Okay, not really.
There’s actually a few good reasons why I am referencing Football Outsiders today though and why I think that what they have to say is worth hearing. The first is because last year, using several factors*, they projected the Chiefs to win the AFC West. Guess what? They were spot on. The second reason is that I like their methods and areas of evaluation and rely on them quite a bit throughout the season in forming my own opinions about where the Chiefs stand at any given point.
*Among other things, these factors include strength of schedule, weather, trends, quarterbacks, draft history, injuries, offensive/defensive paces, various splits, coaching experience, on and on and then they run it all through 10,000 simulations.
What Football Outsiders predicts for the Chiefs in 2011 and related items just beyond the jump.
Thank you for sticking with me this far.
I’ll just launch right into the bad news. FO’s 2011 DVOA Projections do not see the Chiefs winning the AFC West this year nor do they project them even making the playoffs. To make matters worse, they project the Chiefs 25th overall, 22nd in offense, 23rd in defense, 20th in special teams, and to top it all off, they pull the hardest schedule in the NFL. A total of 6.2 wins are projected for our boys in red.
Now, all that said, in their annual football almanac, FO points out that the Chiefs wound up with the largest statistial variance of any team. In other words, the 2011 Chiefs are the hardest team to predict with any degree of certainty – they are the biggest statistical crapshoot if you will. FO staff members Mike Tanier and Vince Verhei both pick the Chiefs as the team most likely to beat their FO DVOA Projection. Verhei’s take is pretty entertaining actually.
So, all is not lost. Besides, I can’t remember where but I do recall once hearing some guy say “You play … to win … the game. You play . . . to win . . . the game. Hello!”
Here’s how Football Outsiders breaks down 2011’s playoff contenders (overall ranking listed before each team):
2. New England
4. San Diego
5. New York Jets
7. Green Bay
8. New Orleans
20. San Francisco
My take? I don’t have a better method of analysis than these guys so I am respecting what they say and banking heavily on the Chiefs variance factor to swing then in a more favorable direction.
Addict assignment? Read the articles, get a basic grasp of FO’s approach, and then give me your take.