There are 32 teams in the NFL and they share one goal, to win the Super Bowl. To get there each must first reach the postseason. We began our 2017 NFL preview by looking at division winners. Today, we explore the playoff probabilities for the upcoming season.
To create our projections, we simulated the 2017 NFL season 10,000 times using team projections and adjusting for Strength of Schedule.
Combined, the Rams, Bears, 49ers, Jets and Browns won 15 games last year. New York led the way with five wins! Four of the five teams finished at the bottom of their divisions and are likely to end up in the basement once again. A lot has to go right for a team in this group to make the playoffs.
|Los Angeles Rams||2.9||6.4|
|San Francisco 49ers||1.0||2.6|
|New York Jets||0.3||2.2|
Better Luck Next Year
The Broncos don’t have a quarterback, San Diego can’t stay healthy, Washington’s defense is horrible, the Jags have Blake Bortles, you get the idea. Each squad has a flaw that prevents them from being playoff participants. This isn’t to say they can’t surprise but at best you are looking at a 1-in-4 chance of sneaking into the postseason.
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12.6||24.2|
|Los Angeles Chargers||12.0||23.5|
Meet your Wild Card contenders. There are 15 MVP candidates in this group but the average team record is 8.3 games. For these franchises, it could come down to records in close games and turnover luck if they play past Week 17.
|Kansas City Chiefs||30.9||47.6|
|New York Giants||23.5||41.1|
|New Orleans Saints||16.7||31.0|
There is better than a 50% chance that Oakland, Tennessee, Atlanta and Carolina make the playoffs. The Raiders and Titans are projected to win their respective divisions, and it is a coin flip between the Falcons and Panthers in the NFC South.
The Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers and Packers have all made the playoffs the last three years. New England and Green Bay have been postseason staples for eight straight seasons. Dallas has one of the best young quarterbacks in the game and was the No. 1 seed in the NFC last year. These are the oddsmaker’s five favorites to win the Super Bowl and they are locks for the playoffs.
|New England Patriots||96.1||98.5|
|Green Bay Packers||65.2||77.2|
Your most likely playoff teams in the AFC:
- Patriots (98.5%)
- Steelers (82.0%)
- Raiders (58.8%)
- Titans (50.5%)
- Ravens (48.2%)
- Chiefs (47.6%)
You most likely playoff teams in the NFC:
- Seahawks (86.0%)
- Packers (77.2%)
- Cowboys (62.6%)
- Falcons (57.3%)
- Panthers (52.4%)
- Giants (41.1%)
The Titans, Ravens and Panthers are your new playoff teams for 2017. The Dolphins, a Wild Card team in 2016, have a 14.3% chance of returning, the lowest among last year’s postseason teams.
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