The final week of the 2021 NFL regular season is here with the first ever Week 18. Playoff spots and seeding are still on the line for some teams. Here are some NFL Week 18 survivor top picks.
Top Picks for NFL Week 18 Survivor League
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Versus Carolina Panthers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just crushed the Carolina Panthers, 32-6, in Week 16. Sure, the Bucs are missing some key pieces, including Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette. And Antonio Brown will not suit up for Tampa Bay again after he most likely finished torpedoing his NFL career. But Tom Brady and company should not struggle against the Panthers, a team that is 5-11, has lost six in a row, and is eliminated from playoff contention.
Carolina’s offense has been completely inept (ranked 29th, scoring only 17.9 points per game) and Christian McCaffrey is sidelined yet again. And the Panthers defense is ranked 19th in scoring (22.7 points per game). By contrast, the Bucs offense is second in scoring (29.4 points per game) and their defense is ranked 11th (21.0 points per game). While Tampa Bay is dealing with injuries and they are not firing on all cylinders right now, they should dispatch Carolina with relative ease.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
The Tennessee Titans have clinched the AFC South and are currently the number one seed in the conference. They will do whatever is necessary to get a win this week because doing so ensures they keep the top seed and get the only bye in the AFC. The Houston Texans have nothing to play for as they are 4-12 and have not had any postseason thoughts in a while.
The Texans did pull off a shocking victory over the Titans in Week 11. But Houston defeating Tennessee twice this season is almost unthinkable, especially with the AFC’s only bye on the line for the Titans. Tennessee’s defense is ranked sixth in scoring and Houston’s offense is ranked last in scoring. The Texans will not be able to put up enough points or make enough stops to take down the Titans for the second time this season.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
The Green Bay Packers have clinched the NFC’s top seed and only bye, so the question is how much action their starters, especially Aaron Rodgers, will see this week if they play at all. The Detroit Lions will play hard even though they still have a shot at securing the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft with a loss(a Lions loss and a Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Packers are by far the superior team on both offense and defense and have a distinct advantage at quarterback if Rodgers plays. If they decide they do not want their starters to have two weeks off before their Divisional Round playoff game, they should take down the Lions fairly easily. But if Green Bay sits their key starters, including Rodgers, the Lions could win this week and taking the Packers in a survivor pool would not be wise.
Washington Football Team at New York Giants
Sure, it is difficult to trust the Washington Football Team and they have lost four straight games, but they had won four straight prior to this slide and the New York Giants, who have lost five straight, might be the worst team in the league right now. And the Giants will probably have Mike Glennon and/or Jake Fromm under center and that is a recipe for a loss.
The Giants have scored a total of 19 points in their last three games and have cracked 10 points just once during that span. While Washington’s defense has been a serious disappointment compared to preseason expectations, they should not have a problem stopping New York’s offense and whoever they have at quarterback. If Washington puts up at least 13 points, which they have managed to do in every game but two this season, that will be enough to win this week. Do not overthink this one. Of these two bad teams, the Giants are clearly worse.
Buffalo Bills Versus New York Jets
Yes, the Buffalo Bills have played down to their competition at times this season, including a loss to the Jaguars. But this week they are playing to win the AFC East and get a top-four seed in the AFC. And in Week 10 the Bills defeated the New York Jets with ease, 45-17.
The Jets gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all they could handle last week, but Gang Green has lost four of their last five games and sit at 4-12 on the season. As long as Josh Allen limits the turnovers this week (he threw three picks against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17) the Bills should win easily, even if the New England Patriots and their fans would love to see them lose.
Taking the Bucs, Titans, Packers, Football Team or Bills, are the best bets this week. But going with the Cincinnati Bengals over the Cleveland Browns, who will be without Baker Mayfield (assuming Joe Burrow is healthy and plays) would also be smart. And again, anyone still in an active survivor league needs to pay attention to which, if any, key starters are sitting this week.