With the NFL draft in the rearview mirror, Football Outsiders is ready to move on to projecting the 2015 season. Unfortunately, we're not yet finished building our more complicated forecast, which involves a lot of variables and a big Monte Carlo simulation.
But when Todd McShay asked us for some projected 2015 records to build his 2016 mock draft, we put together some quick-and-dirty projections that started with Football Outsiders' defense-adjusted value over average ratings (found here) and then applied the usual regression toward the mean that a good or bad team sees from each unit. We then adjusted the projections to account for last season's injury numbers, major free-agent moves and a few other indicators.
Today, I'll go through the NFC, division by division, and explain why we see certain teams moving up and down in 2015. (We did the AFC on Monday, which also contains a more detailed description of how we came up with these projections.) Each team has a forecasted record but also, for those of you wanting more detail, a more exact "mean projected wins" number. We also list strength of schedule based on average projected DVOA of next season's 16 opponents, ranked from the hardest (Minnesota is No. 1) to the easiest (Atlanta).