Tuesday, January 9, 2024

AFC Predictions vs Reality End of 2023 Regular Season

 OK let's break this down division by division and see how poorly I did.  

AFC East

        My Prediction		Reality
Team	W	L		W	L
yBuf	12	5		11	6
NE	10	7		4	13
NYJ	9	8		7	10
Mia	9	8		11	6


So I had Buffalo winning the AFC East and being the only team in the division to make the playoffs.  I was correct that Buffalo did win the division, but my big mistake was thinking that New England would be competitive.  I had expected that New England would have a top 10 defense and an offense around 15 to 20.  Instead they had the 9th best defense by DVOA and the 29th ranked offense.  That's the difference between going 4 and 13 and my prediction of 10 and 7.  If I were someone looking at hiring a coach like Belichick, Saleh, Vrabel, Flores, or Tomlin my number one question would be who is running your offense.  In the end if you can't get your offense to function you can't win.  Just ask New England and the Jets.  The Jets had the 3rd best defense by DVOA but the 32 best offense.  So where did I go wrong with Miami.  Well I really thought that Tua would miss some games as well as Hill and Waddle.  For the most part they stayed healthy and it was everyone else around them that got hurt.  That almost won them the division, but not quite.  Funny thing is I had Buffalo facing Pittsburgh in the wild card round of the playoffs and I was right.  So let's look at the AFC North

AFC North

        My Prediction		Reality
Team	W	L		W	L
yCin	13	4		9	8
xBal	11	6		13	4
xPit	10	7		10	7
Cle	4	13		11	6


Well I got Pittsburgh right.  My big mistake on Cincinnati was that I thought their defense would continue to be a solid unit, but they really fell off this year.  They had the 11th best offense by DVOA but their defense was 23rd.  They also lost their best player for a good chunk of the season.  Cleveland though was the real shocker for me.  I thought their offense would be awful, and it was 28th in DVOA.  But their defense was 2nd in DVOA.  I thought they would be better, but I was thinking 10 to 15 not 2nd best and dominant enough that they could stay in every game no matter how bad the offense was playing.  When there was talk of a non quarterback winning MVP I never once heard anyone mention Miles Garrett and that made no sense to me.  Take Garrett off of the Browns and I think they are much closer to 4 and 13 than 11 and 6.  Baltimore I had assumed would take some time to get up to speed on their offense.  I also thought the Bengals would be better so I never imagined them winning 13 games.  I was right that the AFC North would put three teams in the playoffs.  Just thought it would be Cincinnati and not Cleveland as the 3rd team.  I did not have Baltimore or Pittsburgh getting past the first round of the playoffs but here we are with Baltimore getting the number 1 seed, so at least one AFC North team will be in the division round.  

AFC South

        My Prediction		Reality
Team	W	L		W	L
yJax	13	4		9	8
xTen	10	7		6	11
Tex	9	8		10	7
Ind	2	15		9	8


OK so I'm proud that I picked Texas to win 9 games.  I had a good feeling about them and figured they would make a late run.  I never imagined they would win the division.  I really thought this division was setup for Jacksonville to walk away with and it seemed that way when they were 8 and 3.  But it's a long season in some ways.  The big surprise here is Indianapolis who I thought would be really bad with a project QB and especially after the team looked so bad last season, but they almost made the playoffs.  They and Texas both seemed to find very good head coaches.  Jacksonville has a lot of questions to answer.  Tennessee was really about as good as I expected, I just figured they would get to 10 wins by beating up on Texas and Indianapolis.  Vrabel seems to know how to win against the kind of teams I thought those two would be.   Not how I imagined Jacksonville.  I had them in the AFC championship game, losing to Buffalo. 

AFC West

        My Prediction		Reality
Team	W	L		W	L
yKC	10	7		11	6
Den	10	7		8	9
SD	9	8		5	12
Oak	6	11		8	9


I had a bad feeling about KC coming into this season.  I figured their offense would struggle and that has been true and so I feel pretty good about my prediction with them.  I thought Denver would make a late push at the playoffs and they did.  Though they ended up falling a bit flat at the end of the year.  I never bought into San Diego as being very good and they were worse.  I also thought Oakland would be a mess, but I didn't think they would fire their coach.  In some ways I feel like I did pretty good on the West.  I had predicted KC getting to the division round and then losing and I think that is probably how things will play out.  


  1. I'm happy the Texans beat the Browns yesterday. I always have kind of liked Cleveland, but it's neat seeing C.J. Stroud doing so well. I don't remember hearing anyone as high on their chances before the season as you were.

    I wish the Dolphins had won yesterday. They had a good season, but that late loss to Tennessee really wrecked them. Had they won that game and the rest of the regular season had played out the same, they would've had a home playoff game and they could've rested all of their star players in the last week of the regular season against the Bills.

    About five minutes into the game, I told my wife that I thought it looked like about a 35-7 win for the Chiefs, and I ended up being glad that it didn't go that badly. I'm happy for the Mahomeses, the stars of that fantastic Quarterback TV show, and it was great to see the Chiefs' 1969 championship flag. Also, although I don't know much of her music, I'm a big fan of Taylor Swift, so it was great to see her having such a blast. It'd be fine with me if the Chiefs repeat as Super Bowl champions, and I definitely hope that she and Travis Kelce get married and that they figure prominently throughout President Biden's successful re-election campaign this year.

  2. Upon further review, maybe I want the Bills to win the Super Bowl to go ahead and get it out of their systems. They've been the best team in the NFL for about three seasons now, and maybe it would be good for my Dolphins interests to go ahead and have this be the year that Josh Allen gets distracted with a slew of insurance commercials and Stefon Diggs wigs out and negotiates his own trade to the Rams or whomever will show him the respect he deserves.

  3. The Broncos were able to overthrow the Raiders in 1977 after the Raiders finally broke through in 1976.

  4. Yes, I don't like everything about that comparison, but that was the precise one that I was thinking about.