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Hogs Haven 2018 Season Predictions Revisited

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A look back at the Hogs Haven writers’ 2018 season predictions

Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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

Writers 1-4:

Category Bill-in-Bangkok Gabe Ward James Dorsett Jennifer Filsinger
NFC East Redskins Eagles Eagles Eagles
NFC North Packers Vikings Vikings Packers
NFC South Saints Falcons Saints Saints
NFC West Rams Rams Rams Rams
NFC Wild Card Falcons Packers Packers Vikings
NFC Wild Card 49ers 49ers Falcons Giants
NFC Champion Rams Eagles Saints Packers
AFC East Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
AFC North Browns Steelers Steelers Bengals
AFC South Texans Jaguars Titans Jaguars
AFC West Chargers Broncos Chargers Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Jaguars Bengals Texans Texans
AFC Wild Card Steelers Chiefs Jaguars Steelers
AFC Champion Patriots Jaguars Chargers Patriots
Super Bowl Rams Eagles Saints Packers
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
Redskins Record 10-6 7-9 8-8 8-8
Playoff Finish Divisional None None None

Writers 5-8:

Category Jamual Forrest Tom Garrett Scott Jennings Aaron Lesher
NFC East Eagles Redskins Eagles Eagles
NFC North Vikings Packers Packers Packers
NFC South Falcons Falcons Saints Saints
NFC West Rams 49ers Rams Seahawks
NFC Wild Card Packers Vikings Vikings Vikings
NFC Wild Card Saints Eagles Falcons Falcons
NFC Champion Saints Falcons Packers Saints
AFC East Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
AFC North Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
AFC South Jaguars Texans Jaguars Jaguars
AFC West Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chargers
AFC Wild Card Titans Jaguars Texans Texans
AFC Wild Card Ravens Ravens Chargers Ravens
AFC Champion Steelers Chiefs Jaguars Chargers
Super Bowl Saints Falcons Packers Saints
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
Redskins Record 9-7 11-5 7-9 9-7
Playoff Finish None Divisional None None

Writers 9-13:

Category Ken Meringolo Kennedy Paynter Steve Shoup Bryan Stabbe Mark Tyler
NFC East Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles
NFC North Packers Packers Vikings Packers Packers
NFC South Falcons Falcons Saints Falcons Saints
NFC West Rams Rams Rams Rams Rams
NFC Wild Card Vikings Saints Packers Vikings Vikings
NFC Wild Card Redskins Redskins Falcons 49ers Redskins
NFC Champion Packers Rams Rams Packers Saints
AFC East Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
AFC North Browns Steelers Steelers Ravens Steelers
AFC South Jaguars Jaguars Titans Colts Titans
AFC West Raiders Chargers Chargers Raiders Chargers
AFC Wild Card Titans Texans Texans Chargers Jaguars
AFC Wild Card Steelers Chiefs Jaguars Steelers Chiefs
AFC Champion Jaguars Steelers Steelers Patriots Jaguars
Super Bowl Jaguars Rams Rams Patriots Saints
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
Redskins Record 9-7 10-6 8-8 6-10 9-7
Playoff Finish Divisional Wild Card None None Wild Card

And here’s how things actually played out:

Category Actual
NFC East Cowboys
NFC North Bears
NFC South Saints
NFC West Rams
NFC Wild Card Seahawks
NFC Wild Card Eagles
NFC Champion Rams
AFC East Patriots
AFC North Ravens
AFC South Texans
AFC West Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Chargers
AFC Wild Card Colts
AFC Champion Patriots
Super Bowl Patriots
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
MVP Patrick Mahomes
Redskins Off. POY Adrian Peterson
Redskins Def. POY Ryan Kerrigan
Redskins Record 7-9
Playoff Finish None

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
t-1st Scott Jennings 9 5 0 2 2
t-1st Jennifer Filsinger 9 4 1 3 1
t-3rd Bill-in-Bangkok 7 4 2 0 1
t-3rd Steve Shoup 7 3 1 1 2
t-3rd Bryan Stabbe 7 4 2 0 1
t-6th James Dorsett 5 3 0 1 1
t-6th Jamual Forrest 5 3 0 1 1
t-6th Tom Garrett 5 4 0 1 0
t-6th Kennedy Paynter 5 3 1 1 0
t-6th Gabe Ward 5 2 0 1 2
11th Mark Tyler 4 3 0 1 0
12th Aaron Lesher 3 2 0 0 1
13th Ken Meringolo 2 2 0 0 0

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.

Poll

How many games will the Washington Redskins win in the 2019 season?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    4 or fewer
    (35 votes)
  • 41%
    5 or 6
    (87 votes)
  • 29%
    7 or 8
    (62 votes)
  • 9%
    9 or 10
    (21 votes)
  • 3%
    11 or more
    (7 votes)
212 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which team will win the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 2019 NFL season?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Patriots
    (39 votes)
  • 12%
    Rams
    (26 votes)
  • 19%
    Saints
    (39 votes)
  • 35%
    Chiefs
    (73 votes)
  • 1%
    Chargers
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Steelers
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Bears
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Vikings
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Packers
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Cowboys
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Redskins
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (list in comments)
    (2 votes)
205 votes total Vote Now