With training camps starting all across the NFL this week, USA Today continued with their annual tradition of predicting every team’s record for the upcoming season. Atlanta’s projection in particular sticks out in this year’s version of the predictions, with the publication predicting a lowly two wins for the Birds.
If that prediction were to come true, Atlanta would have the worst record in the NFL, and would be in line for the number one overall draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. See below for the full predictions.
Hot off the press. The USA Today 2022 record projections pic.twitter.com/EUfXdO7e2Q— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) July 26, 2022
USA Today is also predicting that six of the seven NFC playoff teams from last season will make it back to the postseason, with the only new representative being the New Orleans Saints in place of the Cardinals. Three of the four NFC division winners are predicted to repeat, with the Eagles being selected to dethrone the Cowboys in the NFC East.
On the AFC side, four of last year’s seven playoff teams are expected to make it to the playoffs again, with the Ravens, Chargers and Colts as new selections in place of the Steelers, Raiders and Titans from last season.
Let’s see how the 2021 season played out in comparison to the USA Today predictions:
The publication correctly predicted six out of eight division winners, and five of the seven NFC playoff teams. In the AFC, the hit rate wasn’t as high, with just three out of seven playoff teams being correctly predicted. The AFC’s Super Bowl representative Cincinnati Bengals were predicted to finish in the AFC North cellar.
Many Falcons fans will hope that the newspaper has misfired on Atlanta’s prediction in a similar way that they did with the Philadelphia Eagles last season, when they predicted the Eagles to have the second-worst record in the NFL with just three wins before Philly made the playoffs as a nine-win NFC Wildcard team.
Atlanta ended up winning two more games than what was predicted last season. The hope will be that they’ll end up outstripping their predicted win total by a lot more than that in 2022.