NFL Playoff Shifts After Week 9

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San Diego is still two games behind Kansas City, but you wouldn’t know it from the current forecast which actually favors the Chargers to win the division.   The Chargers look like they are back on the right track after a typically slow start and now have a 56 percent chance of winning the AFC West.  Kansas City is second at 30 percent, but the road loss division rival Oakland really cost them (-22 percent playoff percentage due to the loss and Chargers’ win).  The Raiders have shown steady improvement this season, but are still long shots at 19 percent to make the playoffs with so many top-tier teams ahead of them. 

Baltimore and Pittsburgh are neck-and-neck in the playoff race leading the AFC at 92 and 89 percent.  The Ravens have the edge thanks to their win over Pittsburgh earlier this season.   The Browns impressive play continues, but they are up only 1.1 percent this week.  Cleveland is on the right track, but realistically has no chance at making the playoffs being in such a difficult division.  The Bengals did not make the playoffs in any of AccuScore’s 10,000 simulations. 

The AFC East is still led by the Patriots, but this could change if they lose to the Steelers in Week 10 and New York beats Cleveland.  The Patriots are currently favored their Week 13 re-match with the Jets winning 60 percent of simulations.  The winner of that game will likely take the AFC East crown.  The Dolphins have fallen well behind the pace after a bad loss to Baltimore.  They are down nearly 19 percent with just a 19 percent chance of making the playoffs.  Buffalo is projected for two wins this year with a five percent of going winless despite some quality losses in recent weeks.

With Randy Moss on the Titans and injuries piling up on the Colts, the AFC South is a pick ‘em between the two teams.  Indianapolis is the slight favorite to win the division thanks to a solid 63 percent advantage in their Week 17 head-to-head match-up.  If the Titans had both Kenny Britt and Randy Moss stretching the field for Chris Johnson then the Titans would be favorites to win the AFC South, but Britt is out indefinitely.  Houston had a promising start, but with perhaps the worst defense in the league the Texans are down another six percent this week after losing to a Wild Card competitor, San Diego, at home.  The Jaguars have a respectable record, but at six percent they are not a serious threat to make the playoffs.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 44.8% 63.7% 18.9% 56.2%
NEW YORK JETS 57.7% 75.0% 17.4% 45.5%
BALTIMORE RAVENS 79.5% 91.9% 12.4% 58.6%
TENNESSEE TITANS 42.6% 51.7% 9.0% 42.9%
OAKLAND RAIDERS 10.3% 18.9% 8.7% 13.7%
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 84.9% 89.2% 4.3% 41.3%
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 4.8% 6.4% 1.7% 4.4%
CLEVELAND BROWNS 0.1% 1.2% 1.1% 0.1%
BUFFALO BILLS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CINCINNATI BENGALS 0.4% 0.0% -0.3% 0.0%
DENVER BRONCOS 1.0% 0.7% -0.3% 0.7%
HOUSTON TEXANS 14.3% 8.6% -5.7% 6.1%
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 88.8% 78.4% -10.4% 48.7%
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 74.8% 58.5% -16.3% 46.7%
MIAMI DOLPHINS 37.7% 18.9% -18.8% 5.8%
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 58.4% 36.7% -21.7% 29.5%


This past week the Rams were on a bye and Arizona lost to Minnesota, and yet somehow the Rams are down 10 percent and the Cardinals are up 15 percent.  Even though Derek Anderson is one of the lowest rated starting QBs in the league (projected for a rating of 69) he gives the Cardinals a much better chance of winning than Max Hall did (projected for a rating of 58).  With Anderson back starting, Arizona’s chances (especially in the Week 13 game against the Rams) are +8 percent better in each game.  The entire NFC West is bunched together with even the 2-6 49ers having a strong 21 percent chance.  San Francisco has only played one division game which gives it a shot to turn around its fortunes.

New Orleans still trails Atlanta with the Falcons the 53 percent favorite to win the division. The Saints however have the better overall playoff probability at 89 percent.  Atlanta is still well-positioned for a playoff spot as well at 84 percent.  The Bucs are down 7.5 percent after losing in Atlanta, and have only a 5 percent chance of winning the South.   Their overall playoff chances are still sixth best in the NFC despite the slim division chances for the division.  Carolina is projected for three wins this year with a nine percent chance of finishing with just the one win.

The Eagles are up 3.5 percent with Michael Vick back, but they still trail the Giants who are crushing opponents these days.  New York is first in the NFC in playoff probability and Philadelphia is fifth.  The Redskins chances are down to just 6.4 percent, and if they lose to Philadelphia in Week 10 they will likely have less than a three percent chance.  The Cowboys are down to a 0.0 chance of making the playoffs after another humiliating defeat.

Green Bay is back playing dominant defense, and are now clear-cut 70 percent favorites to win the NFC North.  The Vikings had a nice come from behind victory in Week 9, but the mere fact that they had to come from behind against the Cardinals at home does not bode well for Minnesota.  They should have Sidney Rice back in a few weeks and actually have nearly the same chance at making the playoffs as the Bears who have a two game lead over Minnesota right now.  They play each other this week and the winner will get right back into the Wild Card race.  Detroit is playing much better this year, but the record is still a lowly 2-6 with no real chance of making the playoffs.

ARIZONA CARDINALS 6.0% 20.8% 14.8% 20.7%
ATLANTA FALCONS 74.7% 84.3% 9.6% 53.0%
NEW YORK GIANTS 84.9% 91.1% 6.2% 69.6%
CHICAGO BEARS 19.1% 24.3% 5.2% 15.9%
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 62.7% 66.2% 3.5% 29.1%
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 21.3% 21.1% -0.2% 21.0%
DALLAS COWBOYS 0.2% 0.0% -0.2% 0.0%
DETROIT LIONS 0.7% 0.1% -0.5% 0.1%
CAROLINA PANTHERS 0.6% 0.0% -0.6% 0.0%
GREEN BAY PACKERS 81.5% 80.6% -0.9% 69.9%
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 89.9% 89.0% -1.0% 41.7%
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 10.0% 6.4% -3.6% 1.2%
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 30.8% 24.1% -6.7% 14.1%
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 40.5% 32.7% -7.8% 5.3%
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 35.8% 28.0% -7.8% 27.2%
ST. LOUIS RAMS 41.4% 31.4% -10.0% 31.1%