Monday, February 15

How Wrong(and Right) Were We: 2009 NFL Season

Another season in the books and while most people gloss over their NFL predictions for this year, we always try to own up to how (in)accurate our predictions are. Trying to nail down where teams will land, especially in the NFL is folly to being with. The season is such a long grind with so many variables no one should live and die with the predictions unless you're rolling into Vegas in July. So as we often try to do, we examine how my picks did for the season.

AFC East

New England
NY Jets

I still feel good about this order, even though the Jets and Dolphins were switched, I was not off by much and without the Colts bitching out in week 16, the Jets never sniff the playoffs.

AFC North


Pittsburgh and Cincy ended up flip-flopped but the Bengals played like a 3rd place division team in their playoff game.

AFC South


Show yourselves people, I wasn't the only one riding high on the Texans. No one saw what happened in Tennessee coming, but I do admit my big faux pas of all of my 2009 predictions was that the Colts would not make the playoffs. I underestimated Manning's ability to implant the offense into the new receiver's head, Johnny Mnemonic style.

How the academy passed on this performance is beyond me.

AFC West

San Diego
Kansas City

Definitely was too high on the Chiefs, but I knew the Broncos would collapse, I just thought it would start week 1 instead of week 9.

NFC East

New York

Dallas was my big miss in the NFC. The Giants were correctly called frauds by Catfish in the early weeks of the season, while I was sitting back and thinking I had called it perfectly.

AFC North

Green Bay

While many had Chicago making the playoffs, I was able to sense the Cutlerplosion. I did not correctly pin the Vikings getting the number 2 seed.

NFC South

New Orleans
Tampa Bay

My first perfect division yet.

NFC West

San Francisco
St. Louis

I lifted up the Seabirds a little too high. San Francisco is the Houston of the NFC. They have been a darkhorse pick for a playoff team for a few years now but have yet to make it. I saw San Fran for what they were yet put so much faith in Houston.

Things I wrote that have me nodding:

The Patriots will not and cannot be as dominating as they were two seasons ago. First off, they are replacing 6 starters on defense that had years of experience in the league and under Belichick's system.

This pick is made mostly due to what Rex Ryan will being to the Jets' defense. Besides being a great defensive mind, Ryan gets players excited to play defense for him and they believe that they can beat anybody.

There is no reason for me to believe the Browns are going to turn the corner this year.... I can honestly see them going 1-5 in the division.[They did!]

Everyone is very high on the Eagles this year, which makes me cautious. I personally think that Vick will have very little impact on the field this year barring injury. The offense has a lot to like with McNabb at QB, Jackson and Maclin at WR, and the Westbrook/McCoy combo at RB. It could be the defense that struggles for the Eagles.

Sean Payton and Drew Brees will continue to get only more efficient and imaginative on offense while the defense will be the big hurdle for this team to overcome. Making Pierre Thomas the full-time RB and making Reggie Bush the slot/wildcard guy will help the offense tremendously. While my gut misleads me more than not, I think this will be a special year in New Orleans. Be prepared to see a lot of Katrina montages.

I expect the Falcons to come back down to earth a bit this year.

It will be tough to swallow for Panther fans after last year's success but it appears to be a season hovering around .500 in Carolina.

The Niners are moving in the right direction and despite Catfish pegging them as a surprise playoff team this year I think they are a year away. That is a year away if they finally decide to grab a decent quarterback.

Things I wrote that have me facepalming:

The offense should be firing on all cylinders once again with Brady and the Pats should be able to attain 12 wins.

With the defense expected to be every bit as staunch as it was and the offense continuing to evolve in the passing game, Pittsburgh once again claims the division and most likely the number one seed in the AFC.

The enigma that is VY will pine for playing time but unless an injury happens I doubt he will ever see the field as a starter for Tennessee.

...I just think the Colts have lost their edge. That is not to say that they are not a good football team. 9 or 10 wins is a possibility but for the first time since 2001, the team will miss the playoffs.

I see no improvement for this team from last year while every other team in the division has gotten better. Roy Williams is going to have to show me something before I grant him status as a great wide receiver. Tony Romo got a lot of fan fair when he came on the scene, but that was years ago and he still has not limited his mistakes.

The Cardinals will not be as "great" as they were last year and Seattle once again wins the division.

My playoff picks:

AFC Wildcard Round
Ravens over Texans
Titans over Chargers

Divisional Round
Patriots over Ravens
Titans over Steelers

AFC Championship
Patriots over Titans

NFC Wildcard Round
Vikings over Seahawks
Packers over Eagles

Divsional Round
Saints over Vikings
Giants over Packers

NFC Championship
Saints over Giants

Saints over Patriots

I think the Saints winning the Super Bowl supersedes a lot of the wrong picks I made. That may be overcompensation in my mind but if all that matters to the teams is who wins the Super Bowl, then picking the winner correctly has to count for something. So it turns out I was more right than wrong this year in the NFL but I won't let it go to my head.

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