By Justin Boylan

*Reminder: The 94WIP Suicide Pool homepage

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — I’m here to take credit, rather, responsibility, for the Cowboys’ win on Sunday in Seattle.  Full responsibility.

The Cowboys didn’t win because they outgained the Seahawks by 195 yards, ran 22 more plays on offense and held the ball a full quarter longer.  It wasn’t because the league’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray ran for 115 yards and a touchdown, the first player to do so in Seattle since Adrian Peterson in 2012.  It wasn’t because the Dallas offensive line opened up lanes that allowed Murray and criminal mastermind Joseph Randle to average 5 yards per carry, while only giving up one sack.  And it wasn’t because the Cowboys were 10-for-17 on third down, right around their NFL-best conversion percentage, including a ridiculous 3rd and 20 sideline throw from Tony Romo to Terrance Got His Toes In Williams.

Nope, the Cowboys won because a week ago I tucked Seattle in and gave them the kiss of death.  That’s me, Death.  That or the classic Grim Reaper, I also go by the Angel of Death, the Angel of Darkness, the Angel of the Abyss (aka the Destroyer), or just plain Grim if you’re comfortable with a first-name basis.  I’ve been killing teams for three weeks now, I might as well embrace it.

As you can probably guess, that game left its mark on the Suicide Pool.  A cool 1,126 people doubted my powers and rode Seattle six feet under.  It was by far the largest slaying of the weekend.  The next closest was the 31 poor souls who picked the Falcons to handle the Bears.  Meanwhile, fortune favors the 831 competitors that chose the Bengals (and the three that picked the Panthers) and survived thanks to a tie game.  This year a tie gets you through, but don’t ask me why because Death answers to no one.

On to week 7, let’s see if I’m able to put down my scythe and head towards the light.  It’s a long road back to .500 and I could use some company.  Don’t fear the reaper; just pack an extra cowbell.


Grim Reaper Selection – Colts vs. Bengals

After a 3-0 start with a NFL-best 33 points allowed, the Bengals defense given up 43 and 37 points, respectively, in the last two weeks.  This was a defense ranked first in DVOA through the first four weeks that is now 14th with the league’s worst rush defense.  Now would be the time for the offense to step up and support a struggling defensive unit, but that’s hard to do when Mohamed Sanu is the primary, and pretty much only, target for Andy Dalton to throw to while A.J. Green continues to miss time.

On the other side, Andrew Luck is scorching hot.  He leads the NFL in pass attempts, yards and touchdowns, and the last time we saw him he was carving up the Houston Texans on Thursday night.  Luck presents similar problems that Cam Newton did last week, with his ability to run for big gains while being even more lethal through the air.

If the Bengals want to prevent the Colts from winning their fifth straight game, their pass defense will have to play to its highest potential while being much improved against the run.  Giovani Bernard will also have to be the best player on the field, picking up the slack left by a thin receiving corps, which could prove difficult because of that guy Luck.  But you can count on those things happening, because Grim just took the Colts.

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Best Bet for Survival – Patriots vs. Jets

Thursday night massacre!  Here’s the only game this week with a point spread greater than a touchdown.  The Jets should not be able to do anything in the passing game, and this is a passing league.  They have scored more than 20 points just once this year.  The Jets are bad.

Speaking of, what are the odds Rex Ryan is fired during the season?  Say, during the team’s week 11 bye.  After this game, they have the Bills, Chiefs and Steelers.  Maybe they get one win out of that and are 2-8 at the bye, which is likely the best-case scenario.  I’m worried for you, Rex.


Cheating Death – Dolphins at Bears

Wait, I am Death.  I’m trying to trick myself, is that even possible?  The Bears aren’t good enough to avoid a letdown game, and the Dolphins are out for NFC North blood after getting beat by the Packers Aaron Rodgers with three seconds left in a game they thought they won.

This matchup is one of 11 games this week with a spread currently less than a touchdown.  I smell a wild week coming, which will lead to even more bodies buried in an already shrinking pool.


Justin Boylan is a producer at 94WIP. Follow him on Twitter @justintboylan.


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