Sports predictions find their home in hyperbole. There is a never-ending abundance of big assumptions and even bigger surprises. So I thought it would be interesting to go back to all of the regular season pre- and post-game posts to see what we thought would happen…and what actually happened.
And behold: True and False: the 2012 Season!
Week 1: RG3 really is that good – It wasn’t just the fact that the Redskins won against a tough opponent in a volatile environment (Saints at home) and it wasn’t just his performance stats. It was the maturity and intuition with which he played. He made smart decision after smart decision after smart decision – completely uncharacteristic for a rookie quarterback in his first NFL game.
Week 3: This was basically prophetic, since the Fail Mary was the game that followed – Storyline to Know: I think it’s still the replacement refs. Their performance quality seems to be getting worse rather than better
Week 4: Rest of the season projections, all stunningly true – The NFC East is always exciting, but I think it will be a dog fight for 1st in this Division this year. // The Vikings…are 3-1?! This has to be the biggest surprise of the season so far…and not just in the NFC North. The Vikings have a solid running game led by RB Adrian Peterson and QB Christian Ponder has been good. // But the three (in the AFC East) are squarely tied at 2-2 with Miami pulling up the rear at 1-3. In my opinion, though, that won’t be the case for long. The Jets are beat up and confused and the Bills are…the Bills. Welcome to the playoffs, New England.
Week 8: True, and one of my favorite stories of the season – The Colts are looking like the comeback kids. They won another game in OT this week (against the Titans) and since the AFC is particularly awful this year, they have a legitimate shot at being a real playoff contender.
Week 9: The story of the season for Dallas – It goes against everything I know about the NFL to watch a team be poised to win at some point in the game every week…and then lose, every week. Dallas fans, I’m sorry. This must be brutal for you.
Week 10: It never really got better for the Giants – The Giants, who never look great in November but always retain a glimmer of Super Bowl hope throughout, looked particularly ungreat in a 31-13 loss to the Bengals.
Week 12: Who just started at QB in the Super Bowl? This guy – Storyline to Know: The no-one-saw-it-coming quarterback controversy between Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. After the backup’s phenomenal performance on Monday night against the Bears, head coach Jim Harbaugh said he’d “go with the quarterback with the hot hand,” even though starting QB Alex Smith has led the team to a 7-2-1 record. Smith has been maligned for most of his career after getting off to a lackluster start for a first-pick of the draft but has really found his stride with Harbaugh. You can’t help but think that this might be a confidence shaker for Smith, but we’ll see how things go on Sunday against the also hot-handed Drew Brees and the Saints. *This just in: Kaepernick is starting on Sunday…wow.
Week 13: When this – At the beginning of the season, Arizona had a quarterback controversy but is currently experiencing quarterback scarcity. At the beginning of the season, New York had a brewing quarterback controversy but is currently experiencing Armageddon. I’m actually looking forward to seeing which way this one goes. Turned into this – Eastern New York was subjected to the Jets/Cardinals game, easily the most mind-boggling display of offensive football I’ve ever witnessed. And it wasn’t just me. Both announcers did all they could to keep from laughing out loud. And then…Thom Brennaman couldn’t hold it in any longer. And he quotes: “I got to tell you, this has been as ugly and inept an offensive football game as I’ve ever seen.” Amen, Thom. Amen.
Week 14: Really true for the Cardinals, and 50/50 for the rest – Biggest Losers: The Cardinals. Literally, since they lost 58-0…and no other team got shut out or lost by a 58 point deficit last week…because that’s just ridiculous. Remember when the Cardinals were 4-0 and on top of the world? What happened, AZ?! But as far as the playoff picture goes, the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, and Bears all had losses that could come back to haunt them in a few weeks.
Week 17: A tale of 9 yards away – Adrian Peterson has a legitimate chance to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. He needs to rush for 208 yards in the Vikings game against the Packers, and the last time the teams met he ran for 210.
Week 2: How did I believe this?! I lived in Rochester; I KNOW the Bills! – The Bills aren’t that bad. They had a nice win over the Chiefs on Sunday, who, unfortunately,are that bad.
Week 5: …And then, there was the 42-24 Packers victory – The Packers looked bad, and things are about to get worse. They […] have the task of playing the undefeated Houston Texans on Sunday night in Texas. It promises to be a long night for me and my #12 jersey.
Week 6: As we all know, the “rest of the year” only pertained to the rest of the calendar year – Sad news for Ray Lewis and the Ravens, he’s out for the rest of the year with a torn tricep.
Week 7: Surprisingly good soon turned into surprisingly bad (mostly for AZ) – The face-off of the two surprisingly good teams: the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams are 4-2, and neither were expected to be anywhere near that number at the beginning of the season.
Week 11: This turned into more of a sinking situation as the season progressed – Philly fans were clamoring for Nick Foles to start anyway, but he’ll be starting for sure on Sunday due to Michael Vick’s concussion. Time to sink or shine!
Week 15: Behold: Your Super Bowl Champion…Ravens! – Nine: As in Nine-and-five, the records of two AFC teams heading in opposite directions: the Ravens and the Colts. The Ravens are in the playoffs, but don’t look like a playoff team. The Colts need another win to make it into the playoffs, but their future looks blindingly bright.
Week 16: 13-42, Seahawks, anyone? – Game of the Week: I’m loving Niners at Seahawks on Monday night. In the past three weeks Seattle has scored more than 50 points in each game…50 points!…and their offense is viewed as weaker than their defense. Seattle is also near-impossible to beat at home. However, the Niners are coming off of a win at Foxborough against the Patriots who haven’t lost a game at home in December in a decade. So they’re not all that intimidated by home field advantage.
What were you guys surprised/not surprised by this season? Anything that didn’t make the list?