In the offseason, I wrote a pair of tongue-in-cheek articles that I called "13 Reasons to Believe in 13-3." The articles were relatively well received, though one respondent did call it "The stupidest thing I've ever heard." He apparently missed the part about how it was an attempt at humor. In any event, after our 6-0 start, I decided to revisit the idea of 13 reasons to believe.
What I did, as invalid as it is at this point, was to apply the formula I use in my "Try to Not Laugh" series to the remainder of our 2009 schedule. I realize that those predictions will undoubtedly change as each of the teams wins/loses their coming games, but it seemed like a fun thing to do at the time. After the jump, I'll share 13 more reasons to believe.
1)@Baltimore (3-3) -- W to go 7-0
This will be another close nail-biter. It will come down to the team that has the ball last. If we contain Flacco, we will win, since the Ravens' defense has not be able to consistently stop the other team.
2)Pittsburgh (4-2) -- W to go 8-0
The formula predicted a strong win here. Pittsburgh has Minnesota and bye prior to playing us, so they come into the game 4-3. At this point in time, I don't see the Pittsburgh O-line being able to protect Big Ben well enough for him to be effective -- he's been sacked 16 times so far (for the 7th worst position in the league in protecting the QB)
3)@Washington (2-4) -- W to go 9-0
It's Washington, a team almost as dysfunctional as the faders. Need I say more?
4)San Diego (2-3) -- W to go 10-0
San Diego faces Kansas City, Oakland, the Giants, and Philadelphia before coming to Denver. At best, they split these four games and come to Invesco with a 4-5 record. While they may be playing knowing that they have to win out to make the playoffs, I don't see them being able to beat Denver in Denver.
5)NY Giants (5-1) -- W to go 11-0
New York faces Arizona, Philadelphia, San Diego, a Bye, and Atlanta before the Broncos. I see them winning at least 3 of those games, to come into Denver with an 8-2 record. The formula predicted a win here, and New York proved themselves to be vulnerable in the New Orleans game.
6)@Kansas City (1-5) -- W to go 12-0
The Chiefs have San Diego twice, a Bye, Jacksonville, Oakland, and Pittsburgh before meeting up with the Broncos. Kansas City has been playing well, and looks to be a perfect team to play the spoiler role this year. I could see them pulling out wins in 3 of those games, which would make them 4-7 when they meet us. I give the Broncos the edge, since McDaniels is extremely familiar with Cassel's strengths and weaknesses and will be able to advise Nolan on the best way to shut him down.
7)@Indianapolis (5-0) -- L to go 12-1
The Colts face St Louis, San Francisco, Houston twice, New England, Baltimore, and Tennessee prior to Denver. I could see New England and either Baltimore or Houston pulling off an upset. This would make Indianapolis 10-2 entering their contest with the Broncos. My formula predicted a win, but I have a feeling that we'll drop one somewhere, and this is the most likely candidate.
8)Oakland (2-4) -- W to go 13-1
It's the Raiders, does anyone need any further explanation?
9)@Philadelphia (3-2) -- L to go 13-2
The Eagles have the Giants twice, Dallas, San Diego, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta and San Francisco before hosting the Broncos. I see them splitting the 8 games, making them 7-6 coming into the contest, desperately needing a win to retain any hopes of a playoff spot. My formula predicted a win.
10)Kansas City (1-5) -- W to go 14-2
See the notes above about Kansas City. While this could be a let-down game, I think McDaniels will resist the temptation to let the team glide, and instead use this as a final tune-up for the playoffs.
11)My formula predicted wins in all of our remaining games. But I think 16-0 is overly optimistic even for a kool-aid drinker like me. I could see the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New York, Indianapolis and Philadelphia games all going either way. However, I don't see us (at this point in time) losing more than 3 of those games which would take us to a 13-3 record.
12)To meet the more pessimistic predictions of a 7-9 season, we would have to lose 9 of our last 10 games. That simply won't happen -- Kansas City twice, Oakland and Washington pretty much guarantees us a 10-0 record at the absolute worst. Of the remaining 7 games (Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Washington, New York, Indiapolis, and Philadlephia) I can see us easily going 3-3 which would take us to the 13-3 record.
13)Finally, 7 of our WRs have over 100 yards receiving, 2 of our RBs have over 300 yards rushing, 4 of our Defensive unit have 2 or more sacks, which equals 13. Hence, 13-3.
13-3 until we aren't baby!!!!!
Edited, additional thought: Even allowing for the fact that my formula has been accurate only 62% of the time, that would project out to 6-7 wins (6.8 when calculated), which would place us in the 12 to 13 win area, so why not go with the better sounding 13? :D