The 99th season of NFL football came to a close this past Sunday night, when the New England Patriots extended their historic dynasty by defeating the Los Angeles Rams and winning their record-tying sixth Super Bowl.
The Pats winning it all again was far from shocking, but the fact they did so in what was the lowest scoring championship game in modern history at the conclusion of a season marked by record-breaking offense output was a bit unexpected.
There were many other surprises in 2018, but there were also a multitude of things that remained the same.
For example, the NFC East champion did not repeat, the Redskins were one of the most injured teams in the league, they won between seven and nine games, Dan Snyder did not #FireBruceAllen, Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt destroyed offenses, Kirk Cousins couldn’t win the big game, poor officiating had a major impact on pivotal contests, Andy Reid’s offense flourished and another person from his coaching tree found success as a head coach. The list goes on and on.
Sure, there are many things that you could say were “predictable,” but actually making a pick, putting your name beside it for everyone to see and being right about said call at the end of the day is much more difficult than one might think.
Just prior to the start of each season, we at Hogs Haven, like pretty much every other NFL website under the sun, predict who will win the Super Bowl, every award and every division in football. What truly distinguishes us from the pack is that we are the only major publication, at least that I know of, which comes back at the end of the season to revisit our picks.
Below you can see the predictions our group of 13 writers made before the season began, how things actually played out and my analysis of the results. Enjoy!
Predictions and Results
|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 2019||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 2019||Bills||Browns||Buccaneers||Bills|
|Comeback POY||Aaron Rodgers||Deshaun 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 2019||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|
And here’s how things actually played out:
|NFC Wild Card||Seahawks|
|NFC Wild Card||Eagles|
|AFC Wild Card||Chargers|
|AFC Wild Card||Colts|
|1st Pick in 2019||Cardinals|
|Comeback POY||Andrew Luck|
|Coach of Year||Matt Nagy|
|Offensive ROY||Saquon Barkley|
|Defensive ROY||Darius Leonard|
|Offensive POY||Patrick Mahomes|
|Defensive POY||Aaron Donald|
|Redskins Off. POY||Adrian Peterson|
|Redskins Def. POY||Ryan Kerrigan|
Redskins Player of the Year Awards
As you may have noticed, Adrian Peterson and Ryan Kerrigan are listed as the Redskins’ offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively. Those are the only two categories we made predictions that were somewhat subjective in nature.
I took the decision out of my hands and left it up to you, the reader, in my final Stats and Snaps articles of the season (offense & defense). The results from the polls in those articles are below. I only included players who received at least 10% of the votes.
Redskins Offensive Player of the Year:
Adrian Peterson- 82%
Chase Roullier- 13%
Redskins Defensive Player of the Year:
Ryan Kerrigan- 56%
Jonathan Allen- 15%
D.J. Swearinger- 13%
All Day and the Heartbreak Kid each won in a landslide and I personally agree with both choices.
AP had at least twice as many yards from scrimmage (1,250) and touchdowns (8) as any other player on the team. Peterson didn’t even really have any legitimate competition.
Things are bit tighter for Kerrigan, but he led the Skins in sacks (13), total pressures (61), forced fumbles (3) and tackles for a loss (11), which makes him more than worthy of winning this award for the third consecutive year.
Now that we’ve established who all the winners were, we can finally evaluate how accurate our predictions were.
How’d We Do?
This was by no means a stellar showing for the Hogs Haven staff, but our 5.6 correct predictions per writer was our third-best clip in the last four seasons and a major improvement over the record-low 4.8 average we posted last year.
We improved as a whole, but two of us stood above the rest at the end of the day. A year after finishing second and third respectively, Scott Jennings (AKA Hog Hunter) and Jennifer Filsinger (AKA varedskinsfan) came out on top with nine correct predictions a piece.
Scott led the way with five accurate playoff team picks and tied Steve Shoup and Gabe Ward for the most correct Redskins calls (two each). Jen set the pace with the most on-target awards predictions (three).
Our two champs pulled out the victory with a very distinct, yet simple strategy: pick repeat winners from the prior season and don’t take wild swings. Jennifer picked the most repeats from 2017 (11), which was just one more such prediction than Scott made (10). They were also tied for the fewest unique selections, with one a piece.
This may be a safe and unadventurous method, but it pays off. Gabe Ward came out on top last year using the exact same approach. Hell, you could’ve just picked repeats in all 27 categories this past season and you would’ve tied Scott and Jen with 9 hits.
|Rank||Name||Total Correct||Playoffs||Super Bowl||NFL Awards||Redskins|
Bill-in-Bangkok, Steve Shoup and Bryan Stabbe finished in a tie for second place, as each of those three HH scribes watched as seven of their prognostications came to fruition.
Steve and Bryan hit on two of their three Super Bowl choices. Bill accurately predicted both teams that would play in the big game, but picked the wrong winner. Bryan was the only one of us who called the Pats hoisting their sixth Lombardi Trophy when all was said and done.
Some of the heaviest hitters on the website in Mark Tyler, Aaron Lesher and Ken Meringolo brought up the rear with 11th, 12th and 13th-place finishes, respectively. You can’t win them all, guys. Better luck next year.
Analyzing the Writers’ Picks
- Bryan may have been alone when it came to picking New England to win it all, but he was far from the only one to pick them to win the lowly AFC East. Unfortunately, it was the lone category that the HH staff unanimously correctly predicted. It’s actually the only category this could’ve happened with, because it’s the only one we all agreed on in the first place. I wish this was something to be excited about, but it just isn’t. It was the 16th time the Pats won the division crown in the last 18 years.
- The AFC East wasn’t the only place we were right more than we were wrong. The majority of the 13 writers who participated were on point with their picks for the NFC West (11 of 13), Offensive Rookie of the Year (9 of 13), the Redskins’ playoff finish (8 of 13) and the NFC South (7 of 13). Three of us had the right AFC and/or NFC representative in the Super Bowl. Four writers, including myself, had the Saints winning the NFC and taking home the Lombardi two weeks later. I can’t speak for my three peers, but I know I wasn’t anticipating one of the worst officiating mistakes in NFL history. We feel your pain New Orleans, albeit to a much lesser extent.
- Not one of the writers included in this exercise made a correct selection in the following seven categories: NFC East, NFC North, Coach of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, MVP and Redskins Offensive Player of the Year. I can’t really hate here, because the outcome for pretty much every one of those categories was at least somewhat surprising. Personally, my only regret here was not giving enough love to Matt Nagy and the Bears. I badly wanted to make both picks, but I didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger either time.
- I wish I could say those were the only areas we struggled in, but I can’t lie to you guys. There were four categories that just one writer correctly predicted. Almost all of us had the Eagles winning the division for a second consecutive year, but Tom Garrett was the lone writer who had them making the tournament as a wild card. Rookie Hogs Haven contributor Kennedy Paynter showed his eye for talent, or a lack thereof, as he was the only one among us who could see how bad the Cardinals would suck. Bryan Stabbe must’ve known another disappointing season for the Steelers, because he was all alone with his Ravens AFC North pick. Somehow Jennifer was the only one who had Aaron Donald bringing home Defensive Player of the Year hardware for a second consecutive year.
- Jen and fellow 2018 winner Scott Jennings both picked Andrew Luck to win Comeback Player of the Year while everyone else was busy sweating Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt. Extra props to the Hog Hunter though, as he made two other correct predictions that were shared by just one other writer (Redskins record and AFC wild card).
Wrapping Things Up
Well, there you have it. That’s your bow on the 2018 season. We called our shots and came back to take the heat and/or hear you sing our praises.
Before you go and shift your focus entirely onto next season, let us know what you thought about how we did and make some 2019 prognostications of your own in the polls and the comments section.
How many games will the Washington Redskins win in the 2019 season?
This poll is closed
4 or fewer
5 or 6
7 or 8
9 or 10
11 or more
Which team will win the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 2019 NFL season?
This poll is closed
Other (list in comments)