MINNEAPOLIS -- Now that the 2013 NFL season is in the books, it's time to take a look back on the preseason predictions I made and see how they turned out. As much as we in the media demand accountability from the players we cover, it's only fair to provide the same, right?
ESPN revealed its predictions on Sept. 3, and while these things involve a certain amount of guesswork, the 2013 season probably was a little kinder to prognosticators than many, since the Super Bowl featured two of the consensus preseason favorites.
I managed to get the Super Bowl matchup correct at the beginning of the season, and correctly guessed five of the eight division winners -- all four AFC divisions, as well as the NFC North. I only hit on one of the four wild-card teams, though, and that's if you give me credit for putting the Seahawks in the playoffs, even though I had the 49ers winning the NFC West instead of earning the top NFC wild-card spot.
My predictions for the postseason awards were similarly mixed. I was correct on the league MVP (Peyton Manning) and the NFL offensive rookie of the year (Eddie Lacy), but my picks for defensive rookie of the year (Barkevious Mingo) and coach of the year (Joe Philbin)? Not so much.
And in the NFC, I had the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins winning the South and the East divisions, respectively. Those teams were popular preseason picks, and they'll both be on the Vikings' schedule next season as fellow last-place finishers in their divisions. All told, I correctly guessed seven of the 12 playoff teams.