Week Eight is in the books of the 2009 NFC West Featured Columnist Competition.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the competition, click here for details, and please keep checking back for updates throughout the year!
The NFC West went 1-3 in week eight of the regular season, with the only win belonging to... the Rams? Seattle was destroyed by Dallas, Arizona was upset by Carolina, and San Francisco fell just short of beating the undefeated Indianapolis Colts. At least for one week, the St. Louis Rams are the flag-bearers for the NFC West...
Here are the results and honors from Week Eight.
Week Eight Individual Standings (13 Games)
Scotty 13, Steven 10, Chris 9, Rob 8, Ron 8, Andrew 7, Seth 7, Dray 6
Week Eight Team Standings
Seattle 21, Arizona 19, St. Louis 15, San Francisco 13
Season Individual Standings
Rob 88, Scotty 88, Andrew 86, Chris 82, Seth 81, Dray 79, Steven 79, Ron 77
Season Team Standings
Seattle 176, San Francisco 165, Arizona 161, St. Louis 158
Monday Night Football Team Tiebreaker
San Francisco 16, Seattle 16, St. Louis 16, Arizona 15
Pick of the Week —Dray (San Francisco over Indianapolis)
Sure, this pick went towards a losing cause, but let's be serious—no one saw this game being so close. San Francisco made a game of it, and Dray was four points away from being the sole winner on this one.
San Francisco, that's what you get for letting Joseph Addai throw a TD on you... for shame.
Four points from being a hero, Dray, but this was still a solid pick.
When searching for the Fail of the Week, I typically look for an Underdog Choice that just backfired . Steven taking Buffalo could have qualified, but Buffalo actually showed a pulse in the first half of that game (forget the second half beat-down).
Denver got embarrassed in Baltimore, falling 30-7, with a sputtering offense and a suddenly-vulnerable defense.
They will probably bounce back, but in terms of this week's game, this choice missed by a long shot.
The Underdog Strikes Back! (Four Correct Underdog Picks)
The Underdog Bonus has officially made its presence known in the 2009 NFC West Columnist Competition! In week eight, seven choices qualified as Underdog Picks, and four of those converted for their respective contestants.
Someone will have to explain to me how Underdog points were doled out for the Vikings win, since several people (namely, the author of this piece) consider them the best team in football... But either way, Scotty and Steven will take it!
Hot Streak —Scotty (13 points in 13 games)
[Editor's Note: I know this seems self-serving, but for now I can bask in the light of being on the hottest streak in the competition]
For the first time this year, a contestant landed a 100 percent points to games ratio. With the Underdog Bonus, it is theoretically possible to finish with more than 100 percent, but for now the competition was waiting for someone to break even.
Over the past four weeks, Scotty has outpaced the competition by nine points, including a first-place finish in three of the last four weeks, and a quick ascension into a tie for first place.
The Seattle FCs also enjoyed a hot weekend...(see "Separation Sunday" below)
Struck Out Swinging —San Francisco FCs
San Francisco has fared well in the competition to date, but week eight didn't do them any favors. Dray tied for the season-low individual mark with a raw score of six, while Andrew and Dray set the team-low season mark with thirteen.
The worst loss of the week was in the standings. They remain in second place, but the first place Seattle team jumped eight points on San Francisco this week.
For the first time in this competition, there was some serious separation in the team standings. Seattle's first place score of twenty-one points was compounded by the second-place San Francisco squad turning in a score of thirteen.
Suddenly, the Seattle FCs are in first-place by an eleven-point margin. Now, that is separation.
What Might Have Been —Had every game gone differently?...
This is one of those weeks where it is difficult to look back and pick out one game which tore things up.
Had Mark San-chise led the Jets on a game-winning drive, it would have robbed Scotty and Steven of Underdog points for the Dolphins win, which would have tightened the race, but that may have been the most dramatic possibility to swing the standings.
Good week, guys.
That's it for Week Eight. Chip in on what you think.