By Justin Boylan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 94WIP Suicide Pool is down to just 56 survivors with four weeks to go. If your pulse is still beating, odds are you don’t need any help from me, but here I am nonetheless.
I’ve decided to change up my team-picking strategy going forward. Besides my selection, which while wrong a few times never used the same team twice, the other two selections will more accurately reflect the state of those fighting it out for the ring that is only sized to fit the finger of a champion.
No more easy roads paved by Seattle or Denver or New England. I’m keeping my picks to teams that are likely still available to those left. That way, if one of the 56 clicks on this link accidentally it won’t be a total waste of time.
Zombie Selection – Eagles vs. Lions
Here comes another really good run defense for Nick Foles to throw on. Detroit is giving up 82 yards per game on the ground thanks to a front-four that is one of the league’s best. They don’t get to the quarterback much (25th-most sacks), but no defense gets off the field more often on third down than they do. If the protection is there, Foles should be able to pick apart the Lions secondary.
Both teams are so loaded with weapons that this one comes down to quarterback play and the turnover battle (Lions turnover differential is -8, Eagles are +7). The big Thanksgiving win and long week could hurt the Lions here. The Eagles are rolling, and the rolling rolls on.
Best Bet for Survival – Steelers vs. Ravens
The 5-7 Steelers are alive, however barely. They need some help in the form of the Ravens losing a couple games, but they can help themselves by putting the Dolphins to sleep. Maybe not completely to sleep, but it would be a pretty serious powernap. A win will give the Steelers the head-to-head tiebreaker if it actually comes down to it (these teams are still in the playoff hunt, as are the 3-9 Jaguars and the 2-10 Texans. The NBA’s Eastern Conference would like to point out the AFC).
Miami manhandled the Jets last week on the road, and I don’t see them duplicating that effort in Pittsburgh. I like the Steelers at home, and if things start to look bad Mike Tomlin can interfere.
Cheating Death – Redskins vs. Chiefs
This one was between taking Washington or the Giants against the AFC West. Kansas City is scrambling after losing three straight divisional games, and is basically locked into a wildcard spot. Their defense has dropped off significantly, which will happen when you play Denver twice in three weeks, but I like Washington to move the ball and outscore the Chiefs.
If they outscore the Chiefs, I think they have a real chance.
Good luck to all who remain. I am pulling for each one of you equally. Here’s to a 56-way tie for first place.
Justin Boylan is a producer at 94WIP and graduate of Temple University. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @justintboylan.