The anti-Cleveland strategy is keeping many Survivor pool players in the game. Will that strategy backfire?

It’s starting to look as if that might not happen.

The Browns have three more opponent they haven’t played this season — this week against the New York Giants, at Buffalo and at home against San Diego.

Two of those three teams own .500 or better records, with San Diego coming in at 4-6. Finding a win for Cleveland is difficult, so the Giants will likely be a popular pick.

Here’s the week 12 Survivor pool picks.

Teams Used: Seattle, Carolina, Miami, Washington, Baltimore (lost), New England, Green Bay, Denver, Minnesota (lost), Arizona and Pittsburgh.

Don't give up yet on the Bills in the week 12 NFL Survivor pool. Flickr/Erik Drost
Don’t give up yet on the Bills in the week 12 NFL Survivor pool. Flickr/Erik Drost

Best Bet

Buffalo Bills

I’m circling the wagons.

The Giants will be the most popular pick with the Survivor pool picks dwindling, but I have a bad feeling that New York could do something that New York does well. The Giants are great at beating really good teams during the season, only to turn around and play down to competition, as evidenced last week against Chicago.

So instead of worrying about New York on the road, I’m going against a Jacksonville team in the midst of its fourth road trip in five weeks and with their season in a tailspin.

If Jacksonville couldn’t win that game last week against Detroit, there’s probably not another opportunity. And for the Bills, they’re one of the best teams in the NFL with their backs against the wall. They proved it earlier this season and once again last week against Cincinnati.

This is another must-win game for Buffalo to make the playoffs, so I’m expecting their best effort. And this game matches up well for the Bills.

Buffalo runs the ball better than any team in the NFL. The Bills are tops in the NFL at 157 yards per game on the ground, averaging by far the most yards per carry at 5.3.

Jacksonville also is one of the worst at defending the run. The Jaguars are a bottom-10 defense against the run, allowing 113 yards per game. Teams also pound the run against Jacksonville, going for the fourth-most carries per game at 28.7 carries per game.

The Bills will stop Jacksonville’s offense and will find plenty of holes open while on the offensive side of the ball. Jacksonville has given up on the year, so this could get ugly fast.

Sleeper Pick

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans is only 2-2 in the last four games, but it could be much better.

The Saints were a blocked extra point away from beating Denver two weeks ago, and a bad second quarter on the road against Carolina last week gave way to a second straight loss.

The Saints have played well enough to win the last two games, but sometimes in the NFL, that isn’t enough. But it is enough to tell me what we will be in store for this week against a below-average Los Angeles Rams team.

The Rams are horrendous on offense. The Saints aren’t very good on defense, but the Rams aren’t good enough on defense to stop New Orleans enough to keep up.

And although New Orleans hasn’t been very good on defense, it still stops the run. It has a top-half rush defense that is actually better than Los Angeles’s rush defense.

New Orleans isn’t out of the NFC South race, so it will be motivated to keep playing well in week 12. The Rams, on the other hand, are playing with a lame-duck coach and without an offense capable of scoring in double-digits.

Be Careful

New York Giants

I know everybody is going to take the Giants. It’s been a popular strategy to pick against Cleveland, but this week has me more nervous than other weeks.

New York doesn’t do anything great. They’re pretty good at defense and can move the chains. But nobody is putting any individual area of offense or defensive prowess as elite. That gives me pause to give me the green light to the Giants, facing a desperate team trying to find any way to a win.

Cleveland is terrible. There’s no doubt about that. It once competed this season, but lately, they’ve been unable to keep games close in the second half.

However, it’s not like New York has been defeating world beaters recently. The Giants are quietly on a five-game winning streak against teams with a combined record of 19-30. And all five of those games have been decided by less than a touchdown.

That’s too close for comfort.

This article has 1 comment

  1. The bills are the team to pick. Ride the Jacksonville road train while you can if not the Browns.

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