Reviewing 2020 NFL Predictions

Were these predictions spot on? Not really

Back before the start of the NFL season, I made some fearless predictions. While we reviewed those predictions at the halfway point, let’s see where we are as the playoffs start.

AFC EAST
Prediction: Buffalo, New England, Miami, New York Jets
Actual: Buffalo, Miami, New England, New York Jets

  • I said it was the Bills year. It was.

  • I wrote “This team could go 3-13 or 10-6 and I wouldn’t be surprised either way” and they finished 10-6. So there ya go.

  • At the same time, my prediction of the Patriots probably figuring out how to win 9 or 10 games and make the playoffs? Not so much.

  • At least the Jets are who we thought they were.

AFC NORTH
Prediction: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati
Actual: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati

  • The Ravens being the #1 overall seed didn’t pan on due to a run of COVID and inexplicably poor play mid-season. But it’s still “Tampa or bust” and after dropping 404 rushing yards on the Bengals last week, they may be hitting their stride.

  • I predicted the Steelers would miss the playoffs. They didn’t, but they might be the worst 12-4 team I have ever seen.

  • “Is this finally the Browns year? I’ll believe it when I see it.” I believe it.

  • The Bengals are better than their record indicates. As long as Joe Burrow returns healthy, they will be much better next year.

AFC SOUTH
Prediction: Houston, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Jacksonville
Actual: Tennessee, Indianapolis, Houston, Jacksonville

  • I had Tennessee as the #5 seed and the top wild-card. They are a #4 seed and the lowest division winner. So that was pretty close. They are also the last team I wanted the Ravens to play in the playoffs, for obvious reasons.

  • “I don’t think Philip Rivers is the answer in Indy this year.” Whoops

  • “The Texans are far and away the class of the AFC South and should easily win the South.” Pollsters had better predictions than this.

  • Nailed this one though. Trevor Lawrence, come on down!

AFC WEST
Prediction: Kansas City, Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles
Actual: Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver

  • To be the man you have to beat the man. The Chiefs are still the man.

  • I figured that this was the year for the Raiders. I predicted a return to the playoffs. I did not expect another mediocre finish. Jon Gruden, so far, is not paying dividends for this team.

  • “I’m not sure Tyrod Taylor is an improvement over Philip Rivers in the short-term, though he obviously is a bridge to rookie Justin Herbert.” Herbert could be a top-5 quarterback in a year or two, he’s that good. The Chargers cashiered head coach Anthony Lynn earlier this week, presumably to get ready to take the leap next year.

  • John Elway finally recognized that John Elway is what has been holding the Broncos back. So that’s something at least

NFC EAST
Prediction: Dallas, Philadelphia or New York, New York or Philadelphia, Washington
Actual: Washington, New York, Dallas, Philadelphia

  • I wrote that the Cowboys were good enough to win the division only because “they’re just fortunate enough to play in the worst division in professional sports.” Well, that part was right at least. In my defense, had Dak Prescott not gotten hurt, they would have won the division.

  • Nailed the Giants and Eagles predictions though. Said neither were any good. They weren’t.

  • Washington however, not so much. “It’s very clear that this team is following the Jacksonville plan by tanking this year with hopes of getting a high pick (the #1 pick) next year.” As a reminder, this team hosts New Orleans this weekend for a playoff game. Though, realistically, I’m not sure how that helps them long-term. Especially since their quarterback situation blew up when Dwayne Haskins flaked out and got released.

NFC NORTH
Prediction: Minnesota, Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit
Actual: Green Bay, Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit

NFC SOUTH
Prediction: New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Carolina
Actual: New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta

  • Had I know Drew Brees would have been injured, I would not have predicted the Saints to be the #1 overall seed. But they still managed to get the #2. No small feat.

  • The Bucs are who we thought they were going to be.

  • We can lump Carolina and Atlanta together because they are basically interchangeable. Nothing happening teams that need a reset.

NFC WEST
Prediction: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Arizona
Actual: Seattle, Los Angeles, Arizona, San Francisco

Eight of the fourteen teams I predicted to make the playoffs actually made it. I picked half of the eight division winners accurately. Maryland stands to make some money off of me once legal gambling finally gets launched….