Season predictions revisited

GREEN BAY, Wis. – With the 2013 NFL season officially in the books, it’s time to look back at how things turned out as opposed to how yours truly predicted.

On Sept. 3, ESPN NFL Nation’s season predictions went live (although truth be told, our deadline was much earlier than that).

This isn’t an exercise designed to throw myself a bouquet or be self-deprecating but rather to illustrate how things over the course of a 17-week NFL regular-season plus the playoffs.

Here’s how my predictions looked and how things turned out (see chart to the right):

Notes: Although I picked the Broncos to win the Super Bowl before the season, I didn’t subscribe to the I-picked-them-to win-in-September-so-I’m-sticking-with-them theory. With the benefit of seeing the entire season play out, I changed my Super Bowl pick to the Seahawks last week.

In each conference, I correctly picked two of the four division winners and four of the six playoff teams. But two of my predicted division winners – the Texans and Falcons – combined to finish 6-26. The Texans (2-14) finished last in the AFC South, while the Falcons (4-12) finished tied for last with the Buccaneers in the NFC South.

In the awards section, I hit on both Eddie Lacy as offensive rookie of the year and Peyton Manning as MVP but missed on Chiefs coach Andy Reid as coach of the year (although he finished second to Carolina’s Ron Rivera) and Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah as defensive rookie of the year (he did not get a single vote despite leading all rookies with 8.0 sacks).