Week 8’s biggest killer: Miami over Baltimore (0.31 percent)
Week 8’s biggest success: Minnesota over Cleveland (40.6 percent)
My picks so far: Buffalo – Oakland – New England — Seattle — Philadelphia — Atlanta (x) — Minnesota — New Orleans — Jacksonville
So we’re onto Week 10 and it looks like the 2017 survival football season has been reduced to a weekly question: Do you think this is the week the Cleveland Browns finally get a win?
The 0-8 Browns are coming off their bye week and have eight games remaining. They’ll be heavy underdogs in each game and there’s a good chance you haven’t picked any of their remaining opponents. (The only team picked with any sort of frequency is Week 17 Steelers, which let 32 percent of players advance when they beat the Browns in Week 1.)
Here’s how bad things have gotten for Cleveland: Almost 75 percent of Yahoo survival football players are selecting the Lions to beat the Browns this Sunday. I haven’t done my full research, but that has to be the biggest group of people to ever show confidence in Detroit winning a football game.
There’s no question the Browns are capable of joining the 2008 Lions as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history. But there’s also no question that going 0-16 is a pretty hard task in itself. Last year’s Browns team might’ve been worse than this one and they were still able to squeeze out a win against the Chargers in Week 16. This year’s squad will probably find a win somewhere as well.
But where? Trying to avoid the whammy while also fully capitalizing on the Browns’ putridity is going to be enough to drive most survival players mad. You can’t recover from a misstep in this gam
Figuring out if the Browns are finally ripe for a win is going to be a weekly decision.
So what to do in Week 10? Though the urge to go with the Rams is strong on the chance the Browns pull an upset, I’m still going with the Lions.
Why? The simple answer is that I think the Lions will win and I’d rather have the Rams, who I believe are a superior team, in my pocket for the stretch run. I think there’s a time and place for seeking refuge as the crowd puts itself at risk elsewhere, but I don’t think that’s the right play this week.
Other thoughts: The survival football gods were just cruel to people who picked Seattle last week. From all three missed Blair Walsh field goals to the hope created by the Seahawks’ late TD drive to the defensive breakdowns that allowed the Redskins to score late, it was a roller coaster of emotion that will stick with the eliminated until next September … Everyone left in the pool though it was great, though, right? … As I said in the video, Carolina is actually a sneaky good pick this weekend. Numberfire has them at 81 percent favorites to beat Miami, the highest of any remaining game. With only two percent of users picking them, there’s some opportunity there … Last week I lamented the loss of Houston and Green Bay as potential picks, but their play last Sunday should make you consider how you might pick against them the final two months … Scott Pianowski is on the hook for this week’s Funishment and again pledges to shave his head if the Rams fall short … If you didn’t watch Liz Loza taking down seven blazin’ hot wings as penance for picking the Seahawks last week, it’s worth it. Just bring your own glass of milk.