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Sunday, October 7, 2012

NFL Prediction Report Card

We have reached the quarter pole of the NFL season (for those of you unfamiliar with horse racing, that means we are 25% done).  Before the season started, Wild Banshee posted her preseason predictions for each division.  Well, if I'm gonna open my big mouth, it's only fair that I hold myself accountable.  It's report card time.  Let's take a look at the predictions and how they stand.

AFC East:  I predicted that the New England Patriots would win the division and compete for the best record in the conference.  After four games, the Patriots and the Jets are tied for the division lead at 2-2. As far as the division is concerned, I stand behind this prediction.  The Jets and Patriots may have the same record at this point, but they are headed in distinctly different directions.  I still believe that the Patriots will win the division and that no wild cards will come from the AFC East.  Prediction Grade: B+

AFC North:  Preseason, I predicted that that Ravens would win the division and that the Bengals would be a wild card.  After four games, I feel good about this prediction.  The Bengals and the Ravens are tied at the top of the division at 3-1.  The Ravens lost to the unpredictable Eagles, but, aside from that, they have looked strong.  Any drop-off from the aging Ravens' defense has been compensated for by the improved offense.  I still feel confident that the Ravens will best the Bengals in the division and that the Bengals will make the playoffs as a wild card.  Prediction Grade: A

AFC South:  We don't have to waste much time on this.  I predicted that the Texans would win the division and that everyone else would be awful.  After four games, the Texans are 4-0.  The other three teams have combined for a total of three wins.  Prediction Grade: A+

AFC West:  Okay, time for Wild Banshee to eat some humble pie.  I predicted that the Raiders would win the division and that the Chiefs would make the playoffs as a wild card.  After four games, the Raiders and the Chiefs have combined for 2 wins.  Meanwhile, the Chargers are 3-1 and the Broncos are 2-2.  Based on the eye test, I'm not willing to give up on the Raiders just yet.  I still think they will be in the hunt for a wild card.  But, it seems clear that the Chargers are in the driver's seat to win the division.  It's also clear that the Chiefs are awful.  Prediction Grade: D-

NFC East:  I predicted that the Eagles would win the division.  After four games, the Eagles are 3-1 and on top of the standings.  But, boy have they looked ugly in the process!  I stand by the prediction that the Eagles will win the division.  And, I feel even more confident about my prediction that no one else in this messy division will make the playoffs.  Prediction Grade: A

NFC North:  Wild Banshee predicted that the Packers would win the division and that the Bears would get into the playoffs as a wild card.  After four games, it is actually the Vikings that are 3-1 and tied with the Bears for first place.  Adrian Peterson has returned from his ACL injury much faster than anyone could have predicted.  And Christian Ponder is turning out to be a legitimate NFL quarterback.  Nonetheless, I'm not prepared to move off of my prediction just yet.  The Packers are a proven commodity, and I still believe that they will end up at the top of the division when the season ends.  Prediction Grade: B

NFC South:  I've had very schizophrenic prediction results so far in this division.  I predicted that the Falcons would win the division, and the Falcons are undefeated after four weeks.  On the other hand, I predicted that the Saints would be right there with the Falcons at the top of the division.  Boy, was I wrong about that!  If it's possible for a team to look extra bad on the way to an 0-4 record, the Saints have done it.  They have lost to bad teams, and they have played zero defense.  Prediction Grade: C

NFC West:  Wild Banshee went out on a limb and predicted that this division would be much-improved.  So far, it seems that I was right about that.  The Rams and the Seahawks have both shown that they cannot be taken lightly by any team.  The 49ers appear to be even better than they were last year.  The Niners are 4-0 after four weeks and have established themselves as the most physical team in the NFL.  But I also predicted that the Cardinals would be the worst team in all of football.  I actually used the word "abomination."  The Cardinals also got off to a 4-0 start.  I'm still not convinced that they will make the playoffs, but it is clear that apologies are in order.  As a result, I cannot give myself glowing reviews for the NFC West predictions.  Prediction Grade: B

Well, that takes care of the first quarter report card.  Think I was too easy on myself?  Feel free to leave a comment with your own grades.

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