As predicted, last week was a doozy for confidence pool picks. Point totals usually reserved for bye week wins were taking down pools everywhere. There were multiple touchdown favorites outright losing and others narrowly escaping with victories. I'm looking at you New England. Too much Stress! Sadly the Pittsburgh Steelers let me and their country down with their on-field display against the Chicago Bears, leaving me with only one remaining entry to the survivor pool. Fortunately 91 other members picked the Steelers and a total of 218 entries were eliminated by the time the games were over. The Dolphins flop against the New York Jets was the next biggest killer, claiming 71 entries.
That brings me to the Green Bay Packers. They trailed the Bengals 21-7 at halftime and required extra time to come back and win by a field goal 27-24 as 227 survivor entrants collectively let out their breaths. Initially the Packers are who I was looking at picking this week as they host the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football as a touchdown favorite. But I actually think the Bears might be a better team than the Bengals. And who am I kidding, I will be watching this game at a Chicago sports bar in San Diego with my fellow ex-Illini. I can't be in there cheering the Packers like some turncoat.
That brings me to this week’s pick, the Seattle Seahawks. They opened up as the weeks biggest favorite at -13.5 against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football. The Colts offense performed better than I thought capable last week with Andrew Luck out. But, let’s remember it was vs the Browns and they barely hung on to the victory. The Seahawks have struggled on offense so far, especially establishing a running game. This week they will get both of those things corrected and continue the years-long tradition of running backs beating up the Colts defense.
My final suggestion would be to avoid the Arizona Cardinals. They could be widely picked as 8.5 point favorites against the 9'ers, but I think the Cardinals are done. The team missed their window and will be in rebuild mode this offseason. San Francisco is on a long week and Arizona on a short one, be careful of the upset.