Time for round three of this year's NFC West featured columnist competition!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this competition, please click here for a brief outline of the rules as well as a small bio of each contestant.
In short, this is a pick 'em competition. Contestants are in teams of two, each representing the team they write for on Bleacher Report.
Each week, I will publish an article which announces the picks, such as this. Additionally, I will publish a results article once the games are completed, which will include weekly and yearly standings.
Observations from Week Three Picks
- Unanimous Consent Weekend! Everybody likes the Ravens, Eagles, Packers, Texans, Giants, Saints, Dolphins, and Cowboys—Some of these selections are based on how hot a team is (Saints), while some are made based on how bad the opposition is (Green Bay v. St. Louis). Regardless of motive, this week features an unprecedented eight unanimous selections. My apologies to the Cleveland Browns; no-one has faith in you.
- Split Decision Weekend!—Week three certainly features some boring matchups (Baltimore v. Cleveland, to name one), but there are also some intriguing games. While the eight contestants split votes on only one matchup in week one and one matchup in week two, they are at odds four times in week three. San Francisco v. Minnesota, Pittsburgh v. Cincinnati, Washington v. Detroit, and Denver v. Oakland are apparently too close to call.
- Couples Retreat—Speaking of split decisions, what happens when representatives pair up against each other? In the Denver v. Oakland matchup, notice that the decision is split, yet every contestant agrees with his partner. The San Francisco and Seattle representatives have chosen Denver, while Arizona and St. Louis opted for Oakland. This game could create some separation...
- Patriot Games—Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are vying for the title of the best team in the NFC, while Tom Brady and the Patriots are coming off a subpar loss to the New York Jets. How did the contestants respond? By picking against the Falcons seven times out of eight. Rob Staton was the only contestant who showed faith in the Falcons.
- Dogging the Underdog—Speaking of Rob Staton picking the Falcons, let it be noted that this selection is the only pick of the week which qualifies for the Underdog Bonus. Maybe it's because the picks were too easy, or maybe it's because the probability of landing an Underdog win are so small. Either way, there were few stray picks in week three.
- Andrew and Dray: The Even Couple—Andrew and Dray's stint as the even couple propelled them into first place in week two. What did they do follow that up? Simple; they spent another week in agreement! In week three, these two agreed on a competition-high thirteen picks.
- Homer Alert—Excluding the Rams, whose representatives have accepted the impossibility of favoring their team, all other teams were split decisions. Chris, Dray, and Scotty all stuck with their teams, despite the fact that none were favorites per this contest's selections. Conversely, Andrew, Rob, and Steven sold their teams down river for a chance of glory.
- Quick note—Except for the Rams, who were unanimously chosen against, the NFC West teams found themselves in tight games this week. Arizona and San Francisco are both split decisions, while Chicago is slightly favored against Seattle five to three.
Without further ado, here are the picks. Please comment below with your thoughts.