Taking my cue from … figure skating?

Steve Brownlee

An idea came over me not too long ago when I ran across a figure skating show, I think on our Canadian cable station CBC.

Not that I really watched it, but with my OCD fixation on numbers, I waited until they showed the scores for one of the performers — or was it a skating couple? I can’t really remember.

I wanted to see if they scored their competition the same way I remember, where a 6.0 score was perfect. I’m not sure if I’m even remembering that part right.

But there was one part that stuck with me — how they put up seven scores, then drop four of them, the two highest and two lowest. That way if one or two judges are crazy out of line, they don’t really affect the competitor’s score.

Could we think about NFL teams in a similar way? Think of each score as a game, so the seven judges would represent almost half a season for a team.

Throw out each team’s two best and two worst games when you assess them.

I think that would work really well by the time you get to the end of a 17-game season, as you’d still get to use 13 games to determine how good or bad a team is.

Forget about the Packers’ back-to-back losses to the New York teams. Or maybe their season-opening loss at Minnesota and the one to Tennessee less than a month ago?

Hmm, there seem to be a lot of candidates for the “naughty” list.

On the good side, you longer count both wins over the Bears. Or maybe the ones over Dallas and Tampa Bay.

Well, that sounds a bit severe, doesn’t it?

But that’s the idea — a really good game or pair of games aren’t what you can hang your hat on. It should be an average performance that forms a baseline.

I haven’t really developed this any further, but heck, I’ve already taken up too much space here.

Let’s look at this week’s picks:


Today, 8:15 p.m.

Las Vegas at Los Angeles Rams — Thank goodness the Raiders are showing some renewed life and that the Rams just got Baker Mayfield in the fold a couple days ago. Raiders, 33-20.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

New York Jets at Buffalo — Not exactly Miami visiting upstate New York for a weather advantage, but divisional games should continue to get Buffalo’s attention. Bills, 27-23.


Cleveland at Cincinnati — Wonder if the Dashaun Watson protests will continue for the rest of the season. Either way, he’s still got rust and Cincy is looking awfully good as of late. Bengals, 34-27.


Houston at Dallas — Maybe they could’ve flexed this one to 9:30 a.m. Egad. Cowboys, 40-17.


Minnesota at Detroit — The Lions still have that late-game-choking DNA, and Minnesota has developed a way to take advantage of pulling rabbits out of their hat. Of if you’re a Vikes’ hater, some bodily orifice. Vikings, 28-26.


Philadelphia at New York Giants — Again, a good team’s attention gets laser focused on a divisional game. Eagles, 31-21.


Baltimore at Pittsburgh — Sounds like Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson is out for awhile. But also that Tyler Huntley is a capable backup, though with only a 1-3 record. But I could see the Steelers being the team he beats when he loses his next three out of four games. Ravens, 24-16.


Jacksonville at Tennessee — Me thinks Tennessee will turn it around, again within their division. Titans, 23-17.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco — The 49ers gotta be nervous without Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the season. Tampa will show them they don’t have to be. 49ers, 27-17.


Carolina at Seattle — Seattle needs to regroup and this seems like a good team to do that against. Seahawks, 24-19.


Kansas City at Denver — KC is angry after last week’s loss to Cincy. Not a good week to be playing them. Chiefs, 38-24.

Sunday, 8:20 p.m.


Miami at Los Angeles Chargers — The Dolphins got embarrassed last weekend in San Fran. Time for payback. Dolphins, 23-20.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

New England at Arizona — I’m not hearing the end of dysfunction with the Cardinals. So by process of elimination, take the Patriots, 17-14.


Last week — 9-5-1, 64 percent. Season — 115-78-2, 60 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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