Minnesota Vikings Are Super Bowl XLIV Champs: Revisiting My 2009 NFL Predictions

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Minnesota Vikings Are Super Bowl XLIV Champs: Revisiting My 2009 NFL Predictions
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Today, I thought it would be a good day to look back at my 2009 NFL predictions, as I had them laid out before the season started and here they are:
 
AFC EAST

New England Patriots:  13-3
Miami Dolphins:           8-8
New York Jets:           6-10
Buffalo Bills:               1-15

I almost had the order right here. Obviously picking New England to win the division wasn’t brain surgery and I don’t feel extra smart for getting this one right. I had the Jets missing the playoffs with a 6-10 record, but as we know they went to the AFC Championship game.

I doubt many would have seen their success coming before the season. Even going into next season I doubt I’ll have enough confidence in Mark Sanchez to pick them to do much better than I did here.

Accuracy Grade: B-

 

AFC NORTH

Pittsburgh Steelers: 13-3
Baltimore Ravens:    8-8
Cincinnati Bengals:   7-9
Cleveland Browns:   1-15

Like many early predictors I had the Bengals hanging out near the bottom of the division. I thought for sure the defending champs would have no problem and had them going 13-3. This obviously was not even close to correct. I thought the Browns would just barely avoid a winless season but they did manage five wins in 2009.

Even with how this season played out I’ll have a hard time not picking Pittsburgh and Baltimore to head the division again next year.

Accuracy Grade: C

 

AFC SOUTH

Indianapolis Colts:    15-1
Tennessee Titans:    11-5
Jacksonville Jaguars: 7-9
Houston Texans:      5-11

I didn’t see the Colts going undefeated put pretty darn close. This almost happened and might have if it wasn’t for some premature benching. The Titans were disappointing and I got this one really wrong.

I did nail the Jaguars record perfectly but didn’t give the Texans enough respect. Going into next season I feel like this is how the division will play out again. Titans have too much talent not to be competing for a playoff spot.

Accuracy Grade: B

 

AFC WEST

San Diego Chargers: 13-3
Denver Broncos:      4-12
Oakland Raiders:      3-13
Kansas City Chiefs:   2-14

I saw the Chargers being one of the more dominant teams for 2009 and they were (sort of). I also had the three other AFC West teams without winning records which also happened although the numbers were a bit different.

This seemed like one of the more easy divisions to predict. Next season should be more of the same and the Chargers should be able to punch their playoff ticket easily.

Accuracy Grade: A-

 

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys:        12-4
Philadelphia Eagles:    12-4
New York Giants:       7-9
Washington Redskins: 5-11

Impressively I had the Eagles and Cowboys tied atop the division just with one win difference from their actual finishing marks. I missed each team by one game only. I imagine next year it will be hard to give New York even a seven-win prediction.

Next year should look a lot like this as well with Washington and New York seemingly destined to miss the playoffs again.

Accuracy Grade: A

 

NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers: 12-4
Minnesota Vikings:  11-5
Chicago Bears:       7-9
Detroit Lions:         3-13

All preseason indications said the Packers were going to be a dominant team. It didn’t quite work out that way due to injuries. I did get close and was only off a game for each team.

The Packers should be the division favorites next year if Favre doesn’t return. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bears’ offense works out but I would imagine the standings to look similar as they did this year.

Accuracy Grade: B-

 

NFC SOUTH

New Orleans Saints: 12-4
Carolina Panthers:    11-5
Atlanta Falcons:      9-7
Tampa Bay Bucs:     1-15

I thought the Bucs had a real chance to end the season with zero wins. They did manage to put up three in 2009. I thought the Panthers would build on last year but flopped. I did predict the Falcons record correctly. The Saints atop the division was one of the easier things to predict and with Carolina on the slide they should be there next season as well.

Accuracy Grade: C

 

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals:     12-4
Seattle Seahawks:    5-11
San Francisco 49ers: 4-12
St. Louis Rams:        1-15

I thought this would be easily the worst division in the league. I nailed the Rams and Seahawks record but the 49ers did better than I expected. The Cardinals were a lock even if they didn’t show up for a quarter of their games. Next season might be a bit tighter with Warner headed into retirement.

Accuracy Grade: B

 

Wild Card Weekend

AFC

Byes: Colts & Chargers
Ravens @ New England
Titans @ Steelers

NFC

Byes: Cardinals & Cowboys
Eagles @ Packers
Vikings @ Saints

 

Divisional Playoffs

AFC

Steelers @ Colts
New England @ Chargers

NFC

Vikings @ Cardinals
Packers @ Cowboys

 

Conference Championships

AFC

New England @ Colts

NFC

Vikings @ Packers

 

Super Bowl XLIV

Colts vs. Vikings

Super Bowl Champions: Minnesota Vikings

Looking back, I had most of the right teams in the playoffs and possibly the Vikings would have won the Super Bowl without the turnover fest we saw in NFC Championship game. Obviously a Colts/Vikings Super Bowl would have been a fan’s dream matchup. I start drooling at the thought of the opening Manning vs. Favre promo.

Overall I had the standings playing out pretty top heavy and although I knew it was unlikely that so many teams would have one win seasons I thought that if any season it was going to be possible this would have been the one. Especially after the disaster that was Detroit’s season the season before.

In the end this one of the easier years to predict even though I missed a few here and there for the most part the season didn’t have too many big surprises other than the Jets. It’s always interesting to look back and see just how unpredictable the NFL really is.

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