|Week 9 Picks, 257 participants
|JAC @ CIN (-10.5)||Bengals||99%|
|NYJ @ KC (-9.5)||Chiefs||99%|
|TB @ CLE (-6.5)||Browns||98%|
|OAK @ SEA (-14.5)||Seahawks||98%|
|STL @ SF (-10)||49ers||96%|
|IND (-3) @ NYG||Colts||95%|
|ARI @ DAL (-3.5)||Cowboys||84%|
|SD @ MIA (-2.5)||Chargers||81%|
|NO @ CAR (-2.5)||Saints||68%|
|DEN (-3) @ NE||Broncos||63%|
|WAS @ MIN (-1)||Vikings||54%|
|PHI (-1.5) @ HOU||Texans||53%|
|BAL (-1.5) @ PIT||Steelers||53%|
Every week, 250+ participants participate in our Pick 256 Challenge, a season-long contest in which BTB members and readers get to pick the straight-up winners for all games each week.
Over the first eight weeks of the season, the consensus picks by the Pick 256 panel have resulted in a 81-40 straight-up record. For what it's worth, that's better than 10 of the experts on the 13-strong ESPN pick 'em braintrust.
Of course, that record doesn't make the consensus pick infallible, far from it, but the consensus does carry some weight, so it does come as a bit of a surprise to see the entire panel pick against the three other NFC East teams.
It's a slim margin, but the Pick 256 participants expect the Eagles and Redskins to lose. There is much less doubt about the outcome of the Giants game: 95% of our panelists expect the Colts to win in New York.
But while all three division rivals losing their games would be a fortuitous turn of events for the Cowboys, the picks carry a slight hint of wishful thinking. Or do they?
The NFC East has one of the better W/L records in the league (third behind the AFC North and the NFC West), and scores the second-most points in the league (behind only the AFC North), but that record may be a result of a scheduling fluke: The NFC East has a combined 7-1 record against the AFC South, the weakest division in professional football. Philly and New York face AFC South opponents this week, the Redskins face the 3-5 Vikings.
As you reflect on all of this, what do you think the NFC East record will be this weekend?
Here's a link to the Excel file with all the picks for Week 9, for those who are interested in tracking the results themselves.
Once you open the file, you'll see a blue title bar into which you can enter the winning teams to see where you end up among all participants. The title bar is currently populated with the winner of the Thursday game, as well as the consensus picks for the remaining games. If you want to see how you fared during or after the weekend games, simply input your own picks into the title bar and see how many correct picks you have.
In any case, have fun with the file and good luck with your picks.