Before the season started this year, I wrote about some of my predictions. Really, the only prediction I deserve to get credit for getting right was that making predictions is a fool’s game. In the spirit of transparency and self-reflection, here’s a look back at what I thought would happen and what actually did.
1. Prediction: My Eagles aren’t going to win the Super Bowl. Verdict: Correct, but that one was like shooting fish in a barrel.
2. Prediction: I see the Steelers winning the AFC North with minimal competition this year. Verdict: Wrong. They had a shot at this until they got Tebow’ed.
3. Prediction: Playoff teams from 2011 that won’t get back to the playoffs this season: Seattle, Chicago, Indy, Kansas City. Verdict: Got that one right – woohoo for me!
4. Prediction: Teams that missed the playoffs in 2010 who make it this year: Detriot, Arizona, Tennessee, San Diego. Verdict: Got Detroit and missed badly with the others.
5. A few assorted player and team predictions:
(a) Prediction: Tim Tebow doesn’t see a snap this year for the Broncos. Verdict: About as badly missed as any prediction this year. Not only did he resurrect the Broncos playoff hopes, but he became the story of the year and turned his own name into a verb.
(b) Prediction: Iron man streaks for Eli and Peyton Manning both come to an end this year. Verdict: Got the easy Peyton one. I wish I was right on Eli.
(c) Prediction: Brett Favre makes a November comeback for some team with playoff hopes that lost its starting QB to injury for the season. Verdict: Wrong (and happy for that).
(d) Prediction: Baltimore’s defence takes a big step back this year. Ray Lewis gets exposed as a very aging LB. They miss the playoffs. Verdict: Think I was right on Lewis. Missed badly on the other two parts of this one.
(e) Prediction: In the first 4 weeks of the season, someone gets a precedent setting 4 game suspension for targeting an opponent’s head. The NFL finally takes a real stand on head injuries. Verdict: Not close. It actually looked as the season went on that the players started adapting well to the new rules.
(f) Prediction: Ben Roethlisberger has a monster season for Pittsburgh. He was good before he even realized what practice was. Look out this year. Verdict: I’ll consider this one at least partly correct.
(g) Prediction: The Cincinnati Bengals end up dead last in the league in offensive production and tops in the league in defensive production and play some of the lowest scoring football ever seen. Verdict: Nope. Dalton looked pretty good for a rookie. They found their new star WR and they had an underrated OL. Their defence (although solid) wasn’t as spectacular as I though they’d be.
(h) Prediction: Colt McCoy starts to look like a franchise QB for Cleveland. Verdict: (Shaking and lowering my head…) What was I thinking on this one?
(i) Prediction: The once proud Oakland Raiders will have one of the top running games in the league, but without the ability to stop anyone on defence, they end up with 4 or 5 wins. Verdict: Wrong again (except on the defence part).
(j) Prediction: Julius Peppers (Chicago) becomes invisible this year after a monster year last year Verdict: Yikes, way off on that one too.
6. By Division predictions:
AFC North: Prediction: Patriots, Jets, Bills, Dolphins; Verdict: Pats, Jets, Dolphins, Bills (Close, not too shabby)
AFC North: Prediction: Steelers, Ravens, Browns, Bengals; Verdict: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, Browns (All wrong)
AFC South: Prediction: Titans, Texans, Colts, Jags; Verdict: Texans, Titans, Jags, Colts (All wrong)
AFC West: Prediction: Chargers, Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders; Verdict: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs (All wrong)
NFC East: Prediction: Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins, Giants; Verdict: Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins (Super Bowl finalist picked in 4th place in their division – horribly wrong)
NFC North: Prediction: Packers, Lions, Vikings, Bears; Verdict: Packers, Lions, Bears, Vikings (3 out of 4, pretty solid)
NFC South: Prediction: Falcons, Saints, Bucs, Panthers; Verdict: Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Bucs (All wrong)
NFC West: Prediction: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Seahawks; Verdict: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams (All wrong)