And the web site has been updated accordingly.
Month: December 2007
One last Christmas present for you all…
New SuperPower Rankings, of course, and an update on the Patriots’ blitz through the entire NFL.
The Upset Special for the week is Miami beating the Bengals.
Can someone explain to me why Atlanta is favored over Seattle, even with the Seahawks having nothing to play for?
I was going to add something else really insightful, but I forgot it. But here are the teams that could get each pick of the NFL Draft, in selection order for all rounds. I’m discounting strength of schedule because that’s too hard to look up and I’m not sure of the formula anyway.
- Rams/Falcons/Jets/Ravens/Raiders/Chiefs (last three must lose and must have all of first three win)
- Rams/Falcons/Jets/Ravens/Raiders/Chiefs (last three must lose and must have two out of first three win)
- Rams/Falcons/Jets/Ravens/Raiders/Chiefs (fourth and fifth must lose and must have one out of first three win; Chiefs must lose)
- Rams/Falcons/Jets/Ravens/Raiders/Chiefs/49ers (first two must win and must have one out of next three lose; Jets must win; 49ers must lose and must have all of previous three win)
- Rams/Falcons/Jets/Ravens/Raiders/Chiefs/49ers (first three must win and must have two out of next three lose; 49ers must lose and must have two out of previous three win)
- Rams/Falcons/Jets/Ravens/Raiders/Chiefs/49ers (first three must win and must have all of next three lose; 49ers must lose and must have one out of previous three win)
- Ravens/Raiders/Chiefs/Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/49ers (first three must win and must have 49ers lose; four in-between must lose and must have 49ers win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/49ers/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals (49ers must win and must have one out of first four lose; last six must lose and must have all of first four win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/49ers/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals (49ers must win and must have two out of first four lose; last six must lose and must have three of first four win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/49ers/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals (49ers must win and must have three out of first four lose; last six must lose and must have two out of first four win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/49ers/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals (49ers must win and must have all of first four lose; Lions, Eagles, Texans, Bills, and Cardinals must lose and must have one out of first four win; Saints must lose)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals (Panthers, Broncos, and Bengals must win and must have one out of last six lose; Bears must win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals/Redskins/Vikings (first four must win and must have two out of next six lose; last two must lose and must have five of previous six win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals/Redskins/Vikings (first four must win and must have three out of next six lose; last two must lose and must have four of previous six win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals/Redskins/Vikings (first four must win and must have four out of next six lose; last two must lose and must have three of previous six win)
- Panthers/Bears/Broncos/Bengals/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals/Redskins/Vikings (first four must win and must have five out of next six lose; last two must lose and must have two of previous six win)
- Browns/Titans/Bucs/Redskins/Vikings/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals (first three must lose and must have both of next two win; Lions, Eagles, Texans, Bills, and Cardinals must win and must have Redskins or Vikings lose)
- Browns/Titans/Bucs/Redskins/Vikings/Lions/Eagles/Texans/Bills/Saints/Cardinals (first three must lose and must have one of next two win; Lions, Eagles, Texans, Bills, and Cardinals must win and must have Redskins and Vikings lose; Saints must win and must have Redskins or Vikings lose)
- Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs/Redskins/Vikings/Saints (first four must lose and must have Bucs and (Browns OR Titans) win; Saints must make playoffs)
- Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs/Redskins/Vikings (first four must lose and must have one of next three win; last two must win and must have one out of previous three lose)
- Jaguars/Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs/Redskins/Vikings (Jaguars must lose and must have all of next four win; last two must win and must have two out of previous three lose)
- Jaguars/Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs/Redskins/Vikings (Jaguars must lose and must have three out of next four win; last two must win and must have all of previous three lose)
- Jaguars/Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs (Jaguars must lose and must have two out of next four win; last three must win and must have one out of previous four lose)
- Jaguars/Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs (Jaguars must lose and must have one out of next four win; last three must win and must have two out of previous four lose)
- Packers/Jaguars/Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs (Packers must lose and must have Jaguars win; last three must win and must have three out of previous four lose)
- Colts/Cowboys/Packers/Jaguars/Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers/Browns/Titans/Bucs (last three must win and must have four preceding all lose; first two must lose and must have Packers win)
- Colts/Cowboys/Packers/Jaguars/Giants/Seahawks/Chargers/Steelers (last four must win and must have Jaguars lose)
- Colts/Cowboys/Packers/Jaguars (Jaguars must win and must have Packers lose)
- Patriots/Colts/Cowboys/Packers (Packers must win and must have Colts lose)
- SB loser (Patriots/Colts/Cowboys/Packers/Chargers/Steelers/Seahawks/Bucs/Jaguars/Giants/Browns/Titans/Redskins/Vikings/Saints) (last five must make playoffs)
- SB winner (Patriots/Colts/Cowboys/Packers/Chargers/Steelers/Seahawks/Bucs/Jaguars/Giants/Browns/Titans/Redskins/Vikings/Saints) (last five must make playoffs)
Golden Bowl Tournament Semifinals
I only had to make decisions on two races, and only then because the vote (two for each match) split.
#5 LSU v. #8 Oklahoma (Sugar Bowl)
The mass of red in the stands of the Cotton Bowl turn the tide when a late comeback attempt by the Hokies ends just short of the first-down marker on fourth down. But what relative home field giveth, it can also taketh away. The #3 and #12 offenses in the country promise to light up the scoreboard – but not if the #9 and #20 defenses (the latter of which gives up the third-fewest yards per game) have anything to say about it. LSU relies on its #12 rushing attack, but it will have to contend with the #11 run defense of the Sooners. Oklahoma is more balanced, with a #18 rushing game and #26 passing game, but LSU is #18 and #17 at stopping the run and pass, respectively. It’s like they’re set up to counter each other!
#2 Georgia v. #11 USC (Rose Bowl)
Ohio State gets a surprise from a Georgia team that comes ready to match them on defense, as the Buckeye offense is exposed in a tight 7-6 Georgia victory that ends on an interception by the Bulldog defense snuffing a late comeback attempt. Things don’t get any easier for the Bulldogs, as they now have to travel far from home to play a team that some say should be seeded a lot higher. USC’s defense is not much worse than Ohio State’s – fourth in points, second in total yardage, eighth in passing defense, fourth in run defense – but it also does not have that great an offense, and if Georgia can handle Ohio State they can handle USC. As with Ohio State, USC’s offensive strength comes on the run.
All polls expire New Year’s Day at 5pm PT.
Running Playoff and SNF Week 17 Watch
I’ll be updating this post throughout the day and not creating any new posts. New changes:
-A Browns loss cinches up the division for the Steelers. And they’re losing at the moment.
-A Packers loss cinches up the #1 seed for the Cowboys. And they’re losing at the moment. Not even Favre love is likely to save NBC.
-The Panthers are out with a loss, so Bucs-Panthers is out on Sunday Night.
I’ll report on the results as they come in. Jags are beating the Raiders which could cinch up the 5 seed. Giants are beating the Bills which should cinch a playoff spot. Saints losing to the Eagles at home.
Bills have taken the lead over the Giants.
Giants got down to 4th and G on the 1 but could not score. That’s proving to be an interesting game.
Giants just got an INT return for a TD to retake the lead. The Bears look like they will relegate the Packers to a 2 seed.
Bears knock off the Packers, so the Cowboys and Packers have nothing to play for. That means next week’s game is meaningless enough that Favre might not play, meaning NBC might shy away from it. Titans-Colts may now be a virtual lock, assuming the Titans end the day still with a shot at the playoffs.
Giants have opened up a big lead and are probably playoff-bound. Bengals knocked off the Browns so the Steelers win the AFC North.
Jags beat Raiders. Here’s the AFC Playoff Picture:
- As mentioned, the Steelers win the AFC North.
- The win by the Jags and the loss by the Browns cinches up a 5 seed for the Jags. A Titans win ties them with the Browns for the 6 seed and likely cinches up Titans-Colts as the favorite, or at least top competitor with Packers-Lions.
- I doubt MNF really comes into play here, but the Steelers did win earlier in the week, so the Chargers are at risk of a 4 seed.
Giants over the Bills now official. Eagles defeat Saints. Here’s the NFC Playoff Picture:
- Giants win to move to 10-5 and lock up a playoff spot. Vikings still pending. Saints lose to move to 1.5 games back, and now desperately need the Redskins to win to even be able to come down to a tiebreaker. If Washington beats Minnesota, then both Washington and Minnesota lose Week 17, and the Saints win next week, then I believe everyone would have 8 losses and, as described in my previous Flex Scheduling Watch, the Saints would be plucked by the tiebreaker. But again, there is only one scenario in which the Saints move into the playoffs. Now if the Vikings win, they’re in.
- Dallas is now the 1, Green Bay the 2. Tampa Bay and Seattle are playing now for the 3, and the Bucs have just taken a 3-point lead.
Let’s move into the afternoon games.
Bucs behind in a tight one against the 49ers. Titans leading Jets, Seahawks demolishing Ravens.
Two games are very interesting, the Bucs and Titans games.
Jets are driving and attempting to come back.
TO on downs, then Titans pick up a first and they will keep their playoff hopes alive. Titans-Colts a good bet for next week on NBC.
Meanwhile Bucs are down against the 49ers. Not the way they want to enter the playoffs. Seahawks still leading big.
Seahawks win, and the Bucs go down despite a late comeback, so the Seahawks will get the 3.
In the AFC, Titans and Browns are tied for the final playoff spot. I’ve heard that the Titans would hold a tiebreaker over the Browns and thus would only need a win to get in. Of course, it’s against the Colts. This pick is very tenuous, and there’s still a chance that NBC will spring Brett Favre love on us, but there are two things against that: 1) The Packers are in the playoffs, so unlike last year this is not going to be Favre’s last game period, and 2) The Packers aren’t playing for anything, so expect Favre to get limited playing time.
Final prediction: Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts.
Actual selection: Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts (just announced on NBC itself).
Happy Blog-day to meeeeee!
Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch and Playoff Watch: Week 15
NBC’s Sunday Night Football package gives it flexible scheduling. For the last seven weeks of the season, the games are determined on 12-day notice, 6-day notice for Week 17.
Last year, no game was listed in the Sunday Night slot, only a notation that one game could move there. CBS and Fox were able to protect one game every week each but had to leave one week each unprotected and had to submit their protections after only four weeks.
Now, NBC lists the game it “tentatively” schedules for each night. However, the NFL is in charge of moving games to prime time.
Here are the rules from the NFL web site:
- Begins Sunday of Week 11
- In effect during Weeks 11-17
- Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
- The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
- The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 p.m. ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
- No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
- The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce as early as possible the game being played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game. The NFL may also announce games moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:15 p.m. ET.
- Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications.
- The NBC Sunday night time slot in “flex” weeks will list the game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night.
- Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
- NFL schedules all games.
- Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.
- Two other rules were established earlier: CBS and Fox each protect games in five out of six weeks, and can’t protect any games Week 17 this year.
- Three teams can appear a maximum of six games in primetime on NBC, ESPN or NFL Network (everyone else gets five; the Pats and Cowboys already have six) and no team may appear more than four times on NBC.
Here are the current tentatively-scheduled games and my predictions:
Week 17 (December 30):
- Tentative game: Kansas City @ NY Jets
- Prospects: Awful. This has the best chance of losing its spot.
- Other possible games/Playoff Positioning Watch:
- AFC East: Patriots clinched.
- AFC North: Steelers (@Baltimore) and Browns (v. San Francisco) tied. Bengals and Ravens out. Steelers hold tiebreaker by beating Browns twice.
- AFC South: Colts clinched due to tiebreaker.
- AFC West: Chargers clinched.
- AFC Wild Card: The Jags (@Houston) and the loser of Steelers-Browns would get the nod if the season ended today, with the Titans (@Indianapolis) a game back; the Titans and Jags split the season series and the scenario that ends with them tied gives the Titans the divisional tiebreaker. The Texans and Bills are two back; the Bills are out after losing to both the Steelers and Browns, but the Texans have lost only to the Browns, and got swept by Tennessee. If the Titans and Steelers lose out, the Browns win at least once, and the Texans win out, the Texans would still lose on a conference tiebreaker.
- AFC Playoff Positioning Among Division Winners: Patriots beat the Colts to cinch #1. Colts hold #2 outright. The other two division leaders, the Chargers (@Oakland) and the winner of Steelers-Browns, all have five losses each.
- NFC East: Cowboys clinched.
- NFC North: Packers clinched.
- NFC South: Bucs up two on Saints and swept the season series to get the tiebreaker. The trend of last-place teams taking the South the following year continues. Good news, Falcons fans!
- NFC West: Seahawks clinched.
- NFC Wild Card: Giants (vs. New England on NFL Network) and Vikings (@Denver) would get the nod if the season ended today. Redskins (v. Dallas, would result in too many primetime appearances for Cowboys) and Saints (@Chicago) one back. Lions, Panthers (@Tampa Bay), and Cardinals two back. Vikings and Lions split the season series and the Lions would have a better divisional record under the scenario that ends with them tied. But for the Vikings to lose out means the Redskins get at least one win, and Washington already beat Detroit. Carolina and New Orleans split the season series and would finish with identical division records as well in the scenario that ends with them tied. Against the AFC South, it’s NO 1-3, CAR 0-4; against the NFC West, NO 2-2, CAR 4-0, so Carolina wins the common-games tiebreaker. Several different scenarios are now possible if the Vikings go 0-2 and the Redskins go 1-1: Vikings-Redskins-Panthers, Vikings-Redskins-Cardinals, Vikings-Redskins-Saints (if the Saints go 1-1 and Carolina loses at least once), Vikings-Redskins-Panthers-Cardinals, and Vikings-Redskins-Saints-Cardinals. In addition to the Redskins’ victory over the Vikings in this scenario, Washington also beat the Cardinals, so they would be undefeated head-to-head. Carolina and New Orleans both beat Arizona as well. As no head-to-head sweep is possible except in a Vikings-Redskins-Cardinals situation, we go to conference records: MIN 6-5 (would go to 6-6); WAS 5-5 (would also go to 6-6); CAR 6-4 (would go to 8-4); NO 6-4 (would go to 7-5); ARI 3-7 (would go to 5-7, as would, note, the Lions).
- NFC Playoff Positioning Among Division Winners: Dallas (@Washington, would result in too many primetime appearances for Cowboys) and Green Bay (v. Detroit) are tied for the 1 spot. Both have clinched first-round byes. Tampa Bay (v. Carolina) and Seattle (@Atlanta) are similarly tied for the three spot.
- Analysis: If NBC wants a game that matters for both teams, Bucs-Panthers is the only doable game, and even then only if the Panthers still have a shot at the playoffs. If it’s not, look for another Favre lovefest (Packers-Lions). To think we used to think this was a rich weekend. If NBC just wants good teams, regardless of whether it matters for both sides, Titans-Colts is good, but that’s it, and the Titans can easily be eliminated from the playoffs next week, meaning we’re back to the Favre love. Oh, and the Colts come in just under the gun, so if I got something wrong in this post Titans-Colts is disqualified anyway. And if last year, when there were better games, is any indication? Then I might as well make my final prediction.
Oh, and re-reading the AA post linked to on last week’s watch, I’m even more confused, and no longer certain what AA was thinking, because while Titans-Colts is listed as CBS’ “protected” game, Fox’s game is “GB-CHI”, which obviously isn’t being played at all – and was last year’s NBC game Week 17! But really, Jags-Texans is the only other real dark horse, although Vikings-Broncos might get thrown in for the heck of it. Even then, though, that’ll only happen if there isn’t a Favre to love because he wouldn’t be playing (which I doubt).
New SuperPower Rankings
- I guarantee that the Lions will remind people of why people liked them so much and why they were 6-2 against the Chiefs.
- I actually would have picked the Dolphins against the Patriots had they lost because the irony would have been irresistable. Now, though, I don’t think they have a prayer.
- The Redskins have a two-game winning streak, which poses a problem, because I told myself that if the Redskins continued their Chicago success I would say they would have an inspired run to the playoffs. But they’re playing the Vikings, a team you just don’t dismiss out of hand. Ultimately I’m picking the Redskins in the Upset Special.
- How do you choose between the collapsing Cardinals and the absolute mess known as the Atlanta Falcons?
TIME’s Person of the Year is certainly harkening back to its roots…
…of picking Hitler and Stalin.
And, of course, George W. Bush.
The web site is updated with the Patriots’ quest for 19-0.
That is all.
Could the real force behind King George Bush’s warmongering…
I hope you have actual intelligence to share with the US and not just paranoid delusions…