Looking back at passing game forecast

Before the season began, we asked our three Patriots experts to project the team’s passing game. Specifically, we instructed them to peg exact numbers to each pass-catcher.

We gave them a baseline projection of 400 catches, 5,000 receiving yards and 40 touchdown receptions, numbers we came pretty close to nailing on the head. In total, Pats pass-catchers hauled in 402 balls for 4,844 yards and 34 touchdowns.

We also invited our loyal readers to give their projections as well, both on the whole and specifically. In a poll asking who would emerge as the team’s top pass catcher in 2012, 43 percent of nearly 12,000 responders answered Wes Welker, who was the top vote-getter. Welker indeed led the Patriots with 118 catches and 1,354 yards.

And reader “batandball95” nearly nailed Welker’s projection on the head, predicting 118 catches for 1,450 yards.

Here is how our experts fared in their predictions. The picks in bolds were the closest to the actual numbers: