I’d like to thank all of you who have helped make the First Annual Gridiron Gab Pick ‘Em Challenge a success! There have been more than a few bumps along the way, but those of you who have stuck by our sides have really made this contest worthwhile.
As most of you know, this isn’t your prototypical pick ’em game. In our pick ’em challenge, there’s a playoff, and they start next week. So far, 31 of you have qualified for the playoffs, with three of you earning five extra points as repeat winners. There’s still an opportunity to make the playoffs, as well as an opportunity to earn five bonus points heading in.
We’ll update you on how the playoffs will work once we know exactly how many playoff qualifiers we have. Make sure you check back with NFLGridironGab.com, or your favorite Gab Site, for details at the early part of next week.
Remember, to qualify, or to earn an extra five points heading into the playoffs as a repeat winner, you must have a perfect score. The scoring, as well as the playoffs, is what makes our pick ’em challenge the most unique of it’s kind! It’s not meant to be easy, and there’s no controversy here, as a true champion will be decided via the playoffs. Again, look for an update on exactly how the playoffs will work on Monday or Tuesday.
For now, congratulations to AZSteelers, McKinney57, and Sonny for earning five bonus points heading into the playoffs tied for first. As for the rest of you, you’ve earned a playoff spot, but enter tied for second and zero points.
All of you have ensured yourself of a shot at becoming the first-ever Gridiron Gab Pick ‘Em Challenge winner! Remember, a perfect score earns you a playoff spot, or, if you’ve already won, an additional five points heading into the playoffs!
Also, none of this would be possible without the help of Ryan Parr over at Fantazzle.com! He offered to help take-on the daunting task of tallying scores, keeping track of qualifiers, setting-up the games, and much – MUCH – more. Much of his work goes unnoticed, but I can assure you that this all falls apart without his help. To show our appreciation, be sure to check-out everything Fantazzle.com has to offer. It’s a little late in the season, but think about Fantazzle next year for all your fantasy football needs!
Now for this week’s games.
Tennessee Titans (6-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-6)
– The Bills started out 5-2 but have since lost four-in-a-row. Tennessee has had somewhat of a rollercoaster season, but find themselves in a position to possibly make the playoffs though they are currently three games back of the division-leading Houston Texans. The Texans will make their push for the playoffs with a rookie quarterback after watching their first, and second, string QBs land themselves out for the season. If Buffalo hopes to have any shot at making the playoffs, they too will likely have to win out. Someone’s playoffs hopes will be dashed on Sunday, making it a must-win for both teams.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)
– Cincinnati is arguably the biggest surprise in the NFL this season, and has managed to keep their names in the playoff hunt despite playing in questionably the toughest division in the league (AFC North). Pittsburgh, along with Baltimore, is consider the class of the division, is both have defeated the Bengals in recent weeks by a touchdown. This is a huge game for the Bengals, who currently have one of the wild card spots locked-up. The future is certainly bright in Cincinnati, but so is the present. Pittsburgh needs to continue their winning trend to have any shot at the division, or a high seed in the playoffs, should one of the leaders slip-up down the stretch.
Atlanta Falcons (7-4) at Houston Texans (8-3)
– Experts are convinced that the Texans quarterback, T.J. Yates, can lead this team into the playoffs despite his rookie status, while the Falcons, on the other hand, are battling it out with the Saints for the NFC South title. Both teams are currently in the playoffs; Atlanta as a wild card, and Houston as a division leader. Both teams are likely to maintain their playoff status baring a collapse of epic proportions, which means this game should give both teams an idea of just where they stand against other playoff caliber teams. The Texans currently lay claim to the top rated defense in the NFL, while the Falcons have an explosive offense led by Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, and Matt Schaub.
Carolina Panthers (3-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
– While it’s no shocker that Carolina is sitting at 3-8 this late in the season, it is somewhat of a surprise that Tampa Bay is as awful as they are. This should be an extremely entertaining game, as neither team really has much to play for other than draft positioning. Carolina has apparently found their franchise quarterback in rookie Cam Newton, who has fallen back to earth after a blazing start to the season. Tampa Bay has suffered a few key injuries along the way this season, including to potential Pro Bowl tailback Legarrette Blount. This should be one of the tougher picks to make this week. You didn’t expect the playoff push to be easy, did you?
*Game of the Week*
Detroit Lions (7-4) at New Orleans Saints (8-3)
– This is a huge game for the Lions, who, after a midseason slump, appear to be regaining their early season form. New Orleans, however, appears poised to make a deep playoff run, and is arguably the team to beat to face the Packers in the NFC Championship game. Detroit will be without that boy named Suh, which means rookie Nick Fairley will be called upon to slowdown Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints offense. This one could be a shoot-out, though don’t be overly surprised if the Lions come out and lay an egg, which they’ve been known to do at times throughout the season. The Lions can hardly afford to have a shaky performance on offense against the Saints; we all know Brees and the Saints offense will be on their game.
There you have it. Be sure to look for Ryan’s email, and don’t forget to check back early next week as we push forward to the playoffs! Good Luck!
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