SportsNation: NFL Optimism Abounds

When you ask fans of a team to assess their team's chances prior to any given season, you are more than likely going to receive a more optimistic forecast than from an impartial source.

We asked SportsNation to go through their favorite team's 2006 schedule game-by-game and decide which games they will win and lose. There are many observations to make from the results, but one thing is abundantly clear: SportsNation is full of homers! While parity certainly reigns supreme in the NFL these days, only three teams came up with losing records in the poll (all in the AFC).

Before we dissect SportsNation's brains to see exactly what is going on up there, here's "Exhibit A" - a look at how SportsNation feels the 2006 NFL standings will end up.

We've included a quick statement on what we think about your predictions. Don't take it personally, please:

Homerism at its best
Here's hoping we can agree on something real quick, before we move on here. In nearly every NFL game, there is a winner and a loser, right?

Just checking because the combined records above are 358-154, for a sterling .699 average winning percentage. While you expect a little "homerism", it's not even close. Naturally, there have to be the same number of wins as losses, so the "homerism" epidemic is apparently widespread. How bad is it?

It's so bad that SportsNation only has two teams finishing below .500 (Texans and Titans at 7-9). In addition, six teams were voted to win 14 games or more, including a trio of AFC heavyweights going 15-1.

Can it be? Every team will improve?
Yet another impossibility from the poll results deals with the fact that SportsNation forecasts each team will improve its win total from last season. While we certainly endorse the power of positive thinking, you'll really be sick of the word parity if this happens.

Three teams would make six-game improvements from 2005: Green Bay, New Orleans and Oakland; Meanwhile, four others are forecast to make five-game jumps in the win column (Dallas, Detroit, N.Y. Jets and Houston).

We don't mean to make too much fun of you, SportsNation (OK, yes we do). But may you enjoy your team's season in 2006 as much as we've enjoyed making light of the results.