There’s generally at least a shred of doubt in pretty much every NFL game. Week 15 was a different story, where the only item up for discussion in the Atlanta and San Francisco game was how much the final margin would be in favor of the Falcons.

Week 16 will be more in line with most NFL weeks, where there are plenty of tough games to predict. It’s down to crunch time in many Survivor Pool leagues, so here’s the week 16 Survivor Pool picks

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

Best Bet

New England Patriots

It’s highly doubtful you still have New England available, but if you do, this is a no-brainer. There’s no reason to save the Patriots, considering New England can clinch home-field advantage this week, thus allowing New England to play its backups next week.

New England is a more than two-touchdown favorite against the New York Jets, and with good reason. The Jets can’t do anything on defense anymore. At one point this season, the Jets couldn’t stop the pass. ┬áNow they can’t stop the run.

It’s difficult to say teams have given up, but there’s plenty of evidence that New York is just holding out hope that this season will end sooner rather than later. The Jets have been beaten by at least three touchdowns in two of the last three games. The only game New York has won since the beginning of November was against San Francisco, which has only one win this season.

The Jets played New England well only a few weeks ago. That won’t happen this time around with the Patriots fully focused on securing home-field advantage for the playoffs. The Jets don’t have any answers on either side of the ball, so this could get ugly quick.

Dez Bryant should help the Cowboys in the week 16 Survivor Pool. Flickr/ Guel

My Pick

Dallas Cowboys

I’m not guaranteeing this, but the other games give me the creeps.

Even Tennessee, who I will put as a good bet this week, doesn’t have me jazzed, despite playing Jacksonville. The Jaguars keep way too many games close and I can’t trust Tennessee as a favorite.

That’s why I’m favoring the Cowboys as my week 16 Survivor Pool pick. The Cowboys run the ball as well as anyone and have been able to do that against any defense. While Detroit is a top-10 rushing defense, I still believe Dallas will have success running the football.

Detroit’s defense also has improved in recent weeks, but it still can give up big chunks of yardage against decent quarterbacks. That leaves open room for Dak Prescott to perform much like he did in week 15.

When it’s going well, Dallas’s offense is as good as any in the NFL. And while the defense isn’t great, it’s still not for certain what is wrong with Matthew Stafford’s throwing hand. He was off in week 15 against a quality New York Giants team, and if he has problems again, the Cowboys can turn him over, much like they did in week 15 against Tampa Bay.

Good Bets

Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Seattle, Green Bay

Unlike week 15, there aren’t any guarantees, other than the New England game.

Of these five games, likely Seattle makes me the most excited. Arizona is ready for the season to conclude and Seattle is a top-tier NFL team at home. Arizona’s defense looked awful last week and I’m not sure if it will be ready to play on a short week.

The Cardinals also have been terrible on the road, so that doesn’t work well for them either in this game.

Dallas, Buffalo and Tennessee also offer solid bets, even with the Titans on the road. Tennessee squares off against Jacksonville, a team that just fired its coach. The Jaguars a top-five pass defense, but a bottom-half run defense. Tennessee runs the ball as well as almost any team (see Dallas and Buffalo for teams that run better), so the matchup doesn’t work for the Jaguars. Despite the solid matchup, I still have my reservations (see above).

Be Careful

San Diego

Pretty much every game is in this realm, but this is one that will likely garner attention from Survivor Pool players.

The anti-Cleveland strategy has carried Survivor Pool players from across the country to the end of the season. Now, though, it’s getting a little more worrisome, especially with this week’s opponent for the Browns.

San Diego is coming off three difficult losses, and now must travel to Cleveland with nothing to play for. San Diego is the better team, but they’re missing too many of their skill position players to be counted as a guarantee.

Cleveland is atrocious, but it keeps playing hard. Every sign points to San Diego winning, but my gut tells me this could be a trap. If you’ve taken the anti-Cleveland train to this point, it’s likely you’re going to continue to ride that train.

If you choose to do that, be careful of a week 16 derailment.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *