Monday, August 20, 2007

2007 Sports As Life NFL Preview - NFC Wrap-up

Ok, I have a few quick things to say about my NFC predictions and the we'll get to the the NFC playoff match ups. And then as a special treat, we're going to have NFL legend John Madden give us NFC predictions for the upcoming season as well.

First of all I wanted to say that I wildly over-estimated the team that Kansas City is going to have this year. So I'm going to give Chicago an extra win because I originally had them losing to Kansas City. So the prediction for the Bears is now 9-7.

Also after seeing Washington's defence play against the Steelers, I may have wildly under-estimated them. If Jason Campbell's knee is alright and he doesn't lose games for them, they actually have a chance to be good. Of course it was pre-season, so who knows.

I am so glad that I picked Minnesota's Adrian Peterson to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year on Wednesday, so I can't be accused of being a bandwagon jumper. After seeing Peterson run against the New York Jets on Friday night, I'm more confident than ever in my prediction. And even if he doesn't win, I love a running back who goes out of his way to hit a defensive player before he goes out of bounds - which is what Peterson did against the Jets.

One last item that I wanted to put up. It's related to what I posted early today about Cleveland's Brady Quinn (not in the NFC I know) being seriously over-hyped after his first quarter of action - however, I didn't get this little tidbit until after I'd already posted the Headlines. I wanted to put this up just to show that I'm not the only one who's taking Quinn's performance with a grain of salt. Thanks to Cooper and his satellite radio, we're pleased to share Steve Czaban's thoughts on Quinn with you - "What a great job he did coming in when they were down 23-0 and throwing 2 TD's against the future FedEx drivers of America." See, it's not just me.

Ok, on to the NFC playoff match ups and breakdown. The 4 division winners are: St. Louis at 10-6, Chicago at 9-7, New Orleans at 11-5, and Dallas at 11-5. The final 2 wild card spots are a little tougher to determine as I have San Francisco, Seattle, Carolina and Philadelphia all going 9-7. And since I have no idea what convoluted tie-breaking system the NFL uses, for the sake of argument I'm just going to say it's San Francisco and Carolina that make the playoffs out of that group.

So... here is the playoff seeding, the 4 Division Champs and 2 Wild Card teams, and who is going to play who:

1. New Orleans - first round bye and home field advantage through the playoffs.
2. Dallas - first round bye and home field in the second round.
3. St. Louis - home playoff game in first round, plays lower ranked Wild Card team.
4. Chicago - home playoff game in first round, plays higher ranked Wild Card team.
5. Carolina - on the road in first round against Division Winner with worst record.
6. San Francisco - on the road in first round against Division Winner with 2nd worst record.

The games then shape up like this:

1st Round - Wild Card Games

San Francisco @ St. Louis - for some reason I think this is actually a game San Francisco could win, so just for the heck of it I'm going to put them through. Winner: San Francisco

Carolina @ Chicago - I think Chicago will have learned their lesson from 2 years ago and figured out how to beat Carolina in the playoffs. Winner: Chicago

2nd Round - Divisional Games

San Francisco @ New Orleans - Cinderella only gets so long before that clock strikes midnight. Winner: New Orleans

Chicago @ Dallas - Chicago just doesn't have the magic to make it as far as they did last year. Winner: Dallas

3rd Round - NFC Championship Game

Dallas @ New Orleans - this is based on the fact that New Orleans will get the top ranking due to some tie-breaking formula. When I started the NFC breakdown last week my early pick for NFC Champion was New Orleans but I don't know if they can overcome Dallas. The Cowboys have the defence to keep the Saints in check. And the Saints probably don't have the defence to stop what should be a pretty good Cowboys' offence. Winner: Dallas

So there you have it, this year's NFC representative in the Super Bowl will be the Dallas Cowboys... I just wouldn't bet on it if I were you.

Alright, I may have stretched the truth a little when I said John Madden would be making his NFC predictions on Sports As Life. Actually it's going to be Madden 2008 making the predictions for us - I should make that distinction before I get sued through the nose. I thought it would be interesting though to see how my predictions match up to what the video game thinks is going to happen this upcoming season. Then at the end of the year we can see was closer to what actually happened. So thanks to Tim for running the simulation and making the necessary roster adjustments.


Arizona..............Sports As Life: 6-10...Madden 2008: 5-11
St. Louis............Sports As Life: 10-6...Madden 2008: 8-8
San Francisco......Sports As Life: 9-7.....Madden 2008: 7-9
Seattle...............Sports As Life: 9-7.....Madden 2008: 12-4


Chicago........Sports As Life: 9-7.....Madden 2008: 9-7
Detroit.........Sports As Life: 4-12...Madden 2008: 5-11
Green Bay.....Sports As Life: 5-11...Madden 2008: 5-11
Minnesota.....Sports As Life: 6-10...Madden 2008: 7-9


Atlanta..............Sports As Life: 6-10...Madden 2008: 8-8
Carolina............Sports As Life: 9-7.....Madden 2008: 8-8
New Orleans........Sports As Life: 11-5...Madden 2008: 12-4
Tampa Bay.........Sports As Life: 6-10...Madden 2008: 8-8


Dallas.............Sports As Life: 11-5....Madden 2008: 7-9
New York.........Sports As Life: 6-10...Madden 2008: 7-9
Philadelphia......Sports As Life: 9-7.....Madden 2008: 11-5
Washington......Sports As Life: 7-9.....Madden 2008: 11-5

So there you have it, the video game and I have both spoken. And it was quite a bit closer than I expected - with the glaring exception of Seattle, Dallas and Washington. And the game has New Orleans going to the Super Bowl. I'm not sure if being that close to a computer simulation is a good thing or a bad thing. I suppose only time will tell.

Tomorrow we start the AFC with the AFC West.

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