Monday, December 29, 2008

The NFL Playoffs

Back in August, I predicted how the NFL playoff field would look at the end of the regular season.

That day has come, and the results of the season, compared to my predictions, are decidedly mixed.

My predictions did pretty well in the AFC, not so well in the NFC.

In the AFC, I predicted New England would repeat as Eastern Division champion (that was a month before Tom Brady was injured for the season — nevertheless, the Patriots managed to win a share of the division title, but not the tiebreaker that would have given them their tickets to the postseason).

But I correctly predicted that Pittsburgh and San Diego would win their divisions. And I also predicted that Miami would be in the playoffs — but as a wild card team, not as the AFC East champs.

And I correctly predicted the Indianapolis Colts would be in the playoffs — but I said they would win their division. Instead, Indy is in the postseason dance as a wild card team.

On the downside, I picked the hapless Bengals to earn a wild card bid. Cincinnati didn't come close to making it to the postseason, finishing the schedule with a 4-11-1 record.

Instead of Cincinnati and New England, the AFC playoff field includes Tennessee and Baltimore.

(Today, instead of talking about the playoffs, New England's followers seem to be more interested in whether or not Brady proposed to his girlfriend during the holidays.)

I was way off on my predictions for the NFC.

All four of the teams I predicted to win their divisions failed to make the playoffs — Dallas, Chicago, Seattle and New Orleans.

Instead, the four division winners are the New York Giants, Minnesota, Carolina and Arizona.

In my own defense, I did pick the Giants and Vikings to make the playoffs — as the wild card teams, not as the division winners they eventually turned out to be.

But the actual wild card teams, Philadelphia and Atlanta, were not mentioned in my predictions.

I know that the teams I predicted to advance to the Super Bowl — New England and Chicago — won't be there.

Who will be?

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