AFC Predictions based on 2nd Half of '06

Instead of using team efficiency stats from all of the 2006 NFL season for the basis for 2007 predictions, I tried the same projections using only the stats from the 2nd half of the 2006 season.

Ignoring the first half of the season would account for several things. First, important personnel replacements occur partway through the season, such as quarterbacks Cutler, Leinart, and Campbell.

It also accounts for player development. Vince Young appeared to blossom in the second half of the year. Steve McNair turned it up a notch once he felt comfortable in the Ravens offensive system.

Lastly, teams as a whole fundamentally improve or get worse throughout a season. Using only data from the 2nd half of the season better captures those trends.

However, there are drawbacks to using a smaller data set. The sample size is smaller and the variance from luck is noisier. It also might capture effects from critical injuries that aren't certain to repeat this year. Donovan McNabb's and Bob Sanders' injuries come to mind.

So here are the 2007 projections for win totals using only efficiency stats from weeks 9-17 of the 2006 season. I'm not sure how much weight to give these projections, except that they give some deeper insight into the projections from the full 2006 season. In parentheses are each team's difference from projected wins based on stats from the entire 2006 season.

BAL 13 (+2)
PIT 8 (-2)
CIN 8 (-1)
CLE 2 (-2)

JAX 14 (+4)
IND 10 (-1)
TEN 7 (+1)
HOU 6 (+1)

NYJ 10 (+2)
NE 9 (0)
BUF 9 (+3)
MIA 8 (-1)

SD 11 (-1)
KC 8 (-1)
DEN 6 (-2)
OAK 5 (+1)

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