05 January 2006

NFL Playoffs - Week 1

Pat reminded me that we should probably do something for picking NFL playoffs so here it is. I've been so busy preparing for my fantasy football playoff slot that I almost forgot about the picks. Maybe SAWB should've handled the picks this week since he doesn't have a fantasy football playoff spot to worry about.

Since there are 4 games, we're going to pick final scores for all of them. Each game will be broken down into 5 categories. Each category will be worth 1 point. A tie will split the point unless otherwise stated. Here are the categories:
-Closest to actual winner's score.
-Closest to actual loser's score.
-Closest to actual point spread.
-Closest to total points scored.
-Correctly picked the winner vs. the spread (This point will NOT be shared or split. If everyone gets it right, everyone gets 1 point.)

Also, since there are only 4 games and the line isn't nearly as important this time around, we're going to use a standard line from Bodog.

1. Tampa is favored by 3 over the Redskins
2. New England is favored by 7.5 over Jacksonville
3. Giants are favored by 3 over the Panthers
4. Steelers are favored by 3 over the Bengals


At 4:52 PM, Blogger Dante said...

Dante's picks:

Tampa 21 Redskins 17
Washington has a bit of trouble playing offense against good defenses. This game could easily go either way depending on if almost-superstar Brunell shows up or has-been Brunell shows up. I'm giving Tampa the win and the spread here.

New England 24 Jacksonville 14
I think New England will win this game just because their team is firing on all it's cylinders now. Jacksonville is a tough team but I just don't trust Leftwich to play this game coming off an injury. Yes, I saw the Marshall game where he was being carried down the field because he couldn't walk, but I still don't think he can play an NFL game injured or coming off an injury. Especially not a playoff game and especially not against New England.

Giants 20 Panthers 17
Look for Feely to shake off his clutch image and have a big day on a last minute kick. Note that this would be a push so I cannot win the "Pick vs the Spread" point here.

Pittsburg 38 Bengals 31
We all know that Cowher likes to wait until the AFC Championship game to honk it. Also, the NFL didn't even have the 2 point conversion last time the Bengals went to the playoffs. Look for a decent effort but a Bengals loss.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Arian Danian said...

Carolina over New York. Eli Manning has 12 picks over the last eight games and the Carolina defense is the best he has faced so far this season.


At 8:28 PM, Blogger Patrick Armstrong said...

This is gonna sound like a Broadway Musical....

Pirates of the Retirement Community vs Indians of the Beltway

Can't ask me to pick against an NFC south team, and Chuckie's made some stuff happen. Tampa Bay has been very strong this year, and very consistent. Their running game will take care of the Skins, no matter how cold it is.
Pirates 28, Indians 24

The Other Boston Team vs the Biting, Spitting, Kicking North Floridians

Picking against New England in the postseason is like picking Texas over USC. Who can pick against the Dynasty? Black Cats 31, Pats 30

Neuyaka vs Kakalaka

Carolina Pride feasts off of Lil' Man's inexperience. Blue Cats 34, New Jersey 17.

Steel City vs Queen City

You think Cincy isn't gonna be up for this game? They've only waited a decade or so for this. And they get to play their arch-nemesis. Pitt can keep this one close, but they'll be drivin' and cryin' by Monday. Slag 24, Orange Cats 31.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Patrick Armstrong said...

Oh yeah, and the rest of Arian's picks can be found here.

He's also got a good breakdown of the teams and he picked Texas in the Rose Bowl.

And he's from your neck of the woods, Dante.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Dante said...

Yeah Arian's profile says he's from Plano. That's only a hop, skip and a 30 minute car ride from my old hometown of Red Oak. And as far as the Carolina win goes, I had to pick at least one game using the ultra-generic Home Team 20 Visiting Team 17. It's the most common final score in the NFL. I just decided that the Giants game was most likely to play out that way.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger S.A.W.B. said...

Deadskins 27 - Tampons 24 - I like Washington's imitation of a football team more than I like Tampa's at this point.

Pats 28 - Jags 24 - Jags beat the spread, but the Pats D does just enough to keep em down.

Pantaloons 30 - Gints 10 - Eli Manning sucks. Panthers D does most of the work on the day, and gives the Panthers O a short field. They also contain that which is Tiki.

Bungles 41 - Stillers 20 - Chad Johnson may well whip out his johnson during this rout.

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Patrick Armstrong said...

I guess that's why Texas never won a national championship while Chris Simms was at the helm....

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Dante said...

Here are the final scores and how we did:
1. Washington 17, TB 10:
a. winner's score: 17
(Pat 24 [7 off], SAWB 27 [10 off], Dante 17 [NAILED])
Dante +1
b. loser's score: 10
(Pat 28 [18 off], SAWB 24 [14 off], Dante 21 [11 off])
Dante +1
c. actual spread: 7
(Pat 4 [3 off], SAWB 3 [4 off], Dante 4 [3 off])
Dante +0.5
Pat +0.5
d. total pts: 27
(Pat 52 [25 off], SAWB 51 [24 off], Dante 38 [11 off])
Dante +1
e. favored team won by spread: No
(Pat Yes, SAWB No, Dante Yes, Arian Yes)

2. NE 28, Jaguars 3:
a. winner's score: 28
(Pat 30 [2 off], SAWB 28 [NAILED], Dante 24 [4 off])
b. loser's score: 3
(Pat 31 [28 off], SAWB 24 [21 off], Dante 14 [11 off])
Dante +1
c. actual spread: 25
(Pat 1 [24 off], SAWB 4 [21 off], Dante 10 [15 off])
Dante +1
d. total pts: 31
(Pat 61 [30 off], SAWB 52 [21 off], Dante 38 [7 off])
Dante +1
e. favored team won by spread: Yes
(Pat No, SAWB No, Dante Yes, Arian Yes)
Dante +1
Arian +1

3. Carolina 23, Giants 0:
a. winner's score: 23
(Pat 34 [11 off], SAWB 30 [7 off], Dante 17 [6 off])
Dante +1
b. loser's score: 0
(Pat 17 [17 off], SAWB 10 [10 off], Dante 20 [20 off])
c. actual spread: 23
(Pat 17 [6 off], SAWB 20 [3 off], Dante 3 [20 off])
d. total pts: 23
(Pat 51 [18 off], SAWB 40 [17 off], Dante 37 [14 off])
Dante +1
e. favored team won by spread: No
(Pat No, SAWB No, Dante Push, Arian No)
Pat +1
Arian +1

4. Pittsburg 31, Cinci 17:
a. winner's score: 31
(Pat 24 [7 off], SAWB 20 [11 off], Dante 38 [7 off])
Dante +0.5
Pat +0.5
b. loser's score: 17
(Pat 31 [14 off], SAWB 41 [24 off], Dante 31 [14 off])
Dante +0.5
Pat +0.5
c. actual spread: 14
(Pat 7 [7 off], SAWB 21 [7 off], Dante 7 [7 off])
SAWB +1/3
Pat +1/3
Dante +1/3
d. total pts: 48
(Pat 55 [7 off], SAWB 61 [13 off], Dante 69 [21 off])
Pat +1
e. favored team won by spread: Yes
(Pat No, SAWB No, Dante Yes, Arian Yes)
Dante +1
Arian +1

That was easy since the winner always beat the spread from bodog. (I just love NFL spreads.) I put Arian in here assuming that his win picks were always against the spread. We’ll do a separate category only looking at wins to give us a fair idea of how he stacked up.

So let's look at how we did:
Wins only:
Arian 3 picks. He probably would’ve been a worth adversary if he’d have predicted final scores. Dante and SAWB got half of them (equivalent to blind luck). Pat only has one (worse than blind luck).

Final Scores:
Not to toot my own horn, but this wasn’t even close:
Winner’s score: Dante 2.5, SAWB 1, Pat 0.5
Loser’s score: Dante 2.5, SAWB 1, Pat 0.5
Spread: Dante 1 5/6, SAWB, 1 1/3, Pat 5/6
Total Points: Dante 3, SAWB 0, Pat 1
Pick against spread: Dante 2, SAWB 2, Pat 1

Grand Total: Dante 11 5/6, SAWB 5 1/3, Pat 3 5/6

Assuming I’ve totaled everything properly (correct me if I didn’t), I am far and away the supreme master of picking NFL scores for week 1 of the playoffs for the 2005 season (nice qualifiers, eh?).

Pat and SAWB really showed their college football leanings by their total points predictions. All but SAWB’s NYG vs. Carolina game were over 48 (which is the highest total points scored this week). In the games I won that category in, that NYG vs. Carolina was the closest I came to a loss. In the one I actually did lose, Pat won and had the lowest total points predicted. I had a crazy 69 (which is higher than any other predicted total points pick). It looked high to me at the time but I went ahead and ran with it. I won’t be making that same mistake next week.

I hope that Arian joins us for Playoff Week 2 final score predictions which will probably be posted today or tomorrow. I also hope to hear from our man Jerz and hope that Gary stops lurking and throws some picks our way. Like SAWB, this week I too do not have a fantasy playoff draft to worry about.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Patrick Armstrong said...

That is funny, cause when I was thinking about those games, I thought "pros are better than college" and that must equal "close but very high scoring." I was still star struck after the BCS games. Whoops. Showed my true colors there, but we all knew that was going to happen.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Dante said...

"Better" in this case means close but reasonable scoring. Defenses in the NFL don't typically fall for one-trick-pony systems for very long. The option is dead in the water and there's no such thing as a matchup that just can't be defended in the NFL. I really think it's just a matter of all that extra prep time benefits defenses a lot more than offenses. Defenses have the chance to pour over each and every play that the offense of an opposing team makes. They can do that every single week against ever single opponent. College defenses just can't do that due to practice time constraints. I realize that offenses have the same advantage but they just don't seem to be able to take as away from it.

But you do have to take my point of view with a grain of salt. After all, I think the perfect NFL game would end 2-0 in overtime.


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