Entering Week 8:
- There are 22 teams with a .500 record or better, the most through the first seven weeks in NFL history. Conversely, that means that the remaining ten teams who are below .500 must really stink.
- Comebacks have been a constant trend in 2011. There have been 21 games this season in which a team trailed by at least 10 points and came back to win. That total is the second-most through the first seven weeks all-time (23 in 1987).
- The points are piling up. There have been 4,629 points scored in 2011, the most through seven weeks in NFL history. The 44.9 points per game average is the highest through seven weeks since 1970.
Records are being broken left and right, and if you were to trust our Panel of BTB writers, one record will come to an end on Sunday: The Eagles have won 12 consecutive games after a bye, the longest such winning streak since the bye was instituted in 1990. Overall, Philadelphia is an NFL-best 18-4 (.818) after a bye. Naturally, that doesn't impress our pick 'em panel, and we unanimously have the Cowboys beating the Eagles.
Find out which other teams we're picking after the break.
[...] the new collective-bargaining rules limit the time teams can meet and practice during their bye weeks. This year, we've seen those teams coming off a bye go just 4-8 straight-up and 4-6-2 ATS so far (granted, a small sample).
In addition to the Eagles, the Bills, Patriots, Bengals, Giants and 49ers are all also coming off a bye week. All six teams are favored to win their games, and outside of the Eagles, our panel concurs, for the most part anyway.
One interesting aspect of our pick 'em so far is that the consensus pick is performing better than any single one of us panelists. With the lines as they are, we're seeing a lot of near-unanimous picks this week, and instead of looking at the consensus picks, might this be the week where picking against popular opinion will prove beneficial?
I sure hope so, because along with KD I'm picking against the consensus pick twice. Both of us like the Steelers over the Patriots and the Vikings over the Panthers. Dave and Brandon like the Seahawks over the Bengals, but that's it already in terms of divergent picks. Keg, rabble and Tom even mirror the consensus picks 1:1.
Here are our week 8, 2011 picks: