Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
November 27, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

U.N. Counts the Human Cost of Climate Change
Happy Thanksgiving to Those Who Seek Haven

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat
The Painting That Saved My Family From the Holocaust
Avenue of Mysteries

Truthdig Bazaar more items

Ear to the Ground
Print this item

Nate Silver’s Super Bowl Pick Falls Short

Posted on Jan 14, 2013
Screenshot via

Nate Silver, who writes The New York Times’ popular FiveThirtyEight blog, makes his living by predicting events. Oftentimes, he’s right, like he was during the 2012 presidential election when he correctly forecast how every state would vote (in 2008, he went 49 for 50 ... not too shabby, indeed).

But even experts can make bad predictions occasionally, as the data analyst demonstrated in his Super Bowl picks. Last week, Silver forecast that the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks would meet in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII. Although the Patriots crushed their opponents, the Houston Texans, the same cannot be said for the Seahawks, who suffered a last-minute loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

In fairness to Silver, Seattle should have won the game. In fact, the team would have prevailed had head coach Pete Carroll not called a timeout just a hair before Matt Bryant’s first field goal kick, which went wide to the right of the goal post. Bryant wouldn’t miss a second time, and the Falcons pulled out the 30-28 victory at home.

But, there are no should haves, could haves, would haves in sports—the Seahawks lost and the Falcons are moving on in the playoffs.

In other predictions that fell flat, Silver said the Patriots would face the Denver Broncos—a team he called one of the top two in the NFL—in the AFC Championship game. That won’t be happening either. The Broncos lost a heartbreaking double-overtime game in Denver to the Baltimore Ravens.

The takeaway from these events? Perhaps this headline from The Atlantic Wire puts it best: “Nate Silver Can Accurately Predict an Election, but Not a Super Bowl.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

More Below the Ad


Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

Like Truthdig on Facebook