The Elias Guide to Survive: Week 4

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff passes against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at Ford Field, Sept. 11, 2022.
Photo Credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
Week 3 of the NFL season featured zero teams favored by double digits, which made picking survivor pool teams more challenging than usual. As a result, multiple popular survivor pool picks went down, further thinning the herd in most pools before the season is even a quarter of the way through. This week, there is a lone double-digit favorite as players look to survive and advance through Week 4.

NFL Survivor Pool Week 3 Recap

Before we get to Survivor Pool Week 4 action, let’s take a look back at Week 3. While there were a couple of notable losses by popular survivor pool picks, some of the more popular picks did make it through:

  • The Cincinnati Bengals finally protected Joe Burrow and subsequently trounced the New York Jets
  • The Eagles offense continued to roll right over the Commanders
  • It wasn’t pretty, but the Vikings beat the Lions on a late touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins
  • It really wasn’t pretty, but the Bears snuck past the Texans as time expired

AFC West Teams Trip Up Entries

There were two teams that let survivor pool players down in a big way last week, and they just so happened to be the two most popular picks going into Week 3the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, both of whom were favored to win against AFC South teams. They both lost outright as favorites, ending the survivor pool bids of many hopeful players.

The Chiefs lost to the previously winless Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, missing multiple field goals down the stretch before allowing Matt Ryan to throw a game-winning touchdown pass. In Los Angeles, the Chargers were blown out by the Jacksonville Jaguars, even with Justin Herbert opting to play through his rib injury. For survivor pool players who backed these AFC West teams, there is always next year.

Popular Week 4 Matchups

With one double-digit favorite coming into the week, picks will be concentrated pretty heavily on one selection in Week 4. But there are several teams to consider this week, as one wrong move could end your bid to reign supreme in your survivor pool.

Here is a look at some of the most popular picks for this week, as we use Elias Insights to break each one down, in a week where players are relying on the likes of Mitch Trubisky, Cooper Rush, and Jared Goff to get them through.

Sep 25, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) hands off to Green Bay Packers the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium.
Photo Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers (vs. New England Patriots)

Over at Yahoo! Sports, nearly half of the NFL Week 4 survivor pool picks are on the Green Bay Packers to defeat the New England Patriots. Players are confident that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers can outperform a Patriots team that is expected to be without quarterback Mac Jones for several weeks due to a sprained ankle. Whether that means we see Brian Hoyer or Bailey Zappe taking snaps for the Patriots, the man under center will face a tough task against the Green Bay defense.

So far this season, the Green Bay Packers have allowed just 15.0 points per game. They followed up a game where they held the Chicago Bears to 10 points with a 14-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday. Another defensive gem from the Packers this week could give survivor pool players a path to being alive in Week 5.

Los Angeles Chargers (@ Houston Texans)

Despite their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, survivor pool players have not been shy about selecting the Los Angeles Chargers against the Houston Texans. They are hoping that the Chargers will avenge last season’s 41-29 loss to Houston, in which Justin Herbert threw two interceptions. For the Chargers to do that, they will need more out of their running game than they’ve been getting.

Through three weeks, the Chargers rank dead last in the NFL, averaging 59.0 yards per game on the ground. This week, they take on a Texans team that itself ranks last in run defense, allowing 202.3 rushing yards per contest. The Chargers have not had a player break 40 rushing yards in a game yet this season, and will look for Austin Ekeler to have a breakout game to help them snap a two-game losing streak.

Sep 25, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the Washington Commanders during the second quarter at FedExField.
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

The Philadelphia Eagles are one of two 3-0 teams in the NFL so far this season, joining the Miami Dolphins in that exclusive club. This week, they take on a Jacksonville Jaguars team that is playing well in its own right, coming off of consecutive blowout wins over the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers. This week, survivor pool players are more confident in the Eagles to continue their winning ways.

This game will mark a return to Philadelphia for former Eagles and current Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson. So far this season, Pederson’s Jaguars have allowed 12.7 points per game, which is tied with the Buffalo Bills for the fourth-best mark in the NFL. For Philly to come through for survivor pool players, Jalen Hurts and the dynamic Eagles offense will need to get the better of that defense on a consistent basis.

Detroit Lions (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

The Detroit Lions have not been synonymous with “popular survivor pool pick” over the years, but that is exactly what they are this week at home against the Seattle Seahawks. The Lions are 5.5-point favorites, and have covered the spread in six straight home games dating back to last season. All they need to do is win this game outright to give survivor pool players the satisfaction of advancing to Week 5, but they will need to overcome injuries on offense to do so.

D’Andre Swift is dealing with a shoulder injury that could take him out of action, while Amon-Ra St. Brown is questionable with an ankle injury. They have combined for five touchdowns through three weeks, and are big reasons why the Lions rank second in the NFL in scoring at 31.7 points per game. Survivor pool players will want to keep an eye on the injury report out of Detroit to have a clear picture of which weapons will be on the field on Sunday.

Sep 18, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush (10) hands off to running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium.
Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys (vs. Washington Commanders)

The Dallas Cowboys picked up their second straight win last week, beating the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. That win was the second straight victory for Dallas with Cooper Rush as their starting quarterback, after he replaced the injured Dak Prescott, and Rush’s third straight win in the starting role dating back to last season. This week, survivor pool players are backing Rush to extend his winning streak at home against the Washington Commanders.

Divisional games have been a source of success for the Cowboys dating back to last season. Dallas has gone 7-0 both straight up and against the spread against NFC East opponents since the start of the 2021 campaign, including a season sweep of the Commanders (then known as the Washington Football Team) a season ago. This week, a Dallas pass rush that leads the NFL with 13 sacks will look to keep Washington QB Carson Wentz grounded en route to an eighth straight win over a divisional foe.

Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. New York Jets)

In a battle of 1-2 AFC teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets will meet at Acrisure Stadium in Pennsylvania, with the Steelers emerging as a popular survivor pool pick. For the Steelers to live up to that billing, they will need to get their first regular season win without T.J. Watt since he joined the team in 2017. Whether or not that happens could depend on who is playing quarterback for the Jets come Sunday.

Zach Wilson should return to the lineup as the Jets starting quarterback this week after suffering a preseason knee injury. Joe Flacco has been starting in his place, and ranks fifth in passing yardage with 901 yards through the first three weeks of the season. How Wilson looks if he is cleared to play could have a huge impact on whether the Jets can put enough offense together to win on the road and cause another survivor pool upset.


Get those Week 4 picks in, and once you safely advance, come back next week for another round of breakdowns from the experts from Elias!

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