The secret is out. I am not perfect. I am just really close.
It's a bit of a departure from early in the prognosticating season, when I couldn't pick the right NFL team with a one-sided coin.
The Ravens won 26-10 over the Dolphins on Sunday on the strength of Billy Cundiff's four field goals (and Dolphins' QB Chad Henne's arm). I had them winning 23-13 – I put one field goal in the wrong column. With my bulldog, Cammie, as my witness, I swear I originally had it 26-13, but thought four Ravens' field goals would be excessive.
If I had stuck with my substantial gut, I would have won my own free bar tab for three straight Prediction Fridays. But, in fitting tribute to my life, I second-guessed it and will have to settle for pretty close. Also pretty close were Alex (28-13) and Ron (27-14) and a host of others.
I am going to let Week 9 end in a tie, though I am very sensitive about kissing sisters (my one sister enters this joint on occasion and I watch you clowns very closely). I am giving free tabs to both CSB Jack and Kevin in Iraq, two Connolly regulars who have been frequenting this dive when we had just one unisex bathroom and only Natty Boh on tap (in the bar, not in the bathroom). Kevin had Joe Flacco in the tiebreaker and Jack had Ed Reed. Both had good games, so we'll let the house take a bath here.
Drink up, fellas. My pleasure.
We're now halfway through the NFL season and the Ravens are 6-2 and tied with two others (and maybe three depending on what the Steelers do tonight) for the best record in the AFC.
By all accounts, 6-2 is what even the most optimistic Ravens fans could have expected to start the season. So the Ravens are definitely where they need to be in order to make a postseason run.
Now I want to know what your expectations are for the second half. After Thursday night's game in Atlanta, the Ravens don't have a road game against a team with a record currently above .500 for the remainder of the year. To me, 6-2 is doable again. That would make the Ravens 12-4 and a playoff team.
Does that sound right to you?
Here's a bonus question for this Monday, the day after baseball's free agency period officially got swinging: What are your expectations for the Orioles' offseason?
Would you be happy with a power bat at first base (like Paul Konerko, Adam LaRoche or Lance Berkman) a mid-level starter and reliever and the re-signing of two of the following three: Cesar Izturis, Ty Wigginton and Koji Uehara.
That's my guess on what the offseason moves will look like. Do you need something bigger and flashier?
Daily Think Special: What record do you expect from the Ravens in the second half and why?
Bonus Think Special: What expectations do you have for the Orioles this offseason?