Pro Football Focus is trying to plunge into actual analytics instead of just providing useful game charting information, trying to make it look special by assigning grades, and then coming up with statistics like pass block efficiency or yards per route run or whatever. In their latest plunge, they have come up with probabilities to forecast the upcoming NFL season, which of course take in account PFF’s grades.
Total Wins: Jacksonville 8.10 (over/under 9), Tennessee 7.7 (O/U 8), Indianapolis 7.7 (O/U 6.5), Houston 7.3 (O/U 8.5)
Probability of winning the division: JAX 31.7% (+ 175), IND 25.1% (+ 550), TEN 24.4% (+ 300), HOU 18.8% (+ 200)
Probability of making playoffs: JAX 42.4%, IND 34.9%, TEN 34.5%, HOU 27.0%
Probability of winning the Super Bowl: JAX 2.3% (+ 2000), IND 1.7% (+ 6600), TEN 1.4% (+ 4000), HOU 0.9% (+ 2000)
With almost a one-in-three chance, we have the Jaguars repeating as division champions for the first time since the turn of the century (when they played in the AFC Central). Indianapolis is buoyed by the return of a quarterback who, when kept clean in 2016, generated the fifth-best passer rating in the NFL (112.0) and earned the second-highest grade behind only Tom Brady, while Tennessee is hoping that a reversion from “exotic smashmouth” allows the skills of Marcus Mariota to shine in his fourth year. Houston’s hoping that the return of Watson and J.J. Watt build on the promise of the young quarterback’s first six starts. We’re a little less optimistic on each front, especially when considering the question marks in the secondary (ranked 25th in our preseason unit rankings).
Whatever. This is the type of thing you put on your wall when the Colts finish 6-10 because they didn’t actually try to improve their roster this offseason, after the Texans end up neck-and-neck with the Jags.