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The Second Season Begins!

Mill Woods

Posted on January 3, 2019 20:03

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Some call the NFL playoffs 'the second season', because what is past is prologue - and only that. It's great if a team has racked up wins and impressive statistics, but that is not a guarantee of success in the playoffs. Saturday begins the process of seeing which teams are truly ready for the championship.

We're finally down to 12 contenders. In the world's most competitive sports league, that amazing parity was on display again: 19 of 32 teams were still in the playoff hunt after 13 weeks of play. Only 12 of 32 were chosen. The fans of those 12 teams can celebrate a stunning accomplishment. But fans naturally yearn for a lot more. How will this year's crop fare? I think I have some clues to that riddle, but I also have a caveat: these teams are very closely matched - they are all winners in my book.

By the way, it's no cakewalk picking winners during the regular season either. I'm happy to announce that I had a very good season.
 
Week         Correct    Incorr.       Pcnt
1                10.5           5.5             66%          
2                13.5           2.5             84%          
3                9                7                56%          
4                12              3                80%          
5                11              4                73%          
6                9                6                60%          
7                6                8                43%          
8                12              2                86%          
9                9                4                69%          
10              8                6                57%          
11              8                5                62%          
12              10              5                67%          
13              9                7                56%          
14              9                7                56%          
15              11              5                69%          
16              11              5                69%          
17              10              6                63%          
 
Total         168            88               66%.

I haven't seen the final numbers for my competition, but I'm pretty sure that I beat most of them. The last time I checked the game-picking record of the analysts with the NFL Network and Showtime's "Inside the NFL", I was ahead of all the analysts except one. And that was only three weeks ago. At that time, I was behind only Steve Mariucci; I was ahead of Rich Eisen, Colleen Wolfe, Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, Steve Smith, Michael Robinson, Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason and Ray Lewis. I've never played or coached pro ball, but I have watched a lot of NFL football - by many different teams - and I don't think I have as many biases as former players and coaches sometimes have. Maybe that's my advantage.

Now, on to the playoffs. There are teams and players that I like better than others, but I'll try to be as objective as possible about who is likely to win. Here are my picks for Wild Card Weekend:

Saturday
Colts at Texans                    Texans
Seahawks at Cowboys         Cowboys
 
Sunday
Chargers at Ravens             Ravens
Eagles at Bears                   Bears
 
While I think the home field advantage is real, I have other reasons for picking those four. The Bears, Ravens, Texans and Cowboys have punishing defenses (the four top-ranked defenses in the playoffs, by fewest points allowed), but they also have offenses that are difficult to figure out. All four teams have innovative offenses with strong running games and fast, mobile quarterbacks. Exciting contests are all but guaranteed.

I hope you have a fun weekend enjoying all four games - I certainly will.

 

 

 

Mill Woods

Posted on January 3, 2019 20:03

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