2012 NFL Predicted Standings & Super Bowl Win Odds | 2012 NFL Schedule Released

*UPDATE* The projections below are old. Please see our latest 2012 NFL predicted standings, which include adjustments for the NFL Draft and the addition of starting QB info.*

It seems like just a few weeks ago that Eli Manning led the Giants to their second Super Bowl title in five years.  On Tuesday, though, the NFL released the 2012 schedule, prompting fans across the nation to speculate about their own team’s chances to win Super Bowl XLVII.

We’ve taken that NFL schedule, run an early version of our preseason ratings, and simulated the entire season 5,000 times. The result is projected records and standings for all teams and divisions, plus every team’s chances of winning the Super Bowl, and their preseason power rating and strength of schedule ranks.

The ratings we used aren’t perfect, and we plan on releasing some improved projections later this summer that take into account the draft and free agent signings — especially quarterback movement, which will have a big effect on the Broncos and Colts. But these predictions do use the same formula that led to our 2011 NFL preseason projections (which proved to be quite profitable) so they should still be more accurate than those of the average talking head.

A few teams stand out .  Let’s take a quick look at some of the most interesting.

New England Patriots — New England is far and away the highest rated team at this point.  Their continued success and reloading through the draft are reflected positively in their almost 20% chance to win the Super Bowl.  No team in last season’s preseason projections was close to this level.

San Francisco 49ers — The 49ers took a big jump under Jim Harbaugh last season, moving from 6-10 to 13-3, while finishing sixth in our predictive power ratings. However, our preseason ratings see two red flags. First, they had an insanely good turnover margin last season — the best in our 9 years of data. There is virtually zero chance they’ll have as large of a turnover advantage next year, so their forecast takes a ding because of that. Second, last season’s  improvement seemed to come out of nowhere, with much of the improvement attributed to the coaching staff. This is one area where our projections may have a blind spot. The preseason ratings see San Francisco’s true performance level regressing a bit towards where it was in 2009 and 2010, but if Jim Harbaugh’s coaching really does make a huge difference, they shouldn’t fall that far.

Denver Broncos / Indianapolis Colts– As mentioned above, we haven’t added quarterback info to the projections yet. The Broncos are already expected to be good, but they should improve even more once they get credit for Peyton Manning’s presence. Similarly, the Colts may take a hit once the projection system realizes that they’ll be starting a rookie at quarterback, rather than Manning. (Yes, we know Manning didn’t start for the Colts last season, but he did in the previous few years, which are factors in the projections.)

New Orleans Saints — Frankly, there’s never been a situation quite like this, so any purely data-based projection is going to have a tough time knowing what to do with the year-long suspension of head coach Sean Payton. Then again, so will any human prognosticator. These projections completely ignore the issue, so if you think the absence of Payton will harm the Saints, you’ll need to mentally dock the Saints a win or two.

If you see any other projections you’re curious about — or any you disagree with! — leave a comment below. We’d love to discuss them!

TeamRankings 2012 NFL Preseason Predictions (Version 1.0)
AFC East
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
New England12.13.982%61%20%121
NY Jets8.97.139%15%3%98
AFC North
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
AFC South
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
AFC West
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
San Diego8.97.148%38%3%1015
Kansas City6.19.915%10%0%257
NFC East
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
NY Giants8.27.840%25%3%1311
NFC North
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
Green Bay10.95.172%51%10%431
NFC South
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
New Orleans10.95.175%57%11%327
Tampa Bay6.59.518%8%1%2622
NFC West
TeamWLPlayoffsWin DivWin SBTR RankSOS Rank
San Francisco7.28.837%32%1%2123
St. Louis5.011.013%10%0%3226