As we enter the final week of the season I thought it might be fun to take a look back at my preseason predictions for each team and see how accurate they were. And if you disagree and think that wouldn't be fun at all well then I guess you can just stop reading now. You really left didn't you? Well that backfired. I'll go ahead with the plan anyway for my own gratification.
Cleveland @ Baltimore
Cleveland Preseason Guess: 6-10
Baltimore Preseason Guess: 9-7
I'm in the ballpark on this one, which is more than I can say for Tim Couch, because he doesn't play for the Browns anymore, so of course he wouldn't be there. Ravens need the win to stay alive, while the Browns have unsurprisingly already died.
Dallas @ Washington
Whoops! Oh come on, like you thought the Cowboys were going to be good? Pfff, liar. Dallas can still improve their playoff standing, while Washington can only hurt their draft position with a win. Kind of makes you wonder why they'd even bother playing this game. Though I get the feeling that that's been the 'Skins mindset for most of the season.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
Pretty accurate here, although I somehow gave the Titans too much credit. The Colts now have no shot of getting a first round bye and will be playing on Wild Card weekend for the third straight season. There's a chance they'll be resting some starters, but even still they'll be playing the Titans, so ...
Jacksonville @ Houston
I had confidence that Gus Bradley would start to turn things around in his second year in Jacksonville. Unfortunately they were approaching one of those no U-turn stop lights so they had to keep going in the same direction. The Texans immediately turned things around after a 2-14 season, and even without a legitimate quarterback still have an outside chance of making the playoffs.
San Diego @ Kansas City
San Diego: 10-6
Kansas City: 7-9
A win for the Chargers would put them right at 10-6 and mean a return trip to the playoffs. So it would only make sense for me to pick them to win this game. But a true prognosticator doesn't stubbornly stand by a pick just because that's what they said originally. If new information presents itself then that must be taken into account and the situation reevaluated. That being said, the Chiefs have looked pretty lame lately, so old and new information really gels nicely for me on this one.
New York Jets @ Miami
New York Jets: 7-9
In future years I plan on having another person sit in the room with me when I make my preseason predictions so that when I broach the idea of the Jets being 7-9 they will stop me, with physical restraint if necessary.
Chicago @ Minnesota
I thought the Bears would be a playoff team. There, I said it. I'm not proud of it, but I must embrace my failings so that I can learn from them. I guess I didn't anticipate a non-injury scenario in which Jimmy Clausen would be starting a game this season. Let's be honest, Jimmy Clausen didn't anticipate that either.
Buffalo @ New England
New England: 12-4
Picking the Patriots record isn't difficult, just go with 12-4 and you'll be within a game at worst. Er wait, no, I actually used a lot of advanced metrics and stuff. They'll probably be resting starters this week, and the Bills defense should help them grind out a win.
Philadelphia @ New York Giants
New York Giants: 6-10
Less than a month ago the Eagles looked like they would cruise to the playoffs with at least the 11-5 mark I originally predicted. Then their will and entire offensive philosophy was crushed by the Seahawks. I really should have seen that coming.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
New Orleans: 12-4
Tampa Bay: 7-9
Ummmm, I uhhhhhh, I'll be right back ... (HURRIED FOOTSTEPS; CAR DOOR SLAM; TIRE SCREECH) Look, when I made this prediction the Saints still had a home field advantage. Now they've lost five in a row in the Superdome and really made me look like a fool in the process. The only person that gets to make me look like a fool is me.
Carolina @ Atlanta
If the Falcons win this game those records will be spot on, with the exception of that pesky tie from the Panthers. An NFL tie hasn't loomed this large since Michael Irvin's.
Detroit @ Green Bay
Green Bay: 11-5
Looks like I underestimated the Lions here, and if I'm being honest I still think their 11-4 record is a bit better than they are. In fact, their current expected record according to Pro Football Reference is 9-6. And they're using math, so you know it's legit. What's not legit is their chances of winning this week in Green Bay.
Oakland @ Denver
Boom baby! A Broncos win makes each of these predictions spot on and makes me look like a genius in the process. Don't go back and tally up how many other others I'm going to get right, just remember this game and the word "genius." Surprisingly Denver hasn't reached 30 points in their last four games. Should change here.
Arizona @ San Francisco
San Francisco: 11-5
I've never been happier to have missed on a guess. My 11-5 prediction gave the Niners waaaaay too much credit. And I'll admit that I was off on the Cardinals, I thought they would backslide after having a winning record in 2013. Now they're 11-4 and forced to start Ryan Lindley again, so let my trend of not believing in Arizona continue.
St. Louis @ Seattle
St. Louis: 6-10
A bit off with the Hawks pick, but if I had woken up from a coma in late November and watched this team since you'd have a hard time making me believe that they weren't undefeated on the year. Now it's time to wrap up the regular season and stomp the Rams in the process. A perfect end to what I'm still convinced should have been a perfect season.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Looks like I underestimated these two squads, whereas NBC overestimated the importance of this match-up. While it will decide the winner of the AFC North, it's not a win or go home situation like that battle for all the NFC South marbles taking place in Atlanta. Of course, those marbles are all chipped and scuffed up, and does anybody even play with marbles anymore for that matter? Anyway, I think Pittsburgh wins at home, taking the division and a hefty sack of marbles with them into the playoffs.