Tom Brady is back, Cleveland is down another quarterback and Dak Prescott has made Cowboys fans forget about Tony Romo. After five weeks of action what does the NFL playoff picture look like? We simulated the season 10,000 times to find out.
The Minnesota Vikings are the last undefeated team. Mike Zimmer’s squad is 5-0 for the eighth time in franchise history and the first since 2009 (when Brett Favre led the team to the NFC Championship game). With a ferocious defense and a competent Sam Bradford, the Vikings are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. In fact, Minnesota is 98.4% likely to make the playoffs and wins the title a league best 20.9% of the time.
The Brady Vengeance tour is off to a great start. The All-Pro quarterback threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns in his first game back from suspension. The Patriots are the most likely AFC teams reach the postseason (95.9%) and win the Super Bowl (16.0%).
The Buffalo Bills were once again a big winner. Rex Ryan’s group saw its playoff probability increase 18.8% with a road win over the Rams. Tennessee also was victorious away from home defeating Miami 30-17. The Titans now have a 21.6% chance of reaching the postseason. The other star of Week 5 was Atlanta. The Falcons are for real after upsetting the Broncos in Mile High. Matt Ryan and crew saw their playoff probability increase 16.7% and are now 88.5% likely to make the playoffs.
Houston seceded more ground to rivals than any other team in Week 5. A road loss to Minnesota, coupled with wins by Indy and Tennessee leaves the AFC South wide open. The Texans’ playoff probability decreased the most (28.1%) and is now sitting at a precarious 41.8%. The Colts (36.5% playoff probability) can make the division even more interesting with a win this week over Houston.
The most likely NFC playoff teams are the Vikings, Falcons, Seahawks, Eagles, Cowboys and Packers. The most likely AFC playoff teams are the Patriots, Steelers, Broncos, Bills, Raiders and Texans.
The Rams remain the least likely team with a winning record to make the playoffs. Jeff Fisher’s squad is 25th in our Power Rankings.
The most likely team with a losing record to make the playoffs is the Colts (36.5%). Indy benefits from playing in the awful AFC South. Andrew Luck leads just the 15th ranked squad in the league but the rest of the teams in the division rank 21st and lower.
After a 15-1 season and a trip to the Super Bowl, Carolina has started 1-4. The Panthers are the least likely (10.6% chance) playoff participants from last year to return to the postseason.
Cleveland doesn’t have a quarterback and is 0-5. Will the Browns will go 0-16? That is unlikely. However, the team has a 0.0% chance of making the playoffs, the first with that distinction in 2016.
Below are the updated playoff probabilities for every NFL team.
|Team||Playoffs %||Conf. Champ. %||Super Bowl %|
|New England Patriots||95.9||28.3||16|
|Green Bay Packers||75.3||10.6||4.7|
|Kansas City Chiefs||23||0.6||0.2|
|Los Angeles Rams||12.3||0.25||0.1|
|New York Giants||7.1||0.2||0.1|
|San Diego Chargers||7||0.1||0|
|New Orleans Saints||5.4||0||0|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4.1||0||0|
|New York Jets||1.1||0||0|
|San Francisco 49ers||0.6||0||0|