One of the best things to do before a season starts is to try and predict which teams will make the playoffs, which teams will be terrible, and who gets to hoist the Lombardi trophy high over Roger Goodell's head and consider dropping it on the commissioner. WCG tried its hand at the prediction game to see if we would do any better than the so-called experts. The results? Well, they weren't great, but one of us did correctly guess the two Super Bowl teams, which is better than anyone at ESPN.
First we tried to predict the NFC North teams final standings. Like almost every NFL writer, the consensus order from top to bottom was Packers-Bears-Lions-Vikings, so getting one of the four teams correct is pretty bad. Ronk and I didn't even get one right, as we picked the Bears to win the division. Kev was the only one that correctly picked the Packers record of 11-5, and he, Sam, Taylor, and Schweickert correctly had the Bears at 10-6. No one had the Vikings with more than six wins, and I was the only one who had the Lions with less than nine wins (6-10, so close).
Next we tried to pick the playoff teams, and that went a bit better. It helped that everyone picked the Texans, 49ers and Patriots to win their divisions, and almost everyone picked the Ravens and Falcons to make the playoffs. Kev and I both picked eight of the twelve playoff teams, with my worst pick being the Raiders, while Kev's worst pick was choosing the Giants to both win the East and claim a wildcard spot. Everyone else correctly picked seven of the playoff teams, except for ole Gilbert, who brought up the rear with six correct picks.
The worst picks (in retrospect) for playoff spots: Gilbert and Dane both picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West, Ronk had the Panthers winning the NFC South over the Saints and Falcons, and both Sam and Les picked the Bills to make the playoffs. All potentially legitimate choices prior to the season, and horribly laughably incorrect now.
As for the Super Bowl, Sam was the only one to pick both the Ravens and 49ers to meet in the
Thunderdome Superdome, so a thousand huzzahs to him. Schweickert was the only other WCG writer to pick the Ravens or 49ers (he has Ravens to win). Les, Ronk, and I all had dreams of a Bears-Patriots rematch (ah, to dream), but at least Dane's pick of a Packer victory won't come true either. And while our Super Bowl picks weren't correct, at least one of us got the game's participants right.
ESPN had sixteen employees make picks: none had the 49ers in the Super Bowl, four had the Ravens losing in the big game, and nine had the Packers winning it all. Peter King of Sports Illustrated had the Packers beating the Broncos (and only picked seven correct playoff teams). NFL.com had sixteen of its staff members predict the 2012 season, and only Michael Lombardi (now the GM of the Cleveland Browns) had the Super Bowl teams correct (49ers over Ravens). Meanwhile, Adam Rank had the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, so keep that in mind when you read his work.
How did the 2012 season turn out for you? Did you make any surprise choices that came true, or any that failed horribly?