I've been dreading this post.
But it's been put off for too long.
Back in September, I went through the entire NFL schedule and tried to "Carnac" my way through it. I derived a record of every team, then tried to determine playoff winners and ultimately, the Super Bowl winner.
Before you either laugh out loud or have me committed for those picks, let me explain two important points about the season.
One, I thought the absence of Ben Roethlisberger the first 4 games of the season would put the Steelers in a huge hole from which they would not recover. Little did I know they would play just as well without him. They didn't miss a beat. What does that say?
Two, I thought the 49ers were for real. I had read quite a bit before the season and listened to a lot of pundits. That really cost me, not only in my pick of the 49ers, but also for my picks the first few weeks of the season. As you'll recall, I really got off to a slow start with a very mediocre record, before I finally figured out for myself what was going on, including that the 49ers were not good.
So show a little mercy.
Let's review. My picks before the season started are listed first, in parentheses, followed by the actual record, followed by order of finish. Records or places I actually picked right are in bold (yes, there are a few).
Philadelphia (9-7). 10-6, 1.
Dallas (9-7). 6-10, 3.
Giants (9-7). 10-6, 2.
Washington (7-9). 6-10, 4.
Green Bay (9-7). 10-6, 2.
Minnesota (8-8). 6-10, 4.
Chicago (6-10). 11-5, 1.
Detroit (4-12). 6-10, 3.
Atlanta (13-3). 13-3, 1.
New Orleans (10-6). 11-5, 2.
Tampa Bay (5-11). 10-6, 3.
Carolina (1-15). 2-14, 4.
San Francisco (12-4). 6-10, 3.
Arizona (12-4). 5-11, 4.
Seatle (3-13). 7-9, 1.
St. Louis (2-14). 7-9, 2.
New England (13-3). 14-2, 1.
Jets (11-5). 11-5, 2.
Miami (9-7). 7-9, 3.
Buffalo (4-12). 4-12, 4.
Baltimore (12-4). 12-4, 2.
Cincinnati (9-7). 4-12, 4.
Pittsburgh (8-8). 12-4, 1.
Cleveland (4-12). 5-11, 3.
Indianapolis (13-3). 10-6, 1.
Houston (11-5). 6-10, 3.
Tennessee (9-7). 6-10, 4.
Jacksonville (2-14). 8-8, 2.
San Diego (11-5). 9-7, 2.
Denver (8-8). 4-12, 4.
Oakland (7-9). 8-8, 3.
Kansas City (6-10). 10-6, 1.
Surprisingly, as one can see, I did accurately pick either the team's record or order of finish for 13 of the 32 NFL teams. That's 41%.
My best work was the AFC East, getting the order of finish right, getting 2 out of 4 records right, and was only 3 wins off the records of the other two teams combined.
I also got the order of finish correct in the NFC South.
My worst work was in the NFC West. I got nothing right and was 22 wins off of the records of the 4 teams, an average of a whopping 5.5 wins per team. Ouch.
I only predicted 4 out of 32 records correctly. That's a little worse than what I expected. I was within 1 win on another 8. I don't think that's too bad, to predict within 1 win 12 out of 32 teams.
But boy did I screw up some. The worst was Arizona, being 7 wins off, while I was 6 wins off of San Fran and Jacksonville.
I'm most embarrassed about the Steelers and 49ers, but a close 3rd are the Bears and Bengals. It was a surprising year.
I also misfired on the Seahawks, Rams, and Texans.
But I'm pretty happy about getting right Philadelphia winning the NFC East.
And I did get 8 of the 12 playoffs teams correct.
It's a mixed bag, I know.
This would be even funner if someone else would play next year.
Besides the ESPN guys, that is.