As a professional writer/listener/eavesdropper, this conclusion has been reached: Far more people are participating in NFL knockout pools this season than in years past.
There is no scientific evidence to back up this claim, merely the scantest amount of the anecdotal variety -- namely, it's hard to go anywhere without hearing a picker complain about Team X unexpectedly falling to Team Y, thus ruining their chance at the glory of correctly specifying one winner (or loser, in some cases) every week of the NFL regular season.
With six weeks gone, we would like to offer all these downtrodden selectors a reprieve. Now that we all know a little more about this year's NFL crop, let's start over. Everyone seems so enthusiastic about these knockout pools, it would be a shame to let a few upsets ruin the good times.
With 11 weeks left, here are our choices for running the table, nailing one game each week -- with one catch: As a self-imposed rule, each winning team AND each losing team could only be used once.
(If you'd like to take a stab at it, find yourself a season schedule and e-mail your picks to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just know that all that is at stake is glory, not any kind of financial reward)
Week 7: New England over N.Y. Jets (Raise your hand if you aren't convinced by what the Jets did against the Colts).
Week 8: Vikings over Tampa Bay (Home field advantage is big. In fact, every winner we chose plays at home that week).
Week 9: Houston over Buffalo (Packers exposed Houston; Buffalo will do no such thing).
Week 10: Pittsburgh over Kansas City (This one could be a nailbiter, but rules are rules).
Week 11: Atlanta over Arizona (Tried to save the Falcons for a decent team).
Week 12: Philadelphia over Carolina (It's hard to believe in the Eagles, but hopefully they will have things figured out by then).
Week 13: Chicago over Seattle (Again, tempting fate by trusting Jay Cutler. But that's a tough road test for the Seahawks).
Week 14: San Francisco over Miami (The 49ers will choke the life out of the Dolphins).
Week 15: Baltimore over Denver (Picking against Peyton Manning? Indeed).
Week 16: Green Bay over Tennessee (The Packers might have found their groove, and the Titans are awful).
Week 17: San Diego over Oakland (The Chargers are typically good down the stretch).
|Chicago Cubs||0||Top 4th Inning|
|Baltimore - K. Gausman||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - B. Morrow|
|Minnesota - S. Diamond||6:08 PM|
|Detroit - R. Porcello|
|Cleveland - Z. McAllister||6:10 PM|
|Boston - R. Dempster|
|LA Angels - J. Blanton||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - E. Santana|
|San Jose||9:30 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|