Nailed It! 2014: Against the Grain

Opinion Picks
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As has been said several times this season, the roller coaster ride continues.  We hit another small peak last week with 18 points, and we have started on another descent.  Our prognosticators were only able to score 10 points this week, but the Pantheon is always happy to see new names being added to its halls.

One other note that stood out this week is that there were a few prognosticators who successfully went against the grain with their picks.  I know that some of you mentioned in the comments last week how the against the grain picks almost never happen, so I hope that you are pleased to see this result.

I have a feeling that, with as odd of a season this has been, there will be more chances for successful against the grain predictions in the future.

For now, though, let us now focus on to 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.)

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers XX @ Chicago Bears YY
  • Cleveland Browns XX @ Atlanta Falcons YY
  • Detroit Lions XX @ New England Patriots YY
  • Green Bay Packers XX @ Minnesota Vikings YY
  • Baltimore Ravens XX @ New Orleans Saints YY

With all of that out of the way, read on to find 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.

  • Atlanta @ CarolinaDonny33 and sgunderson17 both correctly predicted that the Falcons would win by two points.
  • Detroit @ Arizona curtisfryer_p correctly predicted that the Cardinals would win by eight 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.

  • Philadelphia @ Green BayFalconsFan0125 correctly predicted that the teams would combine to score 73 points.
  • Cincinnati @ New Orleansandylet445 and thenichels both correctly predicted that the teams would combine to score 37 points.
  • Tampa Bay @ WashingtonDanOnWis23 correctly predicted that the teams would combine to score 34 points.

Winning team’s score

  • None this week.

Against the grain

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

  • Tampa Bay @ WashingtonChilderz, Fiddy, and Maized and Confused were the only three (out of 35) the predicted the Bucs would defeat the Redskins.

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 this week. Here are their predictions:

  • Minnesota Vikings 23 @ Chicago Bears 31
  • Philadelphia Eagles 15 @ Green Bay Packers 35
  • Atlanta Falcons 13 @ Carolina Panthers 31
  • Cincinnati Bengals 17 @ New Orleans Saints 31
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 @ Washington Redskins 20
  • Detroit Lions 23 @ Arizona Cardinals 14

The “pros” had one of their better weeks, scoring two points. They correctly predicted that the Bears would win by eight, and that the Bucs and Redskins would combine to score 34 points. That brings them now to 7 points for the year. We only have eight of our prognosticators that have matched, or exceeded their point total.

Week 11 Leaderboard

Now on to the leaderboard!

There was a bit of movement on the leaderboard this week. Scoring one point each, curtisfryer_p and FalconsFan0125 moved into a second place tie. Also, DanOnWis23 and Maized and Confused each scored one point, moving them up into a five-way tie for fourth place.

Even though time is starting to get scarce, there are still plenty more people that have a chance to appear on the leaderboard in the near future. Currently there are five people just off of the leaderboard with six points, and one more with five points. One strong week from any of these people could have their names up here.

With that said, here is the leaderboard after Week 11 (in the case of a tie, the names are arranged alphabetically):

  1. natesweet – nine points
  2. curtisfryer_p – eight points
  3. FalconsFan0125 – eight points
  4. DanOnWis23 – seven points
  5. Maized and Confused – seven points
  6. MKE – seven points
  7. smtate – seven points
  8. thebaskett – seven points

This was a solid week for the Pantheon, but I still know we can do better. 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.