Opening night kickoff is only a short time away, so we figured now was the time to make our “out on a limb” call for who we think will end the season holding the Lombardi trophy.
We are sure you must be wondering what flawed logic went into this prediction, or maybe you are thinking that we are just Giants fans pushing our team.
Well, to be honest, maybe our logic is flawed, but we are not Giants fans trying to drum up support. We write on all teams and try to avoid sounding like we have a favorite. (The truth is we are all human, and we were fans before we started in the football stat business, so we do have our favorites. You'll just never know who they are.)
Now, we will be the first to admit that we are out on a limb with this projection.
What is the basis for this bold prediction? We put out a “Detailed Analysis of the 2009 Season” article a couple of days ago. You can go there and read about all 32 teams.
In that article we talked about each team and played their schedule against adjustments we made to our PossessionPoints.com stats. Those adjustments then gave us best case, worst case, and an expected season record.
As for the Giants, we say we are out on a limb chiefly because they are the only team where our expected record (13-3) matches what we came up with as a "best case." And our worst case expectation is an 8-8 record. So, there is clearly more downside in our view than upside to this prediction.
When and if you read the “Detailed Analysis” article, you will see that we used our PossessionPoints stat and made adjustments to it in percentage terms and played that against each team’s 2009 record.
We settled on a downward adjustment of five percent to the Giants’ offensive numbers and a very small upward adjustment of two percent to their defensive numbers. That gave us the projected 13-3 record, the NFC East division title, and a first-round bye.
In our view, the biggest question mark for the Giants is with their wide receiver corps. Who will emerge as the No. 1 receiver, and who will make up for the loss of Plaxico Burress?
This loss of a key weapon was our reasoning for dropping the Giants’ offense by five percent. The return of Osi Umenyiora was the main driving factor in the upward adjustment of two percent of their defense.
If the season plays out to our adjustments, the Giants will be playing the Saints in the NFC championship and the Steelers in the Super Bowl. The Steelers will have also beaten the Patriots in Pittsburgh to get to the Super Bowl.
It is always fun to go “on the record” with our projections, but this one will be tough. We honestly feel that at least 14 of the 32 teams have a real shot at the Lombardi trophy, so it appears to us to be a wide-open year.
This season should be a lot of fun, but we had to come down to just one and we didn’t make outlandish adjustments to “prop” up the Giants, so we’ll stand by it.