Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NFL: Pythagorean Projection 2011 -> 2012

We're coming down to training camps and the start of preseason football, so it's time for this year's edition of Pythagorean Projection!

Team Projected WinsNote
Rams 2.3New HC
Colts 3.3New HC, QB
Buccaneers 3.5New HC
Chiefs 4.0New HC
Browns 4.9New QB
Jaguars 5.2New HC
Vikings 5.5Adrian Peterson coming off injury
Redskins 5.8New QB
Broncos 5.8Peyton Manning
Raiders 6.3New HC, QB (again)
Bills 6.6
Cardinals 7.0
Panthers 7.5
Giants 7.9
Seahawks 8.2New QB?
Titans 8.2New QB?
Bears 8.3Cutler &co healthy?
Jets 8.4Tebow!
Dolphins 8.5New HC, QB(?)
Cowboys 8.6
Bengals 8.6
Chargers 8.7
Falcons 9.3
Eagles 9.8
Lions 9.9Lots of off-field drama
Texans 10.9Schaub healthy
Ravens 11.2Terrel Suggs hurt
Steelers 11.2
Patriots 11.6
Packers 11.9Defense has to be better. Right?
Saints 12.1New HC, DC
49ers 12.3


  • The Rams are a really bad franchise. Four years during the "Greatest Show on Turf" era are the only winning seasons they've posted since 1989. Jeff Fisher seems like a pretty good coach, but he's got his work cut out for him to make something of that team.

  • The Bengals are another team with a long history of mostly losing seasons. If they make it to 9 wins in 2012, it will be the first time since 81-82 that they've had back-to-back winning seasons.

  • I wonder how good Peyton Manning will be this year. 2010 was really not a good year for him, although it's hard to say how much that (in hindsight) weak supporting cast was at fault. But now he's got a new team, a new coach, and who-knows-what for a receiving corps. The good news is it could easily be another year where 9 or 10 wins will take the AFC West, so the Broncos should have some margin for error.

  • It seems like the Dolphins could be on the verge of... well, not sucking as much as lately, anyway. But they need to win some home games, and keep their quarterback (whoever that turns out to be) healthy and productive for the whole season. The list of Dolphins starting quarterbacks since Marino retired is a rogues gallery of has-beens and never-wases. And the list of seasons where they had a quarterback even make it to 15 starts is pathetically short.

  • The good news for Tarvaris Jackson is that 2011 was one of the best seasons of his career. The bad news is, that was only good for a 7-7 record, and it's not clear he's got a lot of room for improvement. If Matt Flynn looks anywhere near as good in preseason as he did in his week 17 start last year, Pete Carroll is going to be hard pressed not give Flynn the starting spot.

  • The Saints have to be an early candidate for the team most likely to fall well short of their projection. Given the bounty scandal, suspension of coaches and players, as well as the drama of Brees' protracted contract negotiation, they're facing a lot of pretty major distractions and setbacks this season.

  • I think the 49ers are going to be hard pressed to make it to 12 wins this year. I feel like they played at least a little over their heads in 2011, and they're facing a tougher slate of opponents this year. Their offense can be pretty weak at times (especially on the road), and they're not going to be flying under anyone's radar in 2012...