Simply put, a confidence pool is a love-hate relationship!
In week 2, well, it was pretty hateful! So many upsets and so many points lost on games that the majority of the country could not have predicted! In week 3, however, the pool saw the error of its ways and gave us a more loving result. After the early Sunday games, we were still rocking a perfect board!
It’s a good thing, too. Now we have bye weeks to deal with. With a solid week 3, that puts us at a good spot as most confidence pools will be losing lines 14, 15 and 16 this week with six teams on a bye. With the number of possible points decreased starting this week, it’s good that we got them when we could!
On to week 4! HERE WE GO!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
13 – INDIANAPOLIS over Tennessee – The Colts have given me nothing but reasons to have nothing but confidence in them this season – especially when playing a team that seems to be as confused as the Titans. This shouldn’t be close.
12 – SAN DIEGO over Jacksonville – After being down 30-0 at halftime, the Jaguars turned to their future and brought Blake Bortles into the game. While it’s a great move for the future, their present is still pretty bleak.
11 – PITTSBURGH over Tampa Bay – The Steelers run game exploded last week against one of the top defenses in the league. The Bucs, well they imploded in Atlanta. A switch back to Mike Glennon at quarterback might help, but the Steelers are just too much to leave much doubt that they’ll lose this game.
10 – WASHINGTON over New York Giants – The Redskins lost a shootout last week. Lucky for them they now have an offense that can produce a shootout every week. The Giants on the other hand cannot. Kirk Cousins has seemingly lit a fire in the nation’s capital so much so that this week’s BOLD PREDICTION is that Kirk Cousins will be a starting quarterback in week 1 of 2015 … and that will be with the Redskins.
9 – Miami over OAKLAND – Yes the Raiders are the “home” team this week, but this home team has to travel across the country…and THEN across the pond to London. The Dolphins would be higher if they knew what they were doing at quarterback but either way they should be able to handle the Raiders.
8 – KANSAS CITY over New England – The Patriots were only able to put the ball in the end zone ONCE against the Raiders at home last week and just squeaked out the win. The Chiefs on the other hand finally found their offense groove last week. It’s hard to see the Pats stopping the Chiefs on a Monday night in Arrowhead this week.
7 – SAN FRANCISCO over Philadelphia – I’m still not throwing the towel in on the 9ers. They have started with a tough schedule with games against an undefeated Cardinals team (in Glendale) and games against the Bears and Cowboys. The Eagles rely heavily on their high-powered offense which San Fran should be able to contain.
6 – Detroit over NEW YORK JETS – Detroit looked pretty bad last week in beating the Packers, but I believe that was just a bad game. I’m confident that the Lions will bounce back for a road win, just not too confident.
5 – CHICAGO over Green Bay – The league’s fiercest rivalry is renewed in Soldier Field this week. The Bears’ injury questions leave me questioning them a bit, but the Packers haven’t seemed to find their groove yet this year so Chicago should be able to take this one. I have a feeling that the home team will be winning both games this season.
4 – HOUSTON over Buffalo – This game depends on the health of Arian Foster. If he plays, then keep the Texans here. If not, then slide them down a bit – maybe even put the Bills on the 1-2 line.
3 – Carolina over BALTIMORE – After last week's debacle, the Panthers will have a big point to prove. I’m not confident on a road team in Baltimore, but the Carolina D will look to return to form and shut down the Ravens.
2 – Atlanta over MINNESOTA – A new era has begun in Minnesota with Teddy Bridgewater now under center. Couple that with the fact that the game is being played in Minnesota and that gives me SOME reason to question the outcome, but the Vikings just have too many injury and legal issues to keep up with the Falcons.
1 – DALLAS over New Orleans – Sunday Night’s matchup is a good one. The fact that the game is in Jerry’s house makes it a toss-up. I think the ‘Boys will use the momentum from their comeback in St. Louis last week to propel them to a big win.
For years we have all heard of the dreaded “Madden Curse.” For those unfortunate few who haven’t, simply put, those who have graced the cover of the Madden video game have found misfortune in their near future. I don’t think it has had the calamity success rate that my recently installed BOLD PREDICTION has!
For those players and teams that I have affected, I promise that my intentions were good. However, it seems that whenever I make a positive prediction, bad things follow. The week I say the Cowboys will win the East, they lose. The week I say the Bills will make the playoffs, they lose. The week I say Kirk Cousins will win the starting job in Washington, he throws 4 interceptions in a home loss to the Giants.
So best of luck to the remaining 13 teams/players that I make a prediction about!
Week 5 – HERE WE GO!!
(HOME TEAM IN ALL CAPS)
15 – NEW ORLEANS over Tampa Bay – It’s a rare occurrence to see a one-win team sit on top of a confidence pool sheet, but I think an exception can be made here. I still have a lot of confidence in the Saints in the Superdome, especially when playing the Bucs. I’ll go so far as to make this week’s BOLD PREDICTION that the one-win team I referred to, the SAINTS, WILL WIN THE NFC SOUTH. (Sorry for doing that do you Saints fans!)
14 – INDIANAPOLIS over Baltimore – In order to beat the Colts this year, you will have to plan for a shootout. The Ravens just don’t have the sustainable offensive fire power to do so.
13 – GREEN BAY over Minnesota – Ah, THERE’S the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers that we all know of. Just like the Colts, you will need to put up a lot of points to beat the Pack. The Vikings, especially with a sub 100% Teddy Bridgewater, won’t be able to put up the needed points.
12 – SAN DIEGO over New York Jets – The Chargers look like they just might be able to challenge the Broncos in the AFC West. The Jets shouldn’t be an issue for San Diego this week.
11 – PHILADELPHIA over St. Louis – After letting one slip through their hands in San Francisco, the Eagles will be looking to bounce back. They should have no problems with a home game against the Rams.
10 – DETROIT over Buffalo – A ranking this high depends on Calvin Johnson. If he plays, then the Lions should have no issues with the Bills. If he doesn’t, then you may want to drop the Lions down a few lines, but they should still be able to win.
9 – DENVER over Arizona – Carson Palmer appears to be heading to another missed start due to injury. A Drew Stanton-led Cardinals team won’t be able keep up with Peyton and friends.
8 – Seattle over WASHINGTON – After embarrassing themselves on national television, the Redskins get to stay in the national spotlight against the champs! This won’t end well for the ‘Skins.
7 – DALLAS over Houston – After a slow start, the Cowboys are doing what they can to help my division title prediction. DeMarco Murray has proven to be the best running back in the young season. The Texans defense has been solid thus far, but won’t have enough to maintain Murray and the rest of the Dallas offense.
6 – Cincinnati over NEW ENGLAND – The Bengals are for real…the Patriots are apparently not! Tom Brady hasn’t been able to start that bounce back season most expected and the high-powered Bengals offense should be able to put enough points on the board for the big road win.
5 – SAN FRANCISCO over Kansas City – The Chiefs looked very impressive with Jamaal Charles back in their backfield. Though at this point, it’s just enough to cause some doubt on the 49ers inevitable win.
4 – CAROLINA over Chicago – Two teams looking to get back on track meet in Charlotte. If for no other reason, the Panthers should pull this one out simply because it’s a home game.
3 – NEW YORK GIANTS over Atlanta, 2 – JACKSONVILLE over Pittsburgh, 1 – Cleveland over TENNESSEE – I grouped these three together for one simple reason – they should win, but you really shouldn’t have too much confidence in picking them.
I think we have reached a point in the season where we can start looking back.
Five weeks are now in the books. If there’s anything that we have learned from this season, its that we should just expect anything. We’ve seen dynasties seemingly fall, bottom-dwellers doing what they can to make an impact, coaches losing jobs and others seemingly on their way out.
With all the confusion, I feel that we have done well to keep us towards the top of the ranks this year. We have managed to score nearly 70% of the possible points so far which should be good for a top 5 ranking in most confidence pools – especially if you can throw away your worst score.
But enough of looking at the past, here’s to the future!
WEEK 6! HERE WE GO!!!
(HOME TEAM IN ALL CAPS)
15 – Denver over NEW YORK JETS – I’m with you, a road team on the top line doesn’t normally make sense. But with a week of what looks like great matchups, and the fact that it’s the Broncos playing the Jets, you should feel comfortable with it in this one instance.
14 – ARIZONA over Washington – The Redskins just look like a team trying to find themselves right now. A game in Glendale with the Cardinals defense is not the best place to be looking.
13 – SEATTLE over Dallas – I’d like to thank the Cowboys for making me look not as dumb for picking them to win the East this year. That still doesn’t mean they have a chance playing IN Seattle though.
12 – San Diego over OAKLAND – It’s odd to have a road team on the top line, but honestly you could make a case for having a road team on the top TWO lines this week. The only reason I have the Chargers down a few spots is that you never know how a team will react to a mid-season coaching change.
11 – TENNESSEE over Jacksonville – The Titans have something to prove after giving up the biggest road team comeback in history last week … to the BROWNS nonetheless! This week they get the Jags, so they won’t really be able to prove anything with a win, but at least they can start to get the Brown taste out of their mouth. (It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like!)
10 – CINCINNATI over Carolina – Carolina won a big game last week, but that was really more of the Bears giving it away than the Panthers taking it. Cincinnati is not the place you want to be with as many offensive questions that the Panthers have.
9 – PHILADELPHIA over New York Giants – Don’t look now, but in terms of fantasy points, the Eagles have the number one defense. This makes me think that Eli may be taking a step back after a few straight wins for the G-Men.
8 – ATLANTA over Chicago – If the game only had one half, then the Bears would be dominant this year. The second half hasn’t been too kind to Chicago the last few weeks which is where you need momentum the most. The Falcons should be able to play off of the Georgia Dome atmosphere to get the win. Some may not call this that bold of a prediction, but my BOLD PREDICTION is that Devin Hester WILL return a kick against his former team.
7 – MINNESOTA over Detroit – I think the Vikings are a much different team both at home and with Teddy Bridgewater under center. With Calvin Johnson expected to be on the shelf, the Lions might not be able to keep up.
6 – Green Bay over MIAMI – It’s a scary thought to think the Packers defense is starting to come around. If they are, couple with the resurgence of the offense, Miami just doesn’t have what it takes to keep up.
5 – HOUSTON over Indianapolis – Could it be? Will we actually have an entertaining Thursday Night game? It should happen this week. This home and home series will be won by the home teams.
4 – San Francisco over ST LOUIS – Austin Davis gets his time to shine on Monday Night this week. While I think he may be someone to keep an eye on, he just won’t be enough against San Francisco.
3 – BUFFALO over New England – This could very well be the start of the passing of the torch. The Bills have a lot of young talent where the Pats are, well, old. Kyle Orton seems to be the veteran glue that is keeping this Bills squad together.
2 – CLEVELAND over Pittsburgh – Are the Browns for real? They have been in every game this year and just pulled off the biggest comeback by a road team in league history. A win against the Steelers would go a long way to solidify their presence – but it will be tough.
1 – Baltimore over TAMPA BAY – The Ravens have the offense to win this game. But with the way that the Bucs have been playing as of late, this game really is a toss-up.
Even though we saw a bit of a kink in what many consider to be the best home stadium in the league when the Cowboys won in Seattle (called the Cowboys to win the East…just saying) I still feel that a home game means the most in the NFL than any other league.
It should show this week. I can see 80% of home teams winning this week, and two of the three potential road wins really are toss ups.
But THAT’S why they play the games!
WEEK 7 – HERE WE GO!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
15 – NEW ENGLAND over New York Jets – New England playing the Jets on a Thursday night…I know I’m not the only one that immediately thinks of the infamous “Butt Fumble.” This game won’t be as embarrassing, but it won’t be too far off.
14 – DALLAS over New York Giants – How ‘bout them Cowboys? If ever there is a way to show that you are a legitimate contender, it’s going to Seattle and coming back with a win. After another big offensive loss last week with the Victor Cruz injury, the Giants just can’t keep up with this rejuvenated Dallas team.
13 – GREEN BAY over Carolina – The way to score on the Packers is to run the ball. This could mean another big game for Cam Newton but he won’t be able to keep up with the Packers offense.
12 – DENVER over San Francisco – The 9ers looked good in the national spotlight last week. But that was in St. Louis – this is in Denver…BIG difference. Peyton Manning will be looking to break the NFL’s record for most TD passes so the Broncos’ offense will be firing on all cylinders.
11 – Seattle over ST. LOUIS – Some doubts on the Seahawks’ dominance have come up this week after a home loss. Pretty easy to see that they will use this as motivation and the Rams just don’t have enough to stop Seattle.
10 – BUFFALO over Minnesota – Other than one good game against the Falcons, the Vikings haven’t really given us a reason to be too confident in them. This is more of a lack of confidence in Minnesota than strong confidence in the Bills.
9 – WASHINGTON over Tennessee – Reports are starting to come out that RGIII could be ready to go in a few weeks. This means that time is running out on Kirk Cousins to show his stuff. Lucky for him he just has the Titans defense to worry about this week.
8 – SAN DIEGO over Kansas City – San Diego has sat comfortably in the top 5 of most power rankings for the last few weeks now. After a near loss to the lowly Raiders, look for the Chargers to step their game up against another divisional opponent.
7 – CHICAGO over Miami – It’s hard to call a team a contender when they haven’t won a game at home yet. Surprisingly, Soldier Field has not been too friendly to the Bears this season. Chicago needs to get that monkey off their back and should be able to against the Dolphins.
6 – DETROIT over New Orleans – Both teams come in hurting at the receiver position. The Lions, though, seem to have a defense that can contain the remaining Saints. Matthew Stafford’s inconsistency is the only reason that the Lions aren’t higher on the list.
5 – INDIANAPOLIS over Cincinnati – This could very well be an AFC title game preview. Expect a high scoring affair in this one. With the Bengals missing a key part of their offense in AJ Green, the Colts should be able come out on top in this shootout.
4 – Houston over PITTSBURGH – Houston made a valiant comeback after digging such a deep hole last week against the Colts. They have been in every game so far this year and I just don’t think the Steelers have what it takes to keep a team like the Texans down.
3 – BALTIMORE over Atlanta – Two teams that have been really hard to figure out this season. The Ravens, though, should be able to ride the momentum of a huge offensive outbreak last week to keep the Falcons struggling.
2 – Cleveland over JACKSONVILLE – Don’t look now, but the Browns might just make a playoff push. With a favorable schedule the next few weeks, they could very well be a 6-2 team! I’m still a little hesitant to put a lot of confidence on them on the road though – even if it is in Jacksonville.
1 – OAKLAND over Arizona – Oakland looked much better than they had all year in the first game of the Tony Sparano regime. So much so that this week’s BOLD PREDICTION will be that the Raiders will win their first game of the season this week.