2009 NFL Prediction Review

I recently had it brought to my attention by a commenter that I essentially don’t know anything about the NFL. This comment was made on my 2009 NFL Predictions post from April 30, 2009. I found it odd that he chose to comment on these rather than my final 2009 predictions, which went up about four-and-a-half months later on September 10. Either way, I’m sure this commenter feels good about him-or her-self for having the same 20/20 hindsight as the rest of us. There wasn’t much substance to the comment so I didn’t really have anything I could specifically defend. So I’ll point out the mistakes myself. I was pretty far off on a handful of teams: the Steelers, Giants, Redskins, Saints and Bengals.

Though in my defense, nobody expected the Steelers or Giants to have poor seasons like they did, hardly anybody expected the Bengals to have as good of a season as they did, the Saints had gone 8-8 in 2008 so it wasn’t completely crazy for me to not think they were going to have the great season that they did, and I’m going to just assume that I was using the Redskins as one of my bold prediction teams, because I had them with a fairly decent record and can’t really justify it at all. So out of the five teams that I was pretty far off on, only one of them do I really admit was a truly dumb one.

After I thought about it for a few minutes I decided that the only logical thing for me to do would be to do a review of these predictions, and voila! You’re reading that review right now. I figured the easiest way to determine how good (or bad) these predictions truly were would be by making a spreadsheet that shows, on average, how far off I was for predicting each teams total number of wins. After doing this I shared the results with Bryan and we decided that this really didn’t tell us much because we had nothing to compare it to.

Conveniently, the critical commenter mentioned that I needed to watch more ESPN, which I would assume is to further my knowledge of the league. So who better to compare my results to than an ESPN writer? Well the only full 2009 preseason predictions I could find were those of Bill Simmons. I love Bill Simmons and he’s one of my favorite writers, so I thought he would be perfect to be setting the par for the course. I plugged his predictions into my spreadsheet as well, and then for good measure I also did my final predictions from September 10 (which coincidentally, was the same day Simmons published his.) At the top of my predictions I simply put the date, and at the top of Simmons’ predictions I put “ESPN” to simplify things. Here’s the spreadsheet:

Team Actual Apr 30 Diff
Sep 10 Diff
ESPN Diff
Ari 10 11 1 10 0 5 5
Atl 9 10 1 11 2 8 1
Balt 9 12 3 12 3 12 3
Buf 6 8 2 9 3 2 4
Car 8 10 2 12 4 6 2
Chi 7 7 0 9 2 10 3
Cin 10 5 5 6 4 7 3
Cle 5 5 0 6 1 5 0
Dal 11 9 2 8 3 7 4
Den 8 6 2 3 5 10 2
Det 2 1 1 4 2 3 1
GB 11 8 3 8 3 12 1
Hou 9 10 1 9 0 7 2
Ind 14 13 1 13 1 11 3
Jax 7 4 3 6 1 6 1
KC 4 3 1 3 1 4 0
Mia 7 9 2 5 2 9 2
Min 12 10 2 11 1 9 3
NE 10 11 1 11 1 12 2
NO 13 8 5 10 3 11 2
NYG 8 12 4 11 3 11 3
NYJ 9 6 3 7 2 7 2
Oak 5 2 3 3 2 3 2
Phi 11 9 2 11 0 10 1
Pitt 9 14 5 14 5 13 4
SD 13 10 3 11 2 12 1
Sea 5 7 2 5 0 9 4
SF 8 7 1 4 4 8 0
STL 1 3 2 3 2 4 3
TB 3 6 3 3 0 4 1
Ten 8 10 2 10 2 9 1
Was 4 10 6 8 4 10 6
Avg 2.3 2.1 2.3

As you can see, the predictions that the comment was made on are right on par with Bill Simmons’ predictions from ESPN, and my final predictions were even a little bit better. So in short, I hope the commenter, Ross Bunn, returns to our site again so that he can see this post.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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2 Responses

  1. I’m just going to let you know something right now. In the AFC North everybody is handing the division over to the Ravens,why? The bengals swept the division and it’s not a fluke. game of the year is two best teams in AFC Bengals vs. Jets thanksgiving

  2. I will back up your pick of Washington winning as many games as you suggested. Also I have no comma key currently.

    Washington had one of the strongest defenses the prior year which was suppose to help take pressure off of Campbell. They also drafted Orakpo and signed Haynesworth which was suppose to make the D even better.

    Washington was also suppose to get help from the 2nd years: Thomas; Kelly; and Davis.

    Also if you look at Washington’s schedule their first 6 games were suppose to be jokes minus the Giants. So you would expect 5-1 going into a home game against the Eagles. So at the absolute worse anyone would have expected at the by week would have been 4-3 (losses to Eagles Giants and Panthers) although I will not lie I was expecting them to be 6-1. They also had the Raiders in the second half of the season which should have been a win. So with 9 games left even if Washington went slightly below 500 for the 2nd half of the season at 4-5 that would have given them a record of 10-6 and even at 4-3 at the break they would have ended up 8-8.

    We also have to remember that Campbell had a scrubtastic line blocking for him most of the year which did not help.

    But the kicker in why they went 4-12 is that the front office is a mess; no one had any faith in Campbell except for me; and the game plan was not designed very well. I remember in 2008 I was at the Bengals Skins game. 3rd and 1 on the goal line and the play call is Sellers over the top? WTF Sellers is a FB use Portis. Then we did the same thing on 4th down and he fumbled. Also go back and look at how many times Washington called an off tackle play or sweep in the red zone. Portis is a between the tackle runner those plays should have never been called.

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