Thursday, September 1, 2011

NFL 2011 Predictions

It's the most wonderful time of the year! The NFL kicks off next Thursday, so it's also time for my annual NFL prediction post. As I did last year, I'll forecast the winner of each division along with the two Super Bowl teams. In order to gauge whether I should be a professional prognosticator, I'll include the predictions of two published sources. Last year I listed Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly, so for a change-up this year I'm going with Lindy's Sports Pro Football 2011 Preview (a newsstand glossy magazine) and Football Outsiders Almanac 2011* (a really fun, well-written book that is big on rigorous statistical analysis of the type I do not understand). As there are four teams in each division, pure random chance should result in a 25% success rate. Last year, my predictions and those of the two magazines each resulted in a 25% success rate. Can we beat blind luck this time around? Record your predictions in the comments section for posterity, because when January rolls around we'll find out in a results post.


Lindy's: New England
Football Outsiders: New England
My Pick: New England (someday we will look back at this decade's Patriots with amazement)


Lindy's: San Diego
Football Outsiders: San Diego
My Pick: Denver (my one surprise team to add a little flavour to these proceedings)


Lindy's: Baltimore
Football Outsiders: Pittsburgh
My Pick: Pittsburgh (Big Ben just gets it done . . .)


Lindy's: Indianapolis
Football Outsiders: Houston
My Pick: Houston (if the defense can keep teams under thirty points, the Texans win with 31)


Lindy's: Philadelphia
Football Outsiders: Philadelphia
My Pick: Dallas (they get things figured out this year and pure talent shines through)


Lindy's: St. Louis
Football Outsiders: San Francisco
My Pick: Arizona (Kolb gets this team rolling in a weak division)


Lindy's: Green Bay
Football Outsiders: Green Bay
My Pick: Green Bay (Bears regress, Lions closing, Vikings at a standstill, leaving Packers on top)


Lindy's: New Orleans
Football Outsiders: Atlanta
My Pick: New Orleans (a coin flip with Atlanta . . .)


Lindy's: Ravens Defeat Eagles
Football Outsiders: No Prediction
My Pick: Patriots Defeat Cowboys

* Technically, Football Outsiders do not pick division winners; they run a series of 10,000 simulations or something and then come out with a mean projection of the number of wins for each team. I've simply taken the team with the highest mean projection of wins as the winner of each division.

1 comment:

Steve - an Av in Nebr said...

I'll throw some darts at a wall and take some guesses...

Indy, despite Manning's issues
SD (talk about a bad division)

GB (though Det will be good too)
The division implodes from sucking too much ... or StL for purposes of this prediction.