Wild Card Predictions: Was I Better Than ESPN's Chris Mortensen in 2008?

Football ManiaxsSenior Writer IDecember 29, 2008

By Derek Lofland

The NFL playoffs are finally here. Now is the time to separate the pretenders from the contenders.

My 2008 Regular Season Pick'em Record stands at 169-86-1.

Overall, I was very pleased with my predictions.

I had a .662 percentage picking games, meaning that on average, I correctly picked 10.6 out of the 16 games that were played most weeks.   

I had only one losing record for a week the entire season, which was in Week 16. Furthermore, I picked my games on Tuesday, before the injury reports came out.  

If you want to compare how I did to a major news organization, consider my success against ESPN.  

Chris Mortensen’s record was 169-87, because he counted his Philly vs. Cincinnati pick as a loss, where I counted mine as a tie. Therefore, we were even.

He was their best expert at picking games this season; meaning I beat out Wickersham, Fleming, Hoge, Jaworski, Schlereth, Allen, and Golic.  

I lost to the ESPN Accuscore, which had a record of 171-85. Considering that the ESPN forecasters have a lot more access to stats and information than I could ever hope to have, I am happy with how this season went.  

Here is how I see the four opening playoff games going.

Atlanta (11-5) at Arizona (9-7)

The Cardinals had a good season this year. Their 9-7 record reflects only their second winning season since 1984. They finished third in points scored and fourth in yards gained.

The problem is that this is a very one-dimensional team. They were 28th in points allowed and 19th in yards allowed. They were 32nd in rushing attempts and yards. The Falcons are a bend, but don’t break defense. They are 24th in yards allowed, but only 11th in points allowed.

I just don’t see the Cardinals having the balance to attack the Falcons, nor do I see the Cardinals having an answer for Michael Turner. I like Ryan, Turner, and White to have a big game and to beat the Cardinals in their first home playoff game since the 1970s.

Winner: Atlanta

Rest of picks ...