Let’s be clear about this right off the hop – predicting the outcome of any season, no matter the sport is hardly an exact science. Interestingly enough, amidst the chaos of 2020, the form charts in North American professional sports have pretty much held firm.
Preseason favorites have already won the Stanley Cup (Tampa Bay Lightning), NBA Finals (Los Angeles Lakers), and World Series (Los Angeles Dodgers). The same was true for Super Bowl 54 when the Kansas City Chiefs took the NFL title.
The Chiefs are favored to win again in Super Bowl betting and according to a Madden 21 simulation of the NFL season conducted by FanSided, that’s exactly how things will play out in the end. However, the journey to get there doesn’t come close to resembling what is actually happening on the field during the current NFL season.
Let’s take a look at how this Madden simulation saw the 2020 NFL campaign unfolding.
“Kansas City Cheifs v Jacksonville Jaguars – Chiefs plays – 2016” by Dis da fi we is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The Madden simulator saw the following division winners for the AFC: the New England Patriots in the East, the Cincinnati Bengals in the North, the Indianapolis Colts in the South and the Chiefs in the West.
In actuality, currently, only the Chiefs hold forth as a division leader. The Colts are second to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South and still have a shot to win the division. However, the Bengals are a last-place club and the Patriots could be headed for their first losing season in two decades.
Meanwhile, Madden saw the Pittsburgh Steelers, currently 11-0 and bidding for an unbeaten season, finishing up 7-9.
The Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns were all pegged as Wild Card playoff clubs. In truth, all three could very well be 2020 postseason participants but the Bills will most likely do so by winning their first AFC East title since 1999.
Here, the division winners were more accurate. Madden still has the potential to nail down three out of four divisional champions. The simulation had the Green Bay Packers winning the NFC North and the New Orleans Saints capturing the NFC South. At this point, those both look to be locked in as real outcomes.
However, the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers aren’t going to repeat as NFC West title winners. San Fran is currently in last place in the division. The Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams figure to slug it out for the division crown.
No one would have predicted the absolute dumpster fire that the NFC East has turned into in 2020. At this stage, it’s entirely possible that the NFL could witness its first 10-loss division champ.