Survivor Clean Slate Week 12: Commanders Catastrophe
Last week’s Survivor entries were well spread out. Ten different teams received 1.91 percent or more of the overall picks, a stark contrast to patterns from weeks past. Most of the most popular picks came through for their believers, though not without some drama (looking at you, Detroit). But this is Splash Survivor, not bets against the spread – all that matters is the W.
The Lions were the most common choice in Week 11 Survivor contests, and the 19.93 percent of entries that backed them were rewarded. The second-most preferred outfit, the Commanders, did not provide the same safety. The 18.30 percent of entries that supported them in their cause against the Giants are no more.
Many of the other popular selections of the week did what their pickers hoped they would, but not all. For those now staring into the empty, Survivor-less void, it’s time to start over. The Week 12 Splash NFL Survivor Sprint is open for entrants, with $5,000 coming to the last person standing. If you can predict three winners every week longer than the rest, then the money is yours.
Whether you’re joining the latest sprint, or still alive in an active Survivor contest, you need to know your options for the week upon us. It’s Thanksgiving week, which means a spread-out slate from Turkey Day to Monday. You need to know what’s on the horizon. I got you.
The Commanders ruined the weekend for more than 18 percent of Survivor entries, 31-19, by far the biggest cause of casualties in Week 11. Who would’ve thought the Giants would win? Apparently, 0.30 percent of entries did. Society would appreciate it if these Nostradamuses would launch careers in weather.
The other notable oopsies were the Chargers and Vikings. Los Angeles failed to take care of the Packers, 23-20, eliminating 2.15 percent of entries in the process. Minnesota couldn’t keep its winning ways afloat. The Vikings narrowly knelt to the Broncos, 21-20, snapping their streak of five successes and smothering 1.91 percent of entries. Unfortunately, one-point losses get you as far in Survivor as they do in the NFL standings.
If You Want This Week’s Biggest Favorite…
In the lead-up to Week 12 action, it is yet again the Cowboys that enjoy the title of biggest favorites. With a 10.5-point spread separating Dallas and divisional counterpart Washington, the books are showing more faith in the Cowboys at home than in any other outfit this week.
It’s the same line as Dallas’s game against Carolina last week, and given the Commanders’ capitulation to the hapless Giants in Week 11, 31-19, it’s understandable why. The Cowboys have been winners in four of their last five, the sole defeat a close one in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the 4-7 Commanders have been losers in seven of their last nine tries. Nobody is allowing more points per game (27.7) than Washington, and nobody but the Eagles have kept the Cowboys below 33 since mid-October. That’s not a good omen.
Dallas has beat up on inferior opponents in each of the last two weeks. The books think the ‘Boys will make that three in a row this Thanksgiving.
If You Want This Week’s Next-Biggest Favorite…
The Dolphins escaped the Raiders last week, 20-13, to improve to 7-3. Next up is the Jets, which enter the contest with a tragic trio of three-straight tumbles hanging over their heads, most recently a 32-6 blasting at the hands of the Bills.
The spread for this one sits at 9.5 at the moment even though the teams will share MetLife Stadium on Friday. Despite traveling up the Atlantic coast for this AFC East clash, Miami is expected to cruise. The Dolphins enter with one of, if not the most prolific offense in the NFL, while the Jets have struggled mightily to put points on the board all season long – New York has scored more than thirteen points in just four of its 10 outings so far in 2023.
It's one of the league’s best offenses versus one of the worst. The Jets have held back opposing attacks at a decent rate this season, but they did just let Josh Allen beat them for 275 passing yards and three touchdowns en route to giving up 32 points. At this point, we don’t even know who will receive snaps for the home team, and I’m not sure how much it matters; it will be an uphill climb for the Jets to pull off this upset no matter what.
If You Want a Value Pick…
The Bears head to Minneapolis on a much different trajectory than the Vikings. Chicago is 3-8 with a plethora of problems that it’s not solving in the immediacy. In the other corner stands Minnesota, which turned its season around with a five game winning streak that snapped in a close one to the Broncos last week, 21-20.
Despite the defeat in Week 11, the Vikings look like a team aimed at a playoff spot. Even without Justin Jefferson or Kirk Cousins, the Vikings passing attack has been electric. Joshua Dobbs has been a man possessed since Minnesota acquired him from Arizona prior to the trade deadline. In the six showdowns since Jefferson was placed on injury reserve, rookie receiver Jordan Addison has hauled in 29 receptions for 398 yards and four touchdowns. Given what injuries have taken from the Vikings, they have been remarkably unaffected.
The line for this game is 3.5, not much considering the records of the teams that enter. I suspect the Cowboys, Dolphins, Chiefs, and other larger favorites will be more popular picks in Splash Survivor contests this week. For those of you in a Survivor Sprint, you will be responsible for choosing more than one winner, maybe even three. Admittedly, the Bears have been playing better football as of late, and maybe what the Broncos did against the Vikings in Week 11 provided a blueprint for how to handle them. There is inherent risk in staking your future survival on a barely above-.500 team missing its best offensive weapon. But if you’re searching for a value pick this late in the Survivor season, consider Kevin O’Connell’s crew.
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