Thursday, September 04, 2008


For the first time since I was about 15, I decided to go through the NFL schedule and pick every game, then put them into standings. I must warn you - despite my best efforts, I always think the Jets will win more games than they do. So please keep that in mind when you look at my awesome graphic (click it go see it bigger). And I will do a bit of objective analysis below the awesome graphic.

Though I think the win-loss numbers are a bit skewed (let's give them a margin of error of plus/minus two games), I'm pretty happy with the way the standings fell out. I think they're a pretty accurate read on the NFL:

1) The best teams are in the AFC.

2) While I think I overvalued the NFC East, the best teams in the NFC are definitely in that division, and I think it's realistic that the division can produce three playoff teams.

3) Though I think the Seahawks will manage at least 8 wins, the NFC West continues to stink.

4) There are some easy schedules dotting the AFC. The Patriots have one. The Broncos have another, and while I think 14 wins is a stretch, they could make the playoffs. (Remember, this year is an NFC West year for the Jets, which as I wrote about in February, might mean good things for them.) (Another parenthetical thought - based on opponents' record, the Patriots have the easiest schedule in the league. And the Jets' looks significantly harder. But that's based on previous year's records, and they're playing the Patriots twice, while the Pats are playing the Jets twice. That skews the I don't think opponents' winning pct. is too accurate. I do think the AFC East as a whole has an easier schedule...mostly because they all face the NFC West, and the likes of Oakland and Kansas City.)

5) Most telling, though I have the Jets at 12 wins and in the playoffs (I didn't do tiebreakers - the biggest difference between me at 15 and me at 30...I just put the Jets in over Jacksonville), the AFC is ridiculously difficult. It's realistic that a couple of teams could have 12 wins and miss the playoffs this year...or at least, 11 or 10 wins...a number that would probably get them in in the NFC.

For the playoffs, I had the Cowboys coming out of the NFC, and the Jets (of course) coming out of the AFC. I'll hold off on the Super Bowl prediction until late January...but you can guess which way I'm leaning right now.

Listen, I'm not good at this, because the way I see it at this point of the season is that everyone's 0-0, and the Jets might as well be the team to win it all. If I don't believe it now, what fun will the season be?

If you want a slightly more objective look, here's my cousin's picks...which are actually very similar to mine. The biggest difference is that I'm not buying into the Saints this year - he clearly likes them. Post your picks in the comments if you care to compare.

NFC EAST Dallas 12-4, Giants 10-6 (Wildcard), Philly 9-7 (I really want to reverse these but after last year's 5-11 prediction for Giants I can't), Wash. 5-11

NFC NORTH Vikings 9-7, Packers 8-8, Bears 7-9, Lions 4-12

NFC SOUTH Saints 13-3, Carolina 10-6 (Wildcard), Tampa 8-8, Atlanta 4-12

NFC WEST Seattle 8-8, Arizona 7-9, St. Louis 5-11, 49ers 4-12 (don't like Martz)

AFC EAST Pats 14-2, Jets 10-6 (Wildcard), Bills 7-9, Miami 4-12

AFC NORTH Browns 9-7, Pitt. 8-8, Bengals 7-9, Balt. 6-10

AFC SOUTH Jacksonville 13-3, Colts 11-5 (Wildcard), Titans 9-7 (I'm worried about them taking Jets spot in playoffs), Houston 6-10

AFC WEST Chargers 14-2, Denver 8-8, KC 4-12, Raiders 3-13

Wildcard round- Giants over Seattle, Carolina over Viks, Jacksonville over Jets, and Indy over Browns
Divisional round- Dallas over Carolina, Saints over Giants, Pats over Indy, Jacksonville over San Diego
AFC/NFC Champs Saints over Dallas and Jacksonville over Pats
SUPERBOWL- Jacksonville over Saints


Southern Bureau said...

If I remember right, you went game-by-game last year for the Jets. I'd be curious to see exactly how you think they're going to get 12 wins.

The Southern Bureau - which will be the first to admit they know much more about baseball than football - has the Jets with just nine wins.

They are: Dolphins (2x), Cardinals, Bengals, Raiders, Chiefs, Rams, 49ers, Bills.

Southern Bureau said...

And yes...The Southern Bureau just referenced himself in the third person.

That's how the Southern Bureau rolls.