The first quarter of the NFL season is over and 19 teams are currently either in first place or within a game of the top spot in the division - including the Dallas Cowboys, who sit at 2-2 heading into their bye week.
Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 94 teams (35.6 percent of the 264 playoff clubs) have advanced to the postseason after starting the season 2-2 or worse. Three teams made the playoffs last year after starting 2-2 (Falcons, Steelers, Bengals) and the Broncos also made the playoffs after starting 1-3.
In five of the past 11 seasons, a team that has started 2-2 or worse has even advanced to the Super Bowl. So entering Week 5, while it certainly helps to be near the top of the standings, don’t count anyone out, there’s a lot of season left to be played.
And the 2012 NFL season is turning out to be tricky to predict anyway: Close games have been a staple of the 2012 season as 36 games have been decided by eight points or fewer, tied for the third-most such games through the first four weeks of a season in NFL history. In the past two weeks, there have been 10 games in which the game-winning points were scored in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime. If 10 games in Week 5 are decided by eight points or fewer, 2012 will feature the most such games through the first five weeks of a season in NFL history.
Yet here at BTB, we continue undeterred and pick winners for the weekend regardless. Our panel did fairly well last week, with KD cleaning up behind a 13-2 weekend and the consensus picks coming in at 10-5, the same as the consensus picks for KDs 10-for-10. For the season, the consensus pick is at 36-27, which translates into 57% forecast accuracy and still leaves lots or room for improvement.
Below are all our picks for Week 5, 2012.
Do you agree or disagree with our picks? Let us know in the comments.