Why predicting wins and losses in advance is not realistic

I completely understand why so many of our fellow fans love to predict game outcomes for the upcoming season nearly 4 months before the season opens. It’s just what we like to do.

But unlike college football where the talent gaps between teams can be huge, the NFL talent gaps between the SB champs and a last place team is not that large. Picking which teams we can defeat based on last year’s reputation is just not accurate.

Look at how many unpredictable games we had last year- most of these games we would not have guessed these results months in advance. From 2023 results, how many of us picked these outcomes?:

  • Detroit 21 KC 20 (opening night at KC)
  • Denver 24 KC 9 (the same Denver defense that gave up 70 to the dolphins held Mahomes and chiefs to 9 pts)
  • Vegas 20 KC 14
  • Ariz 28 Dallas 16 (none of us saw that coming)
  • Ariz 35 Philly 31
  • New Eng 25 Buff 21 (two weeks after we killed the Pats; And Buff killed us later)
  • Cle 19 SF 17 (first game for niners after they looked unbeatable beating us)
  • Cincy 31 SF 17 (at SF three weeks after they crushed the Cowboys)
  • GB 27 KC 19
  • Sea 20 Philly 17 (at Philly with the division on the line)
  • GB 48 Dallas 32 (hated to even post this but I know I did not see that coming!)

The above are not all the upsets from last year. The NFL is completely unpredictable as evidenced by the fact every year about 4-6 playoff teams from the year before don’t make the playoffs the following season. We just don’t know in May of this year which teams are going to emerge as better than we thought or worse than we expected.

I have no problem watching many fans make predictions this time of year. It’s fun. It’s just unlikely that any of us really know.

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