Is there anything worse, in the context of sports-picking, than being eliminated in Week 1 of a 17-week NFL survivor pool?
Nothing else comes to mind.
So, for those of us who opted for Pittsburgh, buckets of sweat were discharged in the waning moments of its game.
Big Ben Roethlisberger bailed us out with a bomb to Antonio Brown on a second-and-long play, and the consensus Survivor pick (a whopping 32 percent in the Yahoo pool) killed the final few minutes to escape 21-18.
The next two most popular teams also rewarded their backers, though Atlanta went down to the wire and then some against Chicago. (Buffalo, not so much versus the Jets.)
As for those who chose Houston and New England, the next most common choices, see ya in 2018.
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Opening week is always dicey because we lack a solid read on teams coming out of the long offseason. Only three games wound up with a spread of more than a touchdown, and only some late money on the Steelers prevented the entire schedule from having single-digit lines.
Week 2 is a different story.
Two matchups carry spreads of nearly two touchdowns, and four others are assigned at least one-TD numbers.
The projected blowouts are Raiders -13.5 versus the Jets and Seahawks -12.5 against the 49ers. Survivor players are likely to focus on this pair.
For anyone who watched the two favorites Sunday, this is an easy call.
The Seahawks, handcuffed by a substandard offensive line and an unscary receiver corps, failed to cross the goal line at Green Bay. Total yardage: 225.
The Raiders breezed on the road past Tennessee, which scratched out just one TD against their suspect defense. Stand-in kicker Giorgio Tavecchio eased concerns about the absence of injured Sebastian Janokowski by banging through four field goals.
Besides, their upcoming opponent is the Jets, who belong on the FBS level.
Perhaps San Francisco should join them in the college ranks. But the Las Vegas-bound team was vastly more impressive than the stay-in-Seattle ?Hawks.
Oakland, all the way.
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