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December 31, 2012 / galatianssixnine

2012 Season Predictions in Review

Well the NFL Regular Season has come to a close, which means it’s time to review my preseason predictions and then curl up into a ball and weep until September. For reference, my predictions can be viewed here.

AFC North

Me            Final

Ravens     Ravens
Steelers    Bengals
Bengals    Steelers
Browns     Browns

What I got right:
The Ravens won the division…but in spite of themselves. The Browns again were bottom-feeders.

What I wish I could take back:
I was high on the Ravens D. They were NOT the Ravens D of yore. Injuries plagued them, but that’s no excuse. Also, I didn’t give the Bengals enough credit and gave too much to Pittsburgh.

AFC South

Me          Final

Texans    Texans
Jaguars   Colts
Titans      Titans
Colts       Jaguars

What I got right:
The Texans won the division.

What I wish I could take back:
Everything else. Especially this gem: “The Jags could surprise a LOT of people this year. That all hinges on Blaine Gabbert’s ability to stay in the pocket and make his new weapon Justin Blackmon a star. Mike Mularkey is actually what this team needed…he’s a very run-oriented guy, and that’s what the Jaguars do best. Of course, Jones-Drew held out until the last possible second, and could lose a step a-la Chris Johnson last year. But Gabbert has no excuse this year to suck. I think he actually is set up to succeed and step up this year.”

Also this about the Colts: “The Colts, while they have the next Peyton Manning, still are without Peyton Manning. Expect Luck to have flashes of greatness and do very well. Unfortunately, the other 10 guys on offense have to be just as good. Manning had a knack for making those around him better…can Luck do the same? Maybe not this year. Their defense may cost them a few games.”

Yikes. My apologies to the Colts. Also to you Jaguar fans for the season you just had.

AFC East

Me             Final

Patriots      Patriots
Jets            Dolphins
Dolphins    Jets
Bills            Bills

What I got right:
Patriots won. And while I had the Jets finishing second, I did say this: The Jets have the potential to absolutely implode.” And thankfully, I held true to my statement, “As long as Chan Gailey is the head coach of the Bills, I will predict them to finish last.” Luckily for Bills fans, Chan was canned, and I may actually give them some credit in the future. Maybe.

What I wish I could take back:
Nothing. Well okay, I gave the Jets too much credit.

AFC West

Me             Final

Broncos     Broncos
Raiders      Chargers
Chiefs        Raiders
Chargers    Chiefs

What I got right:
Broncos win…hmm, noticing a trend. Also, “Norv Turner is a terrible head coach. I think this may be the year he gets the can.”

What I wish I could take back:
Being higher than I should have on both the Chiefs and the Raiders. Those are two organizations that just can’t get their crap together.

NFC North

Me             Final

Packers     Packers
Bears         Vikings
Lions          Bears
Vikings       Lions

What I got right:
Yet again, I predicted another division winner. The Bears scared me for a bit at the beginning, but then just completely imploded.

What I wish I could take back:
Thinking that Adrian Peterson was human and thinking his injury would affect his play…couldn’t have been more wrong. He deserves MVP. Also, WTF Lions???

NFC South

Me             Final

Falcons      Falcons
Bucs          Saints
Saints        Panthers
Panthers    Bucs

What I got right:
Everything about the Falcons. They were the most complete team. They won the division outright. As for the rest of the division, the standings reflected my predictions PERFECTLY for most of the season, right up until a couple of weeks ago. The kickers were when the Bucs lost to the Saints and the Saints lost to the Panthers in the final weeks. That made every team tied at 7-9 and tiebreakers came down to strength of schedule (which is BS, when you consider the Bucs beat the Panthers TWICE and still ended up in last place).

I also was right about the Saints and Panthers. The Saints suffered tremendously without their head coach, and Cam Newton sulked his way to another losing season. The Panthers didn’t put enough talent around him, and I knew that would be their undoing. Cam is talented, but not enough of a leader to overcome having no one around him.

Then there’s my Bucs. I correctly predicted them to have a better season but miss the playoffs. Freeman also had a much better year than the one previous (in spite of a DREADFUL three game stretch where he threw 8 picks and 1 TD), and broke many franchise records at QB. This Bucs team also was a top five offense for a hot minute. I also predicted that their defense would be the reason they miss the playoffs. At least five of their losses were blown 4th quarter leads.

I think it should be said that I think the Falcons are the only team in the division that will make the playoffs. The schedule for the NFC South this year looks pretty brutal, and three of the four teams are unpredictable and unstable. The one that is stable still is extremely unproven when it comes to the postseason. This division is very competitive and likely will be self-destructive I see the Falcons going 10-6 or 11-5. I don’t see the rest of the teams finishing over .500.”

What I wish I could take back:
The fact that I traded Brees away for Stafford and a 1st round pick in my keeper league. I ended up with a struggling QB and Darren McFaddon who was injured for a while, and came back with nothing more than a mediocre showing after that. Shame on me for thinking he wouldn’t do anything statistically.

NFC East

Me               Final

Giants          Redskins
Cowboys     Cowboys
Redskins     Giants
Eagles         Eagles

What I got right:
Almost nothing. I did say this: “I love RG III. I really do think he will be special in this league, and may end up being Rookie of the Year.” I was also 100% correct on Vick and the Eagles: “Then there’s the Iggles. Michael Vick can’t even stay healthy in the preseason. Sure, he now has a new flak jacket, guaranteed to stop a rocket and possibly provide healing powers, but what about the rest of his body, particularly his legs? I was right about him last year, and I’m saying it again- defenses have the tape on this man. He is unable to adjust. He’ll make splash plays, but not enough to get his team on top of this division.”

What I wish I could take back:
Where do I start? Predicting the Giants to win, having no faith in the ‘Skins, again putting the Cowboys higher than they actually finish? Who woulda thought that my severe hatred for the Eagles would save me from being 100% wrong on this division!

NFC West

Me                Final

49ers            49ers
Seahawks    Seahawks
Rams           Rams
Cardinals     Cardinals

What I got right:
Huzzah! The only division I predicted perfectly! I’m pretty proud of this one, particularly this bit about Russell Wilson: “Yet this rookie is someone I am very high on. Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin is actually a very good QB, and will be turning some heads this year.” The Cards scared be a bit when they started 5-0…but then they remembered they’re the Cardinals.

What I wish I could take back:
I honestly did not give this division enough credit. It gained a wild card team (a legitimate one this time), and aside from the Cardinals, stayed very competitive throughout the year.

Final Thoughts

Well, I was (yet again) below 50% overall. However, I am very proud of the fact that I correctly predicted 7/8 of the division winners…which is by FAR the best I’ve ever done in that regard. Funny how the one time I put faith in the Giants is the one time they don’t make it. It also snaps my bra strap that the tiebreakers for division standings go to strength of schedule BEFORE head-to-head record, which put the Bucs in last and made me only “correct” about the Falcons in the NFC South. Oh well.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the playoffs!

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