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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

NFL Predictions Midterm Report Card

The NFL has completed nine weeks of action.  Every team has now played at least eight games.  That means it is time for teams to take a midseason inventory.  It also means it is time for Banshee Sports to issue a midterm report card on its predictions.  Before the season started, I offered my preseason  prognostications.  At the end of the first report card period, I had barely mustered a B-.  Things haven't gotten any better.

AFC East:  I knew the Patriots would be very good, but so did every other moron who considers themselves an expert just because they purchased a domain name.  I also predicted the Bills would make the playoffs as a wildcard.  At 4-4, the Bills are by no means a lock to make the playoffs, but they are right in the hunt.  I have no doubt that the Patriots will easily win this division.  The second half of the Bills' season will have a lot to do with my final grade in this, but for now, I continue to give myself a good mark.  First Quarter Grade: A     Midterm Grade: A

Sad times in Baltimore
AFC North:  In the preseason, I boldly declared that the Baltimore Ravens were going to be an excellent team.  At 2-6, it turns out the Ravens are truly terrible.  Instead, it is the Bengals who have are a juggernaut.  The Steelers, on the other hand, are currently clinging to the final wildcard spot in the AFC.  That keeps this from being a failing grade, and since we have made it to the halfway point in the season, I get a slight bump for that prediction.  The Bengals are great.  First Quarter Grade: D     Midterm Grade: D+

AFC South:  There is nothing pretty about this division.  The Colts are in the lead with a record of 4-5.  But, football is not a beauty contest and neither is the prediction business.  Despite the chatter from the media's talking heads, at the start of the season, I did not predict the Colts to be among the leagues elites.  I merely predicted them to be the winner of this dismal division.  So far so good.  First Quarter Grade: A     Midterm Grade: A

AFC West:  There is no other way to say it besides, "Banshee, you blew it."  Despite Manning showing clear signs of age, the Broncos are a wrecking machine.  Beating the Packers in Week 8 was no fluke.  This division is all wrapped up.  The Chiefs, the team I predicted to take the title is nothing short of terrible.  I failed.  First Quarter Grade: F     Midterm Grade: F

NFC East:  At the halfway point in the season, the standings in this division have been determined as much at the doctor's office as they have been on the field.  I was correct about everything I said about this division, but I could not predict the injuries that have decimated the Dallas Cowboys.  Just as I predicted, the Giants are totally mediocre, but with a record of 5-4 mediocre is good enough to put he Giants on top of the division.  I can't be too hard on myself, because I am a football fan and not a doctor, but I have to acknowledge that at the halfway point in the season, it is unlikely that the Cowboys will be able to recover quickly enough to get to the top of the standings.  First Quarter Grade: B     Midterm Grade: C

NFC North:  At the halfway point, the Packers and the Vikings are locked in a duel for the top spot in the division.  They both have a record of 6-2.  The Packers have looked a little worse than many expected.  The Vikings have looked a little better than many expected.  Either way, as I predicted, they are both in a solid position to make the playoffs.  Unfortunately, I also predicted that the Lions would make the playoffs, and they are still horrible.  But, two out of three ain't bad.  First Quarter Grade: B     Midterm Grade: B+

Cam Newton is playing like Super Man
NFC South:  Every single week, I keep expecting this to be the week that the Carolina Panthers come back to earth.  Now that we've reached the halfway point in the season, it is probably time for me to accept that the Panthers really are the class of this division.  I predicted that Atlanta would win this division.  The Falcons have played well, but at this point, it looks like they need to lower their expectations and set their sights on the wild card.  First Quarter Grade: B+     Midterm Grade C+

NFC West:  In the preseason, I declared that the Seahawks were the easiest pick to win any division.  Halfway through the season, the Seahawks have their work cut out for them.  The Cardinals are 6-2 and two games clear of the field.  The Seahawks are heading in the right direction, though, and they get to play the Cardinals at home in their next game.  Based, on the Seahawks' improved play, my grade improved, too, but there is still a lot of work to be done.  First Quarter Grade: C+     Midterm Grade: B-

Overall Grade:  Despite the fact that I've been studying harder, my grades have continued to slip.  After doing the math, my GPA is a 2.45.  I can't in good conscious round that up to any sort of a B.  First Quarter Grade: B-      Midterm Grade: C+

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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