2016 Preseason Projection Review

Posted: August 26, 2017 in NFL

Football is back! With college football kicking off this weekend we are that much closer to the NFL season and football-filled weekends for months to come. The 2017 preseason projections will be released Monday-Friday next week.

Monday – AFC & NFC North previews

Tuesday – AFC & NFC East previews

Wednesday – AFC & NFC South previews

Thursday – AFC & NFC West previews

Friday – Preseason playoff picks

I thought it would be fun to revisit last year’s preseason projections prior to the release of the 2017 projections.  Overall, last year was not as a great as I would have liked. I’ve made some minor changes in hopes that this year brings more accurate preseason rankings. Below is a chart showing the preseason win projection and the actual result and total games off.

2016 NFL Predictions: The Statistical Truth
Team Pred. Actual DIFF
Colts 8 8 0
Saints 7 7 0
Seahawks 11 10.5 -0.5
Steelers 12 11 -1
Ravens 9 8 -1
Texans 8 9 1
Eagles 6 7 1
49ers 3 2 -1
Vikings 10 8 -2
Bills 9 7 -2
Jets 7 5 -2
Broncos 7 9 2
Buccaneers 7 9 2
Rams 6 4 -2
Browns 3 1 -2
Packers 13 10 -3
Patriots 11 14 3
Cowboys 10 13 3
Chiefs 9 12 3
Raiders 9 12 3
Giants 8 11 3
Chargers 8 5 -3
Lions 6 9 3
Jaguars 6 3 -3
Redskins 5 8.5 3.5
Titans 5 9 4
Cardinals 12 7.5 -4.5
Bears 8 3 -5
Falcons 6 11 5
Dolphins 5 10 5
Bengals 12 6.5 -5.5
Panthers 13 6 -7

 

 

I believe that accurate rankings should accomplish 2 things.

1) The difference of the projections and the actual result should follow a bell-curve pattern.

2)  75% of teams should be within +- 2 games of their preseason projection.

These are the standards I am setting for myself as well as all other preseason projections.

Below is a chart of last year’s bell curve.

It is fairly close to following a bell curve. The only thing that is really off is that there were a lot of teams that outperformed the preseason projection by three games rather than two. Otherwise, it pretty much follows the bell-curve pattern. As for the second standard, I only projected fifteen (47%) teams within two games – nine short of where I would like to be. I am confident that the changes I made will improve the projections for this season.

As for my playoff projection; I correctly picked six of eight division winners (missed on NFC South and NFC West) and did not pick any wild card teams correctly. I had three of the final four teams picked correctly. My super bowl prediction of Packers over Steelers did not happen, obviously.

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