View from the Pit – Week 8 previews

Week 8 ,  how did that happen? We are halfway through the regular season and the playoff spaces are getting closer – Shatner and Uhura both have obvious leaders at the halfway point, but as Bohemians Coach ally has reminded us, at this stage the whole of Kirk would be making the playoffs, whereas in Uhura, no one is on the positive side of their win/loss divide. Week 7 saw a .1pt match last placed Panthers just pipping the 187s and leaving TJ Hooker with the hard maths to work out why they are top middle or bottom in the league.

My view last week wasn’t so much of the Pit as of Thomas and his many, many money grabbing mates, but it was straight back to it with the waivers after an injury filled weekend – though it looks like there have been better players dropped than I managed to pick up, roll on Friday. If you’ve not done it, its worth a look at the overall, breakdown, coach and true rankings (on the league tab at NFL.com) this gives you stats about how many games you’d have won if you played all 11 teams every week, combines them with your crappy bench choices and your points for and gives you a summary ‘true’ account of your coaching abilities – this puts Coach Chris and his Earthquakes at the top on their own. oh well you can console yourself with being the ‘winner’ in the fourth tab along whilst others bask in the glory of the front page. Obviously having low rank on the ‘coach’ tab simply means you have a deep bench, isn’t that right Harry?

There’s no big top or bottom of the league crunch matches this week, and we have to wait till week 10 for the start of the ‘Dicing with Death Divisonal Decider (not quite) month’ (TM) – but there is a mid table tussle ,so lets start there:

Tranent International Tornados vs Kelso 187’s

the TITs and the 187s are at the very middle of the league – standing at 6 and 7 respectively. there’s little to separate them on the stats front except that coach Nicky is so far making the best lineup choices in the league…things start early with star QB Peyton Manning and WR Emmanuel Saunders in action across both teams in the Broncos v Chargers Game, chargers have been pretty tight fantasy wise against the pass, so Euan need to hope that Chargers energies are put to Thomas and Welker and that any success Manning has goes to Saunders. For the main event on Sunday NFl.com gives Nicky a slight advantage at most postions, but all those projections are based on fractions of TDs, so it will be easy to swing the match either way. Nicky will have to wait till Monday night for the last kick of the Cowboys/Washington game to see if he can clinch his projected 25-30% victory. The Pit prediction is not for him though, 187s by 5 pts.

Next up its Mercy Flush vs Oakbank Oddities at 5 and 8 respectively in the league. both Teams could end up all square or Paul might see a step towards the playoffs and leave Harry with a lot of work to do in the Divisional games. both teams start early with chargers kicker Novak for Paul and Broncos TE Julius Thomas for Harry. Thomas has been a bit hit or miss, but should still see his regulation 10, so things could well be pretty even on Friday morning. Sunday sees RBs up against each other in the Ravens Bengals match – both Justin Forsett and Giovani Bernard are predicted good points in the teens, Ravens are second best against the run though so it could be slim pickings for Bernard. Terrence Williams hopes to seal the deal for flush late on Monday, but his points come almost exclusively from TDs and against Washington, mid placed against the pass? even with the benched QB in place, NFL.com still have the Flush to win by 20-25%, the Pit has it the other way – Oddities by 5-10

4th place Earlstonian Bohemians  take on 10th place  SanFran-Gordon 69ers in the first of the big spread match ups, coach ally suffered a crisis of confidence last week, plumping for the Jags to win, but a few solid performances and a shocking bench decision saw the team win despite his fears. 69ers surely wont make the same mistakes, but the predictions make poor reading for Rich – on the plus side neither team starts till Sunday so he has a few more days to pick off some waiver surprise stars. With 4 players on byes, maybe coach Rich is looking to week 9 already. There’s not much to say, Bohemians look to have an advantage at every position – maybe the Seahawks Defence can have a standout game for Rich against the Panthers, that doesn’t seem likely however. The Pit prediction is right alongside NFL.com on this one – Bohemians by 10-15

Earlston Earthquakes  vs Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars. A deceptively easy match up for second placed Earthquakes against the 9th placed Jags. Cozy’s strategy of letting us in behind the purple door for his strategy tips has certainly worked so far, but maybe he’s revealing too much? NFL.com has Jimmy’s Jags to steal the win on Monday night but cozy starts his points early with Brandon McManus kicking for the Broncos on Thursday – he missed practice this week, and a Thursday game could be too early, plus although he’s been scoring consistently he’s not had much shot at field goals, as the Broncos offence has just cleared the path to the end zone. Jimmy’s RB team looks unstoppable this week, with 3 of the top 10 scorers on the ground so far this year, Cozy will have to hope that Golden Tate and Brandon Marshall both have outstanding games, its possible, particularly for Marshall at New England, but the pit prediction is for the Quakes to be shaking more from a painful jag than from creating any earth movement; Jags by 5-10 pts.

3rd place Dodgy Touchdown take on dead last Pilton Panthers in another seemingly easy challenge. Looks can be deceptive however and maybe its the week for the Panthers to strike? Robert has player in action from Thursday to Sunday night – making his graph look the flatest – but as our esteemed commissioner is fond of saying – slow and steady does the job with steady 10-12 predictions across the team. Touchdown have stars at  RB and WR and when they both perform its a hard pincer move to counter, Matt Forte and Jordy Nelson have also been among the most consistent high scorers, not just boom or bust players. The graph has it all square on Sunday night, leaving any points from Touchdowns Alfred Morris to end hope for the Panthers. The Pit has to agree, though a consistent ‘perfect 10’ performance from the Panthers looks likely, with consistent stars for Touchdown it looks like being Russell’s week; touchdown by 15-20

Last but not least, reigning champions and half way league leaders Nitten Pickaxe take on their nemesis from last year, Fog on the Tyne who are fresh off their second win this season. This looks to be a close game, and both teams have action all the way from Thursday to Monday night. Pickaxe look to Philip Rivers on Thursday whilst Fog have Branden Oliver on the ground for the chargers and Demaryius Thomas plucking the air for Broncos – this game could seal the whole match up – if the chargers go to the pass and win, then coach Gav could be home and dry, but if they stay on the ground and lose, its Stuart’s game to lose. DSTs are also up against each other in the early evening game Sunday – Pats at the Bears. On Monday both teams will be rooting for a Dallas win – star WR Dez Bryant hasn’t quite lived up to expectations so far this year, but should be in line to double TE Jason Witten’s Score – so really, it’s anyone’s game. The Pit prediction is a win for Pickaxe, by 3-8 pts

With that I’m signing off, thanks to Richie for a fine smackdown version last week, look forward to some more of those blogs too.
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