Bleacher Report makes inaccurate NFL predictions

NFL fans are in purgatory. The season seems closed, but the preseason hasn’t even started yet. We see clips from training camp, but we really don’t know how good or bad each team looks. It’s the hot season and predictions are common. No one knows how it’s all going to play out, so the media (myself included) is pulling clips out of context from training camp and practice and trying to make a bold statement that will get a ton of clicks and interactions on social media.

The key is to say something that has some credibility because having a few people defend you in the comments makes you seem even more credible and your misperception becomes a bold statement instead of an obvious statement or near-impossible outcome. well with Bleacher Report’s latest NFL win-loss predictions just blew this out of the water because their predictions are literally impossible. Here’s how I explain it.

First things first, I’m going to lay out what they predict for each team’s win-loss balance. Again, these are the Bleachers Report predictions (playoff team & potential playoff team).

AFC East

Buffalo Picks: 13-4*
Miami Dolphins: 10-7**
New England Patriots: 8-9
New York Jets: 6-11
Cincinnati Bengals: 11-6
Baltimore Ravens: 10-7
Cleveland Browns: 10-7
Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-11

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts: 12-5*
Tennessee Titans: 9-8*
AFC South: 12-5
Tennessee Titans: 9-8
Jacksonville Jaguars: 7-10
Houston Texans: 4-13

AFC West
Los Angeles Chargers: 11-6*
Los Angeles Chargers: 11-6
Kansas City Chiefs: 10-7**
Denver Broncos: 10-7**
Las Vegas Raiders: 9-8

NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles: 11-6**
Dallas Cowboys: 9-8
Dallas Cowboys: 9-8
Washington Commanders: 8-9
New York Giants: 7-10

NFC North
Green Bay Packers: 11-6*
Green Bay Packers: 11-6
Minnesota Vikings: 10-7*
Detroit Lions: 7-10 (listed as 7-9 in your article, just a typo)
Chicago Bears: 4-13

NFC South

New Orleans Saints: 11-6*

NFC South
Carolina Panthers: 7-10
Atlanta Falcons: 4-13

NFC West
Los Angeles Rams: 11-6*
Los Angeles Rams: 11-6*
Arizona Cardinals: 9-8
Seattle Seahawks: 4-13

Do you see the problem here? It doesn’t depend on any particular team. It depends on the overall rating. Never mind that since 2004 there has always been at least one team in the NFL with fewer than four wins per season. Yes, it’s impossible for the Falcons, Seahawks, Bears, and Texans to win at least four games this year. That’s not the point. It’s just part of it.

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The problem is that if we add up the total wins for all the teams in these predictions, we get 281 wins. If we add up the total losses of all the teams, we get 263. All right! So we’ll see more wins than this year! That’s great! Wait a minute. It’s literally impossible.

In case you haven’t noticed, the league record is .500. It’s .500 every year because for every win you need a loss. Even if there is a tie, both the win and the loss are removed and you break even again. There has never been a team sports season where the number of wins has been more or less than the number of losses, so this is an incredibly bold statement from Bleacher Report. Not only would it be a world first, but it would completely screw up the math. I wonder what the odds are in Vegas of that happening. Probably extremely low.
I’ve made win-loss predictions in the past, but I’ve always worked to make sure that for every 5-12 team, there’s a team playing 12-5 to keep up because when I make predictions, I might as well try to predict something that may actually come true.

I understand that it’s easy to get overly excited about some teams after the fever dream of the last offseason. There is every reason to believe that several teams will reach new heights, but for every team that does, there will be a new team that fails to live up to expectations. By my count, there will not be a single disappointing team in the NFL next year, every team that is expected to be goodwill have 10 wins or more, every team that is expected to be bad will have seven wins or less, and every team, which is rated as mediocre, will have eight or nine. There is no audacity in these claims. It just seems like a shallow attempt to make all the fans smile and laugh because their team doesn’t falter. Newsflash, some of them will! Welcome to the real world! Do better, Bleacher Report.

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