Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Get Lost! Our 2008 NFL Predictions.

When it comes to proving the full extent of our geekhood, we figured the only way to top comparing NFL teams to a wildly popular movie that millions have seen was to compare NFL teams to a reasonably obscure niche show with a complex story arch and lots of arcane references to pop culture, sci-fi, historical and literary icons.

Yeah, you got it... this year we take on Lost. If you don't watch Lost, you may not get the joke, but consider that your penance for not watching Lost. So without further ado, enjoy our 2008 NFL Predictions.

LINKS: CHFF gets it right on the AFC South. Listen, the Jags haven't added anyone in the offseason. Porter and Williamson both suck (Porter can barely walk), and they traded their whole draft for a guy who won't be effective for two months at least. Everyone is worried about the Colts injuries but: 1. The injuries were worse last year and 2. Interior line injuries aren't as bad as tackle injuries and 3. The rest of the roster has improved. We still don't know if Freeney is ok, but that won't matter for the division. The Jholes are primed for a MAJOR regression. It's far more likely that VY figures it out in Tennessee or Houston stays healthy and makes the leap. Jacksonville is the 4th best team in the South.

Dr Z has the Colts really low. That will work itself out soon enough.

ESPN moves up to fourth.

Prisco gives us some love. That's trouble.

Peyton is ready to go. Yawn.

FO lists the DVOA numbers. They hate on the Colts D. Explanations may be forthcoming. Thanks to Shake for the link.


Demond Sanders said...

Dr. Who is obscure. Lost is as mainstream as it gets.

John said...

Those of us without cable appreciate the fact that you used a broadcast TV, if I only ever watched TV, I might have a clue.

You really think Miami's going to win 5 games? Admittedly, they play the NFC West, but still.

Bold move on the Jags. I hope you're right, but I find it hard to imagine them doing that badly.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Here's the thing about the Dolphins:

1. They dumped one of the worst coaches in recent memory

2. They upgraded at QB

3. Their Pythagorean numbers showed that they were a bit unlucky last year

4. Parcels is in charge now, which should mean there is some improvement.

I don't think they'll be good, but I do think they'll be markedly better than last year.

Westside Rob said...

LOST was the perfect choice even if it isn't known by all. I'd been racking my brain trying to guess where you might have gone and I applaud the choice. I'm laughing my a$# off right now.

JC said...

First of all, it's an insult to waste Sawyer on Houston.

That plain sucks.

Second....Belichick would be Charles Whitmore, not Linus.

And clearly you were gonna juxtapose Manning with the guy on the show with the most sex appeal.....which is kind of like being an Irish guy named Deshawn.

It doesn't compute.

Deshawn Zombie said...

I'm glad you finally picked up on our love for irony.

I think Jerry Jones is more Whitmore than BB. Whitmore is a schemer, but has been fairly unsuccessful in separating his daughter from Desmond. Very JJish.

Ben slaughtered a whole island of people in cold blood. BB would totally do that if it meant one more ring.

Robert I. said...

I love this thing

coltsfanawalt said...

Awesome! My wife and I are rolling. Except we learned too much from reading, as we are still working our way through early season three.

I can't believe they just killed off Eko. One dude I enjoyed on the show. It is very hard to wrap my mind around the black smoke thing. Will it all make sense soon? Anyway, great show and post.

coltsfanawalt said...

Oh, and solid predictions. I have been saying for a month that JAX slides to #4. I think HOU takes the 2 spot, as they will be one of the league's most improved teams. Same with BUF, by the way. While NE, NYJ and MIA are all hating on each other between their head coaches, BUF will silently rise. But not quite high enough to take the crown. Ben Linus holds it in their division still, though an early playoff exit will drive him to either the funny farm or retirement.

coltsfanawalt said...

"He says, 'We're next!'"

jc said...


Season 4 pretty much answers all the frustrating questions.


Shake'n'bake said...

Interesting word choice Coltsfanawalt

"my wife and I are rolling"

made me laugh a bit.

Deshawn Zombie said...

The word on Eko was that the actor hated living in Hawaii and wanted off the show. They had to kill him off.

coltsfanawalt said...

Too bad. And let me rephrase that...

Demond Sanders said...

If I remember correctly one or both of his parents passed away during his time on the show. That was rumored to be a part of it.

JC said...

They should have just called Eko "Simon Adebisi" and let his time on the island been Adebisi's life after he escaped from OZ.

You wanna talk about someone that got straight up type-cast during the 90's? It was that guy.

Shake - nobody rolls anymore. Unless you're in highschool. The E-bombs went out with techno circa '01.

Bob M. said...

I'll just ditto what John said in the #2 slot. Looks impressive, but I am clueless since my TV is mainly a football box, which is what my oldest son called it when he was about 3--that was the only time the black thing in the corner of the room came alive.

I'd put the Jags above Tenn, but I agree on Houston's potential. The D should be solid and I really like that WR, um, whatshisname....

Westside Rob said...

I think my favorite connections this year are:
Hurly, Desmond, and Benard.

My vote for the 2009 NFL season theme is NBC's Heroes. There should be enough character base to go there next year, and it's becoming as mainstream as those kinds of programs get.

coltsfanawalt said...

Just watched "I Do" and "Not In Portland". Intense episodes. Juliet's character is really evolving. And this "other" group is receiving more light to shed on even more questions.

With a bus?! That was like a moment from Final Destination or something. I thought I saw it coming, but my wife and I still jumped. Maybe that rolling had something to do with it... Anyhow, who are these people? I'm sure all will be answered. Just like in the X-Files.

Wierd moment. JC and the Zombie Brothers sharing common ground as men with answers about Lost. Not football. Maybe a little golf, but still.

Anonymous said...


Andre Johnson, one of the few guys frm Miami's heyday to translate to the NFL

Bob M. said...

Yeah, I knew Andre Johnson's name, or was about 95% sure. Isn't there another NFL WR with the same moniker (but maybe an apostrophe after the e?). I was being lazy and didn't verify it, so went with a joke to cover my lazy rump. AJ impresses me, and actually concerns me a bit.

Who here has read the CHFF AFC writeup? I cannot imagine a more biased "review" touting itself as fact-based. Yes, they probably got the Jags right, but as I read about Cleveland, I was thinking the same thing--mainly about not being sold on Cleveland regarding the most important position on the field--QB. I think Troy Smith is as likely as Derek Anderson to have a great year, making that division a 3-way dogfight. With Ben "The only QB Bob fears" Roethlisberger taking it in the end. So to speak.

Then, CHFF concludes with this drivel:
"There's a reason why Vegas has made New England a clear favorite to win the Super Bowl."
Yes guys, Vegas does not try to predict winners, they try to set lines and odds to get 50% of the bettors on each side of a bet. That's how bookies make money. That's all. They do not try to predict winners or losers. They make money. It's a beautiful thing, really. CHFF knows this.

And, "Even if they decline in all phases of the game this season, they're still a team that will be favored almost every week and that could easily win 12 games and earn a first-round bye." And we can clearly see the historical certainty that this brings the top seeds, especially in the AFC, the past three seasons. 2 of the last 3 years it meant zilch, and even last year it resulted in a SB appearance but no trophy.

Keep Brady-worshipping, guys. You have plenty of company. He's wealthy and attractive, a fine QB who dates supermodels; every adolescent's dream. But leave the facts to people who can think.

Bob M. said...

And you have to love Dr. Z's advice to the Jags:

"Note to Jaguars: Got to have it both ways. First you draft 'em, then you sign 'em. One won't work without the other."


Adam said...

Dr. Z actually has it wrong. You can, in fact, not draft them, then sign them.

However, only the Jags would draft, then not sign.

Shake'n'bake said...

FO's DVOA projection's are out. They don't like the Indy D. No idea why so I asked. I'll see what they've got.

Deshawn Zombie said...

DVOA, I believe, takes the end of last year more seriously than the beginning. In all, I can't exactly figure it out. FO always under projects the Colts, and they know that. I suspect that the answers will come tomorrow.

Shake'n'bake said...

Well the offensive under-projection is usually because the system doesn't understand the Peyton Manning is a demigod so the offenses 3rd down performance won't regress to the mean. But they projected the O 2nd behind the Pats (Which I don't believe is right, but is more than reasonable.

Bob M. said...

FO has messed up on the Colt D--that's the only possible explanation. Even if they are using assumptions like Freeney at 75% (recovering) and Sanders at 50%(missing 8 games due to injury) you should not get that much of a dropoff.

And assuming we are static (which is pessimistic, having added back 93 plus some DL/LB depth), that means 15 other teams improved enough to surpass us? How likely is that? There has to be a bug.

FO's win totals are always low for elite teams and high for the dregs--it's the nature of the projection. You run 1 million simulations and they will tend toward 8-8. NE and SD are under-projected too, in light of their wimpy skeds. So the win total doesn't bother me--probably a 90% chance we'll win from 11-13 games and 100% chance it's 10-15 games. I've bitched to them about that for years now--at least this year they are not over-projecting the Jags like last year--my email to Aaron on this topic was truly scathing last September.

But what's up with their D projection? Time will tell, or not. And in 12 months, with another SB trophy on Irsay's mantel, we'll be having the same damn discussion about how FO is messing up!

Shake'n'bake said...

My theories:

1. The terrible 2006 regular season D is a not-insignificant part of the projection.

2. The Colts were very lucky on 3rd downs and/or in fumble recovery last year. (I'll be checking my pro football prospectus for the 3rd downs later today).

3. The projection emphasizes end of last year trend, but doesn't account for injuries in the late part of the year. (This is where I'm leaning right now. Again checking my PFP later).

4. The projection doesn't believe Freeney, Sanders and big chunks of the supporting cast will stay healty. (I doubt this since they've said when asked about the Cowboys projection that it projects regression to the mean injury wise).

andyfest said...

Great job guys! It never ceases to amaze me how much time you must devote to this site. Even a Packer fan enjoys tuning in, though.

Speaking of the Packers, Everyone seems to put them at 8-8, 9-7, even 10-6. With the injury problems they're already having, their tough schedule and the downgrade at QB, I put them at a max of 6 wins.

Deshawn Zombie said...

They are crazy talented, they just have a potentially season breaking problem at QB.

John said...

Boston Herald has a complimentary article on Peyton.

Of course, this being Boston, the grammar is highly suspect.

Shake'n'bake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shake'n'bake said...

The Colts D was worse on 3rd down than 2nd down and far worse than on 1st down. The Colts D only dropped one spot in the rankings and only 2.5% between weighted and total DVOA.

I really don't know what they have against the Colts D.

Aaron Schatz said in the comments that they're going to answer some questions in a upcoming mailbag. Plus the author's subjective predictions are being posted today so maybe one of them will take it on.

Demond Sanders said...

I'll say this about the Colts D: They looked awful against a backup in the playoffs, despite being mostly healthy and having an insanely loud crowd behind them.

Then again, they were missing the most important player on any defense, in Polian's opinion, the D-End.

Anonymous said...

FO does have the special teams ranked correctly, however, at 32nd. How many years will the Colt kicking game suck before somebody starts to wonder why?


Shake'n'bake said...

From my Stampede Blue piece on the rankings

"Leaving the offensive projection alone and using last years defensive DVOA instead of their projection puts the Colts as 2nd best team in the league with a 34.9% total DVOA. That would still leave the Colts 5.1% behind the Patriots. For them to overtake them without outperforming their great offensive projection or an defensive improvement they would need the impossible, slightly above average special teams play."

Bob M. said...

Is infinity a number you're comfortable using? It seems like forever, doesn't it?

Adam said...

Football Outsiders assumes a regression to the mean. It discounts the possibility that a team, with a good coaching, conditioning, and some luck, a team could be excellent hypothetically forever.

The Colts and Patriots are both unique in that they've stayed excellent for extended periods of time, and show no trend towards regression.

However, the ranking on the Colts D is unacceptable. It'll be better than advertised.

Jessi said...

You guys are brilliant. Nothing will beat the novelty of last year's predictions method - but this is a great sophomore effort. Hilarious and wise, what more can we ask for?

Andrew said...

If the Dolphins team jet goes down in flames this year, you guys are gonna feel just awful, you know.

Awesome job by the way.