By: Mike Patt
Good evening sports fans, and welcome back to the IE Sports Radio Blog. As you may have noticed, we here at IESR love our predictions. We will give you a prediction for every sport at any time of year, including the off-seasons (ex. mock drafts). With so many predictions, we are bound to get some things wrong every now and then. Okay, we get a lot of things wrong, but so goes the world of trying to anticipate how the various sports seasons will behave. If we were perfect at it, we would be making a lot more money, and I would be a celebrity.
In essence, there are two ways to get a team prediction incorrect. You either think that team will play poorly and they end up playing great, or vice versa. Obviously there is a bit more nuance than that, but the vast majority of cases fall into these general categories. We are quick to voice our disappointment when a team does not perform to our standards, and quick to identify a team as a “surprise” rather than just admit we were wrong. Even when commentators admit this, it is more in the form of saying something like “nobody expected them to be this good.” No, there were probably some people who thought they would be good…just not you.
Before the 2022 NFL regular season kicked off, I made my annual predictions on how each team would perform. We are passing the mid-way point, and to nobody’s surprise, the predictions are not great. Entering Sunday, I had half the division leaders correct, and my playoff predictions were looking equally lackluster. There are also teams who are outperforming my expectations. In particular, three teams that I projected to finish last in their divisions that are well above .500. Well, allow me to admit that I was wrong and acknowledge what these teams have done so far.
New York Giants (7-2):
The numbers are not flashy, but the G-men are finding ways to get wins. One of the biggest reasons for improvement has been RB Saquon Barkley. The former top five pick has been healthy and producing to the level he was at to begin his career, perhaps better. His return, combined with QB Daniel Jones playing minimal mistake football, has lead to a much more reliable offense. The defense has held up it’s end of the bargain, allowing less than 20 points per game and ranking second in the league in opponent 3rd down percentage. It has not been relaxing for Giants’ fans, as all but one game has been decided by one possession (and that was a loss).
New York Jets (6-3):
It is amazing that both New York City teams were expected to do poorly, yet are on pace to make the playoffs. The Jets are impressive given the injuries that have cost them their top RB, multiple O-linemen, and starting QB for a few games. The offense has been respectable, and rookie WR Garrett Wilson has been a welcome addition. The real story has been the defense. After investing multiple early draft picks and a lot of money in free agency, the group is showing out. LB CJ Mosley, DL Quinnen Williams, and rookie CB Sauce Gardner have easily been three of the top four or five players on the team. Despite a tough division, the Jets are right in the hunt.
Seattle Seahawks (6-4):
Seattle is getting the additional benefit that their division is not as difficult as it was last year. However, that should not take away from their improvement. Geno Smith has gone from veteran outcast to borderline MVP candidate. The offensive line has been better thanks to rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. Really, the rookies have been a major reason for the success. RB Kenneth Walker has been very good, and CBs Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant have proven to be excellent day three picks. Many thought that this team would take some time to move on from Russell Wilson. To the league’s dismay, that does not appear to be the case.
It is fair to ask the question on whether all three of these teams can continue exceeding expectations. At this point, I am not going to try to predict the rest of the regular season. One certainty is that maintaining first half success will be major tests for the three starting QBs, all of whom are at various stages of having to prove themselves. We shall see if they can finish the job. Tune in to Let’s Wine About DMV Sports with Mike Patt on Sundays at 9 PM Est/6 PM Pst. Be sure to check out all of the other great shows throughout the week on IESR. Shout out to our Patreon Supporters and all you loyal fans who continue help our network grow. Thank you for reading, and we will see you next time on IE Sports Radio; your direct feed for ALL that is sports.