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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NFL Prediction Report Card

Before the NFL season started, Wild Banshee posted her preseason predictions for each division.  It's hard to believe, but we are a quarter of the way through the year.  That means it's report card time.  Let's take a look at my predictions and hand out some grades.

AFC East:  Before the season started, I dove in head first to swim with the fishes.  I predicted that the Dolphins would win the AFC East.  I'm feeling pretty good about that pick since the Dolphins are 3-1 after four games.  However, the New England Patriots have overcome injuries and distractions and are undefeated after four games.  As proud as I am of the Dolphins pick, it appears that I greatly underestimated the wily Patriots.  Prediction Grade: B+

AFC North:  In the preseason, I was about the only person on earth predicting that the Browns would be a playoff team.  After the Browns started 0-2 start and traded arguably their best offensive player, it appeared I was going to have to eat some crow.  But, three weeks later, the Browns are right there at the top of the division.  And, as I predicted, the Steelers are truly awful.  Even though the Bengals and the Ravens are both 2-2, I still think things will finish just about the way I predicted with the Bengals on top of the AFC North and the Ravens out of the post season. But just for having the guts to pick the Browns to do well, I give myself some extra credit.  Prediction Grade: A

AFC South:  I don't really want to write about this.  It hurts to admit that I've done something this terrible.  Basically, my predictions for this division are more noxious than a dumpster fire.  I predicted that the Texans would run away with the division.  I predicted that the Colts would be mediocre.  I predicted that the Titans would be lousy.  And, even though I was right in predicting that the Jaguars would have a losing record, I was wrong in predicting that they would make some solid strides forward this season.  So, basically, I was wrong about everything I could possibly be wrong about in the AFC South.  Prediction Grade: F

AFC West:  Whew!  I'm happy to move on to the AFC West.  I needed a little boost to my self esteem.  It might have been a no-brainer to predict that the Denver Broncos would be a good team.  But I raised a few eyebrows when I also picked the Chiefs to make the playoffs.  Right now, they are both 4-0 and tied for the division lead.  I think the Broncos are still a significantly better team than the Chiefs, but I expect the Chiefs to remain solid all year.  As with the Browns pick, I give myself some extra credit for picking such a strong turn around for Kansas City.  Prediction Grade: A+

NFC East:  If you have a weak stomach, look away.  Not because my predictions are so bad but because the division as a whole is uglier than Quasimodo.  Fortunately for me, it is the putrescence of the division that actually saves my grade.  The Redskins, my pick to win the division, are a dismal 1-3.  However, they are only one game out of first place.  And the Cowboys, leaders of the division at 2-2, have shown no signs of being capable of running away.  Washington certainly isn't making me look smart, but I get some credit for being fairly certain that no wild card would come out of the traditionally strong NFC East.  But, I realize this grade is still subject to radical change in either direction.  Prediction Grade: B

NFC North:  Wild Banshee predicted that the Bears would win the division and that the Lions would be their primary competition.  I also predicted that Green Bay would miss the playoffs.  This grade feels a little premature since the Packers had an early bye week and have only played three games.  Nonetheless, as I type this article, it is the Bears and the Lions who are tied for first at 3-1, and the Pack are only 1-2.  Not too shabby, Wild Banshee.  Not too shabby.  Prediction Grade: A

NFC South:  Oof.  This is ugly.  I predicted that the Falcons would win the division and that the Buccaneers would be a wild card team.  I'd like to have those picks back.  Not only was I wrong to start the year, but from what I've seen, there is no reason to believe that the early season results are a fluke in any way.  The Falcons are currently 1-3 and have looked dismal.  The Bucs have released ... not benched but released ... their starting quarterback and are winless after four games.  Meanwhile, the Saints are back with a vengeance.  They are undefeated and have actually looked great on defense against solid competition.  Welcome back, Sean Peyton.  My apologies for doubting your importance.  Prediction Grade: F

NFC West:  Before the season started, I predicted that Seattle and San Francisco would both be very good teams.  It looks like I was right about that.  But, I thought that the schedule would give the Niners an advantage in winning the division.  Looks like I might be wrong about that.  Seattle has already handled its business on the road in Atlanta, and the Niners took a physical beating from the Colts at home.  Right now, the Seahawks are 4-0 while the Niners are just 2-2.  But, there is still lots of football to be played, so I'm not gonna hammer myself too bad with this grade at this point.  Prediction Grade: B

Overall Grade:  I did a little math, and it looks like my GPA would be a 3.6.  With two F's on the report card, it seems a little wrong to give myself a B+.  But, who am I to argue with the numbers?  Especially when they work in my favor.  Unfortunately, I think I have a better chance of my good grades dropping than I do of my poor grades rising.  But, we shall wait and see.  Overall Grade:  B-

Think I was too lenient?  Want to make some predictions of your own?  Then, by all means, leave a comment and let me know.

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