(Image credit Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Week 1 is officially in the books and it was a very fun time as football for the NFL has returned. Especially as the NFL has made its return and hopefully you have survived Week 1 and are now looking at who to pick Week 2 of the regular season for your survivor pools.
Again, I would like to remind everyone about what a survivor pool is and its rules. A survivor pool is a weekly contest where people select one team straight up per week to win their game. If a team that a participant in the survivor pool chooses wins like the San Francisco 49ers did last week against the Detroit Lions then the participant in the survivor pool advances to the next week. But, now you can't choose the San Francisco 49ers anymore for the rest of the season. But if the team that the participant in the Survivor pool chose loses as the Baltimore Ravens did against the Las Vegas Raiders then the participant is eliminated from the pool.
Now that we know the rules here are the Top 5 options, A trap Survivor pick, and my Survivor pick for week 2 of the 2021 NFL season.
Week 2 Top 5 Survivor Options
Overall Record (4-1)
1. Cleveland Browns (vs Houston Texans)
Remember when I said last week that the main strategy for many players in Survivor was going to be to pick against the Houston Texans. That strategy starts Sunday when the Texans are going to face the Cleveland Browns. The Texans pulled a “surprising” (I told you it was a trap) victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The problem is that the Jaguars are poorly coached and have an untalented defense. Cleveland is properly coached and has an extremely talented defense. Even on offense, the Browns feel like a more complete team. This game on paper is a mismatch. Again I feel weird saying this because I'd never thought in a million years that out of all teams I would call the Cleveland Browns a mismatch against an opposing team. I would not be surprised at all if this game was a blowout.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs Atlanta Falcons)
No surprises with Tampa yet again being a top 5 choice as a survivor pick. The game with Dallas was a surprisingly close game mainly due to the efforts of Dak Prescott and an improved defense. But the Falcons oh boy I thought the Lions would be the worst team in the NFC. The Falcons are easily worse than the Lions as Atlanta’s defense is a trainwreck. Except for Dante Fowler, this defense is absolutely terrible. The only reason why this is not number one is that this is a division game and it is best to avoid picking division games in survivor unless it is absolutely necessary. I would be shocked if the Atlanta Falcons do defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Las Vegas Raiders)
Las Vegas came off a big win against a beaten-up Baltimore Ravens team. When looking back at the film the Raiders have a solid edge rusher in Maxx Crosby who was all over the place in this game but his partner Ngakoue could be out again next week. They lost McCoy which is going to hurt this run defense. This secondary is not good at all and won't face a beaten-up receiving core like they did last week against the Ravens. The Raiders' offensive line is terrible as well and Josh Jacobs absolutely looks hurt and is not going to be 100% vs the Steelers. The Raiders receivers excluding Darren Waller are mediocre and are going to face a healthier defense than they did against the Baltimore Ravens. Especially with stronger Edge rushers like Melvin Ingram and TJ Watt (who is now paid) that they have to deal with. Devin Bush and Joe Schobert at linebacker should be able to have a solid performance but have to do a good job containing Darren Waller who had a ton of targets against the Ravens. Now the Steelers' o-line is not good at all but they did perform well against a good Buffalo Bills defense. The Steelers have solid depth at receiver and Juju Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool should have good games against a terrible Raiders secondary. A big reason why I like the Steelers this week is that the Steelers are the home team, it will be a shorter week for the Raiders to prepare, and it is a West Coast team playing a game on the East Coast. The Steelers are a team you can't trust long-term as they are known for playing down to competition in the mid to late season and I don't like their future value.
4. New England Patriots (at New York Jets)
The New England Patriots suffered a difficult loss vs the Miami Dolphins but were impressive in that game. Mac Jones was solid also and made a ton of great throws in the second quarter. This defense as well is solid for the Patriots. Even though the Patriots are not the home team in this game it helps that the New York Jets are suffering from a ton of injuries. They lost Mekhi Becton on the o-line which is a tremendous loss for this o-line as he is the best player on this team. His replacement most likely will be George Fant who was absolutely terrible all game for the Jets. The Linebacker core except for CJ Mosley and Hamsah Nasirildeen are all currently suffering from injuries. Even on special teams, the Jets are suffering injuries as Braden Mann will be out for a while due to a knee injury. The Jets Secondary is also not good as they lost LaMarcus Joyner for the season due to a Torn Tricep injury and the cornerbacks are still extremely young. The Patriots should perform well against a beaten-up Jets team and should win this game.
5. Green Bay Packers (vs Detroit Lions)
This is the risk survivor pick of the week in my opinion. The Packers put in a terrible performance against the New Orleans Saints which completely shocked me as I thought this game was going to be a close one. Green Bay should bounce back against a terrible Detroit Lions team. Excluding Trey Flowers and Jamie Collins, the Lions' defense is terrible, and lost former 3rd overall pick CB Jeff Okudah for the season due to a Torn Achilles injury. The Lions almost came back against the 49ers mainly due to how injured the 49ers secondary was and Jared Goff threw all over them. While this is a divisional game the Packers are the home team but keep in mind that this game will be played on Monday Night Football. The Packers are healthy and I expect them to rebound against the Lions.
Trap Survivor Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (at Chicago Bears)
This was a tougher week to choose a trap game for survivor. I decided to go for the Bengals as my trap game. The Bengals offense while solid with Joe Burrow has a ton of issues especially as this offensive line is still shaky and could barely handle the Vikings. At least Ja'Marr Chase fixed the dropping issues that he had during the preseason. The Bears offense is pretty solid even though their offensive line is bad. Luckily the Bengals' defense will be a lot easier to deal with. Especially with how terrible this secondary is. Especially as Eli Apple will be the starting cornerback and he was brutal against the Minnesota Vikings letting long receptions go through and even gave the Vikings an easy touchdown due to how poor the coverage was. The Bears defense is a lot better than the Minnesota Vikings are which will be a big issue for the Bengals. This is also a revenge game for Andy Dalton as the Cincinnati Bengals wasted Andy Dalton’s prime. I debated who the better coach was as I am not a fan of Matt Nagy or Zac Taylor but I am leaning towards Nagy being the better coach. The Bears are also the home team in this game and I expect them to rebound in this game after putting up a solid performance against the Los Angeles Rams.
Record 1-0 (Week 1: Jax)
My Survivor Pick for Week 2: Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Las Vegas Raiders)
I debated this selection a lot. I don’t want to use the Cleveland Browns or Tampa Bay Buccaneers yet as they have a ton of future value in survivor. Green Bay is too risky for me to take as the game is on Monday Night Football and I don't truly know what to make with either team. It was down to the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for me. The Patriots are going to face a beaten-up Jets squad but the issue is that this is not an Adam Gase-led Jets team and they are not the home team in this game. Plus the Patriots have future value as they face the Texans week 5, the Jets in Gillette Stadium week 7, and the Jaguars week 17. I don’t trust the Steelers future value-wise as they have a habit of playing down to competition in the mid-to-late season and especially when playoff time comes (Again, Why is Mike Tomlin still the head coach of the Steelers Again?). They always play better at the beginning of the season. The Steelers are also going to play their game in Pittsburgh which also intrigued me to take them. So I will be taking the Steelers as my 2021 week 2 survivor pick.
Teams Used: (Week 1: 49ers)