Here are the 14 teams we are projecting to make the playoffs, plus every team’s chances of getting in
With 14 teams now getting into the NFL playoffs, it’s almost impossible to get eliminated from contention before the calendar hits December. This year is definitely proof of that.
Despite a record of 0-10-1, the Detroit Lions are STILL ALIVE in the playoff race. That is not a typo. If the Lions have roughly 437 things go their way between now and the end of the season, they could sneak in the postseason as a wild-card. On the other hand, they could become the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention this week and that will happen if they lose Sunday to the Vikings.
For now, though, every team is still mathematically alive, which brings us to to this week’s playoff projections. The projections here are based on data from number-cruncher Stephen Oh of SportsLine.com. Oh plugged some numbers into his SportsLine computer this week and then simulated the rest of the NFL season, and using those numbers, we were able to figure out the playoff chances for all 32 teams. We also projected the 14-team playoff field.
With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s playoff projections. Actually, before we do that, here’s a mock draft that fans of the Jaguars, Jets, Texans and Lions might want to read. Although those four teams haven’t been technically eliminated yet, the computer is basically giving them a 0% chance of making the playoffs, so a mock draft might be more exciting to read than this projection if you’re a fan of one of those four teams. Jets fans should definitely click over because your team currently has two of the first five picks.
Anyway, for everyone else, let’s get to the projection.
Note: Remember, this is a projection based on how we think the rest of the regular season will play out. If you want to see the current playoff standings, be sure to click here. For a breakdown of the current playoff picture, be sure to click here. SportsLine simulates every game leading up to the playoffs 10,000 times, and you can see the model’s picks both straight up and against the spread here.
With that in mind, let’s get to the projections:
AFC Playoff Projection
Here’s a list of the playoff chances for all the other AFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Colts (47.9%), Broncos (22.1%), Raiders (21.3%), Steelers (15.1%), Browns (11.2%), Dolphins (1.7%), Jaguars (0.0%), Jets (0.0%), Texans (0.0%).
Note: The Jets, Jaguars and Texans haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention, but they have a 0% chance of making it because the computer hates them. Actually, the computer doesn’t love or hate, it has no feelings. It just doesn’t think there’s a mathematical chance for any of those teams to make it.
NFC Playoff Projection
Here’s a list of the playoff chances for all the other NFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Vikings (34.0%), Eagles (27.8%), Washington (22.2%), Falcons (6.4%), Giants (5.0%), Panthers (2.2%), Seahawks (0.7%), Bears (0.8%), Lions (0%).
Wild-card round projection
(7) Chargers at (2) Bills
(6) Bengals at (3) Titans
(5) Patriots at (4) Chiefs
(7) Saints at (2) Packers
(6) 49ers at (3) Buccaneers
(5) Rams at (4) Cowboys