If I were a gambling Gentleman….

I probably should have put some money on some teams making the playoffs in week 8. For just after the midseason point I wrote a post (on the 31st of October, found here) using teams w – l record to date to predict the likely outcome at the end of the season. Two months later I will now go back and see how accurate my predictions were.

So yes, I am feeling a bit smug though the question is how chuffed can I actually feel?  Not just because I predicted that by week 8 the Colts were going to make the post season (which they have) but because without re-visiting the article I knew I had got most of the teams right.  Last time out I only focused on the teams likely to make the play-offs and not necessarily the worst teams in the leagues. So I will only focus on those teams that made it through to the playoffs. Let us look at the standings at the end of the season:



New England Patriots 12 -4


Cincinnati Bengals 11 – 5


Indianapolis Colts 11 – 5


Denver Broncos 13 – 3

Kansas City Chiefs 11 – 5

San Diego Chargers 9 – 7



Philadelphia Eagles 10 – 6


Green Bay Packers  8 – 7 – 1


Carolina Panthers 12 – 4

New Orleans Saints 11 – 5


Seattle Seahawks 13 – 3

San Francisco 49ers 12 – 4

And let us revisit my predictions, starting with the teams I thought would be certain to make the playoffs:

AFC: Patriots, Bengals, Colts, Chiefs, Broncos

NFC: Saints, Seahawks, Packers, Cowboys, 49ers

and now the teams likely to take that final play-off spot, in order of likelihood:

AFC: Chargers, Jets and on the outside chance the Ravens and  Titans (yes seems strange to me as well, but they did finish quite strong).

NFC: Lions, Panthers, Bears,Cardinals.

Let’s go through what was not predicted so accurately or at all. The glaring omission is of course the Eagles and really emphasises how well the Eagles did in the second half of the season, once they settled on Foles. As I said in my previous post, any team that varied from the predicted range of w – l scores will have significantly changed their performance, and the Eagles did, exceeding their predicted best of 9 -7 to finish 10 – 6. The Cowboys just could not compete and keep up, but finished within the predicted range bang on the middle score of 8 – 8. So yeah by week 8 already the season was in jeopardy for Dallas. They just could not step up.

So the Panthers, what happened there? I did have them in the picture for a play off spot but certainly not taking the NFC South, or did I? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, looking back the very best the Panthers could have achieved based on their performance up to week 8 was 12 – 4, I was 95% confident they would finish between 6 -10 to 12 – 4, so they actually did not exceed expectations and just continue to play good football. The Saints just ended up at the lower end of the predicted score range, not playing significantly worse just slightly under par. I was also wrong in the way I considered a draw, I should have considered it to count for not against a team (obviously I am too negative in my outlook), so my predictions surrounding NFC North were a bit skewed by this but in the end not dramatically out.

Otherwise the predictions have held up, especially the AFC wild card spot taken by the Chargers. It seems that by week 8 they were the most likely team to take the spot, I had put them as favourites to take the final spot and they did. The other teams finished with scores within the predicted ranges, so there were no significant changes to the way teams play, not overall exceeding expectations. Even the Lions and Bears, finished within their predicted range. To answer the main question of how chuffed I can feel, I think the answer is pretty chuffed. Mid way through the season the Chiefs had yet to play the Broncos, and we knew this would be the decisive games, which they were. The Broncos won both games, the Chiefs had a change in fortune, so yes ok they did finish actually significantly below their predicted scores but they were predicted to make the playoffs.

Oh ok I will look at the worst teams. The Bucs and Jags actually did significantly better than predicted at week 8. So I did not get that right but at week 8 we all thought they were going to finish up as the worse teams in the NFL. Turns out Washington, the Texans and Falcons could not improve and finished with low w – l values as predicted. So we should not be surprised at that just that the Texans and Falcons were so bad for the entire season.

In conclusion, it turns out that by midway through the season you can predict with some accuracy the play-off picture and use teams w – l to get a pretty good idea how the end of the season will look like, in all the predictive statistics hold up well to the scrutiny of reality. Luckily football is so exciting that you still need to watch every game (and to listen to each of our podcasts) just incase that significant game changer occurs, such as Aaron Rodgers getting injured then returning in time to save the Packers.

Finally, I would not necessarily use the Gridiron Gentlmen as a source to place bets but we would not necessarily be the worse place and certainly we take no responsibility for any guineas you may lose.

The play-offs are a different kettle of fish du

Keep on checking our Facbook page and Twitter feed for updates, intense discussion and the odd funny pictoral representation of our favourite NFL people. Feel free to contact us via Facebook and Twitter or even through email at hellochaps@gridirongentlemen.com.

Happy New Year and toodle pip!