NFL Travel Schedule
I’m always interested in these, although I usually prefer to have some maps to get a real idea of what is going on.
Green Bay has the least amount of travel ahead of them. A trip to Seattle and New York (Giants) are the only times they have to wander out of the central part of the country.
Most northeast teams usually have the least amount of travel. The NFL is a little different as it isn’t weighted quite as heavily toward your division. And the division matchups could give you a few trips across the country. Also, having the Cowboys in the NFC East is wrong geographically, so that adds some travel.
Looking at the Eagles, Phoenix is the biggest trip with New Orleans, Dallas, and Tampa Bay all in that mid-range giving them the 21st most miles traveled.
The AP Pre-Season Rankings for the NFL came out about a month ago. They are called the AP Pro 32 (catchy, huh?). I forget how I came across them, but I feel like they should get a lot more attention. They likely haven’t gotten that much press because every sports site does their own Power Rankings.
Who runs the AP? I’d like to know because I’m curious why it took so long to branch out from college football and basketball. There should be weekly rankings for every sport and even things like MVP races. I just thought of the MVP idea and I love it. Pre-season MVP rankings. What happens to a player on a bye week or an injury. Will someone drop if he sits at the end of the year since their playoff position is set. So many questions and I want to see what would happen.
I like it for the purpose of more arguments but also because it would make professional pickem games on Ice Cream Helmet easier to figure out. ‘Which NHL games to pick this week? Here’s a game with two top 10 teams. Done.’
The Packers came out at #1 with the Patriots and Giants each getting some 1st place votes. The Colts are solidly in last.
My biggest problem with this list: so few voters. Just 12. You could easily get sports writers from each NFL city and from each of the major networks. No excuse for less than 40 voters.
AP NFL Voters:
Chris Berman, ESPN
Clifton Brown, Sporting News
Cris Collinsworth, NBC Sports
Rich Gannon, CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio
Bob Glauber, Newsday
Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
Clark Judge, CBSSports.com
Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
Pat Kirwan, SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com
John Lynch, Fox Sports
Alex Marvez, Foxsports.com
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
Just like for College Football, Football Win Prediction has launched on Ice Cream Helmet. It’s pretty similar to College, so I’ll cover it quickly.
- Predict win totals for every team. Since the NFL has a consistent schedule, you should allocate all 256 possible wins across the 32 teams. Sorry, that means no predicting ties.
- Predict the Conference Champions and Super Bowl winner.
Scoring (lower is better)
1pt – Each predicted win off of actual total for each team.
-2pts – Each correctly predicted team Win Total.
-5pts – Each correctly predicted Conference Champion.
-10pts – Predicting the correct Super Bowl Champion.
Make your predictions by September 5th at 8:30pm ET. That’s when the season kicks off in New York with the Cowboys visiting the Giants.
You can also create groups to invite your friends to compare your results. You only have to make one set of predictions. Those will be used for scoring in all groups.
1) The rules don’t make any sense. ‘Oh, he knocked out that defenseless receiver but he hit him with his shoulder, so that’s legal.’ I don’t care if it’s a helmet or not. If it looks like a cheap it, it should be a penalty. If it was vicious, throw him out of the game. Next year, I’d like to see a whole lot more ejections. It’s the best way I can see right now to get the point across.
2) Anyone can win any week. The Seahawks were terrible all year. Them beating the Saints was a huge upset. Was it? I wasn’t surprised. I’m never surprised by a team winning in the NFL. Yawn. I like upsets. I like to root for underdogs. With the current system in the NFL, there is no such thing.
3) Announcers. Ugh. We have the technology now. There is no reason each team can’t have their own announcers. Why not have three feeds of every game? One for each team and a national crew. I see no downside here. Not only would I stop hating the announcers every second of the game, it would increase my enjoyment a ton. Local announcers wouldn’t have to water down the coverage.
11:58pm Fri Jan 14, 2011
by Ice Cream Helmet
I’ve been having trouble deciding on which game to use my wager points on for my ICH group this week. I’m leaning toward the Bears.
It may be surprising that I’m considering the one matchup that is split. I’m not surprised by the split. Nobody watched the Seahawks all year before last week. Then saw them beat a Saints team that didn’t show up and they were home. How quickly everyone forgets they were terrible in a terrible division. Their win last week is one of my three biggest reasons I hate the NFL.
I wasn’t sure about the new Thursday/Friday NFL draft idea. Seemed a little unnecessary and that the NFL was thinking it was too important.
Turns out, it was a good idea, at least for me. I don’t really like watching the draft anymore. I like to keep up with the picks and trades but I don’t need the analysis. I read enough online leading up to the draft. With so many people covering the draft on tv now, the quality of analysis had dropped off a cliff. Toward the end of the night I was able to flip between NFL Net and ESPN. NFL Net was good (once Deion stopped interviewing people) and ESPN had a lot of holes (I barely heard from Mel Kiper with so many people on the panel).
The Thursday night worked because I wanted to watch the Flyers playoff game and Phillies more than the draft. Thankfully NFL Network was streaming online. I was able to fire up the draft on my laptop and flip to the Phillies during breaks and intermissions in the Flyers game.
The Friday bonus: I don’t think this was fully taken advantage of. This morning every site should have been pushing mock drafts for rounds 2 and 3 along side their recaps. Everyone was already invested in what happened in Round 1. They also had a good idea of who was left on the board. No one cares about the guys ranked in the 30s before the draft. Now, the top 10 guys not picked in the first round are known with a day of coverage to devote to them. The mock drafts have been coming out during the day but they weren’t on them this morning.
Now, the draft will pick up tonight. 6pm is a brilliant move as well. They’d lose a ton of audience if they started at 8pm, fewer people would even start watching. Now fans will get to see most of the 2nd round and maybe get hooked for the rest of the night.
Saturday for rounds 4-7, who really cares. The underrated benefit of all of this is that the NFL has given me a Saturday back. I probably won’t do anything useful with it, but I could.
10:08pm Sun Feb 7, 2010
by BF Sports
Hey, I won one of these finally. I was the only one to pick the Saints over the Vikings in the NFC Championship. That was enough to give me the one game edge over Ahad.
Note: Evan didn’t make picks for the Sunday games in the Divisional Round.
9:58pm Sun Feb 7, 2010
by Ice Cream Helmet
With the Super Bowl over, here are the final standings for picks for this season. The scores here are for correct picks during the regular season and playoffs.
4:20pm Fri Feb 5, 2010
by BF Sports
Ahad: Let’s keep things simple once again. I went against the Saints in the conference championship game and I am going to do it again. The Colts are the better overall team. Pick: Colts
Matt: The Colts haven’t lost a game all season when they were playing to win the game. And they have Peyton Manning. They just have to avoid the turnovers that cost the Vikings their game against the Saints, because they will certainly be able to move the ball on the Saints defense. You can move the ball on the Colts D, too, but they are an underrated bunch. An unhealthy Freeney will certainly hurt the Colts pass rush. They can’t let Brees sit back there and pick them apart. I think it will come down to which QB plays the best. Brees is good, but he is no Peyton. Pick: Colts
Evan: I am really rooting for the Saints. I also think they are equally good on offense, but the Colts obviously have a better D. Defense wins championships. Pick: Colts, in a close one.
Mike: I’m right there with Matt. It comes down to the QBs and you can’t help but think that Peyton will come up where he needs to. The Saints may have the better receivers and backs, but the Colts have Peyton. I feel like I should be rooting for the Saints. The Colts just won not too long ago and the Saints have never been. Plus, it’s New Orleans. It’s going to be one of those games where once I start watching I will lean toward one team or the other. I have a feeling that team will be the Colts. Pick: Colts
11:29am Sat Jan 23, 2010
by BF Sports
Jets @ Colts, Sunday 3pm
Ahad: The Jets luck finally runs out. At some point Sanchez is going to make mistakes that will hurt his team. If the Colts defense plays as well as they did last week, they should have no problem beating the Jets. Pick: Colts
Mike: I’ve been proven wrong two weeks in a row with the Jets. In usual circumstances, I’d finally jump on over onto the bandwagon. This is no usual circumstance. Peyton is involved. Pick: Colts
Matt: How interesting is it that the AFC representative will be one of these two teams? The Jets beat the Colts in Week 16, but the Colts pulled their starters in the 3rd quarter. This should be a good chess match between two teams that are polar opposites in philosophy. The Jets are old-school: play tough defense and have a good running game. The Colts are built for speed and passing the ball. I really want to see the Manning versus Revis matchup. Will Manning throw his way? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Jets win this game, but I can’t see Manning losing. Pick: Colts
Evan: I had a text message draft all set to go last week picking the Jets and the Saint, but never sent it to Janke, so I guess I don’t get credit for picking that upset. I’m going to stick with the upset bandwagon though. Pick: Jets
Vikings @ Saints, Sunday 6:30pm
Ahad: I am going to keep it simple. This game will be decided by the defenses and the Vikings have the better defense. Pick: Vikings
Mike: The Vikings sure looked good last week. At least that is the impression I got from the final score. I’ve been with the Saints all year so I’m going to ride. One thought: Saints/Colts I don’t have a favorite, it’s fairly even. Vikings/Colts and I’ll be sporting a Peyton jersey. Mike: Saints
Matt: Do you even have a Manning jersey, Mike? I am with Ahad, I think the Vikings do have the better defense, but they haven’t always played as well on the road and they are hurt somewhat along their D-Line. The Saints will need to be able to run the ball. They are undefeated this season when running for more than 130 yards and 5-3 when running for less. It will be hard to do against the Vikings. Favre will have to avoid the killer mistakes he has made in the past, which he has not done much of this year. You can run on the Saints, so I think Adrian Peterson will be the key in this game. I expect a big game from him. Last team to have the ball wins? I am thinking so. I’ll be rooting for the Saints, but I think the Vikings will take it. Pick: Vikings
Evan: I’m very nervous about the prospect of Percy Harvin not playing. He is my favorite part of the Vikes. I’m hoping that this game will live up to the billing of a high scoring affair. In the end, I’m going with the old man and the better defense. Pick: Vikings
2:08pm Sat Jan 16, 2010
by BF Sports
Cardinals @ Saints, Saturday 4:30pm
Mike: The Cards D struggled against the Packers. Have you heard about the Saints? Pick: Saints
Matt: Be prepared for another shootout. The Saints have not played well in a month and a half while the Cards ramped it up last week. Well, on offense anyways. Defense will again be optional this week. Turnovers will be key because I don’t see either defense stopping the offenses on a regular basis. The Superdome will be loud, but the Cards were good on the road this year. I’ll go with the playoff tested Cards. Pick: Cardinals
Ahad: I don’t think the Cards will be able to rise up again on a short week. Pick: Saints
Ravens @ Colts, Saturday 8:15pm
Mike: Two things: I don’t want to put too much in to that dominate Ravens game and I’m a little worried with how the Colts screwed up their resting of starters (I don’t have a problem with resting them, but usually they want to). i think those points level out the past few weeks. In that case, I have to trust in Peyton. Pick: Colts
Matt: You sure hope resting the starters and tanking down the stretch won’t hurt the Colts in this game. The Ravens only lost by two earlier in the season when playing in Indy. They were driving to win the game towards the end but Flacco threw an interception. They settled for too many FG’s in that game, and that certainly cannot happen this week. The Ravens will pose a problem with their run game, but I think Flacco will have to outduel Manning. I don’t see it happening. Like Mike said, trust in Peyton. Pick: Colts
Ahad: The Colts won’t spoon feed points to the Ravens with turnovers like the Pats did last week. This should be a close game, but in the end Manning will come through. Pick: Colts
Cowboys @ Vikings, Sunday 1pm
Mike: You know who could really benefit from a week off? Farve. He got one last week. The whole Vikings team seemed to limp down the stretch. Coin flip. AP. Pick: Vikings
Matt: Much like Sports Guy’s Cousin Sal (who is a Cowboys fan) said, “Can I pay anyone to pick the Vikings in this game?” Mostly everyone out there is on the Cowboys bandwagon, and that makes me nervous. Granted, they are playing very well in all phases of the game. The Vikings had a Cowboy-like December and weren’t playing well on either side of the ball until they demolished the Giants to finish the season. This should be a tight game into the 4th quarter, so it will be up to which QB makes the big plays in the end. I think Romo outplays Favre, barely. Pick: Cowboys
Ahad: The Cowboys are a scary team right now. Look for the Vikings to try and establish the run to try and slow down the pass rush. If Ware and Spencer just tee off on rushing the qb, the Vikings will be in trouble. I think AP will be difference. Pick: Vikings
Jets @ Chargers, Sunday 4:40pm
Mike: Where last weekend we had 3 awful games and ended up with a classic, this week we could have 3 tight games followed by a clunker. The Jets need the same performance out of Sanchez. I don’t expect them to get it, but I didn’t expect it last week either. Pick: Chargers
Matt: I could easily see all of the road teams winning this week, but most people think this game is where it is least likely to happen. The Jets match up well with the Chargers actually. The Jets run the ball well, but the Chargers have had trouble stopping it. The Jets were #1 on defense, but they were vulnerable against the run, especially last week. Fortunately for them, the Chargers were one of the worst at running the ball, even with LT and Sproles. I think this will be another close game, but I think Sanchez will end up making the rookie mistakes he didn’t make last week. Rivers will have to be smart with the ball, especially with Revis locking up on Vincent Jackson. I think he gets the job done. Chargers win on a late FG. Pick: Chargers
Ahad: The Jets had their moment in the sun last week. The Chargers are the better team and will have no problem in this one. Pick: Chargers
Everyone Else 2-2