It was certainly a gamble not to go with the easy survivor pool winner last week in the Buffalo Bills. It remains to be seen whether saving the Bills for another chance down the line, likely in Week 9, Week 10 or Thanksgiving, was the right call.
Decisions like those are what make survivor contests much tougher than we would expect on the surface with the really basic rules of the game. Going 1-0 each week seems easy, and maybe it is, but sometimes we make it harder than it needs to be. Perhaps that was the case last week with Buffalo and my suggested pick of Cincinnati, but it could all work out in the end.
That won’t be the last time survivors are faced with those sorts of conundrums. Six underdogs won outright, including the Jets and Giants, so some who shied from the Bills paid a price. Those who took the Bengals almost paid the same one.
So far the survivor picks in this report have been winners with the Rams, Packers, Broncos and Bengals. Teams from the “Games to Consider” section are 10-3. Those teams in Week 5 are the Vikings, who are 7.5-point favorites over the Lions; the Buccaneers, who are 10-point chalk against the Dolphins; and the Patriots, who are -9 at Houston.
This week’s selection, however, is the Ravens over the Colts.
We have two chances to take the Ravens over the next three weeks. They’re a touchdown favorite here on “Monday Night Football” against the Colts and then play the Bengals at home in Week 7. This just might be the spot. Baltimore went out to Denver and won 23-7 with a shutdown performance from a defense that needed to show something.
The Ravens got healthier heading into that game against the unbeaten Broncos and looked like a much more polished team than we saw in Detroit the previous week. Baltimore solidly outgained a good Denver team by 1.5 yards per play and now gets an extra day of rest and prep for the Colts.
The Colts had a nice win over the Dolphins, but I’ve been pretty consistent in my dislike of Miami and that pathetic offense. With Jacoby Brissett at the helm again, the Dolphins managed just 4.1 yards per play. Indianapolis played with a ton of urgency in that game thanks to the 0-3 start. The Colts will have the same sense of urgency this week, but this is still a limited offense and a defense that generates no pressure.
I don’t know if this helps, but it can’t hurt. The Ravens set a record for consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing by not taking a knee against the Broncos last week. John Harbaugh was questioned about the decision. So were his players, who unanimously took his side. So was Vic Fangio, who called it BS.
Those are the kinds of things that will make players fight for you. Not that Harbaugh needed it, as he is widely regarded as one of the NFL’s best coaches, but the guys in that locker room had to respect that call. This should be a well-prepared team with some needed extra rest ready to keep rolling Monday night.
We have the better team, the better coach and a home “MNF” game. It is really hard to see the Ravens coming up short.