Those that are still standing in their Survivor pools have probably been humming the chorus of Pearl Jam’s classic “Alive” since escaping on Sunday or Monday. Week 1 took out large swaths of the field and we saw the Browns do something that hadn’t been done in 2,229 games by blowing a 13-point lead with less than two minutes left on the clock.
That loss and the other loss from a team along I-71 in the Cincinnati Bengals wiped out a good chunk of the remaining players in Week 2. The Raiders loss to the Cardinals will be a chapter unto itself in the anthology of the 2022 NFL season. Even some of the popular teams that won didn’t make it easy. The Broncos had all sorts of issues with the Texans. The Rams tried to blow a 28-3 lead against the Falcons. Only the Packers, 49ers and Bills rolled like they were supposed to.
We don’t have any favorites of more than a touchdown in Week 3, so let’s see who the best options are.
GAMES TO CONSIDER
Kansas City Chiefs (-7) over Indianapolis Colts
The Colts do not look like the football team that any of us envisioned coming into the season. Matt Ryan looks cooked and Jonathan Taylor hasn’t really been able to get going. This line was originally looking like Chiefs -3, but has been extended out to a touchdown based on the data points we have thus far.
Away favorites have been a very dicey proposition to this point, but the Chiefs are on extra rest and extra prep with Andy Reid and have scored 71 points in two games. The Colts already have five turnovers on the season to go along with just 5.3 yards per play. Kansas City, meanwhile, has one turnover (a lost fumble) and 6.7 yards per play.
Weeks 9 and 10 are the next best spots to take the Chiefs, as they host the Titans, followed by the Jaguars. They are also a great team to have in pocket for Week 16 at home against Seattle, but we’re a long way away from that.
Los Angeles Chargers (-7) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Keenan Allen is targeting a Sunday return against the AFC South-leading Jaguars, who are the only team in the division with a win. This is a much better offense with Allen, but the obvious concern here is that Justin Herbert has fractured rib cartilage and it is very early in the season. With games coming up against the Jaguars and Texans, the Chargers could opt to give Herbert ample time to get better while still having a good chance to win with Chase Daniel.
Any hit that a QB absorbs could be the one that knocks him out of the game, but there is a higher degree of likelihood with Herbert’s existing injury. The Jaguars also appear to be quite a bit better than they were last season, as Doug Pederson is a real head coach and Trevor Lawrence seems to be responding well to his tutelage.
It’s too risky to make the Chargers the pick given the Tuesday posting of this article, but if Herbert is cleared, this might be the call later in the week.
Baltimore Ravens (-3) over New England Patriots
This may look like a risky Survivor selection, but there is a method to the madness. We’ve got a healthy Lamar Jackson and a Ravens team coming off of a stunning loss. John Harbaugh’s team gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and that humbling experience should have the Ravens well-equipped for Sunday at Foxboro.
The Patriots haven’t even scored 28 points in two games, as they’ve only mustered 24 points with minimal offensive success. The Ravens are averaging seven yards per play, while the Patriots have managed just 5.4. New England’s skill-position talent pales in comparison to Miami’s, so the Baltimore defense should have more success in this matchup. While New England’s defense did a better job against Miami than Baltimore’s did, that was also a very easy win for the Dolphins in that Week 1 matchup by a 20-7 score.
New England’s only offensive touchdown in the second half against Pittsburgh came on a 10-yard drive. The Patriots have only scored on 21.1% of their possessions to start the season. There have been questions with the offensive play-calling and the skill guys dating back to the preseason and the answers have not been found. Baltimore in a bounce back spot, even on the road for New England’s home opener, actually looks like the safest pick on a very tough week.