FIWK the NFL: Week 8

I got nothing. I can't figure out anything. And I'm not even bringing the funny very well. I really wanted to ignore all the stats and go with my gut. But it only took me two games before I realized I don't even have a gut feeling about any of these games. SO! World Series Game 7, huh? Pretty exciting. Can the Rangers become the Buffalo Bills of the World Series or will Matt Harrison (who?!?) lead the Rangers to their first Fall Classic title? All the numbers you could possibly use are below, but I'm not going to mention them in the matchup discussions. Winning %, Pythagorean %, Pt. Dif/G, Offensive Yards/Play, Defensive Yards/Play, Yards/Play differential, DVOA. Finally, one of my favorite Tweets of the week to show you just how hard this is; Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders told us they had the Colts and the Jaguars as good chances to win outright. The Jaguars upset the highly favored Ravens and ruined many a Survivor pool. The Colts lost 62-7.

TENNESSEE (-8.5) over Colts: After the season will Chris Johnson change his nickname from CJ2K to CJ700? And I like our friend Adam-the-Colts-fan's status: Peyton Manning = 2011 MVP.

New Orleans (-13.5) over ST. LOUIS: And the jokes are done. Currently Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are on pace to break Dan Marino's passing yards record and Brees and Rodgers are both currently above Brees completion percentage record. But I say Brees ends up the highest on both these stats at the end of the year, in part because Brees leads the league in pass attempts and completions. In fact, Brees has 41 more completions than Rodgers. Extra stat that violates my rule from the intro, but not really because I didn't use it in deciding this game: Based on Pythagorean Win %, the 0-6 Dolphins should have one win, the 0-7 Colts should have one win and the 0-6 Rams should have no wins. The Rams (6.9%) are worse than the best team is good (Baltimore 81.1%).

NYG (-10) over Miami: The Colts have Peyton Manning and the Rams have Sam Bradford. The Dolphins are the one team at the perfect nexus of having no wins AND really needing a good quarterback. On on fantasy team where we start 2 WR, I have Hakeem Nicks, Dez Bryant and Steve Smith, while Jamaal Charles injury has left me very week at RB. I just completed a trade of Hakeem Nicks for Ahmad Bradshaw. That really seemed to be where the market for a #5-6 WR was. And I think Bradshaw will continue to be a starting fantasy RB, mostly because even when Jacobs returns from injury, he just hasn't looked as effective as in the past.

Minnesota (+3.5) over CAROLINA: I agree with Nate Ravitz that this week's slate of games just doesn't look very interesting other than New England @ Pittsburgh. 6 of the 13 games have a spread of 8.5 points or more. And I ended up picking the favorites in every one of those games. The Vikings were one of three underdogs I picked this week and I have no particular reason why.

BALTIMORE (-13) over Arizona: Arizona is the only double digit underdog that actually has a win and I really want to pick them. But after losing to Jacksonville, this really good Baltimore team wants to send a message that last week was fluke. In fact, if I could go back, I'd still end up betting $100 on the Ravens. I think I'll do it again this week.

HOUSTON (-9.5) over Jacksonville: I can't remember why I did this. I think I might have used a stat on accident? Or it was the 41-7 domination of a decent Titans team. And Jacksonville coming back to Earth on the road. Oh, I remember what the stat was. The Texans actually have the fourth best differential in yards/play and the Jaguars have the fourth worst. Man, I just can't help myself from going back to the stats. Or is it that I can't follow what I say I'm going to do in the intro? Or is this the exception that proves the rule? (Not the rule of which stats I use, but the rule that I can follow through with my intentions laid out in the intro.)

BUFFALO (-6) over Washington: Apparently John Beck made the defense worse. And maybe Toronto will still feel like a home game for the Bills. And Fred Jackson has been a very pleasant surprise in fantasy. You know, for those people who actually drafted him, not me. I went with the Rices (great), Johnsons (CJ700 sucky, Megatron awesome, Andre - TBD), Turners (better than expected), Charleses (sucky) and McCoys (good) of the world. Although I have really benefited from drafting Steve Smith late all over the place.

DETROIT (-3) over Denver: I fear the Tebow-mania. Not because I think he will win, but because this goes against every form of statistical analysis and I really like statistical analysis. But there's a part of me that wonders, what if he does win. What if there is some unquantifiable winning awesomeness that he exudes that I can't explain. I don't like it. It would be like finding out the Scientology is factually correct. That would scare the bejeezus out of me.

PITTSBURGH (+3.5) over New England: Great defense vs. great offense, right? Good job for those still reading me. We look the other way. The Steelers offense is going to shred the Patriots defense. But there's no way I'm putting $ against Tom Brady.

SAN FRANCISCO (-8.5) over Cleveland: You want to know why I married my wife? Because she knows me better than I do. There are a couple SF fans here who just watched their Giants win the World Series, something I have never seen my Padres do. You know what my wife has been saying to me for three weeks? "How are you going to feel when my 49ers win another Super Bowl before your Chargers do? Especially right after the Giants just won last year." That hurts honey. Right to my core. And that is much better smack talk than anything I have heard from any male 49ers fan.

Cincinnati (-3) over SEATTLE: I' mentioned how I don't like spelling Cincinnati before, right? The two n's and one t get to me for some reason. And Royce's law of always betting against the Seahawks and Chiefs has been dead for three weeks now. In fact, I think it only lasted two weeks. But I am picking against both of them this week, so maybe we'll declare it a zombie law just for this week.

Dallas (+3.5) over PHILADELPHIA: I have no fucking clue. It's one talented schizophrenic team vs. another talented schizophrenic team. (I don't like spelling Cincinnati, but I have no problem spelling schizophrenic.) Taking the points is just fine with me.

San Diego (-3.5) over KANSAS CITY: Bill Barnwell tweeted how this line has moved 10.5 points from the Chargers hosting the Chiefs just a few weeks ago (after accounting for the traditional three point home team advantage). And that the Chargers "slid" plus the Chiefs run haven't brought these teams that close together. It does scare me a little that the Chiefs can get into first place in the division with a win, but I don't think it happens. The homer in me says the Chargers get to 5-2 and maintain that 1+ game lead throughout the season.

NFL W L G PCT Pyth % Dif/G O Yds/ Play D Yds/ Play Dif Yds/ Play DVOA
Pittsburgh 5 2 7 71.4% 62.2% 4.1 6 4.7 1.3 11.40%
Dallas 3 3 6 50.0% 58.8% 3.5 6.3 5 1.3 17.20%
Baltimore 4 2 6 66.7% 81.1% 12.0 5.2 4.3 0.9 21.50%
Houston 4 3 7 57.1% 68.3% 7.3 6 5.2 0.8 20.10%
New Orleans 5 2 7 71.4% 72.4% 11.6 6.5 5.8 0.7 20.90%
Philadelphia 2 4 6 33.3% 50.0% 0.0 6.5 5.8 0.7 0.30%
Cincinnati 4 2 6 66.7% 62.0% 4.3 5.2 4.6 0.6 11.20%
Green Bay 7 0 7 100.0% 75.8% 12.7 6.8 6.2 0.6 30.70%
Detroit 5 2 7 71.4% 69.2% 8.1 5.6 5.1 0.5 11.20%
NY Giants 4 2 6 66.7% 52.7% 1.2 5.9 5.5 0.4 15.30%
New England 5 1 6 83.3% 67.6% 8.3 6.9 6.6 0.3 21.90%
Carolina 2 5 7 28.6% 44.3% -2.4 6.4 6.1 0.3 -7.60%
San Diego 4 2 6 66.7% 52.1% 0.8 5.7 5.4 0.3 -9.20%
Oakland 4 3 7 57.1% 43.8% -2.6 5.8 5.5 0.3 -0.40%
San Francisco 5 1 6 83.3% 78.0% 11.7 5.2 5.2 0 27.50%
Tennessee 3 3 6 50.0% 39.3% -3.8 5.3 5.3 0 0.00%
NY Jets 4 3 7 57.1% 57.2% 2.9 5 5.1 -0.1 28.60%
Minnesota 1 6 7 14.3% 39.4% -4.3 5.5 5.6 -0.1 -4.30%
Washington 3 3 6 50.0% 50.0% 0.0 5.3 5.4 -0.1 -4.50%
Chicago 4 3 7 57.1% 57.2% 2.9 5.6 5.9 -0.3 5.70%
Arizona 1 5 6 16.7% 34.4% -6.2 5.4 5.8 -0.4 -30.60%
Buffalo 4 2 6 66.7% 64.0% 6.8 6.1 6.5 -0.4 23.70%
Cleveland 3 3 6 50.0% 37.9% -3.8 4.3 4.8 -0.5 -11.90%
Denver 2 4 6 33.3% 36.8% -5.3 5 5.5 -0.5 -13.10%
Kansas City 3 3 6 50.0% 30.3% -7.5 5 5.6 -0.6 -8.80%
Seattle 2 4 6 33.3% 34.4% -5.2 4.5 5.1 -0.6 -19.80%
Atlanta 4 3 7 57.1% 48.2% -0.7 5.2 5.9 -0.7 10.90%
Miami 0 6 6 0.0% 24.5% -9.3 5.1 5.8 -0.7 -21.40%
Jacksonville 2 5 7 28.6% 23.6% -7.9 4.1 4.9 -0.8 -20.70%
Tampa Bay 4 3 7 57.1% 35.6% -5.4 5.3 6.2 -0.9 -3.00%
Indianapolis 0 7 7 0.0% 16.2% -16.3 5.1 6 -0.9 -37.30%
St. Louis 0 6 6 0.0% 6.9% -19.2 4.6 6.1 -1.5 -47.00%


  1. I knew I liked the wife for a reason...she does have a valid point.

    Agree on Cincinnati. Disagree on schizophrenic. I can spell both, but have to think about it. And that's annoying.

    How important is yard/play differential? The Niners excel in all other stats you list, but not in this category. Does this mean it's not important or should I be worried about a future decline?

    This week's picks:

    $10 on Panthers -3.5: I think the Panthers are easily the better team, and want to bet more considering it's Ponder's first road game, but AP scared the bejeezus out of me.

    $30 on Steelers +3: Is it just me, or are these two teams fairly even? On a neutral field, I could see the Pats by 1.5-2. But favored by a full field goal in Pittsburgh?!? I just don't see it.

    $20 on Niners -8.5: If the Niners cover this weekend (which the homer in me says they should easily), it signals their legitimacy. Coming off a bye week, against a poor team, and at home - a legitimate team dominates this game.

  2. I didn't get my picks in in time, but I have to say I never in a million years would've seen the St Louis or Baltimore results coming. Wow. Wtf is going on.

  3. New theory: bet against any $100 pick from Aaron.

  4. I went 8-4 on Sunday, but -$100. Do I double down tomorrow?

  5. Yes! I want you to be down $200 for the weekend.

    Won my Niners & Steelers bets (+$50) and lost the Panthers (-$10) for a combined +$40 on the weekend. Up to $1,080.

    Even though the Niners covered, anyone who watched that game knows we should have been up by much more at halftime. Anyone who watched the game also knows that we were very lucky to cover considering the shitshow we exhibited in the second half. I haven't read a post-game analysis, but I sure would like to know what the eff happened in the second half.

    Ugh...I'm less sold on our legitimacy today than I was on Friday. And that's after covering!

  6. So, Aaron, I guess Tebow's performance means you won't be quoting L. Ron Hubbard anytime soon...

  7. "The Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to lose their first three games but have at least a share of first place after playing their next four".

    Cheer up, Chargers - you helped make history! If you could make a Brees-for-Rivers trade and had to keep Dreezy for the next 3 seasons, would you pull the trigger on the QB Mulligan trade?

  8. No, Philip Rivers will be better for a longer period of time. Brees didn't work that hard his first three years in San Diego. And Brees has been helped a little by the offensive style they run in New Orleans. For example, last year Rivers threw for more yards on 117 fewer pass attempts.