First off, let me offer congratulations to Nord15, the only one to go 10-for-10 this week. His is the ninety-eighth 10-for-10 in three seasons and his second 10-for-10. He dodged the traps and obstacles that got the rest of us, and gets to join the Wing of Honor for multiple 10-for-10 winners.
For the fourth time this season, we unanimously picked a team that ended up losing. This week's Detroit-Arizona game is the latest chapter in that book of ignominy.
Before I report on all the goings-on from week #15, let me give you an advance look into week #16 and preview my next I Did the Math installment.
Week #16 is the first week to actually be modified by the NFL-NBC flex scheduling. Three games have been moved from their original start times/networks. I have updated my Holiday Bonus #2 to reflect the modified schedule, and I expect the same from KD when he publishes his next contest page.
There are no Thursday games this week or next week. This week has one Saturday night game (ESPN) and fifteen Sunday games. So, there is no rush to make a Thursday Game Only pick. You can wait until Saturday, but by then you might as well pick all ten games.
If you are hitting the road this weekend, and want to make your picks now for this weekend's games and/or the final weekend, you may make them on my Holiday Bonus #2. If you want to wait for KD's next page, he will take week #16 picks only.
Many have been reporting their versions of playoff possibilities. In my I Did the Math series (part 1 and part 2 are already published; I'll link to part 3 when it is up later this week), I don't just regurgitate what everyone else is saying, but I look at every mathematical possibility for the Cowboys, and include updates about our division rivals..
By now, everyone knows that the Cowboys control their own destiny - two wins and the Cowboys are the NFC East champion. If so, where would they be seeded? Short answer - only #4. The worst possible records for the Falcons and 49ers are better than the best possible record for the Cowboys (12-4 and 10-5-1 are better than 10-6). The worst the Packers can finish is also 10-6, but the conference record tiebreaker would belong to the Packers.
Can the Cowboys lose to the Saints and still win the East? Yes, but the Giants would have to lose at least once.
Can the Cowboys lose to the Redskins and still win the East? No. Either the Giants would finish ahead of both, or the Redskins would own the tiebreaker (head-to-head, and better division record).
Can the Cowboys make the playoffs without winning the division? Yes, but there are several teams ahead of them in that queue that would have to fall back in order for the Cowboys to bump them. Shoot, even the Saints are in that queue (at the back of the line). The Saints are still mathematically alive to make the playoffs at 8-8 if every 8-6 team lost both remaining games (Cowboys, Giants, Bears, and Vikings) and the Rams lose at least once (finish no better than 7-8-1).
In the NBA Playoffs, the hardest game to win in a series is the closeout game. Even if a team is down 3-0, their desperation to avoid ending their season brings their best. For the Saints, this is a closeout game. If they beat the Cowboys, then their (flickering) hope still remains. Lose, and they're officially done. The Cowboys need to take care of business this Sunday, and not have to hope that the suddenly impotent Ravens can regain dominance against the equally impotent Giants.
Let me get back on topic and look at week #15.
We are continuing the same trends as last year, and weekly participation continues to decline. For the seventh week in a row, and the thirteenth time this season, I can say that this is the lowest participation of the year. Of course, for the fifteenth time (every week), I can also say that our lowest number this year (102) still exceeds our largest number last year (week #3 - 96).
Here is the table showing our weekly participation:
|Week||Played This Week||Missed This Week||Total|
This was a tough week, as our average score was under 6.85-for-10. Most of us (at least seventy) focused on eight specific games, and got six of those right. Only thirty-one cared enough to include the Monday Night Stinker in their ten (I was one of them). Here are our results from week #15:
|Week #15 Results (Home in CAPS)|
|Win||Winners (we're great)||Lose|
|58||NEW ORLEANS||Tampa Bay||1|
|45||ATLANTA||New York Giants||7|
|21||TENNESSEE||New York Jets||10|
|Win||Losers (we're bleep)||Lose|
|3||San Francisco||NEW ENGLAND||72|
|Win||Pretty Even (we're indifferent)||Lose|
That last game, although unimportant to most of us, actually helped greatly in our consensus picks against the Front Page Writers. We entered the weekend three games behind them and matched them pick-for-pick and game-for-game for the first fifteen. However, their consensus favored the Jets, and our small number favored the Titans. So, we gained a full game on them and are only two games behind the "professionals", with two games remaining.
Here's that chart:
|2012 10-for-10 Consensus vs. Front Page Writers|
|Week||10-for-10 Wins||10-for-10 Losses||Front Page Wins||Front Page Losses|
Almost every week, there are games where everyone picks one team to win and no one picks the other. We had several of those last week, and we usually win as those are normally some of our "easiest" picks.
However, even the most obvious pick sometimes misses. For the fourth time this season, we have unanimously backed a loser. As badly as Arizona looked last week, and as many as they had lost in a row, how could they be competitive against the explosive Lions? Eighty-seven of us picked the Lions. No one picked the Cardinals. Add one more game to this table of Worst Unanimous Losses (fourth worst since I have been keeping track):
|Worst Unanimous 10-for-10 "Non-Wins"|
|2012-10||127||San Francisco||St. Louis (tie)|
|2011-08||77||New Orleans||St. Louis|
|2011-15||64||Green Bay||Kansas City|
We are starting - finally - to begin to get a feel for certain teams. Some (Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Green Bay, and Dallas) are always picked to win. Others (Kansas City, Jacksonville, New York Jets) are always picked to lose. Others (the ones at the top of this chart) are just "easy" to get right. Either they are playing a "stronger" team and we pick them to lose, or they are playing a "weakling" and we pick them to win. We have only missed once each all year picking Denver and Houston games. We have only missed twice with the Chiefs and Raiders, and are on serious rolls with both Broncos and Raiders. Here are all of our picks for each game this season (again, the first letter is how we picked - win or lose - and the second is the actual result):
|Picks/Results for Each Team/Each Week|
|Team||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 3||Wk 4||Wk 5||Wk 6||Wk 7||Wk 8||Wk 9||Wk 10||Wk 11||Wk 12||Wk 13||Wk 14||Wk 15||Wk 16||Wk 17||W||L|
|New York Jets||LW||LL||WW||LL||LL||LW||LL||WL||Bye||LL||LW||LL||WW||TW||LL||9.5||4.5|
|New York Giants||LL||WW||LW||WL||WW||LW||WW||LW||WL||WL||Bye||LW||WL||LW||LL||5||9|
There were a couple of games that knocked virtually everyone out of 10-for-10 aspirations this weekend. However, one person, Nord15, was able to successfully complete a perfect 10-for-10 this week. He skipped the Detroit-Arizona game and was one of three (out of seventy-five who played) to pick the 49ers to knock off the unbeatable Patriots in Foxborough in December. Right behind him, and missing only one game each, were behind.enemylines and yellowrose. We had twenty-seven get eight right. All of these gained ground on the overall leader, who again is CowboyBaby. This is his sixth week in a row to have the individual lead, and his fourth week in a row to lead by two. However, his lead isn't safe as there are eighteen within six of the lead. I've been dropping like a rock (T-4 and two back after week #10 and now T-20 and seven back after week #15). ~sigh~
This week, I am giving you a treat and listing everyone's weekly score - all one hundred two. I am also listing the top one hundred one on the overall leaderboard. KD will list the complete leaderboard in his contest page. Look also for KD to update his Hall of Fame this week to recognize Nord15.
Here's what I have for this week and this year:
|Top Scores This Week|
|Week #15||Score||Week #15||Score||Overall||Score||Overall||Score|
|Antonio S||8||pierrelmn||7||ziggy 19||108||HLCJ69||100|
|beastygaming||8||Realist Larry||7||Rex Pfister||107||kethry1313||100|
|boys.camncrew||8||revellyre||7||BigBad Joe||106||skinny post||100|
|ChrisMan||8||skinny post||7||krikaley||106||Allan Uy||99|
|Fergie3108||8||Switters023||7||Jebediah Flibberbrush||105||Cowboy Joe||98|
|Howleyesque||8||Tallgrass Prairie||7||jstaubach||105||Hookem Up||98|
|jakezze01||8||Through Thick And Thin||7||k@s!||105||jakezze01||98|
|lucke||8||Against the Wall-24||6||Through Thick And Thin||105||bcg08||97|
|meisternance||8||connor.cmr||6||Against the Wall-24||104||Junkyard Dog||97|
|Scurrah Jurrah||8||HLCJ69||6||shainyc||104||TARHEEL PAUL||96|
|SoCal Cowboys||8||Hookem Up||6||Tennessee_Jed||104||D_Carter||95|
|Allan Uy||7||Rex Pfister||6||Fergie3108||103||Realist Larry||93|
|BishopWest||7||TARHEEL PAUL||6||KD Drummond||103||Gabby||91|
|Gabby||7||LiveNDieBlue||5||Antonio S||102||Tallgrass Prairie||90|
|Hobbes42||7||True Blue-liever||5||One.Cool.Customer||102||Scurrah Jurrah||89|
|jstaubach||7||Johnny Cage||4||Wittenstar82||102||Tuna Helper||88|
|Junkyard Dog||7||Oh Hai Doggy||4||boyman||101||2 tied with||87|
Let me go ahead and update on here the progress of the new 30-for-30 and 48-for-48 contests going on on the Holiday Bonus #2. Several of the guys submitted picks for all three weeks and are competing for 30-for-30. Rex Pfister began that on the Holiday Bonus #1 page (for weeks #12-14). k@s! upped the ante by including all sixteen games each week - hence, the name 48-for-48.
Those two began the same contests for these final three weeks, and a few more have joined them. Here's an update on these sidebar contests after the first week:
30-for-30 (eight participants):
- 8-for-10 - krikaley, meisternance
- 7-for-10 - cowdog, k@s!, Switters034, Tallgrass Prairie
- 6-for-10 - Rex Pfister
- 5-for-10 - WA_Cowboy
48-for-48 (four participants):
- 13-for-16 - Switters023
- 11-for-16 - k@s!, meisternance
- 10-for-16 - Rex Pfister
Please note that Switters023 got seven right in his "regular" 10-for-10, but then got went 6-for-6 with his "extra" picks. Wow!
Rex won both 30-for-30 and 48-for-48 during weeks #12-14, leading virtually wire-to-wire. We have more participants this time. I'll update that in each week's FanPost.
Two more weeks remain in the regular season. Again, you may make picks for either/both weeks on my Holiday Bonus #2 page, or you can post week #16 only on KD's next page when it is published this week.
Merry Christmas to all from the hookerhome!