NFL Playoff Shifts After Week 13

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The Jaguars big victory over Tennessee would have boosted their playoff chances considerably by itself;  when the Colts lost at home to the Cowboys it vaulted the Jaguars’ playoff chances up +30 percent.   Jacksonville is now the favorite to represent the AFC South with a 48 percent chance of winning the division.  The Colts are still not far behind at 39 percent, but a Week 14 win at Tennessee is a must.  Only one AFC South team will make the playoffs as the four teams are projected to combine for just a 1.6 percent chance of earning a Wild Card spot.

Kansas City got a close win against Denver which improved its playoff chances slightly alone, but the Chargers loss at home to the Raiders boosted the Chiefs’ chances over 18 percentage points.  The Chargers’ chances plummeted over 31 percentage points.  The Raiders are now averaging 8 wins per season simulation which is solid improvement this season, but they are still forecasted third in the division with just an 18 percent chance of making the playoffs. 

Pittsburgh got a huge win over Baltimore and is now virtually a lock to make the playoffs at over a 99 percent chance.  The Steelers’ chances of winning the AFC North jumped from 46 to 79 percent.  Baltimore may have seen its division chances drop from 54 to 21 percent, but the overall playoff chances only dipped 5 percentage points thanks to losses by the Colts and Chargers.  Cincinnati has been eliminated from playoff contention with a 0 percent chance, but Cleveland is barely hanging on with an 0.3 percent chance of earning a Wild Card spot.

New England only improved their playoff chances by 2.2 percent and the Jets only dipped -0.1 percent, but the significance of the Patriots’ dominating win should not be underestimated.  The Patriots are now the heavy 84 percent favorite to win the division, and their chances of advancing the Super Bowl are up considerably now that they are in position for the top overall playoff seed.  They have beaten both the Ravens and the Jets at home while beating up the Steelers on the road.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 19.2% 49.3% 30.1% 48.3%
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 34.6% 52.6% 18.1% 46.4%
OAKLAND RAIDERS 2.6% 17.9% 15.4% 16.3%
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 94.8% 99.3% 4.5% 78.6%
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 97.7% 99.9% 2.2% 83.7%
HOUSTON TEXANS 6.3% 6.6% 0.3% 6.4%
CLEVELAND BROWNS 0.0% 0.3% 0.3% 0.0%
BUFFALO BILLS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CINCINNATI BENGALS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
DENVER BRONCOS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
NEW YORK JETS 91.6% 91.5% -0.1% 16.3%
MIAMI DOLPHINS 8.3% 4.2% -4.1% 0.0%
BALTIMORE RAVENS 93.2% 87.8% -5.4% 21.4%
TENNESSEE TITANS 20.5% 6.5% -14.0% 6.4%
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 54.9% 39.3% -15.6% 38.9%
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 76.3% 44.8% -31.5% 37.3%


Seattle got a win over Carolina, and with San Francisco losing the Seahawks are up +8 percentage points this week.  St. Louis however, is still the favorite to win the NFC West at 62.5 percent.   This division will likely come down to who wins the Rams versus Seahawks Week 17 game.  Even though the game is in Seattle the Rams are even with the Seahawks in current simulations.  San Francisco is down to just 3.7 percent and the Cardinals are officially eliminated after making the playoffs in none of the simulations.

The New Orleans offense is clicking and the Saints up +7.6 percentage points after a road win in Cincinnati.  The Falcons only saw a +2.1 percentage point increase, but that is because they are already so close to having a 100 percent chance.  Tampa Bay played well, but after the home loss to Atlanta their playoff chances are down over -13 percent to just a 30 percent chance of making the playoffs.

The Eagles won again and saw their playoff chances improve +5.7 percentage points.  The Giants also won and while their loss crushed the Redskins’ playoff chances, the Giants’ chances actually dropped this week.  This is because two of their remaining opponents, Green Bay and Minnesota, are projected better in simulations than they were last week.  The Giants need to become Cowboys fans because Dallas plays the Eagles twice.  Currently the Eagles are 67 and 83 percent favorites against the Cowboys which is why they have the best chance of winning the division at nearly 74 percent.

Green Bay still trails Chicago in the division, but Chicago’s difficult remaining schedule (vs. NE, @ Min, vs. NYJ, @ GB) could result in the Bears winning only one more game.  The Packers have an easier schedule with games against the Lions, and are at home versus their tougher opponents like the Bears and Giants.  The Packers are favored in three of their final four games which is why they are winning the NFC North in a majority (56 percent) of simulations. 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 25.9% 33.9% 8.0% 33.9%
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 84.1% 91.7% 7.6% 26.3%
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 76.6% 82.3% 5.7% 73.8%
CHICAGO BEARS 61.4% 67.0% 5.6% 44.0%
ATLANTA FALCONS 97.4% 99.5% 2.1% 73.5%
ST. LOUIS RAMS 61.4% 62.5% 1.1% 62.5%
CAROLINA PANTHERS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
DETROIT LIONS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
DALLAS COWBOYS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
GREEN BAY PACKERS 74.5% 74.2% -0.3% 56.1%
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 0.8% 0.5% -0.3% 0.0%
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 1.5% 0.2% -1.2% 0.0%
ARIZONA CARDINALS 1.5% 0.0% -1.5% 0.0%
NEW YORK GIANTS 59.9% 54.4% -5.5% 26.2%
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 11.3% 3.7% -7.6% 3.7%
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 43.7% 30.2% -13.5% 0.2%