This is hump week in KD's 10-for-10 contest - nine weeks in, eight more to go. This was a tough week as many downtrodden road teams rose up and spanked favored home teams.
Normally, the early games cause us to stumble, and there were two trap games among the seven early games. Many of us got caught in those traps - Buffalo losing at home to the Jets (winless on the road all year), and Kansas City (winners of four straight) losing at home to the (previously winless) Dolphins. Those who avoided or survived those traps found great success in the other five early games. Including a unanimous Cowboys game (all eighty participants picked the Cowboys this week), we were 355-5 in picking the Cowboys, Falcons, Texans, 49ers, and Saints.
We also normally do very well in the late and night games, but not so this week. Road teams rose up and won, many in extremely dramatic fashion, against home teams that we favored heavily. The only home team to win in a late/night game was Arizona, and they also won in dramatic fashion, scoring a late touchdown to force overtime, and then winning on a 99-yard punt return in OT. Our four late/night losses were by a total of 180-15.
I know that they have been in Arizona now for many years. However, is it I, or does it seem weird to see St. Louis playing the Cardinals? I know they do it twice a year now, but still, when I grew up the St. Louis Cardinals were the names of both the baseball team and the football team.
I know, I know, you want to know - how you did this weekend and how you stand in the overall standings.
Patience, my friend, patience.
Much more - information, statistics, and analysis - after the jump...This topsy-turvy week was also displayed in our leaderboard. The top guys did much worse than those of us who are trying to stay within shouting distance, so the leaderboard is more congested now near and at the top.
We had eighty players this week, including seven who played for the first time. Here is a look at our weekly participation.
I think that some people who played early in the season and missed a week may have dropped out because they feel that they are hopelessly behind. I have played all nine weeks, and I am nine behind the leader. Do the math - I have averaged one pick/week worse than the leader. Am I likely to catch up over the next eight weeks? Probably not. Is there a chance every week at going 10-for-10? Absolutely! In fact, one of our first-time players this week posted the best weekly score, and was fifteen seconds away from a perfect 10-for-10 (until the Giants knocked off the Patriots).
Most of the leaders played the traditional, solid, even boring favorites - and only got five or six right. Those that scored better this week did so by picking some of the upsets (road teams knocking off a favored team playing at home).
Almost everyone got these six games right - the five early games mentioned above, plus the Packers over the Chargers. A smaller majority (both fewer selections and evenness of selections) got two others right. So, our composite record this week is a puny 8-6. But look at our losses - every one was a road team rising up and beating (sometimes handily) a team that most of us expected to win at home. Were these bad picks, or were we just snakebit this week?
- Patriots (lost at home to Giants) - Brady did this thing, just as he did against the Cowboys; but he left fifteen seconds too many on the clock and Eli and the Giants did to them what the Patriots did to us
- Chiefs (lost at home to Dolphins) - playing at home with a four-game winning streak against a winless team
- Raiders (lost at home to Broncos) - all we had read was how dysfunctional the Broncos were, and what a joke they were to play Tim Tebow
- Bills (lost at home to Jets) - Jets were winless on the road and had been getting worse each week
- Steelers (lost at home to Ravens) - coming off an impressive win against the Patriots, and we had already been burned twice this year picking the Ravens on the road (@ Titans, @ Jaguars)
- Eagles (lost at home to Bears) - the invincible (actually, they had Vince, but he didn't play) Dream Team won their Super Bowl last week; surely, the Bears would go whimpering off into the night
Here's the table with all of this week's games, and our scores picking each game (actual game winners in bold):
|Week #8 Results (Home in CAPS)|
|Win||Winners (we're great)||Lose|
|59||NEW ORLEANS||Tampa Bay||1|
|56||Green Bay||SAN DIEGO||12|
|Win||Losers (we're bleep)||Lose|
|2||New York Giants||NEW ENGLAND||67|
|10||New York Jets||BUFFALO||26|
|Win||Pretty Even (we're indifferent)||Lose|
Now, to the updated leaderboard (what you have been reading this whole post to see) - first thing to notice is that most of the names on the right side (overall leaders) are not on the left side (this week's best scores). Secondly, notice that the gap has narrowed between the top three and the rest of us.
Let me offer congratulations, first of all, to qbfannn; for the third week in a row, he is the sole overall leader. Each of the first six weeks has had at least two tied for the overall lead. He didn't have a great week this week, but neither did those chasing him at the top. This week my congratulations are not muted, as he (along with everyone else) picked the Cowboys to win.
My other individual congratulations this week are offered to Aaron Burtram. This is his first week playing 10-for-10, and he (as mentioned above) was fifteen seconds away from debuting with a perfect 10-for-10. Instead, he is the only one to score 9-for-10 this week. Five more got eight right, and most of us were in the five-to-seven range.
Here is the table with this week's leaders, and the overall leaders:
|Allan Uy||7||BigBad Joe||62|
|I am Ironman!!!||7||Travlr||61|
|Portland's Cowboy fan||7||Panzer84||60|
|Rome One||7||Pnut Gallery||60|
|27 tied with||6||lxblssng||58|
|23 tied with||5||Rat-Pack||58|
|2 tied with||4||Tuna Helper||58|
|no one had||0-3||WA_Cowboy||58|
Looking ahead, we are almost finished with bye weeks. No one has a bye this week (week #10), and the final four teams have byes the following week (week #11). Then, the final six weeks will all have sixteen games (no more byes).
Something different this week - for the first time since the season kicked off, there is a Thursday game. Yes, it's time for the NFL Network to begin its slate of games. Look for KD's week #10 contest a little early, beginning this week. If you wish to include this Thursday's game, you have a couple of options:
- Make a special "Thursday only" comment for the Raiders-Chargers game with your pick for that game only. Get that in on Thursday before the game kicks off. Then, later, but before the Sunday games kick off, get in your other nine selections (if you forget, and select ten more, I will just drop your last pick).
- Submit all ten before the Thursday game kicks off. At least thirty of you do that each week anyway.
Whichever way you go, please make sure that your full selection is in before the early games kick off on Sunday. Remember, you must include the Cowboys game, and it's an early kickoff for the second week in a row. So, no late selections and no grace this week either.
Another difference this week - this is the first Cowboys game to be on CBS (the other one will be on Thanksgiving). You may have a "normal" Fox viewing pattern as far as network availability. The guys in my church band who are fans of the Texans will be out of luck this week. I'm in Cowboys Country (San Antonio area), and so we will get the Cowboys this week, not the Texans.
This week is Fox's doubleheader week, so CBS is only televising one game this week. If you want to check to see what game CBS is televising in your local market, O.C.C. gave us a link last month that has maps of each network's regional games (which part of the country gets which games) and who is announcing them.
When KD puts up his week #10 contest, I will link to it here.
See you next Tuesday. Go, Cowboys!