Oct 07

NFL 2014 Pick’em: Week 5 Results

In the first week we were supposed to look away from our preseason predictions, we predicted the same victor for each game. And guess what. It worked yet again! We fell short in only two games: Lions over Bills and Bears over Panthers. Both games let us wonder “how exactly did they lose their games?” Detroit did lose Calvin Johnson, and if we had known that would happen, we would’ve picked Buffalo. Then again, we probably should’ve anyways. We didn’t really trust the Lions, and it’s kinda silly to believe that all the home teams would’ve won the Games of the Week. In the end, some road team was bound to sneak one away. We’re taking notes on that one.

As the Chicago loss, this was a game that turned at the end of the first half. Chicago, who allowed their first touchdown on a fair catch interference-aided fumble turned punt return touchdown (that’s as weird as it sounds), nearly built a 24-7 lead. Instead, Robbie Gould missed a short field goal, and the Bears allowed a touchdown the half. Later, the Bears committed three turnovers in the final seven minutes to turn a 24-21 lead into a 31-24 loss. This game was the “Choke of the Week.”

Besides that, the week went as expected. Let’s check out the results from Week 5.

Games of the Week (3 points each)
(14) Atlanta Falcons (2-2) at (8) New York Giants (2-2)
(9) Houston Texans (3-1) at (13) Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
(12) Buffalo Bills (2-2) at (7) Detroit Lions (3-1)
(5) Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at (10) Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
(4) Arizona Cardinals (3-0) at (2) Denver Broncos (2-1)

Non-GOTW Divisional Games (2 points each)
(22) Minnesota Vikings (2-2) at (18) Green Bay Packers (2-2)
(30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) at (25) New Orleans Saints (1-3)

The Rest (1 point each)
(21) Chicago Bears (2-2) at (17) Carolina Panthers (2-2)
(24) Cleveland Browns (1-2) at (28) Tennessee Titans (1-3)
(26) St. Louis Rams (1-2) at (16) Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)
(20) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) at (32) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) **Lock of the Week**
(15) Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) at (11) San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
(29) New York Jets (1-3) at (6) San Diego Chargers (3-1)
(1) Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) at (23) New England Patriots (2-2) **Upset of the Week**
(3) Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at (27) Washington Redskins (1-3)

It was a great week for us yet again, but it was a great week for nearly all of the experts. Most of the favorites won this week, despite what was tough competition from the underdogs. We’ll get to that in a bit. But first, check out this week’s and the overall numbers:

  • This week’s record and points: 13-2 and 23 points
  • Overall record and points: 62-14 and 108 points (81.58 win percentage)
  • Games of the Week: 4-1 this week (16-2 overall… 88.89 win percentage)
  • Divisional Games: 2-0 this week (16-3 overall… 84.21 win percentage) [includes 2-0 in GOTW]
  • Upset of the Week: 5-0 overall (100 ranking points… 100 win percentage)
  • Lock of the Week: 5-0 overall (current streak: Jets, Packers, Patriots, Chargers and Steelers… best streak: five weeks)

Now for the competition, which is a battle of one writer v. 24 experts. Experts from a few different publications will compete. One publication that provides a litmus test is Football Outsiders. Of course, there also needs to be a mainstream presence. Thus, the competition also includes the 13 experts from ESPN who publish their picks online and nine experts from NFL Network who work on either Gameday First or Gameday Morning. Finally, we close the competition panel with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports and Don Banks of Sports Illustrated.

Table 1: Expert Records and Points

Rank Expert Record Rank Expert Points
1 TABMathletics 62-14 1 TABM 108
2 Pete Prisco, CBS 53-23 2 Prisco 96
3 Tom Jackson, ESPN 51-25 3 Jackson 89
4 Cris Carter, ESPN 50-26 4 Michael Irvin, NFLN 87
4 Irvin 50-26 4 KC Joyner, ESPN 87
4 Joyner 50-26 6 Carter 86
7 Erik Allen, ESPN 49-27 7 Seth Wickersham, ESPN 83
7 Don Banks, SI 49-27 7 Banks 83
9 Ron Jaworski, ESPN 48-28 9 Jaworski 82
9 Wickersham 48-28 M Mean Points 80.52
11 Shaun O’Hara, NFLN 47-29 10 Allen 80
M Mean Record 46.96-29.04 10 Football Outsiders 80
12 Adam Schefter, ESPN 46-30 10 Schefter 80
13 Marshall Faulk, NFLN 45-31 13 Warren Sapp, NFLN 79
13 FO 45-31 14 O’Hara 78
13 Mike Golic, ESPN 45-31 15 Faulk 77
13 Mark Schlereth, ESPN 45-31 15 Golic 77
13 Melissa Stark, NFLN 45-31 17 Schlereth 76
13 Kurt Warner, NFLN 45-31 18 Keyshawn Johnson, ESPN 74
19 Steve Mariucci, NFLN 44-32 18 Mariucci 74
19 Sapp 44-32 18 Sterling Sharpe, NFLN 74
21 Mike Ditka, ESPN 43-33 21 Ditka 73
21 Merril Hoge, ESPN 43-33 21 Chris Mortensen, ESPN 73
21 Johnson 43-33 21 Stark 73
21 Mortensen 43-33 24 Hoge 72
25 Sharpe 41-35 24 Warner 72

NOTE: M = mean (average of the 25 competitors).

With nearly all of the favorites winning, most of the experts enjoyed a great week. Therefore, we don’t see many changes. There is still a lot of bunching among the competition, which should change as the season progresses if we can get more frequent unexpected results. Get more weeks like this, and still there won’t be much movement in the standings.

Still, I’m running away the lead, as the best expert (among 129) is eight games behind me through five weeks, according to the awesome people at NFL Pickwatch. The guy who is closest to me is Nate Silver, he who founded FiveThirtyEight and mastered many tricks in statistical analysis. Nerd power, anyone? Know the numbers, know the big picture.

Meanwhile, with my 81.58 win percentage, I currently own a better winning percentage than every NFL team. The Chargers, Cowboys and Eagles co-lead the league with an 80 win percentage. This trend likely won’t continue, but achieving this for even one week is extremely tough to do. We hope to keep that up, and maybe even extend our lead, in Week 6. Until then…


  1. Jeff

    Any week 6 predictions?

  2. tabm1327

    It should’ve been schedule to be up! I’ll get it fixed.

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