Survivor is back for another season. If you have read this column in the past, you know there are some basic rules to follow when choosing your survivor team each week. Avoid the road teams and the divisional games. These rules mainly apply for the beginning of the season since as season goes on, your choices become limited. Read the full game-by-game analysis and my choice for Week 1.
Indianapolis at Chicago –
Andrew Luck will make his first NFL start against one of the most aggressive defenses in the league. I expect the Bears to show him some different looks and keep him in check. On the other side of the ball, the Bears added more weapons with Michael Bush and Brandon Marshall. Look for the Bears to handle the Colts by at least a touchdown, making them a viable Week 1 option.
Philadelphia at Cleveland –
The Eagles are big favorites in Week 1 and are expected to be a solid team this year rebounding after their disappointing 2011 season. Therefore, I would hold off on them in Week 1 as they are also on the road.
Buffalo at New York Jets –
Stay away from this divisional game in survivor. The Jets have looked awful on offense, but they have a good defense. Buffalo looks like a hot pick Week 1, but I will pick the Jets at home after a tough preseason.
Washington at New Orleans –
I would avoid this game as well. Let’s see how the Saints play without their head coach. I would pick New Orleans at home since they are tough in the dome, but hold off this week.
New England at Tennessee –
The same goes for New England as it does for Philadelphia. The team is expected to be a top contender this season, but they open up on the road. However, I think the Titans will play the Patriots tough. I will pick New England to win, but would not be surprised if it ends in a three-point game.
Jacksonville at Minnesota –
Here is a tough game to pick, as it highlights an AFC-NFC matchup in the first week. I would pass on this game, but I’ll take the home team.
Miami at Houston –
Houston is a big favorite at home as the Texans look to make a deep run into January. Miami will start its rookie quarterback against a tough defense. That makes Houston a solid Week 1 selection.
St. Louis at Detroit –
Detroit is also a nice pick in the first week of the season against the Rams, who were awful in 2011. Add the Lions to the list of candidates for Week 1.
Atlanta at Kansas City –
Both of these teams play well at home so I will pick the Chiefs to win, but not in survivor.
San Francisco at Green Bay –
Here is a great Sunday afternoon matchup between the top two seeds in 2011, who were both knocked out at home against the eventual champion New York Giants. It features offense vs. defense, but the edge goes to the more explosive home team. Pass in survivor.
Carolina at Tampa Bay –
Close divisional game … pass. The Panthers are favored, but I am picking the home dog.
Seattle at Arizona –
Another home dog I like this week would be the Cardinals. Seattle plays much better at home, Marshawn Lynch may not play, and a rookie quarterback will start.
Sunday Night Football
Pittsburgh at Denver –
This is great primetime action that will be a physical, hard fought game until the finish. All eyes will be on No. 18 in this one, so how can you not pick him in his first game back?
Monday Night Football
Cincinnati at Baltimore
San Diego at Oakland
– Two divisional matchups here that I would pass on. It seems as if the Chargers and Raiders always play this Monday night doubleheader. My picks are Ravens and Raiders.
Week 1 Selections
: My top choice for Week 1 would be the Chicago Bears. I like them at home against the rookie and the dome team. Houston is also another choice if you do not like Chicago, followed by Detroit
Good luck in Week 1 and enjoy the opening weekend!