Tag Archives: week 1

Confirmation Bias in the NFL: Connecting Predictions with Reality


If you were all aboard the Raiders hype train Sunday proved their potential. If you doubted Oakland, a one point win over New Orleans doesn’t impress you much. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

– Jim Bearor

Every team has played one game so far, and people think they have answers. It has been a long offseason of discussing narratives, who went where, and why it’s all going to come together for Team X this year. That’s totally cool, summer – the driest season for sports – is when the juiciest hot takes blossom. I think of it like a Quentin Tarantino movie, where the long dialogue scenes have more weight to them because you know it’s only a matter of time until the fight starts. Then when there is action, its significance is amplified. But in the NFL’s case, we talk so much and for so long that the events of the prior season get reduced to statistics, and the memories of it start to fade. Because of this, and for reasons beyond my comprehension, the first few games of the season have such a disproportionate effect on all of our opinions, even if we think we know better than to jump to conclusions. Continue reading