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Post NFL season prediction examination

February 11, 2011 Leave a comment

As the NFL season is now at an end, it’s time to see how pathetic my pre-season predictions were which you can see in this previous post from September – https://smegheaddave.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/nfl-predictions/

Well, here are how the standings actually finished, with my pre-season prediction in brackets:

AFC East

1. New England Patriots 14-2 (12-4 – 2 games out, not bad)

2. New York Jets 11-5 (9-7 – 2 games out, not bad but underestimated)

3. Miami Dolphins 7-9 (8-8 – 1 game out, pretty good)

4. Buffalo Bills 4-12 (5-11 – 1 game out, ok but a bit generous with the wins)

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 (8-8 – 4 games out, what was I drinking?)

2. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 (13-3 – 1 game out)

3. Cleveland Browns 5-11 (3-13 – 2 games out, not bad)

4. Cincinnati Bengals 4-12 (8-8 – 4 games out, wow they were bad)

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts 10-6 (13-3 – 3 games out, can I blame injuries?)

2. Jacksonville Jaguars 8 -8 (7-9 – 1 game out, alright)

3. Houston Texans 6-10 (8-8 – 2 games out, not bad but I thought this was to conservative)

4. Tennessee Titans 6-10 (10-6 – 4 games out, a rusty like Smith prediction)

AFC West

1. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6 (4-12 – 6 games out, those Chiefs are fast…)

2. San Diego Chargers 9-7 (11-5 – 2 games out, not bad but I’ll blame injuries again)

3. Oakland Raiders 8-8 (5-11 – 3 games out, underestimated)

4. Denver Broncos 4-12 (6-10 – 2 games out, not bad but overestimated)

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6 (8-8 – 2 games out, not bad, this was made when Kolb was the guy)

2. New York Giants 10-6 (7-9 – 3 games out, can’t remember my reasoning for this)

3. Dallas Cowboys 6-10 (11-5 – 5 games out, doubt I was alone with this poor judgement)

4. Washington Redskins 6-10 (6-10 – NAILED IT, I love a nice predictable franchise with no drama…)

NFC North

1. Chicago Bears 11-5 (4-12 – 7 games out, yeah I’m sorry Chicago)

2. Green Bay Packers 10-6 (13-3 – 3 games out, not the worst ‘3 games out’ ever)

3. Detroit Lions 6-10 (5-11 – 1 game out, pretty good)

4. Minnesota Vikings 6-10 (11-5 – 5 games out, bye bye Brett)

NFC South

1. Atlanta Falcons 13-3 (9-7 – 4 games out, poorly underestimated)

2. New Orleans Saints 11-5 (12-4 – 1 game out, pretty good)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6 (3-13 – 7 games out, maybe worse than my Chicago prediction)

4. Carolina Panthers 2-14 (6-10 – 4 games out, massively overestimated)

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks 7-9 (9-7 – 2 games out, not bad and I didn’t know anyone else picking them for the division)

2. St Louis Rams 7-9 (5-11 – 2 games out, not bad but clearly a bit better than I thought)

3. San Francisco 49ers 6-10 (9-7 – 3 games out, not good)

4. Arizona Cardinals 5-11 (8-8 – 3 games out, ‘3 games out’ also the Cardinals quarterback philosophy)

In terms of the playoffs, I did predict the Packers to reach the Super Bowl but I had them losing to the Colts so I can’t really claim to much of a victory in that. Anyway, roll on the new season and lets sort this Collective Bargaining Agreement out and get back to the action.

Defense Wins Championships?

October 14, 2010 Leave a comment

So long a cliché in the NFL, the statement ‘defense wins championships’ has those who believe it and those who refute it. A number of NFL pundits and fans will say that defense will give you a chance, but a team needs to put up points if they are going to win. However, regardless of your view on this defensive philosophy, you can’t ignore what is happening after the first 5 weeks this season.

 

In terms of giving up points per game, the top 6 defenses in the league are:

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers               12.5
  2. Atlanta Falcons                       14
  3. Kansas City Chiefs                 14.2
  4. Baltimore Ravens                  14.4
  5. Chicago Bears                         14.8
  6. New York Jets                        16.2

 

The 6 best records so far this season:

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens                 4-1
  2. Atlanta Falcons                     4-1
  3. Chicago Bears                         4-1
  4. New York Jets                        4-1
  5. Kansas City Chiefs                 3-1
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers               3-1

 

Notice a pattern here? At the moment, the teams with the best defenses are the best teams in the league. An obvious statement maybe? Well, to win games, they need to score points. Do they have the 6 best offenses as well? The simple answer is no. The top ranked offensive team in points per game out of these 6 are the New York Jets (4th, 27 ppg). As for the rest, Atlanta Falcons (10th, 22.6 ppg), Pittsburgh Steelers (12th, 21.5 ppg), Kansas City Chiefs (19th, 19.2 ppg), Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears (joint 22nd, 18.4 ppg).

 

Other than the Jets, and to a lesser extent the Falcons, these teams have been winning with great defense whilst having just enough on offense. If the Steelers defense hadn’t started so well, Ben Roethlisberger could well have returned to a 0-4 or 1-3 team.

 

There are two other teams sitting at a .750 record and they are the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both at 3-1. The Patriots currently average the most points per game in the NFL.

 

Unlike the top defenses, having an offense that puts points on the board hasn’t necessarily led to success so far this year. Of the top 6, there are the Jets at 4-1 and Patriots 3-1. There are however two teams with losing records in the San Diego Chargers (2-3) who are averaging 28 points per game and the Detroit Lions (1-4) averaging 25.2. The Lions stats have been skewed with them putting up 44 points in their win over St Louis, but they still averaged 20 points per game before this, putting them ahead of the Chiefs, Ravens and Bears offenses.

 

Having great offenses has always proved successful throughout the years, especially in recent times with teams like the Colts, Saints and Patriots dominating the league with their offenses. For instance, looking at last season the Saints won the Super Bowl with the 20th ranked defense in the league.

 

Maybe this season, the cliché becomes a reality and defense really does win championships. Maybe the high powered offensive teams such as the Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints will get back to some consistent form and win games regardless of their defenses.

 

However, if the season continues as it has begun, who’s to say we won’t see a Super Bowl involving the Jets and the Falcons or the Steelers and the Bears battling to see who can limit the other teams scoring the best.