Back in September I boldly forecast the regular season winners in each of the eight NFL divisions. With the playoffs beginning tomorrow afternoon, I thought it would be interesting to see how close my predictions were.
EAST – I said the Patriots would run away with the division. And they did. I also thought the Bills would be a surprise and vie for a wild cart spot. And they did not. They sucked as bad as the Jets and Dolphins did.
NORTH – I called for the Ravens to come out on top, edging out the Steelers. They Ravens did indeed win the division, but the Steelers finished. Surprisingly, the Bengals won a wild card spot.
SOUTH - “Texans, Texans and more Texans” is what I predicted and I was correct. What I didn’t see was the upstart Colts finishing 11-5 and qualifying as a wild card team.
WEST- I really missed here. I thought that the Chiefs would win the division with the Broncos and Raiders battling it out for a wild card spot. The Broncos ran away with the division, winning their last 11 games. The Raiders and Chiefs combined for a measly 6 wins. Oh well.
EAST – If you like how bad I messed up the AFC West, you’re going to love how poorly I did here. I said the Giants would win the division, the Cowboys and Eagles would fight it out for a wild card spot and the Redskins would finish at the bottom of the heap. Well, the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles will all be home watching the ‘Skins play on Sunday.
NORTH – I correctly predicted the Packers taking the division based on the vaunted Aaron Rodger led aerial attack. I thought the Lions would qualify as wild card participant, but was wrong. The Vikings took that honor on the strength of Adrian Peterson’s 2097 rushing yards. The Bears still suck. Sorry, I had to.
SOUTH – This was a mixed bag for me. I thought the Saints would overcome their off-field problems and take the division with the Falcons grapping a wild card spot. The Falcons won the division going away with the Saints finishing a distant third.
WEST - I knew the 49ers, behind its defensive squad, would come out on top. I even predicted that the Seahawks with Russell Wilson at the helm would give the 49ers a fight for the top spot. I didn’t see the Seahawks garnering a playoff spot as a wild card team. But I was spot on predicting the Rams would finish third with the listless Cardinals team finishing a distant fourth.
I even went so far as predicting how the playoff games would go. I jumped straight to the Conference Championship games. Here’s what I wrote:
The Texans knock off Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots, 37-28 in Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Matt Schaub hooks up with Kevin Walter late in the game to put the game out of reach. Schaub’s performance earns him MVP honors and puts the Texans in the Super Bowl.
On an unusually warm January day, the Packers destroy the 49ers, 42-17 on the not-so frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Jordy Nelson, with three touchdown receptions is the MVP. Clay Matthews and B. J. Raji lead a stubborn defense and Green Bay is headed to New Orleans in February.
Remarkably, the four teams I have in the Conference Championship games all quailed for the playoffs. Unfortunately, because of seeding, they would meet in the Divisional round of the playoffs, not in the Championship games.
My Super Bowl prognostication could still come to fruition. This is what I posted back in September:
What was supposed to be an offensive shootout turns out to be a defensive struggle with the Packers scoring a hard-fought 17-14 victory over the Texans on the synthetic turf of the Superdome. The Vince Lombardi trophy returns to Titletown. Charles Woodson becomes only the eighth defensive player to garner an MVP award. The defensive back picked off two Schaub passes, returning one for the game-winning TD.
See, I didn’t do too badly. I must remind you, before you race off to call your bookie and put a few shekels on the Pack going all the way, DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK! Until next time…from the booth.