NFL Recap Week 17: Funny thing about those predictions of mine …

June 6, 2023 | (Noah Frank)

WASHINGTON — Sweet baby Jesus. I may be losing my touch.

Last year, my prognostications didn’t go so well. This year? I don’t wanna talk about it.

But I will anyway. You can see the full scope of my wrongness here, but the Cliff’s Notes version is ahead.

Last chance to take a sip of coffee. Drink beyond this point, and you might spit it at the screen in laughter.

What I predicted:
Eagles 9-7
Redskins 8-8
Giants 6-10
Cowboys 5-11

Best call: “Count on another mediocre season (for the Giants) and more questions regarding whether Tom Coughlin has earned the right to leave on his own terms.”
Worst call: “There shall be no glory hole for Jerry Jones this year. In fact, there’s a better chance we’ll hear the sentence, “The Dallas Cowboys are now on the clock” really early in the 2015 draft.”

What happened:
Cowboys 12-4
Eagles 10-6
Giants 6-10
Redskins 4-12

What I predicted:
Packers 12-4
Bears 8-8
Lions 8-8
Vikings 5-11

Best call: “(Improved Packer defense) should be enough to keep the Cheeseheads at the front of the pack in the NFC North.”
Worst call: “New coach Jim Caldwell should get the most out of (the offense), but the D in Detroit will again hold the Lions back.”

What happened:
Packers 12-4
Lions 11-5
Vikings 7-9
Bears 5-11

What I predicted:
Saints 12-4
Bucs 8-8
Falcons 7-9
Panthers 7-9

Best call: “The Falcons should be just good enough to keep Mike Smith from getting fired.”
Worst call: “Were it not for being in a division with the Saints, I’d have the Bucs pegged for a much bigger turnaround in 2014.”

What happened:
Panthers 7-8-1
Saints 7-9
Falcons 6-10
Bucs 2-14

What I predicted:
Seahawks 12-4
Niners 10-6
Cardinals 7-9
Rams 5-11

Best call: “Seattle is way too talented to fall off the map completely, and they should make another deep playoff run.”
Worst call: “… the (Niners) schedule sets up for a late-season tear, provided Colin Kaepernick can finally step up and be a consistent quarterback.”

What happened:
Seahawks 12-4
Cardinals 11-5
49ers 8-8
Rams 6-10

What I predicted:
Patriots 12-4
Dolphins 8-8
Jets 6-10
Bills 5-11

Best call: “… this is New England’s division to lose. Which they won’t. Because they haven’t in five years.”
Worst call: “There’s a chance the Bills circle the wagons … it just doesn’t seem likely.”

What happened:
Patriots 12-4
Bills 9-7
Dolphins 8-8
Jets 4-12

What I predicted:
Steelers 10-6
Bengals 9-7
Ravens 8-8
Browns 5-11

Best call: “Pittsburgh seems primed for a return to the top of the division. For the first time in years, Ben Roethlisberger won’t be asked to go it alone.”
Worst call: Didn’t make one!

What happened:
Steelers 11-5
Bengals 10-5-1
Ravens 10-6
Browns 7-9

What I predicted:
Colts 12-4
Texans 9-7
Jags 7-9
Titans 4-12

Best call: “Folks, here is this year’s Kansas City Chiefs … They likely won’t win 11 games, but Houston won’t have nearly as many problems as last year.”
Worst call: “Andrew Luck’s third NFL season will be spent cementing his status as an elite quarterback … Don’t sleep on the defense, either.”

What happened:
Colts 11-5
Texans 9-7
Jaguars 3-13
Titans 2-14

What I predicted:
Broncos 13-3
Chiefs 8-8
Chargers 8-8
Raiders 4-12
Best call: “This is a fallback year for KC.”
Worst call: “Denver loaded up on free-agent defenders (who) should help make this the best defensive unit since the Orange Crush.”

What happened:
Broncos 12-4
Chiefs 9-7
Chargers 9-7
Raiders 3-13

Now I’ll use what’s left of my credibility to cobble together the last regular-season recap of 2014:

Cowboys 44
Redskins 17

Dallas finished the season 8-0 on the road. Here’s a stat I hate passionately: Six of the last seven teams to post a perfect road record have reached the Super Bowl. The Cowboys also went 4-0 in December, scoring five or more TDs in each game with Tony Romo playing near-perfect football. Hold me. I’m scared.

Browns 10
Ravens 20

Baltimore now has an 11-3 record against rookie QBs in the John Harbaugh era after knocking off undrafted rookie Connor Shaw. Ain’t no party like a Manziel party cuz a Manziel party don’t stop!

Colts 27
Titans 10

Only Dan Marino threw more touchdown passes in his first three NFL seasons than Andrew Luck. Even though Luck appears poised to make a move toward elite status, Indy still has a long way to go before being ready to make a deep playoff run.

Jaguars 17
Texans 23

The Texans needed Case Keenum, Connor Shaw and Chase Daniel all to win to make the playoffs. Their postseason hopes were basically DOA.

Even though Houston fell short of the playoffs, J.J. Watt is the first player in NFL history to have multiple 20-sack seasons. I think it’s safe to say he’ll be the first defensive player to get an MVP vote since 2008.

Chargers 7
Chiefs 19

Justin Houston is the best pass rusher in the league you’ve never heard of. He had 4 sacks Sunday to finish with 22 for 2014, only the second Chief to surpass 20 sacks in a season. Anybody mentioned in the same breath as Derrick Thomas is a big-time player.

Jets 37
Dolphins 24

So … 358 yards, 3 TDs and a perfect 158.3 QB rating? If Geno Smith played like that more often, this probably wouldn’t be the end of the Rex Ryan era.

Bears 9
Vikings 13

The sad irony of the Marc Trestman era is that his offenses were good, but the defenses generated the two worst seasons in Bears history, giving up 29.9 points per game in 2013 and 27.6 this year. Hate to say “I told ya so,” Chicago, but I knew you’d miss Lovie Smith.

Bills 17
Patriots 9

Since New England basically turned this game into a preseason contest, it was all about Kyle Orton’s swan song. Forget the neck beard and so-so career; I don’t think anyone got more out of an NFL career with fewer raw tools than this dude.


Eagles 34
Giants 26

Odell Beckham Jr. finishes the year with 1,305 receiving yards, the most ever in the first 12 games of an NFL career. He’s also the only thing for New York fans to look forward to next season.

Saints 23
Bucs 20

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now on the clock. And surprisingly, the New Orleans Saints aren’t far behind.

Panthers 34
Falcons 3

Carolina is quietly one of the best late-season teams in the league under Ron Rivera. The Panthers are 15-3 in December and the NFC South’s first-ever repeat champ. Even with the losing regular-season record, they could make some noise in the playoffs.

Lions 20
Packers 30

The home-field advantage in Green Bay is real: The Packers went 8-0 and Aaron Rodgers put up 25 TD passes, no interceptions and a rushing TD at Lambeau Field. If A-Rod comes out of the bye week healthy, the Pack could be back in the Super Bowl.


Raiders 14
Broncos 47

Peyton Manning threw for just 3 TDs in the season’s final four weeks, including a pair of TD pass-less games, but Denver still went 3-1 and scored 30.2 points per game. That Broncos ground game might be ready to carry them to Arizona.

Cardinals 17
Niners 20

Jim Harbaugh was 44-19-1 as 49ers head coach, which ties him for the second most wins by a head coach in his first four seasons. San Francisco will miss him more than he misses them.

Rams 6
Seahawks 20

OK, I just have to ask: Why is Jeff Fisher still so revered? Dude hasn’t had a winning season since 2008 and has only posted 6 winning seasons in his 20 years as a head coach. Fisher is headed toward Norv Turner territory.

Bengals 17
Steelers 27

So Cincy can’t win in prime time, and the league puts this game in prime time to essentially hand the AFC North to Pittsburgh. If I were a Bengals fan, I’d be upset.

Antonio Brown is the first Steeler to lead the league in catches (129) and nobody has more than his 1,698 yards this season. Pittsburgh’s historic balance certainly helps, but it’s hard to make a case that Brown isn’t the best receiver in football right now.

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Rob Woodfork

Rob Woodfork is WTOP's Senior Sports Content Producer, which includes duties as producer and host of the DC Sports Huddle, nightside sports anchor and sports columnist on

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