So I spent some time today going back through the NFL preseason picks I had made back on the 29th of August, and it's really interesting how those picks compared to what actually happened. This post will review where I went wrong and which ones were picked correctly.
Let's start with the playoffs and work backwards.
In the AFC, I had predicted:
New England #1 seed
Houston #2 seed
Baltimore #3 seed
San Diego #4 seed
Pittsburgh & NY Jets
I had New England losing to the Chargers in the AFC championship game as well.
Well, I hit that NE, Houston and Baltimore would win their respective decisions, although, in reality the Ravens and the Texans would swap playoff seeding. I also correctly picked that Pittsburgh would be a wildcard team.
SD and NYJ did not make the playoffs, instead Denver was the #4 seed and Cincinnati was the last wildcard team.
I didn't fair as well in the NFC.
I had GB correct as the #1 seed, but then had Philadelphia and Arizona as the #2 and #4 seeds respectively, and neither made the postseason.
I had Atlanta winning the South, incorrect again and didn't even have NO in the playoffs, instead I had Dallas as the top wildcard team, who, again, missed the playoffs, but I did have Detroit correctly slotted as the #6 seed.
The NFC championship game had GB beating Philadelphia, which of course, the Giants would go on to win and then win the Super Bowl as well, and of course, the Giants were nowhere in my postseason predictions.
As for the regular season records, in the:
NE 12-4, not bad as they went 13-3
NYJ 10-6, a couple games off as they went 8-8
Buffalo 8-8, again missed by 2 games, 6-10 was their record
Miami 6-10- I hit this one correctly as they did finish 6-10
Baltimore 11-5, not bad, they finished 12-4
Pittsburgh, 11-5, again, not bad, they also finished 12-4
Cincinnati 5-11, way off here, they finished 9-7
Cleveland 5-11, not bad, a game off, 4-12 was their mark
quick note: I'm kind of proud I picked BAL & PIT to be tied for the top two spots here, even picking BAL winning Division correctly
Houston 11-5, not bad, one game away from their 10-6 mark
Indianapolis 10-6, WAYYYYYYY off here, they finished 2-14
Jacksonville 6-10, again, not bad, one game off their 5-11 record
Tennessee 2-14, again a terrible pick, they finished 9-7
SD 10-6, two games off from their 8-8 mark
KC 6-10, only a game off of where they finished at 7-9
Oakland 4-12, double that pick and you get their record, 8-8
Denver, 3-13, another horrible pick, won division at 8-8
In the NFC
Philadelphia 11-5, 3 games off here from their 8-8 finish
Dallas 10-6, a pair of games away from their 8-8 mark
NYG, 7-9, only two games off from 9-7, but they did win SB so?
Washington 6-10, only a game off from their 5-11 mark
GB 13-3, I thought they'd be great, but missed by 2, they were 15-1
Detroit 10-6, I hit this record on the mark
Chicago 8-8, Hit this one on the mark as well
Minnesota 7-9, was way off here, they finished 3-13
Atlanta 11-5, one game off their 10-6 finish
NO 10-6, three away from their 13-3 mark
TB 10-6, am ashamed I had them tied with NO, 4-12 they went
Carolina 4-12, did two games better than I thought at 6-10
Arizona 10-6, off by 2, they finished 8-8
St. Louis 9-7, horrible picking again, 2-14 they finished
SF 4-12, brutal yet again here, they finished 13-3
Seattle 3-13, didn't give them enough credit either, finished 7-9
So, in the end, I guess I didn't do half bad for picking every game before the season started. I was certainly way off from what actually transpired, but that almost had to be assumed, seeing so many things can change in the NFL in any given week. Peyton Manning not playing effected both the Colts and the AFC, SF Defense coming out of almost nowhere effected the NFC. Things like these and others play a big part of an NFL season, but even with some of the terrible picks, I hit on a few and didn't do nearly as bad as I thought this experiment would prove.
I did outstanding picking week to week during the season, which, in the end is probably the only way to pick the games, as you have a better pulse for each team, each week and most of the variable that could and often do come into play.
But this was fun, a lot of work, but I may consider giving this preseason game another shot next year.
Anyhow, I hope this offered another take on the world of picking NFL games and offered a bit of amusement as well.