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2010-2011 NFL Season: How Will It Turn Out?

Who will win the Super Bowl in 2011? And for other math majors out there, I'm well-aware these probabilities add up to 457/300 instead of 1. (

Training Camp is underway, draft picks are being signed, and Brett Favre is fooling nobody about him being back next season. They’re all annual traditions in the game of football. As is speculation on how it will turn out. One of the leading Web site for such things,, has used their computers to come up with the final standings for 2010-2011, as well as how the playoffs will turn out. They’ve come up with some reasonable predictions, and some that were just strange. What exactly am I talking about? Well, why don’t we take a look?



Rank Team Rank Team
#1* San Diego Chargers #1* Green Bay Packers
#2* Baltimore Ravens #2* New Orleans Saints
#3* New England Patriots #3* Dallas Cowboys
#4* Tennessee Titans #4* San Francisco 49ers
#5 Denver Broncos #5 Carolina Panthers
#6 Pittsburgh Steelers #6 Minnesota Vikings

*Seeds 1-4 are division winners.

Okay. I can see most of this. They’re thinking Big Ben won’t be around to help Pittsburgh, and Brett Favre won’t repeat last season. But notice anything striking? Maybe like Peyton Manning being left off this list? That’s something I think we all have a hard time seeing. They also had the Jets’ powerhouse defense with a losing record, and even admit they didn’t factor in Vincent Jackson’s San Diego suspension into their sim. I do like that Detroit was predicted to get the #1 draft pick again, though. The point is, they’re using 2009 data as if it will duplicate itself in 2010, and not even factoring suspensions into the mix further corrupts the data.

Wild Card

Home Away % Probability of
Winner’s Victory
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers* 53
Tennessee Titans* Denver Broncos 62
Dallas Cowboys* Minnesota Vikings 63
San Francisco 49ers Carolina Panthers* 72

*Projected Winner

The first thing I notice is how the Patriots just can’t get any love in the first round as #3. If Tom Brady stays busted up pretty nicely, why should they? The Cowboys are thought to get their revenge against Minnesota. In that game, the Cowboys were projected to win 22-16; how much do you want to bet the Vikings’ last play was a Favre interception in that scenario?


Home Away % Probability of
Winner’s Victory
San Diego Chargers* Pittsburgh Steelers 65
Baltimore Ravens* Tennessee Titans 73
Green Bay Packers* Carolina Panthers 63
New Orleans Saints Dallas Cowboys* 51

*Projected Winner

The Cowboys will march into New Orleans and win again? People must really want them to play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium. Even though the computer picked Brees as the game’s MVP. The rest of the “superior” teams were picked to move on.

Conference Championship

Home Away % Probability of
Winner’s Victory
San Diego Chargers* Baltimore Ravens 62
Green Bay Packers* Dallas Cowboys 57

*Projected Winner

So it looks like Dallas’ run will end as the NFC’s runner-up. And Philip Rivers apparently won’t have the same mess-up that his team did against the Jets last year.

Super Bowl

Home Away % Probability of
Winner’s Victory
Green Bay Packers* San Diego Chargers 63

*Projected Winner

So the Chargers will make their second Super Bowl, and lose their second Super Bowl, while the Packers will win it for the first time since 1997. With Aaron Rodgers really coming into his own, I can see that.

Overall, it’s not a terrible prediction. The computer went with the safe picks with some killer QBs, with one glaring omission. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the Colts, especially with a single-digit win total. And the only post-season game predicted to have a two-possession final score was Green Bay over Carolina. You’d have to think there would be more like that, and some with double digit deficits.

But I still can’t help but think that with the admitted faults of not factoring in suspensions and not making the most effective use of projected stats, the predictions are a little off. I’d say the Jets should get a winning record, the Colts will beat out the Titans, and there’s no way the Bills are finishing ahead of the Dolphins. And although I do love the Lions losing, the Rams will be right there challenging for the top draft pick honors with an insanely overpriced Sam Bradford; I would’ve take Ndamukong Suh with the top pick if I were them. And with Mike Holmgren drafting Colt McCoy and outright refusing to even give him a chance to compete for position on the depth chart and saying he won’t be used at all this year, it makes me wonder how well the Browns will do with such nose-to-the-grindstone stubbornness.

So there’s what I’m thinking about this prediction. For now, feel free to chime in with your thoughts on this scenario, and stay tuned for the beginning of the season on September 9th for the SoB staff’s thoughts on how the season will turn out in our annual Pick ‘Em competition.

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One comment for “2010-2011 NFL Season: How Will It Turn Out?”

  1. Go Packers!!

    Posted by Amanda | November 2, 2010, 2:31 pm

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