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NFL Magazine Prediction Accuracy

As you know I pride myself as having the most accurate preseason college football magazine and I’m pleased to announce that after the 2009 season my magazine stills ranks #1 in accuracy the last 5 years and still #1 over the past 11 years!!

Last year, I decided to expand my NFL magazine to 6 pages per team and put it on the newsstands for the first time. Unlike my college magazine I do not write every word for each team but I do write the forecasts for each division and I must say I am pleased with the results.

Overall out of the eight major publications, no one predicted more division winners than me as I correctly forecasted 7 of the 8 division winners with Pittsburgh being the only exception in the AFC North.

My division forecast that I am most proud of is the NFC South where coming into the season no one was a bigger Saints fan than me as I was the only magazine to have them winning the division! Some publications didn’t even have the Saints among the Top 20 teams in the NFL however my power poll had them at #6 which was significantly higher than any other magazine!

NFC South

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele New Orleans
Sporting News Atlanta
CNN/SI- Peter King Atlanta
USA Today Atlanta
Athlon Atlanta
Lindy’s Carolina
Pro Football Weekly Carolina
Sure Fire Scouting Atlanta
Actual Winner: New Orleans

Here are the other preseason predicted division winners by each publication.

AFC East

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele New England
Sporting News New England
CNN/SI- Peter King New England
USA Today New England
Athlon New England
Lindy’s New England
Pro Football Weekly New England
Sure Fire Scouting New England
Actual Winner: New England

With Brady back at QB for the Patriots, the AFC East projections were a clean sweep with all of the publications picking New England to win the Division.

AFC North

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele Pittsburgh
Sporting News Pittsburgh
CNN/SI- Peter King Pittsburgh
USA Today Pittsburgh
Athlon Pittsburgh
Lindy’s Pittsburgh
Pro Football Weekly Pittsburgh
Sure Fire Scouting Pittsburgh
Actual Winner: Cincinnati

As you can see the Steelers were probably the biggest disappointment of the ’09 season as every single publication predicted them to win the division. There may be no one in the country including Cincinnati fans that would have predicted the Bengals to win the division title after Pittsburgh and Baltimore faced each other in the AFC Championship in ’08.

AFC South

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele Indianapolis
Sporting News Indianapolis
CNN/SI- Peter King Indianapolis
USA Today Indianapolis
Athlon Indianapolis
Lindy’s Tennessee
Pro Football Weekly Indianapolis
Sure Fire Scouting Indianapolis
Actual Winner: Indianapolis

The Colts clearly were the favorites but unlike New England, Pittsburgh and San Diego, they weren’t the consensus pick with Lindy’s picking Tennessee. Also I want to mention that not only did I predict the exact order of finish in the division with the Colts #1, the Texans #2, the Titans #3 and the Jaguars #4, but I also predicted the exact record for 3 of the 4 teams!! (Houston 9-7, Tennessee 8-8 and Jacksonville 7-9)

AFC West

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele San Diego
Sporting News San Diego
CNN/SI- Peter King San Diego
USA Today San Diego
Athlon San Diego
Lindy’s San Diego
Pro Football Weekly San Diego
Sure Fire Scouting San Diego
Actual Winner: San Diego

San Diego clearly was the favorite in the weakest division in the AFC. The Chargers lived up to their preseason hype by winning 11 straight games before falling to the NY Jets at home in the playoffs.

NFC East

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele Philadelphia
Sporting News NY Giants
CNN/SI- Peter King NY Giants
USA Today Philadelphia
Athlon Philadelphia
Lindy’s Philadelphia
Pro Football Weekly NY Giants
Sure Fire Scouting NY Giants
Actual Winner: Dallas/Philadelphia

In the NFC, I had the Eagles winning the East where they finished tied for 1st with Dallas and while I didn’t have the Cowboys winning the division, my power poll had them as the #7 team in the entire league! The NY Giants who were picked to win the division by 4 of the publications finished a disappointing 8-8.

NFC North

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele Minnesota
Sporting News Minnesota
CNN/SI- Peter King Chicago
USA Today Minnesota
Athlon Chicago
Lindy’s Chicago
Pro Football Weekly Chicago
Sure Fire Scouting Green Bay
Actual Winner: Minnesota

Only 3 of the publications had the Vikings winning the division however, I correctly predicted the Vikings would win and this was even before Favre had been signed with the team!

NFC West

Publication Proj Winner
Phil Steele Arizona
Sporting News Arizona
CNN/SI- Peter King Arizona
USA Today Arizona
Athlon Arizona
Lindy’s Arizona
Pro Football Weekly Arizona
Sure Fire Scouting San Francisco
Actual Winner: Arizona

Finally in the NFC West I had the Cardinals winning the division for the 2nd year in a row despite the Super Bowl loser curse where SEVEN of 8 teams that lost the SB the previous year did not even make the playoffs the next year!

Overall Standings

Rank Publication # of Div Correct
1 Phil Steele 7
2 USA Today 6
3 Sporting News 5
3 Athlon 5
5 CNN/SI- Peter King 4
5 Lindy’s 4
5 Pro Football Weekly 4
8 Sure Fire Scouting 3

As you can see I was the only major publication to predict 7 division winners! USA Today came in 2nd with 6 with Athlon and the Sporting News each predicting 5 division winners correct.

When the NFL magazine hits the newsstands this July make sure to pick one up along with my college preview. I have 5 sets of power ratings for the NFL (9 for college) and I believe we have more information than any other NFL preview on the market and hopefully this year we can predict all 8 division winners correctly!

In last year’s ACC/Big East regional magazine, I included more than 100 pages of FCS coverage and I am currently working on how my conference predictions turned out. Look for those reuslts in an upcoming blog. I will be back on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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  • Matt K.

    Hey Phil, AWESOME job on your NFL division winner predictions from 2009! I can't wait to see what your 2010 NFL & College Football Magazines have in store! Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Matt,
    Thanks for the compliment. I am currently hard at work on the college magazine and have been on deadlines since last December. I hope someday real soon I can say that not only do I have the most accurate college preview over the last xx years but also the most accurate NFL mag as well, Phil

  • http://www.overbestmall.com/nfl-jerseys/mitchellandness-dallas-cowboys-88-michael-irvin-stitched-replithentic-blue-jersey.html michael irvin jersey

    It's funny to look back on these predictions. Perhaps we may take them as supporting materials for the prediction on Super Bowl XLV winner.

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Michael,
    Thanks. Last year we put a full color NFL magazine onto the newsstands for the first time and it exceeded my expectations. Not only was it the most accurate but it has more information per NFL team (6 pages) than my college magazine. I look forward to having another successful season this year and you can look for my NFL mag on the newsstands in July.

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Michael,
    Thanks. Last year we put a full color NFL magazine onto the newsstands for the first time and it exceeded my expectations. Not only was it the most accurate but it has more information per NFL team (6 pages) than my college magazine. I look forward to having another successful season this year and you can look for my NFL mag on the newsstands in July.

  • http://www.jerseyfanatics.org jerseyfanatics2012

    You’re the man becuase of the prediction.