Upsets were the theme in both college football and the NFL this past weekend and have been a pretty regular occurrence on the gridiron so far. A lot of the ones in the NFL have taken chunks of Survivor players down, as we saw more of the same in Week 6 with losses from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens.
At this point, if you’re still left standing, I assume the horseshoe lodged in an unnamed orifice is starting to hurt … although, maybe that’s why you’re still standing as I would be too painful to sit down. Nevertheless, we’ve got five favorites of a touchdown or more this week, so it’s mostly about picking the right one, assuming you have them available.
GAMES TO CONSIDER
Dallas Cowboys (-7) over Detroit Lions
It would seem that Dak Prescott will be ready to go this week for the Cowboys. Based on everything you’ve seen and read, the Cowboys are just taking it easy with their high-dollar quarterback to make sure that he’s fully ready to return. They’ve navigated choppy waters without him on the backs of the defenders, but this is a good spot to get him back into rhythm with a couple of subpar opponents before the bye week.
Prescott was cleared to practice this week, which paves the way for him to get the nod in a big game at home. While I’m not sure that the Dallas defense is this good, they are third in points per drive allowed and have only allowed 4.6 yards per play. The Lions have had one of the worst defenses in the NFL with 6.5 yards per play allowed and rank 31st in points per drive allowed. The Lions have averaged 6.2 yards per play, but have trailed a lot this season, which can skew the numbers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5) at Carolina Panthers
If you waited a week on the Buccaneers, you dodged a Survivor-sized bullet. They lost 20-18 to the Steelers, but are in an even bigger favorite role this week against an even more hapless team. At least the Steelers remain well-coached under Mike Tomlin and have some promise with Kenny Pickett and a strong skill group. The Panthers have a lame-duck head coach, a bad journeyman quarterback that got hurt last week and two other below-average quarterbacks dealing with injuries. Jacob Eason may very well get the start.
Even with the current state of the Bucs, the Panthers are arguably the worst team in football. They’re dead last in third-down conversion rate (shout-out Ben McAdoo), 30th in red zone touchdown percentage and have been held to 16 or fewer points in four of their six games. Tampa Bay can’t do this again this week, right?