NFL Weekly Survivor Plays: Championship Round
Andy Spiteri brings you his guidelines to help you navigate your Eliminator Pools to make sure you're the lone survivor!
Last week provided us with a huge upset with the Titans taking down the Ravens. Derrick Henry set records by rushing for over 180 yards in his third consecutive game. The Ravens cost many in pools last week on the heels of the Saints loss the week before. We picked the Chiefs and that wasn’t looking too good early on but they dominated the rest of the way and sealed the victory. Who is going on to play in Miami?
The 49ers played the Packers at home in late November and cruised to an easy victory. Aaron Rodgers was held to 104 yards passing and 3.15 yds/attempt. Jamaal Williams was both the leading rusher and the leader in receptions. If the Packers want to have a chance they must figure out a way to get Aaron Jones more involved. Being a pocket passer and relatively immobile, Rodgers will have another tough time getting the ball deep against the Niners’ pass rush.
On offense the Niners were led by George Kittle who had 129 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for two touchdowns and averaged 12.5 yds/att on just 20 passes. San Francisco has been running the ball well with their trio of running backs and last week it was Tevin Coleman ’s time to shine. Green Bay limited the Seahawks on the ground last week but that can be largely attributed to Seattle playing a guy who was on the street a few weeks ago. Green Bay ranked 23rd against the run during the season giving up 120 yds/game. Expect San Francisco to stick to the run and control the clock and the game.
In Kansas City the Titans will try to make it three upsets in a row. Can Derrick Henry do it again? The Chiefs ranked 26th against the run and the Titans’ best chance is to control the ball and limit the offensive possessions by KC. Ryan Tannehill has played well but can he keep up with Patrick Mahomes if this turns into a shootout? In early November the Titans followed that game script with an almost 200 yard effort by Henry and handed the Chiefs a three-point loss in Tennessee which was also the Chiefs’ last loss.
The Chiefs showed us what their offense could do after being down 24 early in the second quarter against Houston. They went on to out score the Texans 51-7 over three quarters. In November Mahomes had 446 yds passing and three touchdowns. Tyreek Hill had 11 receptions for 157 yds and a TD. It was the Travis Kelce show last week but will he be as big of a factor this week? Damien Williams is healthy and will also be a key to this offense. The Chiefs and Andy Reid have too many weapons and home field will be too much for the Titans to overcome. Titans will fall short and their run comes to an end.
So you have the 49ers and Chiefs to pick from this week. Depending upon your rules, who you have picked, and who you want to save for next week I’d be comfortable taking either team. I’m going 49ers as I just don’t see the Packers doing much against their defense. Good luck!