NFL Predictions at the Half Way Point



We're half way through the 2016 NFL Season, so it seemed like a good time to re-visit my predictions and see what's changed. Below you'll see my pre-season predictions followed by my current predictions, and what's changed.

Pre-Season Predictions:
NFC Playoffs:
1. Arizona Cardinals
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Dallas Cowboys
5. Seattle Seahawks
6. Minnesota Vikings

Wild Card Round: Seahawks over Cowboys; Panthers over Vikings
Divisional Round: Cardinals over Seahawks; Packers over Panthers
NFC Championship: Packers over Cardinals

AFC Playoffs:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. New England Patriots
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Denver Broncos

Wild Card Round: Patriots over Broncos; Bengals over Colts
Divisional Round: Patriots over Chiefs; Steelers over Bengals
AFC Championship: Steelers over Patriots

Super Bowl LI: Steelers over Packers

What Went Wrong: A lot of teams just aren't who we thought they were. That begins in the NFC West, where the Cardinals have fallen off quite a bit and, at this point, I don't think they recover. There's also been a lot of change in the NFC North, NFC East and AFC North. Teams aren't what we thought they were, and that means expectations have to change.

Half-Way Mark Predictions:
NFC Playoffs:
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. Atlanta Falcons
4. Detroit Lions
5. Minnesota Vikings
6. New York Giants

Wild Card Round: Falcons Over Giants; Lions Over Vikings
Divisional Round: Cowboys Over Lions; Seahawks Over Falcons
NFC Championship: Seahawks Over Cowboys

Thoughts: What's changed in the NFC? Well, for starters, the NFC East might be the best division. For second, the Green Bay Packers look lost. While I think it will be close, I'm not projecting them to miss the playoffs. That's a far cry from the Super Bowl berth I thought back in August. Instead, I think the Cowboys are for real, and I think the Seahawks will find a way to make it back. Also out of the hunt is the Carolina Panthers, who have too many problems and are too far back to claw their way back in. Minnesota and New York are flawed teams, but I think they get in.

AFC Playoffs:
1. New England Patriots
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Houston Texans
5. Denver Broncos
6. Oakland Raiders

Wild Card Round: Steelers Over Raiders; Broncos Over Texans
Divisional Round: Patriots Over Broncos; Steelers Over Chiefs
AFC Championship: Patriots Over Steelers

Super Bowl LI: Patriots Over Seahawks

Thoughts: What's changed in the AFC? Well, when you look at the projection, you'd say not much. But really a lot has changed. This is now starting to feel like a foregone conclusion for New England. The Steelers are trailing the Ravens right now in the North, but I think they ultimately win the division. I also think the Texans win the decidedly poor AFC South. In terms of Wild Cards, I now think three teams get in from the AFC West. Oakland is leading the way right now, but I think in the end the Chiefs win the division. In fact, they could move out in front with a win Sunday over the Panthers.

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