Monday, February 3, 2014
Revisiting preseason picks
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- Depending on how you want to look at it, the following post will allow you to think I'm a gloating Nostradamus or a complete buffoon but either way, I want to give you the option to decide.
With that, we're going to revisit my NFL preseason predictions and see how I fared now that the 2013 NFL season is over. There's some good, there's some bad but overall it could have been much worse. For the record, all of these picks can be found here.
Super Bowl pick: Seattle over Denver
Actual Super Bowl: Seattle over Denver
Quick thought: So the season played out in a way that went according to chalk. I realize I didn't go out on much of a limb to make this pick but I'd rather be boring and right than edgy and wrong. Don't worry, plenty of opportunities to cringe at some of my other picks as we move along. Thought it best to start on a high note.
Division winner picks: New England, Cincinnati, Houston, Denver, New York Giants, Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle
Actual division winners: New England, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Denver, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Carolina, Seattle
Quick thought: Five out of eight isn't awful considering how much turnover there usually is from year to year. To be honest, the NFC East was the hardest one to predict since I didn't think much of any of those teams entering the season. I changed my mind multiple times on Houston and Indianapolis. Clearly, I went the wrong way. I blame Siri.
Wild card picks: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Detroit
Actual wild card winners: Kansas City, San Diego, San Francisco, New Orleans
Quick thought: Two out of four though San Francisco was really a no brainer. The Chiefs were the rare chic pick to return to prominence that actually worked out. The Steelers almost stole a spot on the final weekend so I don't feel too bad about that one. I completely whiffed on the NFC South this year. I pondered a Carolina uprising but really didn't give the returns of Saints coach Sean Payton enough consideration. Two NFC South teams made the playoffs, neither of which made my list. Regrets, I have a few.
MVP pick: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan
Actual MVP: Denver quarterback Peyton Manning
Quick thought: Remember earlier when I said all that stuff about preferring to stick with chalk? Yep, I'm a hypocrite. Manning was the obvious choice. I tried to go a little further outside the box and went with Ryan. I'm going to go ahead and blame Ryan's season on the plethora of injuries in Atlanta. He definitely would have bested Manning's record-setting season if his guys were healthy all year, right? Right? Anyone?
Coach of the Year pick: Kansas City's Andy Reid
Actual Coach of the Year: Carolina's Ron Rivera
Quick thought: This one very nearly ended up going to Reid as Rivera emerged victorious in a crowded race of legitimate candidates. Of course, had I realized the Panthers were going to have an elite defense I might have considered Rivera. Rivera was very deserving but is it too late for me to argue that Reid was robbed? Robbed, I tell ya!
Offensive Rookie of the Year pick: Cincinnati RB Giovani Bernard
Actual Offensive Rookie of the Year: Green Bay RB Eddie Lacy
Quick thought: Bernard had a strong debut season and probably was in the top three or four offensive rookies but Lacy put up better numbers and was a deserving winner. I voted for San Diego receiver Keenan Allen, however, in the Pro Football Writers of America's version of the awards. Guess I should have followed the fantasy football guidelines here.
Defensive Rookie of the Year pick: Detroit DE Ziggy Ansah
Actual Defensive Rookie of the Year: New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardson
Quick thought: The one time I should have been a complete homer and gone with the fellow Mizzou product and it completely blew up in my face. That's the last time I go against a Mizzou player with a realistic chance to win an award. Pencil in Kony Ealy as my early favorite for next year's defensive rookie of the year and Chase Daniel as next year's best backup quarterback from Mizzou who plays within a two-hour drive of his alma mater.
Rams' record prediction: 9-7
Rams' actual record: 7-9
Quick thought: Am I allowed to go to the injury well again on this one? If Rams quarterback Sam Bradford had been healthy, I believe the Rams beat Seattle at home and quite possibly Tennessee the following week which would have put them at 9-7. The injury did happen, though, and the Rams came up two games short of their first winning record since 2003.