2012 NFL Futures: ESPN Clarification

AccuScore NFL Projections vs ESPN the Magazine


There has been a lot of discussion online about our NFL team-by-team “projections” recently made available in ESPN the Magazine. Several of the predictions were, suffice it to say, bold by any measure.

There is a discrepancy however in how the Magazine interpreted our results, and how our actual Win-Loss projections are calculated. What happened in the Magazine was that we provided our projected scores for each and every game of the NFL season. ESPN then took whichever team averaged more points and took that as a win, loss, or tie. That is how Green Bay is “projected” to go 16-0 while St. Louis is 0-16. Our actual projections take into account the winning percentage in each and every game actually have the Packers finishing on average with a 12-4 record, and the Rams at 4-12.

This is possibly because, even though Green Bay is favored in each and every game, that does not guarantee victory in every game.

One of the best ways to illustrate this discrepancy is a weather forecast. If the weatherman told you there was a 47 percent chance of rain for the next 20 days you would expect it to rain eight to 10 days, maybe even 11. You would not expect every day to be free of rain just because no rain is more “likely.” That is exactly what the difference is between our published projections in ESPN the Magazine and our actual NFL projections.

Our season long projections for every NFL team can be found on the 2012 NFL Updated Season Futures page and includes projected Win-Loss records, playoff probability, as well as odds to win the division. These standings are updated after each set of games throughout the season.