NFL picks not so great

Good thing I don’t work on commission around here.
If I was looking to get paid for every accurate prediction, I’d be in big trouble—or a lot skinnier since buying food might become a more difficult accomplishment.
Here’s a look back at my NFL predictions for the just-completed regular season, along with a few more guesses with regards to the playoffs.
I will repeat my previous warning: don’t call Vegas with these selections (they would be what are known as sucker bets).
NFC East
Prediction—1. Dallas (11-5) 2. Washington (10-6) 3. N.Y. Giants (9-7) 4. Philadelphia (6-10)
Actual—1. Philadelphia (10-6) 2. Dallas (8-8) 3. N.Y. Giants (7-9) 4. Washington (3-13)
Let’s see. I got the Giants’ placement right and was no closer than two games off on any of the team’s records.
A nightmare Week 17 loss by my Cowboys to the Eagles—to lose both the division and a playoff spot—capped my completely off-the-mark season.
NFC North
Predictions—1. Chicago (10-6) 2. Green Bay (9-7) 3. Minnesota (7-9) 4. Detroit (4-12)
Actual—1. Green Bay (8-7-1) 2. Chicago (8-8) 3. Detroit (7-9) 4. Minnesota (5-10-1)
0-for-4 in both placements and records, which I deserve for calling this the NFC Central in the pre-season.
If Green Bay hadn’t tied Minnesota, I would have had the Packers’ record dead on.
Ditto for the Bears’ placement—if it wasn’t for Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb rising from injury-list purgatory to turn Soldier Field into the House of Blues on the final day of the season.
NFC South
Prediction—1. New Orleans (11-5) 2. Atlanta (8-8) 3. Tampa Bay (5-11) 4. Carolina (3-13)
Actual—1. Carolina (12-4) 2. New Orleans (11-5) 3. Atlanta (4-12) 4. Tampa Bay (4-12)
Wow, really nailed that Carolina pick, didn’t I? And Atlanta was way worse than I thought they would be.
At least I got the Saints’ record right. I just wasn’t counting on a Panthers’ revival.
NFC West
Prediction—1. San Francisco (13-3) 2. Seattle (10-6) 3. St. Louis (8-8) 4. Arizona (2-14)
Actual—1. Seattle (13-3) 2. San Francisco (12-4) 3. Arizona (10-6) 4. St. Louis (7-9)
So I had 13-3 right as the record that would win the division, just the wrong team.
In the not-so-close department, I was eight short on Arizona’s win total. Carson Palmer apparently still can play a little football after all.
I’m sure the Oakland Raiders are thrilled with that development.
AFC East
Predictions—1. New England (12-4) 2. Miami (8-8) 3. Buffalo (5-11) 4. N.Y. Jets (3-13)
Actual—1. New England (12-4) 2. N.Y. Jets (8-8) 3. Miami (8-8) 4. Buffalo (6-10)
Well, what do you know? I actually got the Pats right on the money and nailed the Dolphins’ record.
Nobody saw the Jets as a .500 team after their pre-season and, really, I should just assume Buffalo is going to finish in the basement every year.
AFC North
Prediction—1. Cincinnati (10-6) 2. Baltimore (9-7) 3. Pittsburgh (7-9) 4. Cleveland (4-12)
Actual—1. Cincinnati (11-5) 2. Pittsburgh (8-8) 3. Baltimore (8-8) 4. Cleveland (4-12)
Probably my best division of the season, even though I had called this one the AFC Central (old habits die hard).
I got the two Ohio teams in the right spots, and was a tiebreaker away from going 4-for-4.
I also got the Browns’ record perfect and was only one game off on the other three teams.
I believe this is the time to invoke the time-tested cliché that even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
AFC South
Prediction—1. Indianapolis (11-5) 2. Houston (9-7) 3. Tennessee (7-9) 4. Jacksonville (2-14)
Actual—1. Indianapolis (11-5) 2. Tennessee (7-9) 3. Jacksonville (4-12) 4. Houston (2-14)
Another good division for me for the most part. Dead on with the Colts and got the Titans’ record perfect.
But the complete collapse of the Texans caught me off-guard, as I’m sure it did Houston fans.
AFC West
Predictions—1. Denver (14-2) 2. Kansas City (7-9) 3. San Diego (6-10) 4. Oakland (3-13)
Actual: 1. Denver (13-3) 2. Kansas City (11-5) 3. San Diego (9-7) 4. Oakland (4-12)
OK, so I missed on the records. But, after what you’ve already read, you have to give me a little credit on going 4-for-4 in terms of the teams’ placements (OK, you don’t have to but it would be appreciated).
As for the divisional playoffs (OK, I cheated a little and didn’t pick the wild-card games), I see Denver beating San Diego and New England handling Indianapolis in the AFC.
As for the NFC, give me New Orleans to upset Seattle and San Francisco to continue its amazing roll with a win over Carolina.
Denver then beats New England in the AFC title game while New Orleans proves all the doubters of their road-game abilities wrong by taking out the 49ers.
And for all the marbles, Peyton Manning caps a brilliant season for the Broncos by beating Drew Brees and the Saints in the frosty confines of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Hey, Manning won me my fantasy football pool. I’m not bailing on him now.

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