Just for fun (probably more my fun than anyone else's fun) I am going to review J.S. and my NFL selections at the beginning of the year and basically just make fun of our inaccurate predictions. I am going to do the NFC first, not because enjoy picking on J.S., who wrote this, but because I flipped a coin and the NFC was decided to go first. I am still upset we have not heard anything from Simmons yet about the Patriots. Guess with the magazine column he already had a full work load for this week.
Oh yeah, he went out of his way to pick Oakland at 11-5. His predictions start off with an absolute bang. It does get better from here though.
Predicted record: 12-4
Pretty good call on the offense since it seemed to actually regress last year at the wrong time and they did it again. The defense was not quite as stout against the pass this year, especially since they ended up giving up more points than points they scored.
Including a Michael Myers type revival the second to last week of the season where they were supposed to be eliminated and were not, followed by all the shit going wrong they did not need to go wrong to eliminate them. There is no reason this prediction should have been off because the Cowboys should have won the NFC East.
Predicted record: 10-6.
Did you know they were 4-4 at home, 4-4 on the road and 3-3 in their division? The very definition of average. I guess we all do now.
With the big Jason Taylor trade netting them a completely horrible 4 sacks from him. Sadly, he made up 17% of the sacks on the year. Maybe they should sign Bruce Smith again. Both J.S. and I thought very highly of the Redskins this year. We were both wrong.
Predicted record: 7-9.
I guess J.S. did not call the fact Plax would shoot himself in the leg with a gun but he did say he would not last, if that counts as a correct prediction. Jacobs, Ward, and Droughns did not scare anyone, it was Jacobs, Ward, and Bradshaw that did the trick.
I would have not predicted 12-4 either, especially after having Strahan retire and Osi get injured and be out for the entire year. They went from 6th seed to losing their best offensive and defensive players and going to 12-4 the next year. Quite an accomplishment actually.
Predicted record: 6-10
For some reason I get the feeling this still pertains. I hate to say this because my favorite team may end up seeing them in the playoffs, but they still feel like a 6-10 team to me. I don't know why, but they remind me momentum wise of the New York Giants team from last year. I just feel like the Eagles just have a lot of momentum right now. So in essence, they remind me of a 6-10 team that can make the NFC Championship Game.
I can't believe J.S. did not predict the Eagles would have a tie ball game on their record, how ignorant of him. I still don't know how this team is 9-6-1 but I have a feeling they are peaking at the right time.
Predicted record: 11-5
Seems like this happened at the end of this year as well. I wonder if this means he is not going to one hop throws to receivers and overall just look nervous as shit in the pocket. Let's just say I was nervous this year when Gus Frerotte started for the Vikes against my favorite team...that is not an endorsement of Tavaris Jackson at all.
I can only imagine if the Vikings had a competent quarterback. What is the deal with the NFC North and not being able to find a competent quarterback (outside of Aaron Rodgers)? You would think either the Lions, Bears, or Vikings could come up with one quarterback we all could trust.
Predicted record: 7-9.
J.S.'s worries did eventually come true and everything seemed fine, but I think Rodgers was saved by the fact the Jets collapsed down the stretch and Favre pulled a complete shit job at the quarterback position.
This was a good call. Though none of this was necessarily Aaron Rodgers' fault because the Packers scored the 3rd most points in the NFC this year. They have been playing russian roulette with that defense in trading away Corey Williams before the year and letting the secondary go untouched the past couple of off seasons. I find it hard to believe Jordy Nelson was a better pick than any type of defensive pick in the draft.
Predicted record: 7-9.
I am not sure if the defense regressed this year or not but it seems as if they are one good wide receiver away from being a #2 seed. The Panthers would have lost two games if it were not for Steve Smith and once the Bears find a good receiver, I think it will all be good for them. The defense was still good this year but it did take a step back.
I still find it amazing they won 9 games with a combination of Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman as their QB's and Devin Hester (though he is good) as their best receiver. I would commit all my efforts to improving the offense as much as possible, more specifically the passing and catching game. J.S. got this pick backward basically.
Predicted record: 3-13.
I am sure when J.S. wrote this he was thinking, "this is a huge indictment of the Detroit Lions and their offensive abilities," and then it turns out he was not being quite harsh enough. We don't really need to go over the numbers other than to say they averaged 16.8 points a game on offense and their opponents scored 32.3 points a game against them.
Unlike the Dolphins, this does not look like it is going to turn around anytime soon. Bill Parcells is not walking through that door, Chad Pennington is not walking through that door, and 4 wins next year is not walking through the door either...the good news is they have the #1 pick. So they get to spend more money on mediocre players. Poor Calvin Johnson.
Predicted record: 13-3.
Shockey was injured, Bush was injured, McAlister was injured, Marques Colston was injured, and a guy named Buck Ortega got a catch this year. Drew Brees was fantastic and honestly I don't think this team is that far away. That being said, they gave up the 5th most points this year and that is going to be the same problem next year. To say J.S. missed on this one is an understatement but you can't predict injuries and who really knew the NFC South would be this strong?
Basically they could have probably won the AFC West and the NFC West. It is only going to improve next year as long as Drew Brees is still breathing. I would go ahead and put the entire defense as a need for the draft and free agency.
Predicted record: 8-8.
Nobody knew that Delhomme would play all 16 games, DeAngelo Williams was very ready to become a feature back, and the incredibly un-deep receiving core would actually catch enough passes to get the Panthers to 12 wins. Somehow they finagled their way to a #2 seed in the playoffs. Who knew? It did help they played the AFC West this year and they got a couple breaks in that they caught the Chargers when they weren't red hot.
Nobody knew they would start actually playing well at home and Muhammad had enough gas left to be an average 2nd receiver. Though J.S. missed this one as well, I think we should forgive him.
Predicted record: 6-10
The schedule is toughish, but it's more the fact there's just no reason whatsoever to expect improvement from this team.
Actual record: 9-7
The only question is, why the fuck did they bother signing RB Michael Turner?
I don't know nearly anyone on this team and Atlanta has made every possible effort to stop you caring about them. It sticks the middle finger up at any possible analysis.
Actual record: 11-5.
Positive karma for Bobby Petrino and Mike Vick happened this year.
Predicted record: 11-5.
What the hell happened? Seriously. Even with losing every receiver on the active roster, having Matt Hasselbeck injured and the defense suddenly disappearing, it still would not have shocked me if they won the division. The NFC West was beyond bad. In Mike Holmgren's last season, this team laid a complete egg.
I am beyond interested to see what happens next year when Jim Mora Jr. takes over. I would not be surprised if everyone writes them off and they pull of a 10 win season. That being said, another miss by J.S. here, though this one was hard to predict as well. This is the type of thing that happens when you stick your neck out in making predictions.
Predicted record: 9-7.
This is why you should not drink whiskey, it alters perception and you start betting on Randy McMichael, who can smack a woman better than catch a ball, and make you think the Rams are your sleeper. On paper you can see it, until you look at the whole shit bag on television or in person and realize this team was good from a far but far from good.
This team scored 14 points per game this year...with Steven Jackson and Torry Holt on the roster. Something was wrong, very, very wrong. It never got fixed and if they keep Jim Haslett around it probably will not get fixed.
Predicted record: 8-8.
I don't really know what to make of a team that has some good young players, maybe primarily on the defensive side of the ball but looks kind of like a fantasy team.
Actual record: 9-7.
Needless to say a makeover was needed, and San Francisco went headlong into the mania of Mike Martz. I'll let the idea of Smith dropping back nine steps and hanging around while the talents of WR Bryant Johnson (who has never caught 50 balls and his longest catch in five seasons isn't even 60 yards) and 97 year old WR Isaac Bruce slowly slog their way downfield, sink in. You there? It's going to be ugly.
While winning five games with that offense was remarkable, it's practically impossible for it to be that bad again, particulary with Martz in charge.
Actual record: 7-9.
I am going to try and do the AFC Review tomorrow, so I am sure that is going to be the greatest Happy New Year's gift anyone could imagine.