Hmm...that doesn't sound quite right (and it must be extra-confusing for the rookies). Let's explain -- for the past 11 seasons, we've used the same opening text for Week 8, but since the NFL season has been extended by one week beginning this year, we decided to push back the start of the "If..." chart postings for one week. What're the "If..." charts? Well, let's get back to the copy-and-pasting for that:
First, it's that time of year again -- time to check out how things are looking for the league leaders, and how the playoff picture would look if our season were only seven weeks long. Time to launch the weekly "If The Playoffs Were Held Today..." chart! Of course, many of the rankings aren't 100% fair right now, as players haven't all faced an equal number of divisional and conference opponents. However, it still works as a good indicator for how a particular player's season is going.
Basically, if you're in the white part, keep up the good work. If you're in the gray area, you'd best step things up a bit. And if you're not on there at all, time to get your game in gear now! Here we go:
As is always the case this early in the season, every position here is pretty precarious. All it would take is a short losing streak to knock even a top seed out of the running. The #1's can take heart, however -- of the 32 players who have historically shown up as projected top seeds the week we launched the chart, 29 of them have gone on to make the playoffs. Of course, even if your name doesn't appear here anywhere, all is not lost -- there have been multiple 1-On-1 Super Bowl Champions who didn't show up on the radar at this point in the season.
Ok, that's that. Now, let's see what we have in store on the divisional match front this week:
We'll start out in the AFC North where Mean Machine is coming off of his biggest win of the season, a decisive victory over the previously-undefeated Brenda's Bulldogs. Of course, one big win doesn't a season make -- if Mean Machine wants to start making an appearance on that chart up there, then he's first going to have to knock I Will Win It All off of it. For his part, I Will Win It All is looking to pick up a very important first divisional win on the season. After getting swept by Mean Machine last season, I Will Win It All will definitely looking for a little payback this time around -- the kind that could see him boosted into the white part of the chart.
Things are ludicrously tight in the NFC West, where just one win separates first place from fourth place. While the top two in the division sit at four wins each, both Green Bowl Tolkers and Heisendad are hot on their heels with apiece. And while it wouldn't be technically possible for the winner here to leapfrog into the division lead this week, they may just find themselves in the driver's seat as early as next week. One thing we have to consider in this matchup is the "ownership factor" -- no one player has so handily dominated a division rival as we've seen here. These two have shared a division for three seasons now, so having already met once this year, that makes five head-to-head contests in which these two have gone at at. Results: Heisendad 5, Green Bowl Tolkers 0. Can GBT bounce back here and finally pick up a win? Well, the numbers indicate that he just might -- from a "pick total through week 8" perspective, this is Green Bowl Tolkers' best season ever (by a significant margin), while it's Heisendad's lowest-ever total. If those trends continue this week, we could see a big bounce-back here.
The league's undisputed best player this season makes his home in the NFC South, where Alabama Slammers has now extended his regular-season winning streak to nine matches dating back into last year. Can he keep up this kind of dominating performance? Beep Bops is going to have to lay down a pretty persuasive argument against it if he hopes to put an end to this streak. These two are neck-and-neck when it comes to season pick totals, so it's not like one player has been performing significantly better than the other -- but Alabama Slammers has simply been able to put up the numbers needed to pick up a win in weeks that Beep Bops has fallen slightly short. If Alabama Slammers gets it done once again here, he could be heading into the back half of the season with a massive four-win lead in the division. So if Beep Bops doesn't want to have to rely on a complete late-season meltdown by Alabama Slammers in order to have a shot at the title, then he pretty much needs to post a victory in this one.
All right, that'll do it for this preview. Make sure you have your Thursday Night Football pick submitted ahead of the deadline. Enjoy everyone!
This week we have a One-Hit Wonder Match of the Week featuring Louisville Islands and Vlad M. These two will be keeping a close eye on the Battle For Ohio -- Louisville Islands will run up a very impressive sixth-straight win if the Browns get the job done, while Vlad M will solidify his AFC North lead if the Bengals take this one. There's definitely an extra bit of importance around this one -- since both of these are the current frontrunners in their respective divisions, if they both end up as division champs and have matching win/loss records, then the winner of this match will automatically have the tiebreaker in their favor. There's every chance this one pick could determine who gets a first-round playoff bye!
Preview time is over, now it's time for some action! Check the pick chart, and take a look back on Sunday night to see how thing shook out (I'll be bartending all day, so no mid-day updates). Good luck everyone!
The pick chart is updated, and since the Rams/Titans game (which is currently shaping up to be a big upset as well) won't have any effect on the pool, the next update will be the final one after MNF.
Also chalking up a very important win was Beep Bops, who was the first player this year to post up a win over our last unbeaten player, Alabama Slammers.
Very nice job by Lyle Alzado -- in a particularly brutal week, her score pick was closer to the MNF total out of the two players that went 9 of 14, garnering her the Week 9 Player of the Week award!
All right, that's about it for this week. We're now offically halfway done with the season, so if you're doing great, keep it up; and if you've lagged behind, then step it up! Check the finalized pick chart, see how you're looking in the Standings, and get a jump on your Week 10 pick submissions. Enjoy the week, everyone!