Eagles and Giants to NFL Post-season says Stat Guru Paul Bessire

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13:  DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball against Corey Webster #23 of the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 13, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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·We’ve developed a relationship through the season with Paul Bessire who runs Predictionmachine.com, charting plays and tendencies of every player and coach on every NFL team, then runs simulations of every game to find the probability of wins. Bessire runs his head-to-head simulations 50,000 times. He correctly forecast a Redskins win in Chicago (yay) and loss in Detroit (boo) when nobody else expected those outcomes.

With the New York Giants·suddenly hot, the Dallas Cowboys in turmoil and no one knowing what to expect from the Washington Redskins, we asked Paul for his NFC East outlook for the rest of the season. His response provides no comfort for Redskins fans, though nothing he says comes as a surprise.

“The NFC East right now looks like a two team race, with both the Giants and Eagles getting to double-digit wins. Our current final season projections (from 50,000 simulations of the rest of the season) are that New York leads the NFL with 11.9 average wins, Philadelphia gets to 10.3 wins, Washington finishes with 7.3 wins and Dallas ultimately wins just 3.5 games. As we see it, with the Giants, Packers, Falcons and a sub-.500 NFC West team very likely to win their respective divisions, the NFC Wild Card race is really down to about three teams with the Eagles, Saints and Buccaneers competing for two spots (and the Eagles and Saints far more likely to take those spots than Tampa Bay).

“The rest of the way, the Redskins are favored at home against the Buccaneers and on the road against the Cowboys and Jaguars. Their home game with the Vikings in Week 12 could be critical the chance of either team to get to .500. We currently have the Vikings winning, but only 52.9% of the time and by a score of 24-23. Unfortunately for Washington, the team still has to play New York twice. Against the Giants (twice), Eagles and Titans, the Redskins lose by an average of 10.7 points a game.”

Statistical analysis is all the rage for sports blogs these days. It’s a happy development for citizen sports writers who wish to deliver more than rants and homerism. Football Outsiders is a godsend. Their annual Almanac (was Pro Football Prospectus) is the bible of preseason research. Redskins Hog Heaven’s Greg Trippiedi charts every play of every Redskins game and assesses player performance to reveal strengths and weaknesses. You only think you know who’s delivering the goods for the team if you are not a student of Greg’s work.

Redskins Insider turned to Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats for analytical assessments of team performers. AccuScore.com has been around for a very long time.

These sites require subscriptions to get to their best content. Most are created to serve the wagering public. We’ve been impressed by the Prediction Machine for their spot-on calls about the Redskins and for Bessire’s willingness to share his insights about Hog Heaven’s favorite team. Bessire, like the people behind Football Outsiders and other stat sites project three more wins for the Redskins. We’ll hope for better, especially against Tampa Bay, Minnesota and our beastly brothers.

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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