Revisiting PFR’s 2014/15 NFL Predictions

Back in early September, eight members of the Pro Football Rumors writing team submitted predictions for the 2014/15 NFL season, forecasting the league’s playoff teams, award winners, and Super Bowl champion. Five months later, some of those picks look prescient, while others should probably just be forgotten entirely.

Still, in the interest of accountability, we’ll take a look back today at a few of those predictions to see which ones hit or missed the mark. Let’s dive in….

The good:

  • While no one correctly predicted all six, we did fairly well as a group identifying the AFC playoff teams, with Rob DiRe, Matt Feminis, Ben Levine, and Rory Parks nailing five of the six.
  • Zach Links’ postseason predictions looked off-the-wall back in September, but he forecasted the NFC better than anyone, correctly picking five of six postseason participants, including the surprising Cowboys. Speaking of those Cowboys, Zach was also the only one of us to see DeMarco Murray‘s Offensive Player of the Year award coming.
  • Rob and Zach correctly picked multiple award winners, with Zach also predicting J.J. Watt would win Defensive Player of the Year, while Rob had Watt as DPOY and Aaron Rodgers as MVP.
  • One of the only silver linings in a series of bad predictions from me? I projected Aaron Donald as the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
  • Six of us had the Patriots playing in the Super Bowl, while Matt and Ben Levine each called New England as this year’s champion. Rory and David Kipke had the Seahawks as the NFC’s representative in the Super Bowl.

The bad:

  • As a group, we picked four different Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates and six Coach of the Year options, but none of them were eventual winners Odell Beckham Jr. or Bruce Arians.
  • Besides Zach, none of us correctly predicted more than half of the NFC’s playoff teams, with most of us just getting two of six. Disappointing seasons – or finishes – from the Saints, Eagles, 49ers, and Bears contributed to our struggles in the NFC.
  • Of those NFC underachievers, New Orleans burned us the most — seven of us thought the Saints would play in the NFC title game, four of us thought they’d make the Super Bowl, and Rob and I both had them as our champions. Whoops.
  • Among our predicted award winners who didn’t have the seasons we anticipated: Drew Brees, Tyrann Mathieu, Brandin Cooks, and Jadeveon Clowney.

The ugly:

  • I was high enough on the Buccaneers in the preseason that I gave them the nod for the second Wild Card spot in the NFC. Instead, Tampa Bay will pick first overall in this spring’s draft after a 2-14 campaign.
  • While Zach’s outside-the-box choices paid off in the NFC, his pick of the Jets to win the AFC East – led by Coach of the Year Rex Ryan – didn’t exactly pan out.
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