One. More. Week.
Because of the National Football League and our obsession with picking winners, the months of September, October, November and December flew by.
The craziest, most unpredictable season in the three-plus decades I’ve been following this stuff is almost over.
Other than the Baltimore Ravens the last three months, there really wasn’t a sure thing. It was the year of the unknown quarterbacks, rookies we’ve never heard of before beating decent veterans.
It was the year of flops — L.A. Rams, L.A. Chargers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns — with five of the top 13 teams (per Las Vegas oddsmakers) that didn’t lose their quarterback yet won’t make the playoffs. That’s a lot of flopping.
As for the Patriots chances of winning a Super Bowl, they are dwindling according to Las Vegas. The Patriots are tied with the Chiefs at the No. 2 spot in the AFC at 8-to-1. If everything goes according to plan, the Patriots would have to beat the Chiefs in Foxborough, then the Ravens in Baltimore, just to get to Miami for the Super Bowl.
As for Week 17, it will be a tough week because of the variables: how many teams really want to win? The Ravens will be resting several players, but playing at home I’d probably favor them over a weak Steelers team. Are the Bengals, which host Cleveland, in win-mode knowing they have already locked up the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? There will be several games on Sunday with nothing on the line.
Winners and winners
There is a steadfast rule in the “I Beat Burt” Contest. If you pick more winners than I do and get the first tie-breaker (Patriots point total exactly), you win. And while the usual maximum of 10 T-shirts are awarded each week, there were 16 entries that had more than my 10 winners and predicted the Patriots would score 24 points. So they win.
There was only one home underdog (Eagles) that actually won their game last Sunday.
A typical week is three to four home underdogs winning.
All of the this week’s 13 T-shirt winners had 11 or more correct picks.
Week 16 winners
Lenny Small of Beverly
Bridgette Faith O’Neill of Beverly
William Goodwin of Marblehead
Tony Harrington of Rockport
Dave Frederick of Danvers
Helen Apostolides of Peabody
Ryan Gates of Peabody
Dan Dorman of Lynnfield
Leslie Murray of Salisbury
John Liss of Newburyport
Stephen Anderson of West Newbury
Lynda Proctor Mahoney of Gloucester
Kevin O’Malley of Gloucester