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NFL Week 8 Picks: A Random Number Experiment

No, these are not real predictions. They're teams and numbers arranged randomly. But who knows? Maybe some of them will turn out to be true... and beat the so-called "experts."

It's a slow week NFLwise in Chicago, with the Bears off until their Nov. 7 date with the Bills in Toronto. And so far, I haven't joined the bandwagon of "experts" (and trust me, I'm not one) making NFL game picks each week, only to post that I've got about a .500 record after seven weeks.

So with little going on, I thought I'd try an experiment -- what would happen if I (figuratively) threw darts at team names and numbers and picked game results based on that? To begin, I used Yahoo's NFL scoreboard page to put the teams in some sort of order -- I used each game in order of starting time, and on that page from left to right in each row down the page -- and then randomized the list of team names using this handy list randomizer at

To come up with plausible final scores, I used's true random number generator located at the top of their main page. To set parameters for the numbers, I checked all the game scores for the 2010 season so far. No team has been shut out yet -- fewest points scored in a game is three, done four times (once by the Bears against the Giants). The Raiders scored 59 points against the Broncos last Sunday, but that seemed to me to be an outlier -- the most points scored by anyone else this year was 44, by the Lions vs. the Rams on Oct. 10.

So I set the parameters for the random number generator to run from three to 44; I threw out some numbers as I was generating them one by one that are uncommon football scores ("5" came up three times).

The following are the game score "predictions" that resulted. The random number generator thinks it's going to be a high-scoring week. If some of these look wildly ridiculous, just remember they were generated completely randomly. Some of them, though, look eminently reasonable. I'll post about how these ended up sometime next week. If I do well enough... I just might do this again.

Bills 42
Chiefs 36

Panthers 10
Rams 21

Broncos 28
49ers 7

Redskins 43
Lions 17

Packers 34
Jets 39

Dolphins 26
Bengals 27

Jaguars 33
Cowboys 21

Titans 23
Chargers 41

Buccaneers 38
Cardinals 23

Vikings 44
Patriots 12

Seahawks 12
Raiders 36

Steelers 39
Saints 31

Texans 29
Colts 33