Throwing Darts Blindfolded (or, Letting Excel Predict the Season)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – In an attempt to take guesswork and bias out of predictions, I used 34 pieces of data to evaluate each team, then plug them in into Microsoft Excel on a matchup-by-matchup basis.  The calculations were made at 6:05 p.m. MDT on Thursday night, to incorporate last-minute news (specifically, Peyton Manning’s neck surgery).

And sorry, Broncos fans … no playoff prediction here. Just a very promising 7-9 finish.

The results follow below:

AFC EAST:

  • New England: 12-4
  • N.Y. Jets: 11-5
  • Miami: 5-11
  • Buffalo: 3-13

AFC NORTH:

  • Pittsburgh: 13-3
  • Baltimore: 12-4
  • Cleveland: 9-7
  • Cincinnati: 3-13

AFC SOUTH:

  • Houston: 11-5
  • Tennessee: 5-11
  • Indianapolis: 4-12
  • Jacksonville: 4-12

AFC WEST:

  • San Diego: 11-5
  • Kansas City: 8-8
  • Oakland: 7-9
  • Denver: 7-9

WILD CARD: Texans over Ravens; Jets over Chargers.
DIVISIONAL ROUND: Jets over Steelers; Patriots over Texans.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Patriots over Jets.

NFC EAST:

  • Philadelphia: 11-5
  • Dallas: 9-7
  • N.Y. Giants: 9-7
  • Washington: 5-11

NFC NORTH:

  • Green Bay: 13-3
  • Chicago: 8-8
  • Detroit: 8-8
  • Minnesota: 7-9

NFC SOUTH:

  • New Orleans: 13-3
  • Atlanta: 12-4
  • Tampa Bay: 9-7
  • Carolina: 4-12

NFC WEST:

  • St. Louis: 9-7
  • Arizona: 6-10
  • San Francisco: 5-11
  • Seattle: 4-12

WILD CARD: Falcons over Rams; Eagles over Buccaneers.
DIVISIONAL ROUND: Packers over Falcons; Eagles over Saints.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Packers over Eagles.

SUPER BOWL XLVI: Packers 38, Patriots 27.

2012 DRAFT TOP FIVE:

1. Cincinnati
2. Buffalo
3. Carolina
4. Seattle
5. Indianapolis

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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