ESPN has 32 team bloggers, and they are collectively quite bullish on the chances for your favorite team in 2014. Again. Last year, I noted that, when ESPN launched the team bloggers last August and posted their picks, they collectively predicted that the NFL teams would go 283-229.
Hope springs eternal, and optimism as the flowers bloom and the schedule is announced is even better. This year, the 32 writers have an even higher opinion of the league, believing that the teams will go 290-222.
Only five teams are predicted to have a losing record this year, with Washington (at 7-9) the only sub-.500 team in the NFC. No team is predicted to win more than 12 games, so it’s not like someone is inflating the numbers by foreseeing another challenge to perfection. It is systemic over-optimism across most teams.
There is one realistic prediction: the Dallas Cowboys are again picked to go 8-8. Seems inevitable, with a week 17 loss and a chance to make the postseason.
ESPN does want you to know that “Each prediction was made independent of the predictions of their colleagues.” So there you go. You get a win. You get a win. You get a win.