Monday, December 8, 2008

McGinn's Crystal Ball

Now is a good time to go back and re-examine that McGinn prediction from the beginning of the season.  Remember that one?

Seven National Football League teams in the last decade followed up a 13-3 record one year with a precipitous fall in the standings the next year

The Green Bay Packers of 2008 have all the makings of joining the club

McGinn's ultimate prediction: 

The operative question is, how far have the Packers slipped? Based on a training camp this summer that could have been dubbed "Mediocrity on Parade," the answer is somewhere between four to eight games from 13-3 a year ago.

That means 9-7 looks like the best the Packers could finish and 5-11 looks like the worst.

At the time, I though McGinn was a little too pessimistic.  (Although I definitely saw the Packers slipping, I thought 9-7 was more of a worst case scenario).

McGinn based his prediction on three primary factors: (1) an aging group of playmakers, (2) an inevitable injury streak, and (3) a tougher schedule.  On the second factor:

When one looks back on the seven 13-3 teams in the last 10 years that collapsed, injuries were the common denominator.

The ’07 Baltimore Ravens (5-11, down from 13-3), the ’07 Bears (7-9, down from 13-3), the ’05 Philadelphia Eagles (6-10, down from 13-3), the ’04 Kansas City Chiefs (7-9, down from 13-3), the ’02 Bears (4-12, down from 13-3), the ’01 Tennessee Titans (7-9, down from 13-3) and the ’98 Chiefs (7-9, down from 13-3) all were picked to win at least 10 games by prognosticators.

Everyone in the industry just sort of knows that injuries run in cycles.

Interesting stuff.

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