It’s Week 4 and the Ultimate Survivor “can’t wait” to hit the reset button on this season. The 49ers (2-1, Riggo’s Rag Power Ranking 3, SI Power Ranking 4) and Steelers (1-2, RRPR 10, SIPR 16) proved once again that you simply cannot trust a road favorite for your Survivor pick. The Saints (0-3, RRPR 25, SIPR 29) further reinforced the unqualified Survivor rule to never, EVER, pick a team that has yet to win a game… even if it is against the Chiefs (1-2, RRPR 22, SIPR 23). For the 6% of you have been guided by the hands of the football gods to stay alive by correctly choosing the likes of Bengals (2-1, RRPR 16, SIPR 13) and Bears (2-1, RRPR 8, SIPR 12) in the past two weeks, that Rams (1-2, RRPR 24, SIPR 24) over Seahawks (2-1, RRPR 9, SIPR 11) Survivor pick is probably looking real enticing right about now. For the rest of us who have used analysis, logic, and rock-paper-scissors to our unfortunate detriment, it’s time for us to take our Mulligan. You never like burning that bad boy on the front nine, but sometimes a round has to be more about individual holes than the final score.
That being said, the two obvious picks this week are the Texans (3-0, RRPR 1, SIPR 1) at home over the Titans (1-2, RRPR 29, SIPR 25), and the Ravens (2-1, RRPR 4, SIPR 3) on Thursday night over the Browns (0-3, RRPR 32, SIPR 32). The Texans are far and away the best team in the NFL right now. Even the replacement refs cannot slow these guys down. When you consider that they are playing a Titans team who will do anything and everything to try to lose a football game – including giving up 14 points in the last 18 seconds of a game to Shaun “Who” Hill, this one is easy money in the bank. Odds are, however, that you probably have already used the Texans this Survivor season. (For the purposes of this article we assume the most popular answer on our poll is the one that was used to survive last week. So far we have used Houston, Cincinnati, and Cowboys in the first three weeks.) Plan B is the Ravens. While there is always the possibility that the Black Birds will suffer a letdown after their emotional roller coaster win against the Patriots (1-2, RRPR 7, SIPR 8), the fact that it is a short week at home against a winless, talentless, our-first-owner’s-name-was-Paul Brown’s team, Plan B is a solid Survivor choice week.
As for our beloved Redskins (1-2, RRPR 20, SIPR 22), all is not well in the Beltway. The promise of Week 1 has been swept away by the last minute bunglings of Weeks 2 and 3. Despite the close scores, the Burgundy and Gold look to be about 21 players short of a championship contender. His Majesty III can only do so much. However, this week, I like the Hogs chances on the road against the punch-less Buccaneers (1-2, RRPR 15, SIPR 21). The Buccaneers do not score a lot of points. They average only 20.0 points per game – tying them with the Rams for 24th in the NFL. The Redskins, on the other hand, rank 1st, racking up 33.0 points per contest. In this game, the Buccaneers defense will simply not be fast enough to stop his Majesty III from topping 20 points. After the last two weeks, faith in our hometown heroes may be exactly what we need to right our Survivor ship.