The grueling 214-day wait is finally over, as the 99th season of NFL football kicks off tonight. To mark the occasion, I present you with the sixth annual Hogs Haven NFL season staff predictions.
Below you’ll find a combined 351 predictions from a baker’s dozen of Hogs Haven’s finest scribes and analysis from yours truly on those picks.
Check out our predictions and be sure to share some of your own as you prepare for the beginning of another glorious NFL season.
|Category||Bill-in-Bangkok||Gabe Ward||James Dorsett||Jennifer Filsinger|
|NFC Wild Card||Falcons||Packers||Packers||Vikings|
|NFC Wild Card||49ers||49ers||Falcons||Giants|
|AFC Wild Card||Jaguars||Bengals||Texans||Texans|
|AFC Wild Card||Steelers||Chiefs||Jaguars||Steelers|
|1st Pick in 2018||Bills||Buccaneers||Bills||Browns|
|Comeback POY||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||J.J. Watt||Andrew Luck|
|Coach of Year||Hue Jackson||Kyle Shanahan||Anthony Lynn||Sean McVay|
|Offensive ROY||Sam Darnold||Saquon Barkley||Saquon Barkley||Saquon Barkley|
|Defensive ROY||Bradley Chubb||Rashaan Evans||Roquan Smith||Bradley Chubb|
|Offensive POY||Aaron Rodgers||David Johnson||Antonio Brown||Ezekiel Elliott|
|Defensive POY||Von Miller||Khalil Mack||Joey Bosa||Aaron Donald|
|MVP||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Drew Brees||Aaron Rodgers|
|Redskins Off. POY||Alex Smith||Jordan Reed||Alex Smith||Alex Smith|
|Redskins Def. POY||Ryan Kerrigan||Preston Smith||Preston Smith||Jonathan Allen|
|Category||Jamual Forrest||Tom Garrett||Scott Jennings||Aaron Lesher|
|NFC Wild Card||Packers||Vikings||Vikings||Vikings|
|NFC Wild Card||Saints||Eagles||Falcons||Falcons|
|AFC Wild Card||Titans||Jaguars||Texans||Texans|
|AFC Wild Card||Ravens||Ravens||Chargers||Ravens|
|1st Pick in 2018||Bills||Browns||Buccaneers||Bills|
|Comeback POY||Aaron Rodgers||Dashaun Watson||Andrew Luck||Odell Beckham|
|Coach of Year||Doug Marone||Bill O'Brien||Mike Zimmer||Sean Payton|
|Offensive ROY||Saquon Barkley||Saquon Barkley||Saquon Barkley||Sam Darnold|
|Defensive ROY||Roquan Smith||Minkah Fitzpatrick||Bradley Chubb||Josh Jackson|
|Offensive POY||Todd Gurley||Todd Gurley||Alvin Kamara||Aaron Rodgers|
|Defensive POY||Khalil Mack||Khalil Mack||Khalil Mack||Joey Bosa|
|MVP||Drew Brees||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Drew Brees|
|Redskins Off. POY||Jordan Reed||Alex Smith||Alex Smith||Alex Smith|
|Redskins Def. POY||Jonathan Allen||Jonathan Allen||Jonathan Allen||Jonathan Allen|
|Category||Ken Meringolo||Kennedy Paynter||Steve Shoup||Bryan Stabbe||Mark Tyler|
|NFC Wild Card||Vikings||Saints||Packers||Vikings||Vikings|
|NFC Wild Card||Redskins||Redskins||Falcons||49ers||Redskins|
|AFC Wild Card||Titans||Texans||Texans||Chargers||Jaguars|
|AFC Wild Card||Steelers||Chiefs||Jaguars||Steelers||Chiefs|
|1st Pick in 2018||Cowboys||Cardinals||Bills||Jets||Buccaneers|
|Comeback POY||Adrian Peterson||Deshaun Watson||J.J. Watt||Aaron Rodgers||Dalvin Cook|
|Coach of Year||Jon Gruden||Kyle Shanahan||Sean McVay||Kyle Shanahan||Mike Vrabel|
|Offensive ROY||Baker Mayfield||Saquon Barkley||Saquon Barkley||Calvin Ridley||Saquon Barkley|
|Defensive ROY||Daron Payne||Roquan Smith||Bradley Chubb||Vita Vea||Roquan Smith|
|Offensive POY||Aaron Rodgers||Drew Brees||Todd Gurley||Antonio Brown||Antonio Brown|
|Defensive POY||J.J. Watt||Joey Bosa||Von Miller||Jalen Ramsey||Myles Garrett|
|MVP||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Antonio Brown||Aaron Rodgers||Drew Brees|
|Redskins Off. POY||Alex Smith||Alex Smith||Trent Williams||Alex Smith||Alex Smith|
|Redskins Def. POY||Jonathan Allen||Jonathan Allen||Ryan Kerrigan||Jonathan Allen||Preston Smith|
|Playoff Finish||Divisional||Wild Card||None||None||Wild Card|
Redskins and NFC East Predictions
- Bill and Tom were our only writers who picked the Redskins to topple the Eagles’ off their perch and steal the NFC East title. Ken, Mark and Kennedy all have the Skins sneaking in as a wild card. What I find most interesting about this is that, three of the five who picked Washington to make the playoffs have them winning in the wild card round. This is the second year in a row less than 40% of us predicted the team would reach the postseason. That’s quite a contrast to 2015 and 2016, when over 75% had them making the tournament.
- Just like last year, 10-of-13 writers picked the Redskins to finish between 7-9 and 9-7. Although, this time around the results were more positively skewed, with four picks for 9 wins compared to only two picks for 7 wins. The mean and median of the predictions were 8.54 and 9, respectively. Tom was the most optimistic of the bunch, as he has the team reaching the 11-win mark for the first time in 27 years. Bryan, on the other hand, sees the team only winning six games, which would be their lowest total since Jay Gruden’s first season as head coach (4 wins in 2014).
- It shouldn’t shock anyone to find the Super Bowl champion Eagles garnering the most votes to win the East. It is, however, nice to see that none of us see the Cowboys making the postseason and only Jennifer picked the Giants to get in the playoffs (wild card).
- Alex Smith (10 votes) and Jonathan Allen (8 votes) were the top picks to be the most valuable players for the Redskins on their respective sides of the ball. Preston Smith (3 votes) and Jordan Reed (2 votes) got some love from the HH writers, too.
Super Bowl Picks
- Almost all of us had the Eagles winning the NFC East again, but, somewhat surprisingly, Gabe Ward was the only one who picked them to even reach the Super Bowl this season. Gabe had them repeating with back-to-back Lombardi Trophies, as well.
- The parity trend was also seen in the AFC, as only three writers (Bill, Jen and Bryan) foresaw the Pats reaching an eighth Super Bowl in 16 years. Bryan was the lone author that picked New England to continue their dynasty with another Super Bowl win.
- Our favorites to bring home the championship this year were actually the New Orleans Saints (4 picks) and the Los Angeles Rams (3 votes). There will likely be major playoff implications involved in the Week 10 matchup (at New Orleans) between those two teams.
- The Packers (2 votes), Eagles, Falcons, Jaguars and Patriots were also picked to win it all by at least one of our writers. That means only two of the 13 participants in this exercise had an AFC team winning this year’s title. The Jaguars, Chargers and Packers were all picked to lose in the big game by two of us. Tom made one of our boldest picks by selecting Andy Reid and the Chiefs to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Other Prediction Trends
- The only thing we can ever all seem to agree on is that the Patriots are #goodatfootball. The Patriots winning the AFC East was the only unanimous prediction made by the Hogs Haven staff. I guess this is to be expected though, when you have the GOAT triumvirate of Brady, Belichick and Gronk on your side and your division is comprised of the lowly Bills, Jets and Dolphins.
- Here are the next most popular picks and the numbers of writers who chose them: the Rams winning the NFC West (13) the Eagles winning the NFC East (11), the Steelers winning the AFC North (10), Alex Smith being the Redskins Offensive Player of the Year and the Packers winning the NFC North (9).
- The majority of us also had Aaron Rodgers taking home his third MVP award, Saquon Barkley bringing home Rookie of the Year hardware, Jonathan Allen being the Skins’ best defender and Washington failing to make the playoffs for a third consecutive season. Each of those predictions were made by eight writers.
- We were the most split on the Coach and Offensive Player of the Year awards. Kyle Shanahan was the leading vote-getter for Coach of the Year, with just three votes. Fellow former Redskins’ offensive coordinator and reigning award winner, Sean McVay, was next with two picks. Just in case you didn’t peruse the tables, I’ll share with you that Jay Gruden was not picked by any of us. Aaron Rodgers and Antonio Brown were each picked to win Offensive Player of the year three times.
- We also had a difficult time agreeing on who would come out of the AFC (Jaguars), who would win Defensive Player of the Year (Khalil Mack), who would win the Defensive Rookie of the Year (Bradley Chubb & Roquan Smith) and what the Redskins’ final record would be (9-7). In each case, the most popular choice was only made by four of us.
Writer Pick Trends
- Bryan Stabbe swung for the fences by making the most unique predictions of our group (8). This bold strategy has a lot of upside, but it seldom pays off. Our fearless leader, Ken Meringolo, and Tom Garrett were right behind Bryan with seven exclusive selections of their own.
- Bill, Jennifer, Scott and I took a different approach. We each only made one unshared prediction, and three of those picks came in the difficult-to-predict Coach of the Year category.
- Steve “Safe” Shoup continued his trend, as he and Jennifer Filsinger led the way with 11 picks of repeat winners from the previous year. Gabe, Scott and Jamual predicted 10 repeats.
- Mark Tyler, on the other hand, expects a lot to change; he only sees four of last year’s winners doing it again in 2018. Bryan, Ken, Tom and Kennedy all only predicted five 2017 repeats.
That’s a wrap on the offseason. We’ve called our shots on what’s to come in 2018; now it’s time for the season to start and for us to find out what we got right and wrong.
As always, I’ll be back in February to take a look and see how we did, at which point you are welcome to either shower us with praise or ridicule us for our low “Football IQ.”
In the meantime, let us know what you think of our picks and share your predictions for the season in the comments section. Happy season kickoff day and HTTR!
How many games will the Washington Redskins win this season?
This poll is closed
5 of fewer
11 or more
Which team will win Super Bowl LIII?
This poll is closed
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
Los Angeles Rams
New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers
Other (list in comments)