2018 NFL predictions revisited

WASHINGTON — Remember back in September when I previewed the 2018 NFL season and made team-by-team predictions? Yeah, well it’s time for me to cop to what I got wrong, and strut a little over what I got right. It’s worth noting (read: bragging) that my Super Bowl pick remains a very real possibility.

This year, I’m doing something a tad differently. I’ll still highlight my best and worst calls from each division, but as a fun nod to a famous TV sitcom line, I’m adding a “See, What Had Happened Was…” entry to try to explain away my predictions that turned out to be loud wrong.

Without further ado, enjoy the slideshow.

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith (54) acknowledges cheers from fans as he walks off the field after their 27-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
NFC East The prediction: Eagles 10-6
Giants 8-8
Cowboys 8-8
Redskins 6-10 The result: Cowboys 10-6
Eagles 9-7
Redskins 7-9
Giants 5-11 Best call: Picking the Redskins to finish below .500 despite all the preseason Alex Smith hype. Worst call: “(The Cowboys defense) won’t be enough to keep Big D out of the middle of the pack.” See, what had happened was … nobody really thought the Eagles would get their MVP-caliber starting QB back and actually regress, or that Amari Cooper would end up being an in-season life preserver for Dallas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins) (AP/Ron Jenkins)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09:  Khalil Mack #52 of the Chicago Bears reacts after sacking Aaron Rodgers #12 during the second quarter of a game at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NFC North The prediction: Packers 12-4
Vikings 11-5
Bears 6-10
Lions 6-10 The result: Bears 12-4
Vikings 8-7-1
Packers 6-9-1
Lions 6-10 Best call: The only good call in this division was picking Detroit to go 6-10 and finish last. Worst call: Underrating Chicago and overrating Green Bay by six games. See, what had happened was … Khalil Mack transformed the Bears defense from good to dominant, and Aaron Rodgers has thrown the ball away at a historic rate — to the point where his Super Bowl-winning coach was fired in-season. No one could have seen that coming! (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 23: The New Orleans Saints celebrate during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NFC South The prediction: Saints 13-3
Falcons 11-5
Panthers 7-9
Bucs 2-14 The result: Saints 13-3
Falcons 7-9
Panthers 7-9
Bucs 5-11 Best call: “New Orleans is one of the most complete teams in the league, and it would be a surprise if they’re not the division champion — and perhaps, conference champ.” Worst call: “While the Saints seem primed to go marching into Atlanta on Super Bowl Sunday, don’t count the Falcons out if New Orleans falters.” See, what had happened was … Atlanta suffered a pretty bad rash of injuries to their already suspect defense, and the offense wasn’t nearly good enough to offset that. And the Bucs have an entertaining passing offense, which is the only reason they didn’t fully bottom out as I expected. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Sean Gardner)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill (32) can't make the catch Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Chad Williams (10) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
NFC West The prediction: Rams 12-4
49ers 8-8
Seahawks 8-8
Cardinals 7-9 The result: Rams 13-3
Seahawks 10-6
49ers 4-12
Cardinals 3-13 Best call: “Even with legend Larry Fitzgerald and all-purpose RB David Johnson back, a last place finish (for Arizona) might just be in the cards for a rookie coach and rookie QB simultaneously learning on the job.” Worst call: Finding seven wins for the Cardinals. Oy. See, what had happened was … Russell Wilson couldn’t drag Seattle into the playoffs last year, so expecting him to fail to do so in 2018 without the surrounding name recognition as in years past wasn’t a bad call. San Francisco would have easily won more games if Jimmy Garoppolo stayed healthy, and Steve Wilks presiding over such a bad defense was a fairly big surprise. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 23:  Deonte Thompson #10 of the Buffalo Bills reacts after suffering an injury during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
AFC East The prediction: Patriots 13-3
Jets 6-10
Bills 5-11
Dolphins 5-11 The result: Patriots 11-5
Dolphins 7-9
Bills 6-10
Jets 4-12 Best call: “…methinks the famous line from The Waterboy will be uttered pretty regularly in Buffalo.” Worst call: Picking Miami to finish last rather than the Jets. See, what had happened was … I figured age and mediocre quarterbacking would catch up with Miami and derail their season. Who knew only one of those things would come to pass? (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Jim Rogash)
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018, file photo ,Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) rushes the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Baltimore. Joe Flacco's hip injury means extra practice time for Ravens backup quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III, and perhaps one of them will make their first start of the season.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
AFC North The prediction: Steelers 11-5
Ravens 9-7
Bengals 6-10
Browns 3-13 The result: Ravens 10-6
Steelers 9-6-1
Browns 7-8-1
Bengals 6-10 Best call: Picking Cincinnati to go 6-10. Worst call: “The Steelers will win their third straight division title almost by default, but if the edge rush improves (I’m looking at you, T.J. Watt), the road to the Super Bowl might come through The Confluence.” See, what had happened was … Pittsburgh was off-track early because of the Le’Veon Bell saga, and late-game failures derailed their season at the end. Cleveland would probably be awful if Hue Jackson were still at the helm, and Baltimore’s unforeseeable reemergence probably doesn’t happen if Joe Flacco doesn’t get hurt and give way to Lamar Jackson. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks up after being brought down by Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Houston Texans during the second half at TIAA Bank Field on October 21, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
AFC South The prediction: Jaguars 10-6
Texans 10-6
Titans 7-9
Colts 5-11 The result: Texans 11-5
Colts 10-6
Titans 9-7
Jaguars 5-11 Best call: “Houston (is) in contention for a Wild Card spot, if not the division title.” Worst call: “… Jacksonville has enough to repeat as division champs.” See, what had happened was … Whatever magic Jacksonville had in 2017 must have been transferred to Indianapolis because Blake Bortles’ playoff performance turned out to be a mirage, and the Jags defense was apparently high on its own press clippings because that much talent shouldn’t be so ineffective. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck returned to form, he has more help around him than ever, and no one saw that Colts defense coming! (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Scott Halleran)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs past a tackle attempt by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (99) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AFC West The prediction: Chargers 12-4
Chiefs 8-8
Broncos 6-10
Raiders 5-11 The result: Chiefs 12-4
Chargers 12-4
Broncos 6-10
Raiders 4-12 Best call: “Case Keenum steps in to fix last year’s mess at QB, but he could revert back to the mediocrity he showed before his unlikely renaissance in Minnesota.” Worst call: “The big-play ability of (Patrick) Mahomes and the offense will ensure the Chiefs are competitive, but I don’t expect them to return to the postseason.” See, what had happened was … Patrick Mahomes wasn’t supposed be the most electric and prolific passer in the league so soon! (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (AP/Charlie Riedel)
(1/8)
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith (54) acknowledges cheers from fans as he walks off the field after their 27-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09:  Khalil Mack #52 of the Chicago Bears reacts after sacking Aaron Rodgers #12 during the second quarter of a game at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 23: The New Orleans Saints celebrate during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill (32) can't make the catch Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Chad Williams (10) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 23:  Deonte Thompson #10 of the Buffalo Bills reacts after suffering an injury during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018, file photo ,Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) rushes the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Baltimore. Joe Flacco's hip injury means extra practice time for Ravens backup quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III, and perhaps one of them will make their first start of the season.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks up after being brought down by Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Houston Texans during the second half at TIAA Bank Field on October 21, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs past a tackle attempt by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (99) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up