July 26, 2012

W17L Presents The 3-Way NFL Preview

    
     Any website can give you an NFL preview from one perspective.  It takes a special website like Week 17 Legend to give you a preview using three different methods of prediction.  So without further ado, let me explain the three methods I'll be using:

     The first is my own personal predictions.  This style involves a little bit of knowledge and a lot of gut instincts and guesses.  Despite its simplicity, it has tended to be just as effective as any other prediction method.

     The second method is a formula I'll be calling the Forecaster.  The Forecaster was developed by collecting 40 basic offensive and defensive statistics from the 2006-2010 season, ignoring the statistics that correlate strongly with each other (for example, passing yards and passing attempts), and removing stats until the most efficient regression formula was produced. 

     The Forecaster uses 9 statistics.  For five of them, more of the stat leads to more wins the following year (points scored, rushing first downs, first downs via penalty, defensive plays, and penalty first downs allowed).  For four of the categories, a lower number leads to more wins the next year (offensive plays, yards per carry, pass attempts allowed, and rushing yards allowed).

     Because the win totals from this formula tend to be closer to 8 than actual standings in a given season, the numbers will be adjusted in the preview to more closely reflect those in a normal season.  All playoff matchups in this simulation are given to the team with the highest projected number of wins.

     The third prediction method involves the Forecaster, but also adds in a randomness factor similar to that found in the last five years.  Playoff matchups are decided randomly, with a team's chance of winning being calculated using Bill James's Log5 method and the unadjusted winning percentages from the Forecaster.  This method is not meant to be the most accurate predictor, but is instead meant to act more like the NFL really does.

     Below are links to all 8 of the divisions as projected by these 3 methods, as well as the recap post:

AFC East
AFC North
AFC South
AFC West
NFC East
NFC North
NFC South
NFC West
Recap

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