NFL Prediction (07/11/13)

By Paul Bessire

Each day over the next two weeks we will reveal a Prediction of the Day, where we share an interesting player or team prediction leading into the 2013 NFL season. Rams vs. FalconsTampa Bay's defenseBroncos/49ersRavens repeat?Sacks will Skyrocket, Playoff teams missing the playoffs.

Prediction: The Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers will make the playoffs.

Why it is likely:

On average, each year, almost half of the previous season’s NFL Playoff participants fail to make the postseason the next year. Earlier, we discussed the fact that there are five 2012 postseason teams that are less than 50% likely to repeat in the playoffs this year. No teams that missed last year’s playoffs are more than 50% likely to make it back this year. That being said, these teams are the most likely teams to replace the five teams we noted – Minnesota, Indianapolis, Washington, Atlanta and Cincinnati. As you can see, we have identified, New York and Carolina as strong candidates to win divisions previously won by the Redskins and Falcons respectively while Chicago and Miami replace Minnesota and either Cincinnati or Indianapolis. We have only identified one AFC Wild Card replacement because no other team in the relatively weak conference has a greater than 15% shot at earning the other Wild Card (Pittsburgh is closest at 14.7%).

Possible obstacles:

Technically, the chance of all four of those teams making the postseason is only 2.3%, but it is very likely that at least one of these two teams makes it and about a 50/50 chance that two of these four teams can play in the postseason. Also, Atlanta does have a better shot at winning the NFC South than Carolina, yet no team wins that division more than 35% of the time and all four teams are within one win in our regular season projections.

Final thought:

In order, the most likely teams that missed the 2012 NFL Playoffs to make the 2013 postseason are Chicago Bears (45.1%), New York Giants (40.7%), Miami Dolphins (39.9%) and Carolina Panthers (33.1%).