We had a historic moment in our midst, and then the balloon popped in icy Chicago. We were a Cowboys' win away from our first ever back-to-back 10-for-10s - oh, along with control of the division, #3 seed in the playoffs with sights set on a first-round bye.
After averaging almost 200 per week for the first ten weeks, a small slide (in the 150s the past four weeks), dropped our average per week to just under 190. We always tend to lose some between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as family trips or the disruption in routine cause difficulty in getting picks in on time. Also, many who see themselves hopelessly out of the running for the overall championship blow off the last weeks and don't continue to strive weekly for a perfect 10-for-10.
Many took advantage of the first Holiday Bonus to post Thanksgiving picks early, along with picks for this week. We had 148 participants for the second week in a row. We continue to add new first-time players each week. The new ones this week offset the regulars that were missing in action.
Here is the participation table:
|Week||Played This Week||Missed This Week||Total|
The weather outside was frightful, as many of the early games were played in some form of winter precipitation. Two of our solid picks needed miraculous turns of events at the ends of their games to salvage victory from sure defeat. Two games only had a handful of players (both narrow losses by our consensus). And, thanks to those two miracle finishes (Patriots and Ravens), we ended up with ten solid wins.
Alas, those ten wins didn't include the Cowboys. I'll have more to say about that in a moment.
Here are our results this week:
|Week #14 Results (Home in CAPS)|
|Win||Winners (we're great)||Lose|
|110||SAN DIEGO||New York Giants||4|
|Win||Losers (we're bleep)||Lose|
|Win||Pretty Even (we're indecisive)||Lose|
|18||NEW YORK JETS||Oakland||20|
For the third week in a row, I read the following chart too literally and followed it too closely. And, it was the same team - Miami - that got me again. We had gotten them right three times all year - picked them to lose, and they lost - in weeks #4, 8, and 12. Each time we picked them to win, they lost. So, I played my "super genius" card, noticed that we were picking Miami to win, and picked them to lose. Bleep! I was confident this week that South Beach headed to ice and snow wouldn't stand a chance. Bleep again!
With our miss of Seattle (picking them to win, but they lost to the 49ers), we have now mis-picked every team at least twice.
Here's a complete look at how we have picked each team, each week (first letter - our pick; second letter - actual result; again, a tie counts as a loss):
|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 Giants||LL||LL||WL||LL||LL||LL||WW||LW||Bye||WW||WW||LL||WW||LL||11||2|
|New York Jets||LW||LL||LW||LL||LW||WL||LW||LL||LW||Bye||WL||LL||LL||LW||5||8|
Each week, One.Cool.Customer hosts a pick-em page (week #14 picks / week #15 picks) where all the Front Page Writers offer picks in every game for the week. I track their consensus picks for each game and compare it to our consensus for each game. This week, we lost a game to them. We had fifteen identical preferences, but they favored Jacksonville while our consensus narrowly favored Houston. So, our two game lead is now back down to one.
All season long, jstaubach has been posting picks for every game. Most weeks, he makes a Thursday pick, then comes in during the weekend and posts the rest of his ten. And, then, he posts picks on the "other" games (three-six other games that the rest of us are all too happy to avoid).
I kept promising him that I was going to incorporate his picks and compare how he did along with our consensus and the FPW consensus. Last week, I finally included his picks, and he was outpicking all of the Front Page Writers.
jstaubach rocks! His every-game-every-week picks are not only ahead of either consensus; he would be in first place on the FPW page. After week #13, he was one better than their co-leaders (Dave Halprin and rabblerousr). This week, he really rocked, only missing Seattle and Dallas. His stellar 14-2 widens his lead over Dave (10-6) and rabble (9-7) this week. Compare jstaubach's 138 with their best (Dave leads with 133).
Now, he does have an easier time; the FPWs have to turn their picks in on Wednesday for all games, so the Google can publish the page early on Thursday. Typically, jstaubach will post a Thursday-Only pick on Thursday, and then his other nine on Sunday morning, followed by his "other games". If there weren't a benefit to posting at the last minute, jstaubach (and many or you) wouldn't do it.
Actually, several of you have already taken advantage of the Holiday Bonus #2 and posted your picks for the final three weeks. Your picks for weeks #15-17 are in the books. That is NOT waiting until the last minute.
The updated table no longer lists losses, just wins. Instead, the first column is how many games there were in a week (sixteen is normal; thirteen-fifteen when teams have byes), followed by our 10-for-10 wins, the FPW wins, and jstaubach's wins.
Here is that updated table:
|2013 10-for-10 Consensus / Front Page Writers / jstaubach|
|Week||Games||10-for-10 Wins||FPW Wins||Jstaubach Wins|
Our average score this week was 7.1-for-10, and the largest group did score 7-for-10. 98% of us were within two games of 7-for-10. We had three that finished worse than 5-for-10, but two of those were late entries who didn't enter ten games.
HonorTheStar was that close to 10-for-10 immortality. Fresh off his first 10-for-10, he was one of those at 9-for-9 headed into Monday night. We have had several 19-for-20s posted (a perfect 10-for-10 preceded by or followed by a 9-for-10), but we had never had anyone go 10-for-10 back-to-back.
As one who had his first two 9-for-9s shot down by Cowboys losses in the tenth game, I understand and feel that pain and frustration - both a Cowboys loss and a missed 10-for-10. Unlike HTS, I am still looking for my first, but I'm not giving up I am 0-for-48, but this week is my forty-ninth attempt, and I'll try my best - again - to go 10-for-10.
We had thirteen only miss one. HonorTheStar was one of six who carried 9-for-9s into Monday night, and left disappointed. We had seven this week who picked the Bears. Coincidentally, all were 8-for-9 going into Monday night (they had missed a variety of games, and not all the same trap game). So, their win elevated them into matching the others with top scores of 9-for-10.
Look at the table below. It's long again this week, because I again included everyone with 7-for-10 or better.
We have a tie at the top. As I mentioned earlier, lsttexas was one of those seven who had the Bears. He needed that win to come from behind and catch JDobermans at the top. It is getting tighter at the top. Two are tied for the lead, three are tied for third, one game back. Five more are tied for sixth, two games back. All ten have broken 100 for the season. Two of our hottest pickers are one more back, with 99.
With three weeks left, it is crucial to get picks in on time. I am already taking week #15 (and weeks #16-17 picks) on my Holiday Bonus #2. Again, some have already posted picks on it for weeks #15-17 - through the end of the season.
Here are the top scores this week, and the top scores on the overall leaderboard:
|Top Scores Through Week #14|
|This Week||Score||This Week||Score||2013 Overall||Score||2013 Overall||Score|
|Chad Loveland||9||Bertangalo||7||lsttexas||102||Trent Schoneweis||92|
|cowboy1966||9||BigBad Joe||7||Aggie Man||101||1Bullseye||91|
|HonorTheStar||9||BigHat in NewTexas||7||Max2||101||Canadian Cowboy_74||91|
|Canadian Cowboy_74||8||ginge159||7||Lajitas Lava||96||cwby4lf||89|
|CowboysNation||8||jazzbo251||7||BigHat in NewTexas||95||Sandmann||89|
|Lajitas Lava||8||oldboysfan||7||Sean N||94||Enja||87|
|Max2||8||One.Cool.Customer||7||skinny post||94||KD Drummond||87|
|mik888||8||Portland's Cowboy fan||7||Through Thick And Thin||94||Scurrah Jurrah||87|
|Mikellie||8||Rex Pfister||7||Dalai Luke||93||Switters023||87|
|mikemc68||8||Ride Together, Die Together||7||jamesvb||93||Babygirl71||86|
|TwoBitWhackJob||8||Vancity Cowboy||7||ginge159||92||Vancity Cowboy||84|
|ziggy19||8||westmodelmarket||7||mdlusk||92||4 tied with||83|
|Aggie Man||7||Wreck'emCowboys||7||meisternance||92||3 tied with||82|
You requested, and I have begun to list a comparison of our scores to previous years. Again, I don't have access to KD's 2010 records, but I can provide that comparison to 2011 and 2012. However, the different bye schedules, and the different week-to-week difficulties make a direct comparison fairly difficult.
Because of the way I maintain my records, it would be very time consuming to recreate 2011 and 2012 leaderboards after week #14. Rather than do that, I will name some of the top scores here, and give the links to my FanPosts from those weeks, so you can see my tables from 2011 - Week #14 and 2012 - Week #14.
Week #14 in 2011 had thirteen 9-for-10s (ten missed Dallas' home loss to the Giants; the others missed San Francisco's upset loss to the Cardinals). Jebediah Flibberbrush widened his lead to two games and began to take control of the overall leaderboard. He was one of nine to reach 100 during week #14.
Top scores after week #14 in 2011:
- 106 - Jebediah Flibberbrush
- 104 - illcowboy
- 103 - Hookem Up, mdlusk, and wittenfan
- 102 - ChiaCrck (Archie Barberio)
- 100 - qbfannn (CowboyBaby), Travlr, and ziggy19
Week #14 in 2012 was the second of two times where our consensus was evenly divided on a game, as an equal number (12) picked both the Jets and Jaguars. No one went 10-for-10, although TheDemolitionDan posted 9-for-10, as he avoided four of the five trap games that got everyone else.
With an average score of 6.2-for-10, only seven reached 100 in week #14. Most lost ground to CowboyBaby, and only Hawkeye101 (our Yellowbeard) kept him in sight.
Top scores after week #14 in 2012:
- 104 - CowboyBaby
- 102 - Hawkeye101 (Yellowbeard)
- 101 - BishopWest, ChrisMan, and Rex Pfister
- 100 - mdlusk and ziggy19
I was on this leaderboard last week. but was well into my December swoon and had fallen six back. My December swoon began in October this year, and I have not been able to reverse it.
I'm still wavering over publishing my I Did the Math series this year. Last week when I ran some numbers, the Cowboys were still alive for the top seed. That scenario included a Seahawks loss, and could have worked with a 10-6 Cowboys. I'll check it out when I have a moment.