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Can't Miss Slants

Nailed It! 2014: Entering the Home Stretch

Eleven. This number represents the amount of players on the field for either team each week for many sports, football being chief among them. It appears to be the number of games that the Bears will lose this season. It also is the number of points that our prognosticators scored again this week. Now, normally I wouldn’t lead with this information, but this is the fourth time this season that we have only scored 11 points. So, I think I’m starting to notice a trend.

After the second week of the season, one in which our prognosticators scored 39 points, I thought that this was going to be a fantastic year. However, since that time, we have only scored more than 11 points on three occasions:  23 points in week 4, 26 in week 7, and 18 points in week 10. So, it would seem to me that 11 points might need to be considered a good week for our prognosticators, when all along I’ve only considered it a semi-decent one.

My experiences in the past have led me to believe otherwise, but when presented with the evidence this year, it’s hard to know. I look to you, prognosticators of the Pantheon, to help me overcome my doubt. Let us leave the number 11 behind, and move on to much higher things! Like 12 for instance! I know we can do it.

Maybe we could even reach 13? Anyway, let us now focus on the games for this week.

The Games

As always, here is the slate for next week’s games. Simply copy and paste it to the comments, and add your predicted scores after the team names. (Substitute scores for the XX and YY.)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers XX @ Atlanta Falcons YY
  • Green Bay Packers XX @ Buffalo Bills YY
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers XX @ Carolina Panthers YY
  • Minnesota Vikings XX @ Detroit Lions YY
  • New Orleans Saints XX @ Chicago Bears YY

Now, read on to find out exactly who Nailed It!

Final score

These are the people who have (somehow) correctly predicted the final outcome of a game. The only shot that was called that could be considered more famous than these belongs to Babe Ruth. Bow down before their wisdom! (And make sure you ask them for next week’s lotto numbers.)

  • None this week.

Scoring differential

These are the ones who correctly predicted the margin by which the victors would best their competition. These are also the ones to consult if you want to bet the spread.

  • Tampa Bay @ Detroit – Gabes22, jmac3444, and MKE all correctly predicted that the Lions would win by 17 points.

Total combined score

These are those who somehow managed to pick the correct total score but did not have any clue in how the teams would actually get there. Still, if you want to bet an over/under, you could do worse than consulting with them.

  • Dallas @ Chicago – TheHairy1 correctly predicted that the teams would combine to score 69 points.
  • Carolina @ New OrleansEstablished in 1965, Maized and Confused, and SDL all correctly predicted that the teams would combine to score 51 points.
  • Tampa Bay @ Detroit – Childerz correctly predicted that the teams would combine to score 51 points.

Winning team’s score

  • Tampa Bay @ Detroit – LaCW correctly predicted that the Lions would score 34 points in a victory.

Against the grain

Oftentimes, our picks will be unanimous. However, there are those who will sometimes walk their own path.

  • Carolina @ New Orleans – FalconsFan0125 and reggie were the only two (out of 34) the predicted the Panthers would defeat the Saints.

ESPN The Magazine

In their NFL preview issue, the writers at ESPN The Magazine predicted the score for every single NFL game to be played in the regular season. Let’s see how they did these past weeks. Here are their predictions:

  • Dallas Cowboys 35 @ Chicago Bears 20
  • Carolina Panthers 6 @ New Orleans Saints 31
  • New York Jets 10 @ Minnesota Vikings 23
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 @ Detroit Lions 28
  • Atlanta Falcons 20 @ Green Bay Packers 31

The “pros” again did not get any predictions correct last week. That means that they are still sitting at 7 points for the year. We have nine of our prognosticators that have matched, or exceeded their point total.

Week 14 Leaderboard

Now on to the leaderboard!

The top five actually did not change all that much. The only movement that occurred was FalconsFan0125 and MKE, by scoring one point each, moved from a three-way tie for fourth place into a four-way tie for second place. This knocked smtate out of the top five, where he has made several appearances this year.

One other thing of note is that Maized and Confused scored another point this week, and extended his lead to three over second place. Time is running out for those that wish to catch him.

Even though he was knocked off, there is still opportunity for smtate, and others, to still have a chance to appear on the leaderboard over the next few weeks. So, even though we’re entering the home stretch, there is still a chance for the two people with eight points, and the two with seven points, to have their names show up on the leaderboard.

With that said, here is the leaderboard after Week 14 (in the case of a tie, the names are arranged alphabetically):

  1. Maized and Confused – 12 points
  2. curtisfryer_p – nine points
  3. natesweet – nine points
  4. FalconsFan0125 – nine points
  5. MKE – nine points

Maybe I should just resign myself to accept that this is the normal type of week for the Pantheon now. NO! I still know we can do better, and I believe that the prognosticators will prove me right. However, in the meantime, let’s give a little congratulatory clap to all the people who are listed in this article. Or not. Your choice.

If you would like to have your name forever enshrined in the vast expanse that is the internet, simply call your shot in the comment section below for the games of the NFC North and the NFC South. I will be reviewing the comments and keeping track as the season goes on. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even see your name in the leaderboard!

If you cannot call your shots on Thursday, as is custom, it is still possible to participate. As long as your called shots are posted to the comments of this article before the games start, I will include them.