Throughout the regular season, Around the League stuck a fork in teams I no longer believed would make the playoffs. It's time to stick a fork in me.
This post will serve as my public apology, shaming, and self-flagellation for the crimes committed against the fan bases of the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings. I am sorry for my idiocy. Your teams proved me very wrong. You now have the playoffs to look forward to.
The Redskins got the fork at 3-6. At the time, I wrote that the team would have to run to table to make the playoffs. That was right. I wrote the defense couldn't get it together enough to win seven straight. That was wrong. When Mike Shanahan gave us the "evaluating for next season" quote, it felt like he gave me no choice. Whoops.
The Vikings' final run was even more improbable. Consider: They had lost four of five games to reach 6-6. Their final slate was very difficult: vs. Chicago Bears, @ St. Louis Rams, @ Houston Texans, vs. Green Bay Packers. The Vikings were 1-5 on the road, with the lone win coming against the Detroit Lions. Football Outsiders' trusty numbers had Minnesota's playoff odds well under 5 percent.
The Redskins' rally seemed tame in comparison. I simply didn't believe the Vikings had an incredible four-game run like that in them. Never saw it coming. I'd probably make the same mistake if the situation repeated itself.
This story of prognostications gone wrong has a happy ending. As promised, we're giving money to charity as penance. We donated to the Red Cross' Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The storm continues to affect so many in the New York area and beyond. You, too, can donate here.
Here's to better prognostications in the New Year. Our playoff picks will be out Thursday.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.