Survival of the Fittest NFL Style: Week 17 Pick
For entertainment purposes only, I’m updating my 2009 NFL survivor picks here every week. The rules are simple. Pick a team to win each week. If they win, move on. Here’s a quick recap of my strategy.
Rule #1: Focus on the Negative
Rather than focus on what teams are good, focus on what teams are bad (and in some cases, really really bad). And there are plenty of them. St. Louis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Detroit.
Rule #2: Don’t Save a Team
Remember: don’t worry about “saving” a team for later. You can’t advance to the next week unless you survive this week. If there’s a sure thing involving one of the elite teams over one of the Sucky Six, take it. Don’t get eliminated because you left an elite team (i.e., New Orleans, Indy, Minnesota) on the table in hopes of using them later in the season.
I’m also keeping track of the teams I’ve used each week in a separate post.
So without further ado, here’s this week’s Survivor Pick:
- Week 17
Carolina (over New Orleans)
- First off, I cannot believe I am making a survivor pick in Week 17. I mean, it’s the last week of the season. And I’m making a survivor pick! So, let me just say “Go me!”.
- Second, I fully expect that this will be my last pick of the season. I can hear you snickering: but it’s the last week of the season, of course it’s your last pick. Fair enough. But my survivor pool actually continues into the playoffs! I’ll get into that next week in more detail if I make it.
- Here are this week’s nominees: Baltimore (at Oakland), San Francisco (at St. Louis), Denver (vs. Kansas City), Carolina (vs. New Orleans), New York Jets (vs. Cincinnati)
- I’ve already used Baltimore and San Francisco, so it’s down to Denver, Carolina and the Jets.
- Let’s eliminate the Jets first. The game is on Sunday night and it will be effing freezing in New York (well, actually, New Jersey). I do not trust Mark Sanchez in those conditions – even if Cinci benches its starters. Sanchez has 1 TD and 8 interceptions in 2 cold weather games.
- Now we’re down to Denver and Carolina. Earlier this week, I picked Denver without hesitation. They are in a must-win situation and hosting Kansas City, a team they already crushed once this season. And it’s Kansas City. Who is terrible.
- But since I made that decision, here’s what’s happened in Denver: Brandon Marshall has been benched. Eddie Royal is out due to injury. And now tight end Tony Scheffler has been benched due to “attitude issues.” This is a team in total disarray. And I just don’t trust them.
- What about Carolina? They’re hosting New Orleans, the #1 overall seed in the NFC. And a team that’s lost 2 in a row. And if you’re the Saints you don’t want to go into the playoffs on a 3 game losing streak. But 39 year old Mark Brunell is starting in place of Brees. And Pierre Thomas is out due to injury. In other words, the Saints appear to be playing to lose. And even Vegas thinks so. They’ve established the Panthers as a 7 point favorite.
- We’re definitely in uncharted waters here. It’s Week 17 and it’s a pretty screwy situation. But I am actually taking a team that is playing the #1 overall seed in the NFC.
- Another bonus point for taking the Panthers instead of the Broncos? The Panthers play an early game, so I’ll know by 1 p.m. PST if I’m still alive.
- Let’s just say that tomorrow morning I’ll have Carolina on my mind.
See you next week. Or not. In either case, thanks for reading and it’s been a lot of fun.