Here are the projections from the same timeframe in 2006. Each column indicates the season win projections of a very similar model following weeks 2, 3, and 4. The actual total numbers of wins aren't terribly great, but the relative position of teams within each division is pretty good. I can't emphasize that point enough.
Seven of eight division winners were correctly projected. The only exception was Atlanta in the NFC South, which suffered an epic collapse at the end of the '06 season. The model actually had NO winning the division in week 3, but gave it to ATL by week 4.
|Team||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Actual|
The biggest misses were the Jets and Redskins. The Jets have returned to mediocrity and were most likely very luckly last year. The model was very wrong about the Redskins, and I have no idea why they took the downturn they did last year.
One more note: Although these predictions were based on a similar model to the current one, the coefficients were derived solely from 2005 season data. 2005 turned out to be uniquely favorable to running offenses and defenses, which skewed the projections. I redid the model using data from 2002-2006 and the results were much better.