More Survivor carnage was the big story of NFL Week 9, as the Buffalo Bills went down 20-17 against the New York Jets as double-digit favorites and a very popular pick. The scare that the Kansas City Chiefs put into everyone as 14-point favorites shouldn’t go unnoticed either, as they eked past the Tennessee Titans 20-17 in overtime on Sunday Night Football.
If you’re still alive at this point, you certainly deserve to be in the running for the ultimate prize in your pool. There can’t be that many entries left as we head into Week 10, where there are a few big favorites, but the challenge may be picking from the teams that you still have left at this point.
Like I said last week, I’ll try to focus on teams that most entrants are likely to have left, but will mention all those worthy of consideration.
Week 10 NFL survivor picks
Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
The Chiefs are the second-biggest favorite on the board for Week 10, so they get consideration by default. They were last week’s pick in the article and I can’t help but think a lot of people trusted them against Malik Willis and the Titans. Derrick Henry nearly upended anybody that had Andy Reid’s team off the bye, but “survive and advance” has never been a more appropriate expression than it has been this season.
The Jaguars had an emotional come-from-behind win over the Raiders last week and now travel to Arrowhead to take on a Chiefs team that is just all-around better. The concern is that Travis Etienne is putting up Henry-esque numbers over the last few weeks and we just saw that blueprint come close to knocking off KC. Trevor Lawrence is also better than Willis. However, that may have been the worst game we’ll see the Chiefs play all year and Patrick Mahomes willed them to victory. They shouldn’t lose, but I can understand the hesitance in taking them.
Philadelphia Eagles (-11) over Washington Commanders
If you still have the Eagles, you may want to take them on Monday Night Football against the Commanders. It backfired if you skipped the Eagles for the sake of taking the Bills last week, but one of the things I wrote about last week was that it was important to hold back Philadelphia for a tougher week. This one applies.
The Eagles are on plenty of extra rest after playing on Thursday last week. The Commanders lost a heartbreaker to the Vikings and managed just 263 yards and 4.3 yards per play against a defense that had not really played well up to that point. Jalen Hurts is getting all the attention for the Eagles, but their defense has also been extremely solid all year long. The Commanders are unlikely to be able to move the ball much.
The only reservation is that the Eagles play the Colts next week and will be a huge road favorite again. Week 11 doesn’t have a ton of great options. If Josh Allen is healthy, you can take the Bills against the Browns. You have the Giants at home against the Lions and the Ravens at home against the Panthers; maybe the Bengals at the Steelers or the 49ers at the Cardinals, but next week does look tricky. If you can sneak by with another team and hold Philadelphia back, I don’t think it’s a bad idea.
New York Giants (-6.5) over Houston Texans
I thought long and hard about using this one. The Giants are obviously well-coached and much improved, but this isn’t really a 6-2 team. They’ve been outgained by 200 yards this season and are -0.7 yards per play. They are +6 in point differential and five of the six wins are by six or fewer points. Maybe the Texans aren’t the team to cause a correction, but there are enough red flags with the profile to scare me.
On the other hand, the Texans are every bit a 1-6-1 team in line for either CJ Stroud or Bryce Young. They’re also a poorly coached team going up against Brian Daboll off of a bye. The Texans have been outgained by a full yard per play and have been outgained by more than 800 yards on the season. Brandin Cooks is far and away the best receiver on the roster … and nobody really knows if he will play.
Regression will come for the Giants, but this isn’t the week. The Texans are an awful football team and Daboll has had two weeks to get his team ready for a bounce back effort and I think he’ll get what he’s looking for out of his Giants. Plus, there is a pick that I have a little more confidence in.
Las Vegas Raiders (-6.5) over Indianapolis Colts
As annoying and frustrating as that Raiders performance was last week, take a look at the box score for the Colts from the loss to New England. The Patriots held Indianapolis to 121 yards of total offense and 2.0 yards per play. The Colts had 43 net passing yards from Sam Ehlinger, who was sacked nine times. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 39 yards on five attempts. Yes, we’re all well aware of what Bill Belichick does to rookie quarterbacks – and Ehlinger is effectively one with two starts to his name – but this was about way more than just The Hoodie. That game also got head coach Frank Reich fired. High school coach, ESPN analyst and Colts consultant Jeff Saturday will take over.
For a half, the Raiders looked like the team most expected coming into the season. Davante Adams had a monster first half with nine catches for 146 yards, but then one catch for zero yards in the second half. Week 9 marked the third time this season that the Raiders led by at least 17 points and lost. If they jump out to a lead against the anemic Colts offense, they should be able to maintain the victory. Even if Jonathan Taylor returns, the Raiders have no excuse for losing to Ehlinger when they can load up the box against the run.
McDaniels may not be much of a head coach, but he was with the Patriots for a long time and has to be able to construct a similar blueprint to what his old boss did against the Colts. With the Raiders likely available to most entries and a complete debacle in Indy, it’s a risky pick, but I think it’s the right one.