If you’re like me and decided to pick the Titans for your Survivor Pool in Week 4, thinking they would easily defeat the winless NY Jets, then, unfortunately, any shot you had at winning this season is over.
Before kickoff on Sunday, I debated changing my Titans pick to either Buffalo or Kansas City (the safe picks) since wideouts A.J. Brown and Julio Jones were both declared inactive for the contest. However, I have been burnt in the past, making last-minute changes to picks, so I opted to stick with my first choice, which was wrong as the Titans fell to the Jets in OT.
For those of you who didn’t fall victim to the Jets upset, here are the top five picks for your Survivor Pool for Week 5:
Patriots over Texans
If it wasn’t for a torrential downpour when K Nick Polk lined up for the potential game-winning field goal against the Bucs on Sunday night, the Patriots might have pulled off the ultimate upset in Tom Brady’s hyped return to Foxboro. However, the ball bounced off the wrong end of the goal post, sending Tampa Bay home with a victory and the Patriots back to the locker room with a 1-3 record to start the season.
Still, New England battled tough against their former QB and put themselves in a great position to steal a victory against the defending Super Bowl champions. Rookie QB Mac Jones was impressive, squaring off against his predecessor. That may lead to confidence heading into a matchup with a Texans team that just suffered a 40-0 throttling courtesy of the Buffalo Bills.
Since defeating the Jaguars in Week 1, the Texans have struggled after losing QB Tyrod Taylor to an injury. Forced to rely on QB Davis Mills, who they drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the rookie had one of the worst outings on Sunday, throwing 4 interceptions and finishing the game with an abysmal 0.8 QBR.
While the Texans are just hoping for a top 3 draft pick at the end of the season, the Patriots still have much to play for, especially with Jones improving from week to week. This may be the best and only time to select New England for your pool this season.
Buccaneers over Dolphins
Though second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa struggled since being drafted, the Dolphins have not shown much improvement since turning to backup QB Jacoby Brissett following an injury to their starting play-caller. Had it not been for a late Patriots’ fumble in Week 1, this may be a Miami team staring at an 0-4 record to begin their 2021 campaign.
Though the Bucs defeated the Patriots on Sunday night, it was an ugly affair, given the rainy and windy weather conditions were far from ideal. Still, Tom Brady and his explosive offensive weapons should have no problem driving up the score against a Dolphins squad that has struggled all season. Take Tampa as the safest pick of the week.
Packers over Bengals
Joe Burrow and the Bengals have had an excellent start to the 2021 NFL season, compiling a 3-1 record to sit atop the AFC North tied with the Ravens and Browns. Yet, they did so by defeating teams with a combined 2-9 record. Things will get much more challenging this week for this young Cincinnati squad when they have to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers this Sunday at home.
Since their embarrassing 38-3 loss in Week 1, the Packers have been rolling with wins against the Lions, 49ers, and Steelers. Rodgers has looked every bit of an MVP candidate since the Week 1 defeat and should have no trouble continuing his hot streak this Sunday in Cincy. Look for Rodgers firing from all sides in this contest, as the Packers should have no problem handling the Bengals on the road.
Titans over Jaguars
In hindsight, this is the game I should have opted to pick the Titans to win. The Jaguars look like a team destined for another top 3 pick in next year’s NFL draft as the lone team in the AFC with an 0-4 record.
After falling to the Jets last weekend, the Titans should have no issues bouncing back from that eye-opening defeat and resume their winning ways atop the AFC South. Especially with Jacksonville distracted this week by the controversial videos of head coach Urban Meyer at a bar in Ohio, expect Tennessee to come out aggressively and keep the Jaguars off the scoreboard for the majority of the contest.
Ravens over Colts
It’s been quite a rough start to the season for the Colts since acquiring QB Carson Wentz in the offseason, but Indy finally managed a win this past Sunday against the Dolphins. However, the Colts will be up against a far superior opponent on Monday night, where they will face off against Lamar Jackson and the 3-1 Ravens.
After losing in OT to the Raiders in Week 1, the Ravens have collected impressive wins against the Chiefs and the Broncos, though they needed a last-minute, record-setting field goal for a victory in Week 3 against the Lions. Still, the Ravens, despite their injuries on defense, should be able to contain Wentz and the Colts, especially in front of their home crowd. Expect Baltimore to feast off Indy’s questionable defense and drive up the score using their lethal ground game led by Jackson himself.