Wow, looking back at my predictions last year, I really did a crappy job. Makes me less willing to prognosticate again this year. But I said less willing, not unwilling.
I made 10 basic predictions in late February, and here’s how they turned out:
- This prediction was essentially 1, but had 2 parts. The first said the Falcons would not trade Matt Schaub. That was correct. The second was if they had, it would only be to the Detroit Lions.
- Bryan Scott would regain his starting position. Boy, was I wrong. The Falcons shipped him away to New Orleans where he totaled ZERO starts even in their secondary.
- Rich McKay would surprise us with the first pick. Well, technically I could say I got it right, since rather than drafting someone, we decided to trade it to the New York Jets for John Abraham. I’d say a surprise, but I won’t take credit for it since I was implying it was going to be a draft pick.
- T.J. Duckett would be back in Atlanta. Wrong again, although T.J. lasted a lot longer than Bryan Scott did. And I was right to the point that the market was very poor for Duckett, and took an injury to both Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts before a team was willing to deal for him.
- I predicted which free agents would and would not return. I said Carpenter, Finneran, Peterson, Shaffer, and Dez White would be gone. I was technically right since Finneran, the lone one re-signed, did not suit up in ’06. Among the ones I said would return, only one did: Fred McCrary. The others: Ronnie Heard, Kevin McCadam, and Barry Stokes did not, and I inaccurately predicted that nobody would want them (McCadam and Stokes both signed with other teams).
- I predicted an early or late bye. I was correct, as we had one in Week 5.
- I predicted Brooking, Hall, Kerney, and Vick would be our Pro Bowlers. I was right on Hall, but left off Crumpler. At the time, I figured Jason Witten, Jeremy Shockey, and Chris Cooley seemed likelier candidates. Shockey did make it.
- I predicted a Top 10 finish for our defense this past season. Well, we wound up 22nd in total defense (yards) and 16th in scoring defense (points). Wrong again.
- I predicted a second place finish in the NFC South.
- I predicted the Falcons would dominate the Saints in ’06 (who at the time I thought would draft Vince Young). That may have been the most blatantly false prediction I made them, as the Saints in term dominated us.
So I feel I can only take credit for 3 of these predictions. And they were the 3 most lukewarm and conservative ones. Saying the Falcons wouldn’t trade Schaub is not going out on a limb at all, because trades are rare in the NFL. The Falcons being in part of 4 last off-season was outrageous by normal standards. Preciting a surprise first round pick is nothing insightful either since that’s what draws people to the draft in the first place, the intrigue and mystery. And the accurate prediction of an early bye is not too complex considering the law of averages indicates getting a midseason bye three years in a role is unlucky based on the NFL’s scheduling process.
I could try to make some predictions here and now, but I’ll just give you my Super Bowl prediction: Ravens vs. Saints. Ravens win.