coaching change may spark Oakland a little and I like the Raiders to cover (more on that tomorrow), so taking the Chargers is slightly risky.
Teams already used: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New England, San Diego, and New Orleans
Thursday Night Pick:
Indianapolis -2.5 over HOUSTON
Finally we have a situation with a Thursday night game where the home team is an underdog. Through the first five games, the home team looked likely to win and all of them did except Washington, who clearly wasn’t as good as people thought after falling in love with Kirk Cousins for one week. Houston is rightfully an underdog this week, despite how well they’ve played. Their defense is still as good as it’s ever been, but the offense isn’t exactly explosive as we saw in last week’s game against Dallas. We also need to acknowledge that Houston’s biggest offensive weapons, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, are both on the back end of their careers, are nursing small wounds, and don’t recover as quickly as they used to.
Indianapolis has rebounded after losing their first two games. Andrew Luck is playing as well as any quarterback in the league in his third year and has put the Colts on his back recently. The Colts were able to get their confidence back with two wins against bad teams and dominated the Ravens last week. The score would’ve been worse had the Colts not turned the ball over carelessly. Luck will likely correct his careless ways.
This week’s not the easiest way to predict, but the Texans have had too many problems scoring in the last three weeks to think they’ll be able to match what the Colts can do.
Kyle’s Pick: Indianapolis
Last Week: 8-7