Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Week 16 recap

Holiday obligations kept me away from the Sunday Ticket this weekend -- and that's probably for the best, because I went 9-7 in the picks, definitely my worst showing of the year. (I was 7-9 in Week 2, but at that point we were all just guessing on a lot of games. I mean, San Francisco was 1-0 and Denver was 0-1. I'm surprised I got anything right that week.) This Christmas weekend, I was on the road between Virginia and Connecticut during the bulk of Saturday's early games. When we got to our hotel and I turned on the TV, I was behind in eight of the 10 games underway. Things got better, but not much.

I saw snippets of Chargers-Chiefs, Giants-Redskins and Colts-Seahawks; the second half of Bears-Packers; and most of Vikings-Ravens and Patriots-Jets. Having seen so little, I lack the material for the usual recap. But guess what? Because I have such an enormous brain, my preview last week already contains everything you need to know about every game. You just have to know where to look. In keeping with the season, I have used GREEN to highlight the relevant words in the games I got right, and RED to highlight the relevant words in the games I got wrong. All I want to add is that I don't know where my head was at when I wrote about J.P. Losman starting for Buffalo. Losman is hurt and didn't start. So that's why the Bills beat the Bengals ...
  • Dallas at Carolina: The Redskins' defense bottled and throttled Drew Bledsoe. The Panthers' front seven is even better. I pick Carolina, but if the Panthers lose, their season is done, regardless of whether they make the playoffs.

  • Buffalo at Cincinnati: The Bengals are just itching to kick the crap out of someone in their final home game. Over/under on J.P. Losman interceptions: 5.

  • Pittsburgh at Cleveland: The Steelers are way too motivated. Pittsburgh by 10.

  • Jacksonville at Houston: Houston always plays Jacksonville tough. Unfortunately for the Texans, the Jaguars got caught looking ahead last week and won't let it happen again. I pick the Jaguars.

  • San Diego at Kansas City: Arrowhead is incredibly tough in December, blah blah blah. If I pick K.C. and the Chiefs lose, I have no good explanation. If I pick the Chargers and they lose, I just talk about how tough Arrowhead is for visiting teams in December. San Diego wins.

  • Tennessee at Miami: The Dolphins are shifting their focus to next year; so are the Titans. In both cases, that points to a Miami win.

  • Detroit at New Orleans: Hot loser-on-loser action. Go with the "home" team.

  • San Francisco at St. Louis: There is precedent for the 49ers beating the Rams this season. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Rams.

  • Atlanta at Tampa Bay: The Falcons are the dude from The Sixth Sense. Tune in this week as they figure out the secret. Bucs roll.

  • New York Giants at Washington: This one could easily go either way, but I'm not convinced about the Redskins. Plus, 36-0 still makes a convincing argument. It's a big risk taking Eli Manning on the road, but what the hell.

  • Philadelphia at Arizona: Oh God, who cares? Let's say the Cardinals, just because they're at home.

  • Oakland at Denver: The Broncos are in the same mood as the Bengals.

  • Indianapolis at Seattle: I expect Seattle to win, but not because Indy will be distracted by the terrible tragedy that befell the Dungy family. I expect Seattle to win because Indy will be focused on nothing but giving Dungy a Super Bowl championship. So I'll take the Seahawks.

  • Chicago at Green Bay: I think I speak for most of America when I say: We're tired of watching the Packers lose on national TV.

  • Minnesota at Baltimore: One great game on Monday night does not make a team great. The temperature is forecast to be 45-50 degrees, which bodes well for Minnesota. Vikings, I guess. -- especially if Washington and Atlanta both lose on Saturday.

  • New England at New York Jets: Patriots end the ABC Monday night era with a blowout.

SEASON: 164-76

Down and Distance's exclusive POW-R-'ANKINGS are the most accurate assessment of team strength available on the Internet, Ethernet, ARPANET, Aqua Net or any other -net. Honed by master mathematicians, lauded by football enthusiasts, the formula behind them predicted 10 of the last 15 Super Bowl winners, and 14 of the last 15 Super Bowl winners finished the regular season No. 1 or No. 2 in the POW-R-'ANKINGS system. Get it? I mean, spaceships go to the moon with wider error margins than this. If Galileo or Copernicus had had science like this on his side, he'd have been Pimp No. 1 for all time. Unlike with other, lesser rating systems, no opinion is involved in formulating these rankings. None. Teams are ranked on a centigrade scale, with 100 representing the NFL's strongest team and 0 its weakest. (Key: W16 = This week's ranking. W15 = Last week's ranking. PWR = POW-R centigrade score)
11 Colts 100.001717Dolphins 51.25
22 Seahawks 97.841819Ravens 41.93
39 Steelers 85.011920Packers 36.93
44 Bears 84.712022Rams 34.67
58 Broncos 84.382121Vikings 34.24
63 Chargers 81.012223Eagles 34.03
75 Panthers 79.672325Cardinals33.31
86 Giants 75.982424Raiders 28.70
97 Bengals 75.832527Lions 27.56
1010Jaguars 70.592626Titans 27.45
1112Redskins67.012718Browns 26.70
1211Falcons 62.952828Bills 24.81
1313Patriots62.502929Jets 14.20
1414Chiefs 62.353031Saints 9.05
1515Cowboys 59.113130Texans 8.10
1616Bucs 55.34323249ers 0.00

Teams eliminated this week* from Super Bowl championship consideration (what?): Giants, Panthers. Teams previously eliminated: Texans, Titans, Packers, Saints, 49ers, Jets, Bills, Ravens, Browns, Vikings, Cardinals, Dolphins, Raiders, Lions, Eagles, Rams, Redskins, Steelers, Cowboys, Falcons, Chiefs, Chargers, Buccaneers.
*Though the Patriots have posted five losses, they've proved they can win the Super Bowl with an 11-5 record. So they get a pass for now.

No comments: