Tuesday, November 04, 2008

NFL Week 9 wrapup

Week 9 in the NFL...

  • One play can make a big difference in a 3-point game. On Sunday night, there were several plays, any of which could have changed the outcome by going the other way. If the Patriots convert the 2-point conversion on their touchdown (which was so close that replay probably would not have overturned it if the officials had called it good), if Jabar Gaffney catches that pass down the left sideline, if Belichick doesn't call the timeout before Cassell converted the QB sneak, if David Thomas doesn't commit that unspeakable penalty, the Patriots may win that game. But those all went the wrong way, and they lost.


  • The Jets did come up with a win in Buffalo, which surprised me. That, combined with the New England loss, resulted in a three-way tie at the top of the AFC East. That will (probably) be a two-way tie next Monday, as the Jets are likely to beat the Rams, and the Patriots and Bills play head-to-head.


  • I do not know why it is, but with some teams, my opinion changes on a weekly basis, and with others, it doesn't change regardless of what they do. I have now gone, in the span of a month from "the Redskins are bad" to "the Redskins are going to win the NFC" to "the Redskins are part of the vast middle." In the meantime, I have yet to change my opinion that the 8-0 Titans and 6-2 Panthers are part of the vast middle, which the evidence suggests is not the case.


  • Well, if someone's going winless this year, it will be the Lions, as the Bengals have finally put up a win. Some in Cincinnati are talking about finishing 8-8, which is only slightly more likely than the sun rising in the west tomorrow.


  • For all of the pre-season talk about how weak the AFC East would be again, it is one of the three divisions without a team with a losing record. And if the Dolphins beat the Seahawks in Miami on Sunday (which, as a feat, isn't quite on a par with going to the moon), the loser of the Bills-Patriots game will fall from a first-place tie to a last-place tie.


  • Evidence that you should be listening carefully to what I say:

    Detroit at Chicago - "Have I really got my (entirely theoretical) money riding on the Lions? Again? Apparently. Yes, the Bears scored something like 897 points last week, but sometimes I'm slow - I don't buy them as a 13 point favorite against anyone. Not even the Lions. They'll win, of course, but not by 13 or more."

    Philadelphia at Seattle - "Congratulations to the Seahawks, who looked like an actual NFL team last week in San Francisco. Anyone see two in a row? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? No, I didn't think so."

    Dallas at NY Giants - "This is always a marquee matchup, I suppose, but what looked like a great game a month ago looks like a mismatch today."


  • Evidence that you should be listening carefully to what I say (and betting the opposite):

    NY Jets at Buffalo - "Buffalo is 5-2 and tied for the division lead. The Jets are not. The Jets are coming off a narrow escape at home against the woeful Chiefs, while the Bills are recovering from a road loss at the hands of the improving Dolphins. If the Jets are going to be serious competitors this year, they'll find a way to win this game. I rather think that they won't."

    Jacksonville at Cincinnati - "I asked this last week, I ask it again - "where's the evidence that Jacksonville can beat anyone by a touchdown?" Of course, Cincinnati's not just anyone. I have little confidence in the Jaguars, but I think the Bengals are capable of losing by double digits to anyone."

    Miami at Denver - "If the only information one had about these two teams were their games in New England, the Dolphins would be favored by 30. That's not the only information we have. The Dolphins will score, but the Broncos will score more. This is another game that's very likely to end in a push, with the Broncos winning by exactly 3, but I don't feel quite certain enough about it to pick it, so I'll pick them to cover."


  • For the week:
    Winners: 6-8
    ATS: 8-6-0


  • For the season:
    Winners: 76-54
    ATS: 69-57-4


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