Wednesday, September 04, 2013

2013 NFL Predictions

Federal law requires that all sports blogging types submit NFL season predictions, despite the fact that the NFL becomes more difficult to predict every season.

Look around the eight divisions. There might be some races that "look" like slam dunks, and there are actually a couple that appear to be real-life slam dunks. However, keep a few things in mind:
  • In a normal season, there is a playoff turnover of around five teams. In fact, last year broke a 16-year run of there being at least five new teams in the NFL playoffs.
  • Every other year since 2007, there has been a six-team turnover in the playoffs. This is the "other" year, so the pattern says there will be six new teams in the tournament.
When you read all the predictions from so-called experts, count the number of "new" teams they put in the playoffs. If it is fewer than four teams turning over from last year to this year, ignore the prediction completely. As MMQB pointed out, more than half the playoff field (61 of 120 teams) has turned over in the last decade.

That's where this becomes difficult. If you aren't picking four teams to turn over, you probably aren't going to be right. But it's often very difficult to find the teams that will miss out to make room.

With all that in mind, here we go on another season of incorrect NFL predictions.

1. Dallas
2. NY Giants
3. Washington
4. Philadelphia

Romo. Romo. Romo. Romo. Romo. I'm putting my chips to the middle, betting on Tony Romo. Help me. Don't be shocked if Philly jumps Washington. I think Chip Kelly is going to do some things there.

1. Green Bay
2. Detroit
3. Minnesota
4. Chicago

The Packers are probably the best team in this division, but they better stay healthy. Especially You-Know-Who. Detroit is a darkhorse. Reggie Bush makes an impact. I don't trust Minnesota's quarterback or secondary.

1. New Orleans
2. Carolina*
3. Atlanta
4. Tampa Bay

I think Sean Payton and Drew Brees pick up the pieces and have a big year. This isn't a knock on Atlanta, but I think they're old in some key spots and I still think Matt Ryan is a tad overrated.

1. San Francisco
2. Seattle*
3. St. Louis
4. Arizona

Seattle edges St. Louis for a Wild Card spot, but if the Seahawks don't get healthy at wide receiver, this result could flip. San Fran is still the top dog with the best coach (ugh) in the division.

1. New England
2. Miami
3. NY Jets
4. Buffalo

Closer than you might think, but the Patriots have too many weapons at this point. Jets edge the Bills in the most compelling third place race in AFC East history.

1. Cincinnati
2. Cleveland*
3. Baltimore
4. Pittsburgh

What? Yes. Bengals are ready to assume the perch. Browns will shock the world, while the Ravens suffered too many offseason departures to be a playoff team again. Don't fret. They'll be back shortly.

1. Houston
2. Indianapolis
3. Tennessee
4. Jacksonville

Ugly. Houston could clinch this in Week 11. Colts can't repeat last year's magic.

1. Denver
2. Kansas City*
3. San Diego
4. Oakland

Easiest division to pick, which means this will be horribly wrong somehow. Kansas City was remarkably unlucky last year, and Andy Reid will make sure that doesn't repeat itself.

1. New Orleans
2. San Francisco
3. Dallas
4. Green Bay
5. Carolina
6. Seattle

Seattle over Dallas
Carolina over Green Bay
New Orleans over Carolina
San Francisco over Seattle
New Orleans over San Francisco

1. Houston
2. Denver
3. Cincinnati
4. New England
5. Kansas City
6. Cleveland

Cincinnati over Cleveland
New England over Kansas City
Cincinnati over Denver
Houston over New England
Houston over Cincinnati

New Orleans over Houston

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