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December 24, 2008

Is It March Yet?

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Willis @ 3:15 pm

So it’s holiday time and most of us have finished worrying about gifts and fantasy football, but there are a few people still out there with last minute shopping and still in the running to win their league Super Bowl (sorry, NFL) Big Game. To those people I say good luck. For the rest of us, we shall prepare for the future. 

What happens in the near future to prepare for? Well, there’s the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, baseball spring training, and March Madness and other march tournaments. But if you’re like me, you can’t wait another 3 months for some tournament action. So I’ve scoured the internet for some interesting sport or nerd tournaments and this is what I’ve found:

  • Paul and Storm have set up a Geek Madness tournament. They have realized that Obama might be our first geek president (he’s on YouTube, he was on Twitter, and he carries a blackberry) and therefore he may choose a Secretary of Geek Affairs.
  • WIRED magazine is running a Sexiest Geek contest. And I have to post this because they say “Every geek’s a little bit sexy, somehow. Maybe it’s the glasses, the hot talk about black holes or the Asperger’s-like obsession with sci-fi, science or gadgets.” 
  • Think that you are the best Madden player around? Perhaps you’d like to find a tournament where you can prove this fact. Try looking at Get Your Tournament.
  • Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone around here is nerdy enough to want to play in a Star Craft tournament or even watch the matches happen.
  • There’s another tournament going on right now. One that I am not a part of (but should be). It’s the Sports Blogger of the Year tournament at Busted Coverage. I’m not going to complain that we didn’t make the cut (we were on the bubble, I promise) but Fire Joe Morgan made it and they no longer blog.

Also before the weekend, I wanted to post an update about the Patriots status about making the playoffs this year. And while I’m at it, why not just cover the whole AFC East. (more…)

December 16, 2008

The Patriots Still Have A Chance!?

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Willis @ 10:40 am

With only 2 more weeks left in the 2008 NFL regular season, now is the time to start planning the playoff match ups. Well, the New England Patriots (my home team) are 9-5 and have a bit of a tough road ahead.

How tough? Tough enough that it may be out of their hands. Boston.com (Boston Globe) blog writer Eric Wilbur outlined most of the scenarios:

If the Patriots go 2-0 over their final 2 games:

  • The Pats can win the AFC East if they win their final two games against Arizona (at home) and Buffalo (on the road) and both the Jets (at Seattle) and Dolphins (at Kansas City) lose next weekend (the Jets and Dolphins play each other in Week 17).
    The Pats can win the AFC East by winning their final two games against Arizona and Buffalo and the Jets and Dolphins both go 1-1 over their final two games.
  • If all three teams win next weekend, and the Pats beat the Bills in Week 17, the Jets-Dolphins game on the final Sunday of the season has to end in a tie for the Patriots to win the East.
  • If the Patriots win their two remaining games and the Ravens lose one of their next two games (in Dallas next week and at home vs. Jacksonville in Week 17), New England is in as the wild card. Print the shirts.
  • If the Pats win out, and the Colts manage to go 0-2 vs. the Jaguars and Titans, the Patriots are in, however unlikely that scenario might seem.

If the Patriots go 1-1 over their final 2 games:

  • If New England loses to either the Cardinals or the Bills, they need Baltimore to drop both of its remaining games to win the wild card.
  • The Patriots would need this nifty little scenario to win the East: Dolphins lose to Chiefs AND Jets lose to Seattle AND Jets-Dolphins game ends in a tie. Like those odds?
  • There’s one final possibility here, albeit a very confusing one: If either the Jets or Dolphins lose their last two games; and if the Patriots lose to the Cardinals and beat the Bills; and if the Ravens beat the Cowboys and lose to the Jaguars; New England and Baltimore would have the same record (10-6), and the same record within the conference (7-5) — which is the first tiebreaker in a wild card scenario since the teams did not face each other this season. Complicating matters is that, if our math is right, they would also be tied in the next tiebreaker — record against common opponents. So that means it could come down to strength of victory.

Now what Mr. “Professional Blogger” Wilbur fails to mention are some of the less mainstream methods the patriots are taking to gain a playoff birth:

  • Patriots “Diamond In The Rough” Randy Moss has been sent to the Arabian deserts to find a genie in a lamp. Where they will wish for a pair of Jets losses.
  • Belichick has been reluctant to use it due to the disastrous effects it had on Brady earlier this season, but he has 1 more Monkey Paw wish remaining.
  • I’ve gotten word that there are a couple personal ads looking for some lonely virgins who enjoy rituals to meat someone in Foxboro, MA.
  • A letter has been sent to Diddy, asking him to say that the Patriots will be in the postseason. Perhaps this is putting too much faith in commercials, but every avenue is being covered.

This is all that I have uncovered, but if you have heard anything, please post in the comments or let me know via contact form.

This is very important for the Patriots because they could very well miss the postseason for the first time in six years even with 11 wins. And teams like Arizona and Denver could get in with an 8-8 record. Yes the very same Denver team that the Patriots destroyed 41-7 earlier this season. And the very same Arizona that will likely get destroyed on Sunday.

Whatever path that Patriots follow, I guess I have to root for the Cowboys on Saturday. Ugh.

October 23, 2007

Never Tell Me The Odds

The Patriots have already delighted American football punditry with their 7-0 record. Could they make it to the playoffs undefeated?

Let’s consider their upcoming opponents:

Week 8: Washington Deadskins: Please. The only reason the Skins are 4-2 and not 3-3 is that the Cardinals couldn’t pull off a last-second field goal, losing to a team that had half their yardage. This isn’t the worst Redskins team of the last ten years, but that’s not saying much. Pats Win: 95%

Week 9: @Baltimore Colts: This will be the crucible. Less than 200 yards in the air is a slow Sunday for Peyton, and Addai should be back up to speed after lightly jogging over the Panthers in Week 8. The Colts have the 3rd best yardage in the league on both offense (399.7 gained) and defense (269.5 allowed). They’re only average against the rush, though, so let’s send healing thoughts towards Laurence Maroney’s groin (… what?). Pats Win: 50%

Week 11: @Heffalump Bills: Because this worked out so well for the Bills last time. It’s a division game so there should be more of a fight involved, but seriously. The gulf between 1st and 2nd in a division (the Bills with a .333 winning percentage; the Pats with a 1.000) has never been greater. Pats Win: 99.9996%

Week 12: Filthadelphia Eagles: There’s a chance that Tom Brady may instinctively recoil from such an ugly city, fearing to smudge his Armani. But I’m not counting on it. Brian Westbrook’s the only real threat here (Donovan McNabb managed to throw for as many yards as the lesser Manning when he faced the Giants, and still lost by 13) and injuries continue to plague him. Pats Win: 90%

Week 13: @Baltimore Ravens: If the Colts are a crucible, the Ravens are the hammer beating the Pats into shape. Baltimore will shut New England’s running game down. And in the air, Ed Reed’s already got 10 picks in 6 weeks of play. That being said, the stingiest defense in the world means little when your offense can’t produce. Both of Baltimore’s starting tight ends, Todd Heap and Daniel Wilcox, are doubtful (thigh and foot injuries, respectively). McNair can’t land a completion, and Boller has no pocket presence to speak of. Pats Win: 70%

Week 14: Pittsburgh Stillers: Last season’s Steelers, maybe. Pats Win: 80%

Week 15: New York Jetropolitans: This could be a real threat. Chad Pennington’s going to be lobbing bombs to Laveranues Coles and Chris Baker all day, while DeWayne Robertson rushes the pocket. Except, of course, all those people will probably be out by Week 15 (they’re Questionable at the moment). There’s not a team so bad that the Jets won’t roll over and allow themselves an undignified moment. They lost to Philly, for the devil’s sake! I can’t imagine a worse team. Pats Win: 99.9996%

Week 16: Miami Fish: … well, except the one. We’ve already seen how this game turned out once; will the cold weather improve the Dolphin’s chances? Pats Win: 99.9996%

Week 17: New York Football Giants: One last hurdle before the postseason. Eli Manning’s not a bad quarterback, provided he’s standing out of frame of his brother – 82.9 passer rating, lots of picks but very few sacks or fumbles. Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer continue to amuse Chris Berman during the highlight reel; they’re each a fire-and-forget first down. The problem: everywhere the Giants are good, the Patriots are better. By leaps and bounds. Pats Win: 85%

Multiplying all these percentages together, I calculate the chances of the Patriots going 16-0 at 20.3%. That’s a one in five chance for the best team in football to duplicate a feat that’s only been achieved once. I like those odds!

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