Monday, October 11, 2010

Upon Further Review: Cowboys Lose 27-34.

Yet another Monday leaves me trotting out the same old tired refrain: things did not go as expected. What a disappointing weekend. I was obviously wrong about the Cowboys being mentally prepared emerging from their bye; they lost despite having a 400 yard passer and well over 100 yards on the ground. Jean-Jacques Taylor of the DMN put it well:
It happened Sunday because these Cowboys play with the consistency of a six-year-old’s flag football team. Mental mistakes. Physical mistakes. Dumb mistakes.
That was the story of the game, and the Cowboys blew it with mistake after mistake. I'm at a loss to explain it, except that the Cowboys have some stupid players and lax coaches. So much for the great practices and bye week history of success that I wrote about.

Also give credit to the Titans; they found a way to make plays when it mattered, and their defensive line was very impressive. In fact, they've now won 2 games in which they've been seriously outgained (the other was the game where the Giants imploded even worse than the Cowboys). Sharps and stats people generally say that such trends aren't sustainable. We'll see.

My only consolation is that many actual bettors and sharps did terribly this week. As Millman wrote:
But this year, no one -- 'dogs or favorites -- has been showing enough consistency that people can get a read on where the value is. When I was trolling through the forums last week, people were lamenting how tough it was to handicap this week's 'dog slate.
No kidding. The underdogs have been dominating lately, but it's been difficult to get a good sense of which dogs will play well. Detroit is the most obvious example -- they've now covered in 4 of their 5 games, the lone exception being when they were a double-digit dog to the 1-2 Vikings (and of course the one week that BadNFL picked them).

What do I wish my strategy had been through this point in the season? I wish I had stayed true to two of my preseason convictions -- that the Saints were seriously overrated and that the Bills were the worst team in the league. The Saints have stayed true to the form that I thought they would take, failing to cover in 3 straight now, including an awful loss to the Cardinals. The Bills look as bad as ever, losing handily to a Jacksonville team that struggles mightily on the road. If my predictions had simply stuck to those convictions, my record would be much better. As it stands, however, the blog falls to 0-5, and my Hilton Contest feature that I debuted last week opens with a putrid 1-4 (thanks Atlanta!).

I've essentially now written off this season, but am going to stick with this in the hopes that I can continue to learn and wow everyone with an amazing Year 3.

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