If you've never checked out What if Sports, it's worth checking out and adding to your web-site rotation. Basically they've developed a 'sports simulator' in which they simulate a game 1,000 times to get an average result and then they use those projections to attempt to predict season results and fantasy rankings among other things. I may not always agree with their results but the content is worth a look, if nothing else for entertainment value. Today they posted their NFC West preview and it wasn't so pretty for your Arizona Cardinals. They projected the Cardinals to finish with a 6-10 record and offered this explanation on such a disappointing season:
It seems as though this team has already missed its window. Edgerrin James is clearly on the back end of his career. Matt Leinart and the once-promising defensive backfield have problems staying healthy. And the wide receiving corps lost Bryant Johnson and may see Anquan Boldin depart in the not-so-distant future. In 2008, after years of underachieving, the computer appears to have caught on and set the bar low for Arizona. The Cardinals average 21.4 points per game (#22) and allow 25.5 points (#22) against a schedule featuring six games against 2007 playoff teams.
There's some holes I could try and poke in that logic but we'll move on instead. They also listed several separate segments such as:
Most Significant Newcomer - Early Doucet - Sure that's an easy pick given the departure of Bryant Johnson and I'm actually surprised by his somewhat low projected totals of 29 receptions, 423 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Biggest Strength - Listed oddly as 'potential.' They list all of the high draft picks on the current roster and how they could have a big impact on this season depending on their health and teamwork.
Most Exploitable Weakness - Sadly their choice of the 'Arizona Cardinals' makes sense. They explain it as, every year some 'football experts' and pundits look at the rosters and project the Cardinals as a potential playoff team only to be disappointed with another losing season. Until Cardinals break out of the role as 'offseason sleepers' we'll likely get saddled with these kind expectations every year.
Possible Fantasy Sleeper - Steve Breaston - They acknowledge that Doucet is probably the better pick but they chose instead to bypass him and go with Breaston as a 'deep sleeper.' His improved workouts in the offseason have been making some noise and they agree that he's a dynamic force with the ball in his hands.
They also project the season game by game but with only six wins, I'll spare us from having to look at each game individually (although you can see it by clicking on the link above). So what do you think, agree/disagree? Are you surprised by such a low projection or have you become accustomed to such standards from a national perspective?