Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Philly was the best team in the NFC but the MVP candidate’s injury changes that. Which team benefits the most with Wentz sidelined?
Every team in the NFC has a better chance, theoretically, of making a deep postseason run without Wentz starting. The Eagles rank 4th in offensive DVOA, 3rd in defensive DVOA and were a favorite to win the conference but those projections have shifted with Nick Foles expected to be under center. Here are the updated probabilities for each team to win the NFC heading into Week 15.
Note: Green Bay, Dallas and Detroit have <1% chance combined to win the NFC.
Minnesota’s loss in Carolina ended its eight-game winning streak but the Vikings have emerged as the team to beat in the NFC. With a 28.9% chance to win the conference, the Case Keenum-led Vikes could become the first team to play a Super Bowl in front of its home crowd. Mike Zimmer’s squad (top 10 in offensive and defensive DVOA) has been impressive with wins over potential playoff opponents in the Saints, Rams, Falcons and Ravens. The simulations give Minnesota just a 21.1% chance of getting the No. 1 seed but a favorable schedule (Bengals, Packers, Bears) lends itself to catching the Eagles. It’s hard to put Keenum and Super Bowl in the same sentence but we may all be writing that come February.
It’s not all doom and gloom for Philly fans. The Eagles have clinched the NFC East and despite the loss of Wentz are currently projected to get home-field advantage (74.6% chance). The oddsmakers are also high on Philadelphia’s chances of winning playoff games. If Philly gets something close to the 2013 version of Foles (27 touchdowns, 2 INTs) anything is possible. Heck, Joe Flacco and Eli Manning have Super Bowl rings and they are garbage.
Here is everything else you need to know after Week 14. Our projections are based on 10,000 simulations of the 2017-18 season using player and team statistics adjusted for strength of schedule.
Los Angeles Chargers (+23.8% increase in playoff probability): The Bolts keep winning. L.A. will try to keep its four-game streak alive in a key divisional matchup against Kansas City in Arrowhead. If the Chargers can beat the Chiefs, Los Angeles will be a heavy favorite to win the division and make the playoffs.
Carolina Panthers (+21.4% increase in playoff probability): If the playoffs started today, Carolina would be the 5th seed. A Wild Card run is Carolina’s most likely result but a division crown isn’t out of question for a team that has won five of six.
Tennessee Titans (-22.8% decrease in playoff probability): The Titans are frauds. Tennessee is an underdog on the road to a 3-win 49ers team, but in a weak AFC exotic, smash-mouth football can get you to the playoffs.
Seattle Seahawks (-14.9% decrease in playoff probability): Seattle doesn’t have a healthy Legion of Boom but Russell Wilson is picking up the slack. The MVP hopeful needs a win over the Rams at home in Week 15 or the team’s chances of clinching a playoff spot become dicey.
Most likely AFC Playoff teams:
- Steelers 100.0%
- Patriots 99.9%
- Jaguars 99.8%
- Ravens 76.4%
- Titans 68.1%
- Chiefs 66.4%
Most likely NFC Playoff teams:
- Eagles 100.0%
- Vikings 99.7%
- Saints 94.2%
- Rams 87.3%
- Panthers 82.8%
- Seahawks 80.8%
The Steelers and Eagles have officially locked up playoff berths by winning their respective divisions. New England and Minnesota can join them by securing divisions titles with wins in Week 15.
Jacksonville can clinch a playoff spot with a win this week but likely won’t win the division until Week 17 when they play the Titans. The Jags have an 87.6% chance to win the AFC South for the first time.
Week 15 features two division-deciding games in Rams-Seahawks and Chiefs-Chargers. Both home teams are expected to win. KC has a 61.5% chance of winning the AFC West while the Seahawks have a 59.2% chance of taking the NFC West.
That leaves the NFC South to be decided. New Orleans (68.3%) is projected to come out on top but they can’t afford any more losses (have dropped two of three). Carolina has a 17.0% chance and Atlanta a 14.7% chance to win the division if the Saints’ slide continues.
Below are the updated playoff probabilities for every NFL team.
|Team||Division Winner %||Make Playoffs %||Win Super Bowl %|
|New England Patriots||99.93||99.98||17.27|
|New Orleans Saints||68.27||94.16||7.46|
|Los Angeles Rams||40.81||87.25||6.15|
|Los Angeles Chargers||37.55||58.84||2.73|
|Kansas City Chiefs||61.48||66.43||2.22|
|Green Bay Packers||0.3||6.26||0.26|
|New York Giants||0||0||0|
|San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0|
|New York Jets||0||0||0|