Since this is my first post on the matter, let me explain: currently I am knee-deep in a football pool with some friends who work at Antigua. Nothing special, the buy-in is a mere $10 per week and you are then given an excel spreadsheet to fill out before the Thursday evening deadline.
I haven't shared my previous picks, but I thought I would start here with week 9 and quickly jot down my reasons why.
Here are the rules. You are given a sheet listing each matchup with home teams on the right-hand column and visitors on the left. Simply mark an X next to the box of the team you think will win (no point spreads, everything is straight up) and signify your confidence with each pick by placing a number from 1-14 (sometimes 16, depending if it's early in the season and no bye weeks are given out).
The higher the number, the more confident you are and the person with the most points wins the buy-ins... in case of a tie, each person must record the total score for the Monday Night game. Hopefully the people who are tied gave different scores, if not - the money is shared.
Dolphins at Chiefs: I went with the Chiefs and put up a small confidence ranking of 4. The Chiefs look sloppy but the Dolphins have seemed to quit. I'm really not too confident about either QB, but the Chiefs defense should do just enough to keep Matt Moore frustrated.
Browns at Texans: I'm on the Texans bandwagon this week and put a confidence level of 13 next to them. Houston has some momentum building up after losing Andre Johnson (reports have him healing ahead of schedule, I don't know hamstring injuries can be nasty in all sports). Some advanced metrics have the Browns improving on defense, that could be true but I can't see the Texans coughing this up at home.
Falcons at Colts: Falcons are coming off a bye week. Last week some teams complained about the new rules limiting the amount of contact during bye week practices and how this has hindered their preparation time. I can see the Falcons getting caught sleeping on the road for this game. But I won't chance it. I'm taking the Falcons with a confidence level of 9.
Jets at Bills: I love the Jets, but I'll go with the masses and avoid them on the road. Bills, con. level 5.
49ers at Redskins: I can see the 49ers eating John Beck alive. 49ers at con. level 12.
Buccaneers at Saints: the Saints were caught napping a week after its steamrolling of the Colts. I don't see it happening again and I'm putting a confidence level of 14 up to prove it.
Seahawks at Cowboys: I know the Cowboys are inconsistent, but I can't see the Seahawks finding an advantage in this game. I'm expecting the Cowboy defense to redeem itself this week. Cowboys at con. level 10.
Bengals at Titans: the Bengals are another bandwagon I'm hopping on this week. Defense should give the Titans all kinds of nasty fits. Bengals at con. level 8.
Broncos at Raiders: for some reason I'm sort-of liking Carson Palmer to be slightly better than mediocre this week. I don't understand it, they are coming off a bye week. But I feel the Broncos are that terrible and going on the road to Oakland should be nauseating. Raiders at con. level 11.
Giants at Patriots: I really struggled with this one. Originally, I wanted to go for an upset. The Giants offense is solid and its pass rush has been effective. Could they find some DB's to shadow Wes Welker this Sunday? Possible, but I remembered that the Patriots are at home and that quickly changed my mood. Patriots at con. level 3.
Packers at Chargers: for some reason, I still refuse to get on the Chargers-bashing bandwagon. Philip Rivers is really finding new and creative ways to stink it up each week, but I still have this gnawing feeling that things will change in November and December. But not this week, I think. Packers at con. level 7.
Rams at Cardinals: it looks like John Skelton will be getting the start for the Cardinals. I know the Rams have the tools to turn things around, but I'm not ready to anoint them this week on the road. Cardinals at con. level 2.
Ravens at Steelers: Ugh, this could go either way. Steelers are banged up but it's tough to go against them at home. Steelers at con. level 1.
Bears at Eagles: I guess it's time to say everything is okay in Philadelphia? The offense and defense seem to be clicking. I'll take them at home. Eagles at con. level 6. Total final score: 46.