The wait is over! The NFL returns tonight with a matchup of two of its elite teams. What better time than now to roll out the second annual installment of the Hogs Haven NFL Season Predictions. Just as we did last year, the staff has provided predictions on over 25 categories ranging from everything to Super Bowl winner, to Rookie of the Year to the Redskins' final record. Unlike last time, I think that our expectations for the home team are at least somewhat realistic. We all drank a big glass of Kool-Aid last year, and then asked for second and third helpings in some cases. Maybe it was actually more like Redskins flavored jungle juice that we were drinking. Perhaps the only good thing to come out of those predictions was that I had the most correct picks when we revisited them in February.
That's all in the past though now. The future is about the 2014 NFL season. For us, It's about the potential resurgence of a Redskins team led by a healthy Robert Griffin and new head coach, Jay Gruden. The NFL is here and the future is now.
|Justin Byram||James Dorsett||Mike Harar||Hog Hunter||Ken Meringolo|
|NFC Wild Cards||Bears, Falcons||Bears, Buccaneers||Redskins, Bears||49ers, Bears||Eagles, Falcons|
|AFC Wild Cards||Steelers, Ravens||Ravens, Steelers||Bengals, Chiefs||Chiefs, Ravens||Dolphin, Chiefs|
|1st Pick in 2014||Bills||Bills||Cowboys||Titans||Browns|
|Comeback POY||Julio Jones||Rob Gronkowski||Robert Griffin||Julio Jones||Robert Griffin|
|Coach of Year||Marc Trestman||Lovie Smith||Jay Gruden||Chip Kelly||Jay Gruden|
|Offensive ROY||Brandin Cooks||Kelvin Benjamin||Brandin Cooks||Brandin Cooks||Bishop Sankey|
|Defensive ROY||Khalil Mack||Jadeveon Clowney||Jadeveon Clowney||Ryan Shazier||Kyle Fuller|
|Offensive POY||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Peyton Manning||Drew Brees||Aaron Rodgers|
|Defensive POY||Darrelle Revis||Gerald McCoy||Richard Sherman||J.J. Watt||Patrick Peterson|
|MVP||Adrian Peterson||Aaron Rodgers||Peyton Manning||Drew Brees||Peyton Manning|
|Redskins Off. POY||Alfred Morris||Jordan Reed||Robert Griffin||Robert Griffin||Robert Griffin|
|Redskins Def. POY||Ryan Kerrigan||Brian Orakpo||Ryan Kerrigan||Brian Orakpo||Keenan Robinson|
|Playoff Finish||None||None||Wild Card Loss||None||NFC Champ. Loss|
|Sean Patterson||Alex Rowsey||Bernhard Samuel||Steve Shoup||Mark Tyler|
|NFC Wild Cards||Cardinals, Buccaneers||49ers, Bears||49ers, Bears||49ers, Bears||Seahawks, Packers|
|AFC Wild Cards||Chargers, Bengals||Chargers, Ravens||Chargers, Ravens||Chiefs, Ravens||Chiefs, Bengals|
|1st Pick in 2014||Cowboys||Raiders||Rams||Raiders||Jets|
|Comeback POY||Robert Griffin||Robert Griffin||Robert Griffin||Dennis Pitta||Darren McFadden|
|Coach of Year||Marc Trestman||Chip Kelly||Jay Gruden||Marvin Leiws||Sean Payton|
|Offensive ROY||Mike Evans||Sammy Watkins||Sammy Watkins||Jeremy Hill||Brandin Cooks|
|Defensive ROY||Jadeveon Clowney||Jadeveon Clowney||Ryan Shazier||Aaron Donald||Khalil Mack|
|Offensive POY||Andrew Luck||Drew Brees||Drew Brees||Peyton Manning||Calvin Johnson|
|Defensive POY||Earl Thomas||J.J. Watt||Luke Kuechly||Von Miller||Vontaze Burfict|
|MVP||Peyton Manning||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Peyton Manning||Drew Brees|
|Redskins Off. POY||Alfred Morris||Robert Griffin||Robert Griffin||Alfred Morris||Robert Griffin|
|Redskins Def. POY||David Amerson||Chris Baker||Ryan Kerrigan||Brian Orakpo||Keenan Robinson|
|Playoff Finish||Wild Card Loss||None||Wild Card Loss||None||Wild Card Loss|
- The Eagles narrowly beat out the Redskins (6 to 4) as our top choice to win the NFC East. However, the writers were split (5 to 5) on whether or not the Skins would make the playoffs.
- There wasn't a wide range of predicted outcomes for the Redskins. The lowest projected win total was 7 and the highest was 10. Only one writer had them advancing past the Wild Card round of the playoffs (guess who).
- The Saints, Patriots, Colts and Broncos were unanimously selected to win their respective divisions.
- Other popular picks to make the playoffs were the: Seahawks, Packers, Bengals, Bears and Ravens. Each of these teams was selected by no fewer than 7 writers to make the tournament.
- The Saints were selected to represent the NFC by half of the writers, and Broncos were the consensus choice to come out of the AFC with 6 of the 10 votes. Denver and New Orleans were tied as our favorite to bring home the Lombardi trophy (3-3).
- Robert Griffin III was a popular pick to be both the Comeback Player of the Year and the Redskins Offensive Player of the Year. At least half of the writers picked him in each category.
- Nine different players were picked to win Defensive Player of the Year award.
- For the second year in a row Steve selected the most repeat winners. Shoup certainly does love the smell of chalk in the morning. Although, to be fair, Steve did come in second last year; maybe we all should take note and not always try to swing for the fences with sexy picks that lack substance.
- In typical Tiller fashion, Mark Tyler made his picks in the exact opposite way that Steve did. He led the way with 10 unique selections. Come February, we'll find out if he is Nostradamus reincarnate or if he was just throwing darts at the wall while heavily intoxicated.
Just as we did with the 2013 season, we will revisit these picks at the end of the year; at which time we will either bask in the glory that is our gift of football prognostication or be shamed by you readers and our fellow writers for our complete and utter ineptitude as football handicappers. That will all come in due course, but now it's time to kick back and enjoy the beauty of the NFL season.
Let us know what you think about our picks and share your own predictions in the comments section. Happy season kickoff day!