I was having a pretty good week until Isaac Redman and the Pittsburgh Steelers blew it for me.
Redman ripped the Giants' defense for 147 yards as they Steelers ground out the upset win. Worse still, I had risked nine points on New York in my pool and, with that loss, I dropped three places overall, from 21 to 24.
Overall, I was only 9 and 5 straight up but my other four mistakes (Miami, Washington, Jacksonville and Oakland) were all low value errors. In fact, I had managed to risk the lowest possible number of pool points on those four games: 1 on Oakland, 2 on the Jags, 3 on Washington and 4 on Miami. Not bad at all. I might have gotten four games wrong but I had held my losses to the absolute minimum.
All of my high risk picks (Houston, Baltimore, Green Bay and Denver) had come through for me. All I needed was a Giant win and I was aces.
It's odd how this pool has changed my way of thinking about football. Now, I'm happier to be 10-4, with four low-risk losses, than 12-2 if the two mistakes are big number losses.
I still haven't found a way to pick the close games. In fact, I usually get them wrong. You know, the games between two struggling teams (Washington and Carolina, for example) or between two clubs that are coming on (Miami and Indy). I'm usually pretty good at picking the favourites and spotting an upset in the making.
Except, of course, Mr. Redman this weekend.