The Elias Guide to Survive: Week 2

Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

NFL survivor pool action was frantic to start the 2022 NFL season, with upsets around the NFL causing carnage in pools throughout the country. In Week 2, players who survived (and those whose pools have an early season re-entry option) will hope for a week of NFL action that goes more to expectations this time around. Here, we look at survivor pool Week 2 action, and break down the more popular selections of the week.

NFL Survivor Pool Week 1 Recap

Before we get to the popular survivor pool Week 2 picks, let’s take a look back at what was a wild week of NFL Week 1 survivor pool play. According to Yahoo! Sports, nearly two thirds of their survivor pool entries were taken down in the first week of the season. With all of the upsets we saw in the first week of the season, it is not hard to figure out why.

Several Favorites Go Down

In Week 1, we saw four favorites of five points or more get beaten outright to start their seasons:

  • The Tennessee Titans had a 13-0 halftime lead against the New York Giants, but could not hold onto it.
  • The San Francisco 49ers lost on a sloppy track at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals lost in overtime to the Mitchell Trubisky-led Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • The Denver Broncos lost outright in the Russell Wilson Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks.

The only favorites of five points or more that got the job done in Week 1 were the Baltimore Ravens, who beat the New York Jets, and a New Orleans Saints team that needed a late comeback to beat the Atlanta Falcons. Four of the five most popular survivor pool selections fell in Week 1, along with the Indianapolis Colts, who tied the Houston Texans.

Do Ties Count As Losses In Survivor Pools?

One of the most commonly asked questions after last week’s survivor pool action was whether or not ties count as losses in survivor pools. This is not a frequent concern in these pools, as ties in the NFL are not all that common. But it immediately came into play during Week 1 of this season, with a popular survivor pick in the Colts playing to a stalemate against the Texans.

In most survivor pools, a tie is considered a loss, with a win being the only way that an entry can move onto the next week. However, this can vary depending on the rules set by your individual league. It is worth checking your league rules to find out if your survivor pool is an exception to the rule and you are still alive in your contest.

Popular Week 2 Matchups

Now that we have looked back at Week 1 and bid farewell to those survivor pool entries that did not survive, it is time to move ahead to survivor pool Week 2 action. This week, there are five teams that are favored by a touchdown or more going into this weekend. We will look at those teams, and provide some insight into each of those games to help you determine the best path in Week 2 survivor pool play.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Ben Skowronek (18) celebrates touchdown by wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

The most popular of NFL survivor pool picks so far in Week 2 is the Los Angeles Rams to get into the win column at home against the Atlanta Falcons. Los Angeles is a double-digit favorite this week, as they look to avoid becoming the first defending champion since the 1999 Denver Broncos to start a season with an 0-2 record. To do that, they will have to beat a Falcons team that held a 16-point lead at home against the Saints in Week 1, but could not hold onto that lead down the stretch.

For the Rams to pick up a win for themselves and survivor pool players here, they will need to be mindful of a mobile quarterback for the second straight week. Los Angeles allowed 56 rushing yards to Josh Allen in their Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills, and they face a quarterback in Marcus Mariota who started his season with 72 rushing yards for the Falcons. Atlanta is 0-3 straight up as a double-digit underdog dating back to last season, but they do have some offensive weapons for the Rams to deal with.

Cincinnati Bengals (@ Dallas Cowboys)

Once it was announced that Dak Prescott would miss several weeks with a thumb injury for the Dallas Cowboys, the dynamic of this week’s game between the Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals completely shifted. With Prescott out, and Cooper Rush set to take over as the team’s starting quarterback for the time being, the Bengals have become one of the most popular survivor pool picks of Week 2. The Bengals will be looking to rebound from their season opening loss, where they were also a popular survivor pool pick, against a depleted Cowboys squad.

Last season, Cooper Rush got one start for the Dallas Cowboys, as he was forced into action against the Minnesota Vikings on the road. Rush threw for 325 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 20-16 win in a game where the Vikings were heavily favored. While that would be a difficult feat to replicate against the defending AFC champions, Rush’s performance in his only career start shows it cannot be ruled out entirely.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) reacts with cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. (23) in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium.
Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns (vs. New York Jets)

In Week 1, the Cleveland Browns used their running game to subdue the Carolina Panthers, beating their former starting quarterback in Baker Mayfield. Nick Chubb rushed for 141 yards against the Panthers, making things easier on temporary starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett. This week, the Browns are a popular survivor pool pick against a Jets team that lost 24-9 to the Baltimore Ravens at home in Week 1.

For the second straight week, the Jets will be starting Joe Flacco in place of the injured Zach Wilson. Flacco threw for 307 yards in Week 1 against the Ravens, but needed 59 pass attempts to get there, averaging just 5.2 yards per attempt. Since the start of the 2021 season, only the Jacksonville Jaguars have a worse average margin than the Jets, who have been outscored by 11.6 points per game in their last 18 outings.

Denver Broncos (vs. Houston Texans)

The Denver Broncos were one of the popular Week 1 survivor pool picks that let players down, as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. While the main story of the game was Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle, the story for the Broncos was a comedy of errors, as multiple goal line fumbles and poor clock management at the end of the game cost them a season opening win. Here, they head to Denver for their home opener, where they are a heavy favorite against the Houston Texans and a popular survivor pool Week 2 pick.

This will be Russell Wilson’s first home game as a member of the Broncos. As a home favorite of seven points or more in Seattle, Wilson led the Seahawks to a 31-8 straight up record. To improve to 1-0 in that scenario in Denver, Wilson will need to outperform a quarterback in Davis Mills who has completed 68.7% of his passes in his last seven starts. Mills threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions in Houston’s tie against the Indianapolis Colts to open their season.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts to a dropped pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers (vs. Chicago Bears)

Despite Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers scoring just seven points in a Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers are heavy favorites once again as they take on the Chicago Bears in Week 2. Aaron Rodgers’ frustration early in his season opener has not been enough to dissuade survivor pool players from backing the Packers to bounce back on Sunday Night Football. Rodgers’ recent performances against the Bears could be a reason for that confidence in Green Bay.

In the last six meetings between the Packers and Bears, the Packers have gone 6-0 straight up and against the spread. In those six games, Rodgers has thrown 16 touchdown passes and has not thrown an interception. Here, Rodgers and the Packers will hope that a game against the Bears is just what they need to bounce back.

San Francisco 49ers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

The San Francisco 49ers lost outright as 6.5-point favorites to the Chicago Bears in Week 1, which resulted in the elimination of many survivor pool players. The combination of wet field conditions and some stout defense from the Bears derailed San Francisco in that contest. This week, the Niners have their home opener, and are heavy favorites against a Seattle Seahawks team that captured an emotional win over the Denver Broncos to start their season.

While San Francisco did lose to the Bears last week, they outgained Chicago by 127 yards in that game. Seattle, meanwhile, was outgained by 180 yards by a Broncos team that failed to take advantage of several scoring opportunities. The team that does a better job of taking advantage of its scoring chances in this game could also be the one to come away with a win, regardless of who moves the ball between the 20s.

Good luck with your selections, and make sure to come back for our breakdown of Week 3!

Need More Analysis?

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