I was up late Thursday night writing, so I need to warn you: the Week 6 edition of my Survivor League Picks column might be a little less grounded than usual.

 

Miami Dolphins

-13.5 vs. Panthers

De'Von Achane injured his knee Sunday and will miss this Panthers matchup on short-term injured reserve. That means the Dolphins won’t have the fastest player in the NFL this weekend. They’ll just have the second-, third- and 13th-fastest players in Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert and Jaylen Waddle. And maybe the fastest tight end in Chase Claypool.

Carolina’s players have presumably gotten used to excessive speeds as former New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents have flooded the state since the start of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean they can slow anyone down. The Panthers will have to try to match points with the explosive Dolphins. And given that head coach Frank Reich told reporters he planned to simplify things for Bryce Young — the dramatically undersized quarterback whose only case to be the No. 1 draft pick was his intelligence — I don’t love their chances. I’ll take the Dolphins. But as a Panthers homer, I’ll take them by less than 70.

Buffalo Bills

-14 vs. Giants

The few New York residents who haven’t moved to Charlotte yet will have a chance to vote for their favorite New York team this Sunday night — the Jets were already eliminated from that consideration. But based on Saquon Barkley’s testimony that the Giants ticketholders were screaming expletives at Daniel Jones as he was being evaluated for a neck injury last weekend, I think we already know the answer. And sure, those few bad apples may have failed to live up to the New York fans standard as the most knowledgeable and fair-minded fans in sports. But I think we all can agree that Jones needs to throw for more than 5.9 yards per pass attempt after that $200 million contract. Oh, your best skill player Barkley has missed the last three weeks with an ankle injury? And you are on pace to take 95.2 sacks this season, nearly 20 more than David Carr’s NFL record rookie season total that drove him to an early retirement? Tell it to someone who didn’t have a three-hour commute to MetLife Stadium, billionaire.

Los Angeles Rams

-7 vs. Cardinals

Although I am certainly the greatest Survivor League Picks columnist on FTN Bets if not the whole internet, I am still just a man. I make mistakes. And apparently the bulk of my mistakes involve the Cardinals, who I picked to beat the Commanders in Week 1 and Bengals in Week 5 but lost, who I picked to lose to the Cowboys in Week 3 but won, and who I picked to lose to the Giants in Week 2 and only did because of the power of the Revenge Game rankings. Like any good NFL head coach, I take full responsibility for the mistakes. And I have again fired all of my stats assistants.

I’ve spent the last 72 hours crushing tape on the Cardinals to determine where I went wrong. And thanks to my renowned scouting eye, I have realized that their defense that…

…might not be good.

Cooper Kupp and Puka Kupp have moved beyond meeting each other and calling each other Dragon and Night Hawk and are now best friends. They should combine for 400 yards and four touchdowns this Sunday and spearhead an undoubtedly narrow win over Jo Cool.

Baltimore Ravens

-4 vs. Titans in London

You know, the more I’ve watched the last three Chiefs games that Taylor Swift has attended, and the more I’ve watched the Kelce documentary on Amazon Prime Video, and the more I’ve purchased Taylor Swift Eras Tour memorabilia and pre-ordered Eras Tour movie tickets, the more I’ve wondered … do you think this Kelce and Swift thing is just a publicity stunt?

This Survivor Picks column believes in the power of true love. And that’s why — and certainly not because I missed my Thursday afternoon deadline — I skipped the Thursday night Chiefs game and am putting my money on a Ravens win in London Sunday. Pop sensation Ariana Grande was spotted on a restaurant date with Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen this week. And based on my literal minutes of internet research, Grande is not currently on tour. And she isn’t dating Lamar Jackson or an actually talented Ravens linebacker like Roquan Smith. They’re just a couple of kids who happen to be in London playing a football game, filming a movie adaptation of Wicked and recording new songs for a 10th anniversary re-release of Grande’s debut album Yours Truly, which I can now confirm is available to purchase for a modest $12 on the artist’s own web site.

What else could it be but true love? 

Inspired by his new relationship, I expect Queen to spur a Ravens win with multiple sacks of Ryan Tannehill.

Indianapolis Colts

+4 at Jaguars

The haters say that the Revenge Game rankings are unscientific. But I’d like to see them match my top revenge picks’ 3-1 record and plus-55 point differential so far this season.

1. Gardner Minshew, Colts at Jaguars

Last played for the Jaguars in 2020, but we all know that Gardner Minshew picked the Colts to seek revenge on his original team. We call that the “Brett Favre.” Or we did before the “Brett Favre” became sending inappropriate texts in your workplace and then later became misappropriating state welfare funds.

2. Jakobi Meyers, Raiders vs. Patriots

The Patriots didn’t let Jakobi Meyers score until his 199th target with the team. The Raiders let Meyers score on his first target with their team.

3. Josh McDaniels, Raiders vs. Patriots

I would attribute 70% of McDaniels’ decision to renege on his Colts head coaching hire to Andrew Luck’s myriad abdominal and shoulder injuries and 30% to a presumed handshake agreement to become Bill Belichick’s successor in New England. But if Belichick is waiting to set the all-time wins record to retire, then he will be coaching well into his 80s at his current pace. McDaniels couldn’t wait around forever.

4. Robby/Robbie/Chosen Anderson/Chosen, Dolphins vs. Panthers

Undoubtedly devasted when he realized Cam Newton’s “Chosen” jersey was a reference to Newton’s son and not Anderson’s soon-to-be new first and/or last name.

5. Boogie Basham, Giants at Bills

Remember when players wanted to be traded to the Giants?

You’ve heard the theory of the west coast team traveling east. Well, Minshew will make you question an east coast (England) team traveling west. Colts by 3.

Scott's Pick: Miami Dolphins
Scott's Record: 5-0