It was pretty easy pickings last week for all Survivor goers as many were able to lock in with the Broncos and move on to Week Seven but there were a couple of other avenues that left people sweating. Here are this week's top plays, breakers, and makers:
Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills
The Dolphins rank right near the top in terms of plays I love this week as they’re coming off a bye and really need a victory to keep pace with the Pats and Jets in the AFC East. Miami is another team that has flown under the radar this season but they have some pretty impressive victories on their resume, have one of the better defenses in the league, and Ryan Tannehill is quietly emerging as a solid pivot in the NFL. Buffalo is banged up as both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are hampered with injury, and both EJ Manuel and Thad Lewis have gone down with different ailments, though Lewis is likely to start this weekend. You have an inexperienced quarterback playing on the road in a divisional encounter against a team coming off a bye week and needs a victory? Yikes. I love the Dolphins here and it saves having to use one of the top five teams this week.
Green Bay Packers vs Cleveland Browns
Another game I really love this week is the Packers at home against the Browns, despite Green Bay having a laundry list of injuries that may deplete the explosiveness of the offense. I know that the Browns have played much better since dealing Trent Richardson to the Colts but Brandon Weeden is terrible. Browns fans have even gone so far as to place Weeden’s starting job on Craig’s List which surely indicates that the fans don’t have his back and that they’re longing for administration to find a suitable replacement. Cleveland does have an underrated defense and with Joe Haden likely matched up against Jordy Nelson it could be very tough for the Pack to move the ball as well as they’d like to but the emergence of Eddie Lacy after the bye week gives the Packers an added dimension on offense and I think they will do more than enough to not only win this game but get a cover as well. If you have used the Dolphins already or feel like taking a safe bet than the Packers are where I would lean here.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
The Patriots and Jets do battle from Met Life Stadium in a game that could be closer than a lot of people expect. New England has done great things without a lot of key personnel but having Tom Brady seemingly is more than enough as he has led the Pats to a 5-1 record through six weeks. The Jets however have played very well this season despite dropping their last game against the desperate Pittsburgh Steelers but perhaps that was a look ahead spot to this week’s encounter with their archrivals. I think this game will be very close with the Jets possibly being able to squeak out a victory and even if they don’t I think this will be a nerve wracking finish and New England just isn’t a solid survivor pool option this week.
San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Chargers have played a lot better than most people thought they would so far this season and have some pretty convincing wins against solid playoff teams. Philip Rivers is enjoying a career renaissance this season as he is lighting it up through the air and is in consideration for the MVP award as he has been spectacular for the Bolts. However, there may not be a team that epitomizes playing to the level of their competition more than Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. The Bolts are vulnerable to an upset and even though this is the Jacksonville Jaguars we are talking about who could very well go 0-16 this season they do have some weapons in MJD and Justin Blackmon. While it may be the only time you can use San Diego this season and picking against the Jags every week isn’t a bad theory I think in this case you look at much more viable options.
Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins
This is a game I like if you have used a large number of the big teams (Denver, Kansas City, New Orleans, Seattle, etc.) and you want to take a risk to get ahead in your pool. The Bears head into Washington looking for another divisional victory while the Redskins look to keep their head above water and get back to respectability, though that may be a tough feat. Robert Griffin is clearly still hampered by his offseason knee surgery as he just doesn’t have the same mobility in the pocket and as such opposing defenses have been able to force the Skins offense to become one dimensional. Washington also has a very suspect defense and with the weapons the Bears have on offense I think they should be able to put up some solid numbers and get into the endzone early and often. It is tough to take a road team in a divisional encounter and is something I’d normally shy away from but the season is approaching the halfway mark and it might be time for you to start taking some risks.
Good luck in your Survivor Pools. See you next week.