By Justin Boylan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We are flying towards the end of the season and thus, the end of the 94WIP Suicide Pool. With three weeks to go, those left standing are close enough to taste victory but too far to feel the hot metal of a championship ring on their finger.
There are 51 people still in the hunt. Every selection is intensified and every decision scrutinized, as one ill-fated click of the mouse can cause it all to come crashing down. The margin for error has completely evaporated. This is where legends are born. You survive and win, or you’re just another name on the long list of suicide pool zombies.
There are currently 16 teams with winning records, and the remaining survivors have used 14 teams to get to this point. That means there should still be a secure pick left to keep heads above water. I’m down to my final good team, and I’m not even alive to brag about it.
Zombie Selection – Panthers vs. Jets
You know the routine, the Saints were embarrassed in Seattle, so they embarrassed the Panthers in New Orleans, and now it’s time for the Panthers to embarrass the Jets.
I never meant to save Carolina this long, and if I could go back and use them in week 10 when the Jaguars celebrated their first win over my dead body I would. Instead, I’ll use them here in a meaningless pick that will not resurrect me. Death is just as unfair as life.
As for this game, the Jets have just one road win this season (at Atlanta) and the Panthers need to get back on track before another date with the Saints. Both of these teams rely heavily on their above average running game, but their defenses are ranked first and second against the run. If I had to pick one quarterback to get it done through the air, Geno Smith or Cam Newton, I would wisely choose Newton. Hold your applause. Thank you, good night.
Best Bet for Survival – Falcons vs. Redskins
The race to 3-13 starts here. The Falcons showed last week that they are still capable of putting up points in a hurry against a subpar defense, scoring 21 points in the second quarter against Green Bay.
When you have Matt Ryan, you are never out of it. Especially when you are playing a team that has lost five straight games, benched its starting quarterback after rushing him back, is coached by a guy who can’t wait to be fired and is only playing to lock up a better draft pick for the Rams.
Washington has won two games since October 1, against the Chargers and Bears. What do those two those teams have in common? They both beat the Cowboys. Correction, they both beat the 7-6, second-place Cowboys. Sole possession feels so good.
Cheating Death – Jaguars vs. Bills
The Jags are on fire and nobody believes in them!! The last three weeks, the Jacksonville money line has been the bet of bets in the gambling world. I expect that to continue as they are home underdogs welcoming in Buffalo.
Bills’ quarterback EJ Manuel is coming off a dreadful performance against the Bucs, in which he threw half of his eight interceptions this season and finished with a QB rating of 31. Unfortunately for EJ and the Bills, they aren’t getting out of Florida without playing another game.
The red-hot Jags were once the team to pick against for survival, but down the stretch they could be the team that carries a champion out of the pool.
The NFL is a crazy beast.
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.