If we learned one thing from Week 10, it's that the NFL playoff picture can change in an instant, which is something the Ravens, Cardinals, Rams and Raiders all found that out the hard way.
Last week, all four of those teams were sitting pretty in our playoff projections, but then each of them went out and got upset in Week 10. So how did that impact the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 11?
That's a question we're going to answer right now in this week's playoff projection. The projections here are based on data from number-cruncher Stephen Oh of SportsLine.com. Oh plugged some numbers into his SportsLine computer this week and simulated the rest of the NFL season, and using those numbers, we're going to let you know the playoff chances for all 32 teams, plus the projected 14-team playoff field.
With that in mind, let's get to this week's playoff projections. Actually, before we do that, here's a mock draft that fans of the Jets, Texans and Lions might want to read. The computer is basically giving those three teams a zero percent chance of making the playoffs, so a mock draft might be more exciting to read than this projection if you're fan of one of those three teams.
For everyone else, let's get to the projection.
Note: Remember, this is a projection based on how we think the rest of the regular season will play out. If you want to see the current playoff standings, be sure to click here.
With that in mind, let's get to the projections..
AFC Playoff Projection
|1. (AFC South Champion)|
|The Titans currently have the longest winning streak in the NFL (six games) and the computer is projecting that they end up with the top seed in the AFC. However, the computer doesn't view them as the AFC favorite to win the Super Bowl. According to SportsLine, the Titans have a 11.76% chance of winning the Lombardi Trophy, which is second in the AFC behind Buffalo. At 15.61%, the Bills are being given the best chance to win the Super Bowl of any team in the NFL. |
|2. (AFC East Champion)|
|Although the Bills are being projected as the AFC East champion, that doesn't mean the computer thinks they have the division locked up just yet. According to the SportsLine numbers, the Bills have an 81.4% chance of winning the division while the Patriots are creeping up behind them with an 18.6% chance of winning it. |
|3. (AFC North Champion)|
|After a weekend where the AFC North went winless, the computer has no idea what to make of the division. Right now, the Ravens are being projected to win it, but just barely. Baltimore has an 47.5% chance of winning the division with the Steelers (26.1%), Bengals (14.1%) and Browns (12.3%) all being given a realistic shot. The AFC North is the only division in the NFL this week where every team has at least a 10% chance of winning it. |
|4. (AFC West Champion)|
|The Chiefs threw a wrench in the AFC West race over the weekend with a blowout win over the Raiders. The Chiefs also might as well have thrown a wrench at the computer, because it's having a hard time figuring out who's going to win the division. The Chiefs have a 45.5% chance of winning the AFC West, which is the lowest projection for any division winner. The computer thinks the race is down to two teams with the Chargers (36.7%) being the only other competitor for the division title. |
|5. Wild Card 1|
|The Patriots have been destroying every team they've faced over the past four weeks and the computer has definitely taken notice. Even though the Patriots are sixth in the current AFC standings, the computer is projecting them to finish fifth. The computer is also giving the Patriots a 79.8% chance of making the playoffs, which is the third-highest number in the AFC, behind only the Bills and Titans (The Ravens have a 76% chance of making it while the Chiefs have a 70.2% chance).|
|6. Wild Card 2|
|Despite a loss in Week 10, the computer has decided NOT to jump off the Chargers' bandwagon. According to SportsLine, the Chargers have a 57.4% chance of making the playoffs. On the other hand, the computer has no faith in their AFC West rivals Denver and Las Vegas, even though both of those teams currently have the same amount of wins as the Chargers. The Broncos and Raiders both have under a 30% chance of making the playoffs. |
|7. Wild Card 3.|
|From an optics standpoint, tying the Lions might have been the most embarrassing result of Week 10. However, the computer doesn't deal with optics, it only deals with numbers and the computer likes the fact that the Steelers didn't lose. At 5-3-1, the Steelers have a 54.4% chance of making, which is notable, because every team below them in the projection has under a 50% chance of getting in, according to the computer.|
Here's a list of the playoff chances for all the other AFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Colts (49.1%), Bengals (33.1%), Raiders (29.1%), Browns (25.6%), Broncos (21.6%), Dolphins (1%), Jaguars (0.0%), Jets (0.0%), Texans (0.0%).
Note: The Jets, Jaguars and Texans haven't been eliminated from playoff contention, but they have a zero percent chance of making it because the computer hates them. Actually, the computer doesn't love or hate, it has no feelings, it just doesn't think there's a mathematical chance for either team to make it.
NFC Playoff Projection
|1. (NFC North Champion)|
|The Packers were the biggest winners in Week 10 and that's because they're now projected to finish as the top seed in the NFC. With the playoffs now expanded to 14 teams, the top seed has even more importance since it's the only one that gets a first-round bye. The Packers also have a 95.3% chance of winning the NFC North, which is the highest of any current division leader in the NFC. |
|2. (NFC West Champion)|
|Even though the Cardinals lost in Week 10, the computer is well aware that Kyler Murray wasn't playing, which is one reason why Arizona is being given the best chance of winning the Super Bowl out of the NFC. The Cardinals currently have a 12.22% chance, which is slightly ahead of Green Bay (11.53%) and Dallas (8.75%). |
|3. (NFC East Champion)|
|The Cowboys were one team that definitely benefited from all the upsets in Week 10. Thanks to Tampa Bay's loss, Dallas is now projected to finish as the third seed in the NFC and they're within striking distance of overtaking the Cardinals for the second seed. The Cowboys also have a 97.7% chance of making the postseason, which is basically the computer's way of telling everyone in Dallas to start looking for playoff tickets to buy. |
|4. (NFC South Champion)|
|The Buccaneers have now lost two games in a row, which has dropped them to the fourth-seed. The problem for Tampa is that the computer now has them matched up with the Rams in the wild-card round, which could be an issue because the Bucs are 0-2 against L.A. with Tom Brady. The good news for the Buccaneers is that the computer still likes their chance of winning the division as Tampa has a 73% chance of taking home the NFC South title. |
|5. Wild Card 1|
|Although the Rams are in a two game free fall, the computer still thinks they're the best team among all the wild-card contenders in the NFC. The Rams have a 95.1% chance of making the playoffs, which is a ridiculously high number when you consider that the next closest wild-card contender doesn't even have a 60% chance of getting in.|
|6. Wild Card 2|
|Trevor Siemian might not seem like a QB who can lead a team to the playoffs, but the computer seems to have faith in him, so maybe we all should. According to SportsLine, the Saints have a 59.7% chance of getting into the playoffs. New Orleans is also being given a 20% chance of winning the division after the Buccaneers lost for the second week in a row.|
|7. Wild Card 3|
|The biggest winner of Week 10 was definitely the 49ers. Last week, they were projected to finish in the ninth spot in the NFC, but after their upset win over the Rams, the computer now likes them to steal the final playoff spot in the conference. San Francisco's playoff chances are sitting at just 42.2% and although that's not incredibly high, it's still higher than the other contenders for this spot, including the Vikings (35.8%), Eagles (23.9%) and Panthers (21.7%).|
Here's a list of the playoff chances for all the other NFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Vikings (35.8%), Eagles (23.9%), Panthers (21.7%), Seahawks (9.8%), Falcons (7.6%), Giants (3.7%), Washington (3.4%), Bears (0.9%), Lions (0%).
Wild-card round projection
(7) Steelers at (2) Bills
(6) Chargers at (3) Ravens
(5) Patriots at (4) Chiefs
(7) 49ers at (2) Cardinals
(6) Saints at (3) Cowboys
(5) Rams at (4) Buccaneers
2021 NFL jerseys now available
The new NFL season is here! Win or lose, you can shop jerseys, shirts, hats, and much more to support your favorite team. Shop here and show your colors.
We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.