Preseason predictions: Low expectations

September, 2, 2014
9/02/14
11:40
AM ET
This will not come as a major surprise to anyone who's been paying attention, but the preseason predictions are not kind to the New York Giants.

We had 64 people here at ESPN issue preseason predictions -- all 32 of our NFL Nation team reporters plus 32 national NFL writers/personalities. Of those 64, only five picked the Giants to reach the playoffs.

Four of those people picked the Giants to win the NFC East. Only ESPN Insider K.C. Joyner (who picked the Giants to win the division in 2011 when the Eagles were the popular pick) picked them to win an NFC wild card spot.

The four who picked the Giants to win their division are Bears reporter Michael C. Wright, Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas, 49ers reporter Paul Gutierrez and Neil Payne of FiveThirtyEight.com.

Of the 64 ESPN experts issuing predictions, 53 picked the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East. Seven picked Washington, and I was one of them. I think the Eagles are the division's best team on paper and a worthy favorite, but I just couldn't bring myself to pick a repeat champion in this wacky division. So I picked Washington because I think it is loaded at the offensive skill positions, and I think Robert Griffin III can bounce back. Not that I don't think Eli Manning can bounce back, but I think the group around Griffin looks better on paper than the group around Manning does.

Also, all 64 experts were asked to pick Coach of the Year, MVP and Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year. No one picked Tom Coughlin or any Giants player. As I said, expectations for this team are low.

Personally, I went with the Saints over the Patriots in the Super Bowl, picked Sean Payton for Coach of the Year, Drew Brees for MVP and Brandin Cooks for Offensive Rookie of the Year, so I'm kind of all-in on the Saints this year. I picked Baltimore's C.J. Mosley for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The Saints are not an unpopular pick. Of our 64 experts, 13 of us picked New Orleans to win the Super Bowl. The only team that got more votes was the Denver Broncos, with 18.

The other Super Bowl picks are the 49ers (12 votes), the defending champion Seahawks (9), the Patriots (6), the Eagles (3) and the Packers (3).

If you'd like to check out all of the predictions, here are some links:

NFC Reporters

AFC Reporters

National Contributors

Other ESPN Personalities

Enjoy!

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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