07 Jan 2005
And the winner of King Kaufman's expert predictions contest is... us! King compared the predictions of 27 experts, plus his own predictions and those of his readers, and the most accurate predictions were from the Football Outsiders staff consensus which correctly chose five division winners and three wild cards, plus we were split on the Colts and we took the Falcons for a wild card instead of the division. King, we'll be working on our plane tickets to St. Louis for that dinner. It should be noted that while King only included the staff consensus and my personal picks in the expert competition, Russell Levine is actually the champion, picking slightly better than the staff consensus.
Also, Merril Hoge just narrowly defeated Jason's drunken monkeys throwing darts, so the monkeys will not be appearing next season on EA Sports NFL Matchup. (Column free after watching Salon.com advertisement.)
The Giants and Ravens set a record in Super Bowl XXXV with 21 total punts. That record may well be in jeopardy. But in this battle of top defenses, Carolina's superior and more flexible offense gives the Panthers the edge.