NFC East Prediction 2010

It’s a new era for our Philadelphia Eagles. Donovan McNabb has headed off to Washington and our fate now largely rests in the talented, yet unproven hands of Kevin Kolb. I’ve heard predictions for the 2010 season ranging from 6-10 all the way to Superbowl champs, so what does history suggest is in store over the next few months? In order to attempt to predict the future, I’ve analyzed the win-loss records of each NFL team for the past 10 seasons and this is what I’ve discovered.

NFL 10 Year Record – Regular Season
1st 2nd 3rd= 3rd= 5th 6th 7th 8th
Colts Patriots Steelers Eagles Packers Broncos Ravens Titans
W 115 112 103 103 95 93 92 91
L 45 48 56 56 65 67 68 69
T 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
.719 .700 .647 .647 .594 .581 .575 .569
9th 10th 11th 12th 13th= 13th= 15th 16th
Giants Chargers Vikings Saints Seahawks Cowboys Bears Jets
W 88 85 84 83 82 82 81 80
L 72 75 76 77 78 78 79 80
T 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
.550 .531 .525 .519 .513 .513 .506 .500
17th= 17th= 17th= 20th 21st 22nd 23rd= 23rd=
Buccs Dolphins Panthers Jaguars Falcons Rams Redskins Chiefs
W 79 79 79 76 75 71 70 70
L 81 81 81 84 84 89 90 90
T 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
.494 .494 .494 .475 .472 .444 .438 .438
25th 26th 27th 28th= 28th= 30th 31st 32nd
Bengals 49ers Bills Raiders Cardinals Texans Browns Lions
W 68 68 66 62 62 49 57 41
L 91 92 94 98 98 79 103 119
T 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
.428 .425 .413 .388 .388 .383 .356 .256

Unsurprisingly, the Colts (.719) and Patriots (.700) have the best records in the regular season, but tied in 3rd position are the Steelers and Eagles, both with a record of .647 (103-56-1). This gives the Eagles the best record in the NFC, followed by the Packers who are 5th overall. Of the top 10 NFL teams, only 3 hail from the NFC with the Giants making up the trio.

Over the past decade, the NFC East teams shape up as follows:-

Eagles           .647
Giants           .550
Cowboys      .513
Redskins       .438

That makes satisfying reading for Eagles fans, but how can I use this to predict the 2010 season?

Well, I figure that the most relevant season in history is the last one, so I’ve awarded 10 points for each win during 2009. This gives the Eagles 110 points (11 wins x 10 points). Then in 2008, I’ve awarded 9 points per win which means that the Eagles bank another 81 points for their 9 wins. I’ve followed this all the way back to 2000 where the 11 wins are worth 1 point each, so 11 in all. Adding the points for each season together gives me a total of 543, but in order to convert this to a single season win record I need to divide by 55 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10). I then end up with 9.87 (543 / 55) and so from the record of the last 10 NFL seasons, I predict that the Eagles will end up 10-6 in 2010. I’d take that!

If this system works, the NFC East will end up as follows:-

Eagles           10-6
Giants             9-7
Cowboys        9-7
Redskins         7-9

But can history really predict the future accurately? Maybe. The stats for the 10 years previous to 2009 predicted a 10-6 season for the Eagles in 2010 and 11-5 was only 1 game out. The Giants’ prediction was also 1 game out, 9-7 against an actual record of 8-8. The Cowboys had a projected season of 9-7 which was 2 games out of their final 11-5 and the Redskins were 3 games behind their predicted 7-9 finishing 4-12. In total, the NFC East prediction was 7 games out which isn’t so bad out of the 64 games played between the four teams.

I’d say that the Giants prediction for 2010 is about right, one game better than last year. Even the Redskins could achieve their 7-9 if McNabb stays fit (what does history tell us about McNabb’s durability?!). I do think though that the Cowboys are better than 9-7 and who knows if the Eagles can get to 10-6 with essentially a rookie Quarterback? Time will tell on that, but I don’t think that 10-6 is unreasonable if Kolb can hit the ground running.

How about post-season?

NFL 10 Year Record – Post Season
1st 2nd= 2nd= 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
Patriots Steelers Saints Cardinals Panthers Ravens Raiders Eagles
W 14 10 5 4 5 8 4 10
L 4 4 2 2 3 5 3 8
.778 .714 .714 .667 .625 .615 .571 .556
9th 10th 11th= 11th= 13th= 13th= 13th= 16th=
Giants Colts Seahawks Jets Rams Buccs Vikings Bears
W 6 9 4 4 3 3 3 2
L 5 8 5 5 4 4 4 3
.545 .529 .444 .444 .429 .429 .429 .400
16th= 18th 19th= 19th= 19th= 19th= 23rd 24th
Falcons Chargers Packers Jaguars Redskins 49ers Titans Dolphins
W 2 3 3 1 1 1 2 1
L 3 5 6 2 2 2 5 3
.400 .375 .333 .333 .333 .333 .286 .250
25th= 25th= 27th= 27th= 27th= 27th= 27th= 27th=
Broncos Cowboys Chiefs Bengals Browns Bills Lions Texans
W 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
L 4 4 2 2 1 0 0 0
.200 .200 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000

The Eagles have the 8th best record in the NFL over the past 10 years with .556 and this is 4th in the NFC behind Saints, Cardinals and Panthers. Interestingly, the Eagles have played 18 post-season games over the past decade and the rest of the NFC East teams combined have only managed 19! The Eagles are actually tied 1st with the Patriots for the number of post-season games played over the past 10 years in the NFL. That’s pretty impressive, though out of the top 6 (Eagles, Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Ravens, Giants) the Eagles are the only team not to have won a Superbowl in that time.

Here’s another historical fact for you. The Phillies have won the NL Pennant 6 times since 1950 and in all but 1 of those seasons, the Eagles finished their regular season .500 or higher. The Phils are starting to get it together and could quite conceivably clinch NL Pennant number 7, but am I clutching at straws now to try and convince myself that the Eagles are heading into a winning season? Quite possibly!

A lot rests in the hands of #4, but in Kolb we trust!

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!

 

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