October 17, 2021

2021 NFC win-total projections: 49ers, Rams, Cards make playoffs; Seahawks odd team out in West – NFL.com


Analytics expert Cynthia Frelund took data from the past 10 NFL campaigns to create historical references for personnel, scheme and matchups, identifying factors that are proven to lead to wins (or losses). She vetted the correlations with a bunch of real football people (e.g., coaches) and had her math checked out by real math people (e.g., PhDs) to make sure the model reflected reality as much as possible. Then she compared this season’s personnel, schemes and matchups — with the vetted mathematical weightings — and simulated the season to produce a ceiling, floor and projected win total for all 32 teams. The ceiling-to-floor range is something to home in on — a big discrepancy means the team is projected to play in more close games.

Now, with the addition of a 17th regular-season game, this is the biggest NFL season ever. Inherently, Cynthia ran the most simulations ever: 300,000 runs of every single regular-season game, which equals 81,600,000 total games “played.”

Without further ado, here are the projected win totals for NFC teams in the 2021 campaign, ordered from most to least wins, with playoff berths noted. Click here for AFC win totals.

NOTE: All FanDuel over/under listings are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 6.