NFL Regular Season Predictions in Review

Posted: February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


The 2012 season is finally over. It is time to look back at SkoodSports’ preseason predictions for this year to analyze whether or not our insight is as sharp as we believe it is. As loyal readers might remember, SkoodSports’ made divisional predictions as well as fearless predictions for each NFL team. Without further ado, let’s take a look:

AFC East Prediction

1. New England Patriots
2. Buffalo Bills
3. New York Jets
4. Miami Dolphins

Actual AFC East Standings

1. New England Patriots – 12-4
2. Miami Dolphins – 7-9
3. New York Jets – 6-10
4. Buffalo Bills – 6-10

Analysis: Nailed the Jets and Pats. Can’t complain about this type of prediction. Not far off from reality.

– New England’s Fearless Prediction: Aaron Hernandez will outperform Rob Gronkowski in 2012.
Result: Fail. Both Hernandez and Gronkowski dealt with injuries this year. But, the U of A product outperformed his Florida counterpart with 11 touchdowns to just 5 for Hernandez.

– Buffalo’s Fearless Prediction: Stevie Johnson will break 1,200 yards receiving.
Result: Fail, Johnson had a fantastic season, surpassing 1000 yards for the third straight year on 79 catches. But, he did not get to that magic 1,200 number. Mostly thanks to bad QB play.

– New York’s Fearless Prediction: Rex Ryan will be fired either during or after the season.
Result: Fail, I’d like to point out that my 6-10 prediction was absolutely correct for this disaster. But, the Jets chose to fire GM Mike Tannenbaum over Ryan.

– Miami’s Fearless Prediction: Reggie Bush does not mimic his career year numbers from 2011.
Result: Success, Bush turned it on in December. But, he couldn’t surpass 1,000 yards for the second straight season.

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens
2. Cincinnati Bengals*
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Cleveland Browns

Actual AFC North Standings:

1. Baltimore Ravens – 10-6
2. Cincinnati Bengals – 10-6*
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – 8-8
4. Cleveland Browns – 5-11

Analysis: Nailed it! It’s not easy to get a division as tough as this one perfect before the season. That’s an accomplishment in itself.

– Baltimore’s Fearless Prediction: OLB Paul Kruger (5.5 sacks in 2011) will reach double digits in sacks this season.
Result: Fail. Kruger finished the season with a career high 9 sacks.

– Cincinnati’s Fearless Prediction: Benjarvus Green-Ellis will eclipse 1,000 yards for the Bengals. If Cendric Benson can do it, the Law Firm most certainly can.
Result: Success, BJGE galloped for 1094 yards and 6 touchdowns as the Bengals reached the playoffs.

– Pittsburgh’s Fearless Prediction: Antonio Brown will lead the team in receptions, not Mike Wallace.
Result: Success, kind of. Brown finished with more receptions than Wallace. However, TE Heath Miller led the team with 71.

– Cleveland’s Fearless Prediction: Trent Richardson will not play more than 10 games.
Result: Fail, Richardson had a strong rookie campaign and certainly lived up to the hype.

AFC South

1. Houston Texans
2. Tennessee Titans
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Indianapolis Colts

Actual AFC South Standings

1. Houston Texans – 12-4
2. Indianapolis Colts – 11-5
3. Tennessee Titans – 6-10
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – 2-14

Analysis: Who could have seen the Colts’ resurgence coming so quickly? Certainly not I. The Titans were a bit more mediocre than I thought they would be. Jacksonville, meanwhile, was an abomination.

– Houston’s Fearless Prediction: Brooks Reed and Connor Barwin will make Texans fans forget Mario Williams.
Result: Fail. The Texans certainly did not have to strain to forget Williams, who had a forgettable season in Buffalo after signing a $100+ million contract. Still, Reed and Barwin combined for less than 6.0 sacks this season. Should have mentioned JJ Watt instead.

– Tennessee’s Fearless Prediction: Kenny Britt will be arrested again by week 4.
Result: Fail. Britt’s off-the-field issues have been pretty pronounced since entering the league. However, he managed to avoid incarceration during the season, even if his 45 receptions in 14 games seemed like he was indeed imprisoned.

– Jacksonville’s Fearless Prediction: MJD will once again rush for 1,100+ yards.
Result: Fail. After taking Jones-Drew in the first round of my fantasy draft, I went out on a limb and concluded that the extra rest from no training camp would only aid the aging runner. Well, it turns out I was wrong. MJD got hurt early in the season and never fully recovered. He finished 2012 with a career worst 414 rushing yards and just one touchdown.

– Indianapolis’ Fearless Prediction: Andrew Luck will outperform Robert Griffin III this season and beyond.
Result: Fail. It is hard to say that Andrew Luck outperformed the Offensive Rookie of the Year, even if his team’s turnaround was more impressive. Both Luck and RG3 were integral to their team’s success, so I can’t really hate on myself too much for this prediction.

AFC West

1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Denver Broncos*
3. San Diego Chargers
4. Oakland Raiders

Actual AFC West Standings

1. Denver Broncos – 13-3
2. San Diego Chargers – 7-9
3. Oakland Raiders – 4-12
4. Kansas City Chiefs – 2-14

Analysis: It doesn’t get much uglier than picking the worst team in football to win their division. I overestimated Kansas City’s abilities on offense. Other than that, the rest of the division is not too bad.

– Kansas City’s Fearless Prediction: Eric Berry will be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Result: Fail. He certainly was not a candidate for DPoY. But, Berry did have a nice bounce-back campaign after missing all of 2011. 86 tackles, 1 INT, 10 passes defended, and 10 stuffs is certainly a worthy season for a 24-year old.

– Denver’s Fearless Prediction: Knowshon Moreno will unseat Willis McGahee as the starter at RB by week 8.
Result: Success. It was because of injury and not performance. But, Moreno did succeed McGahee at the mid-season point and helped lead Denver to a #1 seed in the AFC.

– San Diego’s Fearless Prediction: Norv Turner will be fired mid-season.
Result: Kind of success. Now, Turner was not fired mid-season. But, he would have been if the team was basing it off of success. Come week 12 or 13, the writing was already on the wall.

– Oakland’s Fearless Prediction: Terrelle Pryor will be starting under center by the end of the season.
Result: Success. Pryor, the former Ohio State gunslinger, was under center starting in week 17.

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. New York Giants*
3. Dallas Cowboys
4. Washington Redskins

Actual NFC East Standings

1. Washington Redskins – 10-6
2. New York Giants – 9-7
3. Dallas Cowboys – 8-8
4. Philadelphia Eagles – 4-12

Analysis: I flipped the first and worst teams in this division, buying into the hype that Philadelphia had learned from past failures and that RG3 would have rookie struggles. Turns out I was woefully wrong.

– Philadelphia’s  Fearless Prediction: Andy Reid signs a 5-year contract extension following the end of the season.
Result: Epic fail. Perhaps my worst prediction. The Eagles instead fired Reid after 14-seasons and he headed down to Kansas City.

– New York’s Fearless Prediction: Jason Pierre-Paul will lead the NFL in sacks.
Result: Fail. JP-P disappointed in 2012, recording just 6.5 sacks.

– Dallas’ Fearless Prediction: Morris Claiborne will be a first round bust.
Result: Fail. Claiborne played well in his first NFL campaign. Sure, he could still bust. But, nothing in 2012 suggested that would be the case.

– Washington’s Fearless Prediction: Fred Davis will lead the Redskins in receptions.
Result: Fail. Just my luck. Davis was on his way to leading the Redskins when an injury ended his season.

NFC North

1. Chicago Bears
2. Green Bay Packers*
3. Detroit Lions
4. Minnesota Vikings

Actual NFC North Standings

1. Green Bay Packers – 11-5
2. Minnesota Vikings – 10-6
3. Chicago Bears – 10-6
4. Detroit Lions – 4-12

Analysis: I cannot beat myself up over not having Minnesota in the playoffs. Few non-Vikings fans had that at the beginning of the year. I was correct that Detroit would fall back down to earth, at least.

– Chicago’s  Fearless Prediction: Jay Cutler will return to the Pro Bowl.
Result: Fail. After the season’s first half, one might have assumed this was a success. Unfortunately for myself and for the Bears, there are 16 games in an NFL regular season.

– Green Bay’s Fearless Prediction: Aaron Rodgers will not play all 16 games this season.
Result: Fail. Graham Harrell did not get many chances with A-Rod in the starting lineup. The star QB played all 16-games once again.

– Detroit’s Fearless Prediction: Calvin Johnson will get injured and will not exceed 1,100 receiving yards.
Result: Fail. Boy, is it getting bad now. Not only did Johnson play all season, he set the NFL record for single-season receiving yards. I am no Nostradamus.

– Minnesota’s Fearless Prediction: Matt Kalil will be a perennial pro-bowler.
Result: Success. Now, I obviously do not yet know if Kalil will be a perennial pro-bowler. But, making the all-star game in your first season certainly is about as good as can get with regards to this prediction.

NFC South

1. Atlanta Falcons
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Actual NFC South Standings

1. Atlanta Falcons – 13-3
2. Carolina Panthers – 7-9
3. New Orleans Saints – 7-9
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 7-9

Analysis: I actually got this division correct considering Carolina, New Orleans, and Tampa are all interchangeable at 7-9. Yay for me.

– Atlanta’s  Fearless Prediction: The Falcons will boast the #1 ranked passing offense in the NFL.
Result: Fail. I had high hopes for this group and they were certainly in the upper echelon. But, they finished in sixth in the NFL. Never bet against the aerial attack of New Orleans…speaking of the Saints…

– New Orleans’ Fearless Prediction: Drew Brees will throw for over 5,000 yards again.
Result: Success. Not really fearless anymore to predict that Brees will eclipse five grand through the air. The former MVP was the only NFL QB to reach that plateau (5,177 yards).

– Carolina’s Fearless Prediction: Greg Olsen will emerge as a superstar at Tight End.
Result: Success. Carolina’s woeful first half kind of ruined any chance of anyone on their offense putting together a “superstar” season. Still, Olsen set career highs in most categories and was among the top tight ends in yards and receptions (69-843-5 TD)

– Tampa Bay’s Fearless Prediction: Vincent Jackson will have a down season in his first with Tampa Bay.
Result: Fail. Jackson certainly lived up to expectations with the Bucs. The former Chargers’ WR caught 72 passes for a career high 1,384 yards and eight touchdowns.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. St. Louis Rams
4. Arizona Cardinals

Actual NFC West Standings

1. San Francisco 49ers – 11-4-1
2. Seattle Seahawks – 11-5
3. St. Louis Rams – 7-8-1
4. Arizona Cardinals – 5-11

Analysis: I cannot finish any better than that, picking every team in the correct order in this surprisingly talented division.

– San Francisco’s  Fearless Prediction: The 49ers will have the #1 ranked defense.
Result: Fail. San Francisco’s defense certainly had a good year. But, they were second in scoring defense and third in yards per game. Close, but no cigar…much like their overall season.

– Seattle’s Fearless Prediction: Russell Wilson will outperform RGIII this season.
Result: Success. Yes, RG3 won the RotY. But, he did not even play in all sixteen games. Meanwhile, Wilson defeated Griffin in the Wild Card round. I can, in good conscience, give this one to Wilson.

– St. Louis’ Fearless Prediction: This is the end of the line for Steven Jackson as a starting RB.
Result: Success. Jackson saw his playing time reduced by rookie Daryl Richardson. He is also a free agent and likely finished as a full-time workhorse back.

– Arizona’s Fearless Prediction: Ryan Williams will outperform Beanie Wells this season.
Result: Fail. Unfortunately, Williams got hurt early in the season after he was tabbed the starter. Wells was woeful. But, one cannot outperform anyone from the doctor’s office. 

Preseason Playoff Predictions

Wild Card Round

Kansas City Chiefs OVER Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens OVER Denver Broncos
Green Bay Packers OVER San Francisco 49ers
New York Giants OVER Chicago Bears

Divisional Round

New England Patriots OVER Kansas City Chiefs
Houston Texans OVER Baltimore Ravens
Atlanta Falcons OVER Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles OVER New York Giants

Conference Championships

Houston Texans OVER New England Patriots
Atlanta Falcons OVER Philadelphia Eagles

Super Bowl XLVII

Atlanta Falcons OVER Houston Texans

Analysis: I’ll take credit for my two Super Bowl teams being in the playoff come seasons end. Still, having Philadelphia and Kansas City win playoff games kind of makes this the worst prediction in the history of sports prognostication, does it not? Only three of these predicted games even happened. I got Baltimore over Denver correct. But, I incorrectly assumed that Green Bay (over San Francisco) and Houston (over Baltimore) would have more consistent defenses to aid their pursuit of glory.

Overall, it was not a terrible season for predictions. I finished above .500 in my picks against the spread all year. With regards to the fearless predictions, I finished 11-21. It does not look very good. But, these are fearless predictions done in August, after all. I am just impressed that I hit double digits in correct picks.

Well, that puts a wrap on SkoodSports’ coverage of the 2012 season. Stay tuned for the first edition of SkoodSports’ 2013 NFL Mock Draft!


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