NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 3

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Welcome to Week 3, Season 10, of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  For those of you who are new to our series, we follow four simple steps to make our picks.  While these are not hard rules (more like guidelines and suggestions), they have historically worked out well for us in the past.  We are happy to have you join our eliminator community and feel free to hit me up on Twitter to give me your thoughts!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

Two weeks in and two weeks strong of why this is step number one in our process. Before the season started, many were predicting the Colts to be a super bowl contender after acquiring Matt Ryan in a blockbuster trade. On the other side was a Jaguars team that was the worst team in football a year prior. Yet, for whatever reason, these Jaguars always seem to have the Colts’ number, and what happened this past Sunday was a humiliating beat down where the Jaguars absolutely demolished the Colts.  Avoid, avoid, avoid!

Every year, one of the top teams gets upset by an underdog division rival. The problem is you never know when it’s going to happen. Unless you can predict the future, I recommend avoiding this week’s division matchups:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
  • Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
  • Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
  • Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Commanders
  • New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
  • Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Last week started off strong with a back-and-forth division matchup in Kansas City where the Chargers fell just three points shy of their rival.  Unfortunately, that’s where the excitement ended when it came to prime time. The Packers beat the Bears by double digits on Sunday night, and the Monday night doubleheaders were even more lopsided. Hopefully, we are in for a rebound in Week 3!

Prime time games are in prime time for a reason. Expect close games where the unexpected can happen.Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid this week’s marquee games:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos
  • Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

If the first two weeks of the season are any indication, home field might be turning into more of a disadvantage in the NFL. The Browns and Ravens found themselves on the losing end of historic comebacks in front of their home stadiums. The Ravens were up by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the Browns were up two scores with less than two minutes remaining, and both somehow lost at home. Let’s also not forget what happened in Las Vegas!  That being said, we still saw some teams such as the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, and Jacksonville Jaguars come up with big wins in front of their home crowds, so we aren’t giving up on home-field advantage just yet! 

While home field advantage may not be what it used to be, the stress behind travel and being out of your comfort zone is still a real thing and something you should be careful with.  Be aware of this week’s games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
  • Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
  • Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
  • New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
  • Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Los Angeles Chargers over the Jacksonville Jaguars

The Chargers lost a really tough game last week while on the other side of the field the Jaguars won a massive division rivalry. Who do you think is more hungry for a win here? Let’s also keep in mind the Jaguars have a very long trip from Florida to California, and I just don’t see the Jaguars winning back-to-back games this weekend.

 Other options I like this week:

  • Tennessee Titans over the Las Vegas Raiders

Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment but I saw a really good Titans team start their Monday night matchup against the Bills and just implode. Likewise, we saw a similar implosion later in the game on Sunday in Las Vegas. While both of these teams were flawed, the Titans get to return home and I expect them to establish the run in this one, getting them back to what they do best.

  • Kansas City Chiefs over the Indianapolis Colts

Here’s a rule breaker for us, but with the Jets winning last week, we need a new bottom dweller to pick on.  This matchup couldn’t be more lopsided with arguably the best offense in football playing one of the worst, and Kansas City doesn’t have to travel too far for this one.

Last Week’s Record = 2-1

Season Record = 4-2

Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!

Thanks for reading!

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