Week 15: On to the Super Bowl

Week 15:  On to the Super Bowl

There really wasn’t much on the line in week 15 and the games were all pretty one-sided, so I’ll keep this (relatively) short

At 11-4, Jason and I move on to the Super Bowl.  Terry finishes 9-6 and is probably wondering why he lobbied so hard for 3rd place not getting any payout.  Amina and Doug are tied at 5-10, but despite Doug’s convincing victory this week, Amina takes 4th on the tiebreaker based on two earlier victories.  Anand sputtered to the end of the regular season at 4-11.

Jason is blowing everyone away down the stretch, setting a new record for top overall score this season, beating his previous record from week 3.  It is his 7th weekly win and 6th in the last 7 weeks. With Jason having beaten me head-to-head all three times we played this year, the bigger drama for the Super Bowl is probably not who will win the game, but rather it’s whether Jason can outscore me by the 102.1 points needed to catch me in the overall points race in addition to winning the championship.  The NFL.COM projections have him as about a 65 point favorite (it was closer to 80 earlier this week), so it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Since the site doesn’t accommodate a 1 week playoff format, I had to manually adjust the schedule to reflect the Super Bowl match-up.  I set the other games up as #3 vs. #4 and #5 vs. #6.  NOTE:  This week still counts for the WEEKLY points contests, so keep your lineups up-to-date.  There’s still one $10 payout available to everyone.

 

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Week 14: Limping to the Finish

Week 14:  Limping to the Finish

Sorry I’ve been a bit lax with the articles the last few weeks, I’ve been busy with the holidays and kids concerts and stuff, so I haven’t made my usual time for it.  Plus as things wind down it’s hard to find inspiration to manufacture much drama when things have been pretty much settled for most of the league. But really, it’s the fact that I can [sniff, sniff] now tell  that only 3 people [sob, sob] are regularly reading the articles [blubber, blubber] based on stats from the new site [wa-a-a-a-ahhhh!!].  So, yeah.  My feelings are hurt a little. But hey! it’s not like you guys are reading this, so I might as well go for the self-indulgent pity-party!  Eh, who am I kidding?  This whole thing is always self-indulgent!

Week 14 brought yet another rash of impactful injuries with Mark Ingram going down before the games even started, and Andy Dalton, Thomas Rawls, LeGarrette Blount, Tyler Eifert (again), and T.J. Yeldon (this list just isn’t complete without another one of my running backs)  all suffering injuries likely to cost them some time on the field.  As teams limp to the end of the season either starting scrubs to replace injured stars, or starting young prospects to check them out before next year, it seems scoring continues to take a hit. And through it all, Philip Rivers (See picture – I loved this picture when I saw it and had to get it in here) keeps walking out there with no receivers, no o-line, no running game, getting his ass kicked, getting up, and doing it over and over again, for a city where he’ll never play again.

Like I said above, most of the league outcomes are fairly settled or close to it.  Because of the tiebreakers, and with 1 game leads with only one game left, Jason and I are locked into the two championship game spots, so unfortunately what looked to possibly be a week 15 death match between Terry and Jason will not mean anything.   The best Terry can do is tie us, but Jason and I have both already won two games against him.  In the case of a 3 way tie, I think Terry and I would have combined 2-4 records between the three of us (me with 2 wins against him, and Terry with one win each against Jason and me) , but with an insurmountable 330+ point lead in total points, the secondary tiebreaker still favors me.

Speaking of total points, it’s looking like that one may be pretty much locked in as well.  I have a lead of over 150 points over Jason for 1st overall, and he has a lead of more than 185 points over Terry who is in 3rd place.  Since total points are scored through week 16, it is possible for a swing of 150-180 points over the remaining two games, but that seems unlikely at this point.

Jason continues to rack up the weekly wins with his 5th in the last 6 weeks, bringing his total to six, tied with me for most.  Terry has the other two.  This concentration of weekly wins for just 3 teams is a stark contrast from the last two years when 5 and 6 different teams won at least one week each year.  But hey, there’s still two weeks left, so everyone still has a chance to win a couple.

Mashed Potatoes 191.40, Geno’s Jawbreakers 122.54

Pretty much every player in the Jawbreakers’ lineup that plays for a team other than the Jets put up a stinker this week.  Only Fitzmagic and his partner in crime Brandon Marshall put up decent numbers, and the Jets defense was pretty good (but even then, was outscored by their Potato counterpart by 9 points).  Everyone else just stunk. For the Taters, Odell Beckham Jr, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Miller and the Panthers Defense did more than enough to cruise to the win that would keep them alive if only one of the other two leaders would stumble.  But…

Fly Eagles Fly 197.36, Don’t Stop Believin’ 152.4

Cam Newton, Todd Gurley, and AJ Green led a balanced attack that was able to overcome a first quarter injury to QB Andy Dalton and still put up the most points in the league this week. Tom Brady, Marcus Mariota, Eric Decker and Deangelo Williams all had good days, but the Believers just had too many players underperform to keep pace.

Game of the Week
Yukon Gold 190.22, The Edgars 185.46

By far the closest game of the week (and closest overall since week 10), this game was still in doubt until late on Monday Night.  The Edgars took a slim lead on Thursday, and then, powered by Russell Wilson’s 40+ point dismantling of the Ravens, extended that lead throughout the early Sunday afternoon action.  By the time the final two prime-time games came around, it was up to DeAndre Hopkins and Jarvis Landry to make up about a 25 point deficit for the Gold.  This seemed easily within reach until the Patriot defense smothered Hopkins and held him to single digits.  That left Landry, coming off a 2.5 point week, needing over 16 points on Monday night.  Despite getting neither 100 yards nor a TD, Landry was able to dink-and-dunk his way to the victory with 11 catches for 99 yards.

Week 12: Loose Ends?

Week 12: Loose Ends?

Well, maybe not “loose ends”, but there’s definitely a sudden shortage of Tight Ends. The injury bug chose a new target this week, taking out three of the top TEs with injuries that range from day-to-day (Eifert) to week-to-week(Gronkowski) to season ending and possibly career threatening (Graham). And that’s on top of ongoing injuries to Martellus Bennett, Zach Ertz, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and others.

After establishing some separation between the top-3 and bottom-3 teams in the league last week, the separation became about as stark as possible this week.  All three top teams check in at 8-4, while all three botttom teams are at 4-8.  I’m pretty sure we’ve never seen such a distinct split.

With the 3 top teams all tied, there are a couple “HUUUUUGE” games trump HUGEcoming up this week and next which could go a long way to determining who gets in and who gets left out of the playoffs.  This week the Yukon Gold and Mashed Potatoes face off in Spud-Bowl III.  The rubber game of the match will give the winner a game and half advantage due to the head-to-head tiebreaker and make a Super Bowl spot very much in reach with a “magic number” of one. The following week, the Mashed Potatoes have to turn around and face the first place Eagles.

Yukon Gold 212.84, Don’t Stop Believin’ 187.02

The Gold snapped out of a 3 game funk to notch the high score of the week for the 6th time this season.  Jarvis Landry led the Gold with over 35 points while Derek Carr bounced back from a poor week 11 to put up nearly 30 as well.  Tom Brady and Marcus Mariota were the top scorers for the Believers. And in the “water is wet” category, the Gold lost yet another RB to IR, making it 4 in the past 5 weeks.

Mashed Potatoes 191.98, The Edgars 178.88

The final score was fairly close, and had the potential to be a dogfight on monday night, but in the end this game really lacked drama as Gary Barnidge helped the Taters maintain a comfortable lead throughout the game and only a late bomb to Travis Benjamin in the final 2 minutes brought the score as close as it was.

Geno’s Jawbreakers 198.94, Fly Eagles Fly 182.54

The score of this game wasn’t as close as the Taters-Edgars tilt, but it felt like it had more potential to be a close game.  With only the inactive Danny Amendola left, the Jawbreakers were done scoring heading in to Sunday Night. The Eagles still had star WR Demaryius Thomas and top kicker Steven Gostkowski to make up a 27 point deficit, so they seemed poised to steal the game at the last minute.  Thomas certainly had the opportunity to go nuts as he was targetted a healthy 13 times in the game.  But in a stunning display of ineptitude, he could only made only one catch, late in the game.