With the NFL season heading into Week 12, all 32 teams are still alive to make the postseason and that number isn't going to change this weekend due to the fact that there are NO playoff elimination scenarios on the table this week.
This means that teams like the Texans and Panthers will still be mathematically in the playoff race after Thanksgiving, which I don't think anyone thought was possible this year. They should take that as a moral victory.
So what are their actual chances of making the playoffs? That's one of the questions we're going to answer right now in this week's playoff projection where we look at the postseason chances for all 32 teams. 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 every team, plus the projected 14-team playoff field.
With that in mind, let's get to this week's playoff projections.
AFC Playoff Projection
|1. (AFC West Champion)|
|The Chiefs are currently at the top of the AFC and one big reason the computer sees them staying there is because Kansas City has the easiest remaining strength of schedule in the NFL. Over the final seven weeks, the Chiefs will play five of their seven remaining games against teams that currently have three wins or less. The Chiefs also have a 99.8% chance of winning the AFC West, which is the computer's way of telling you that they're definitely going to win the AFC West. |
|2. (AFC East Champion)|
|The Bills beatdown of the Browns didn't move them up in these projections, but it did impress the computer. The computer now views the Bills as the Super Bowl favorite in the entire NFL. According to SportsLine, the Bills have a 21.31% chance of taking home the Lombardi Trophy, which is slightly ahead of Kansas City (20.81%). In the NFC, the Eagles have the best chance of winning it all at 12.93% (The computer doesn't like the NFC's chances of winning it all). |
|3. (AFC North Champion)|
|The Ravens only have a one-game lead on the Bengals in the AFC North, but the computer doesn't think there's going to be much drama in the race for the division title. According to SportsLine, the Ravens have a 90.6% chance of winning the division. The computer likes two things: The Ravens have the second-easiest remaining strength of schedule at .366 while the Bengals have the third-most difficult at .614. Also, the Ravens only need to go 2-2 in their final four division games to clinch the division wins tiebreaker over the Bengals, and if that happens, the Bengals would have to finish one game in front of the Ravens to win the division. |
|4. (AFC South Champion)|
|Everyone keeps sleeping on the Titans, but not the computer and that's because computers don't sleep (At least not this one). The Titans currently have a 2.5 game lead in the AFC South and because of that, the computer views them as a virtual lock to win the division. According to SportsLine, the Titans have a 95.4% chance of taking home the AFC South crown. |
|5. Wild Card 1|
|The computer has some good news and some bad news for Dolphins fans. The good news is that the computer is giving the Dolphins an 85.2% chance of making the playoffs, which means it feels they should get in as long as they don't meltdown over the final seven weeks of the season. The bad news is that the computer doesn't think the Dolphins have a chance of winning the AFC East. According to SportsLine, the Bills have a 67.2% chance of winning the division while the Dolphins are back at 19.7%. |
|6. Wild Card 2|
|The Patriots are currently the sixth-seed in the AFC and that's exactly where the computer thinks they're going to end up. Although the Patriots aren't being given much of a chance to win the division (just 11.4%), the computer is giving them a 73.4% chance of getting into the postseason. |
|7. Wild Card 3|
|After watching the Jets suffer an embarrassing loss to the Patriots on Sunday, the computer has jumped off New York's bandwagon and on to Cincinnati's. The computer is projecting that the race for the final wild card spot in the AFC is going to get crazy, but that it will ultimately go to the Bengals. According to SportsLine, the Bengals have a 47.2% chance of getting in while the Chargers (44%) and Jets (33.8%) are both right behind them.|
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): Chargers (44%), Jets (33.8%), Colts (10.2%), Jaguars (4.6%), Browns (3.1%), Steelers (1.4%), Broncos (0.4%), Raiders (1.3%), Texans (0.0%).
NFC Playoff Projection
|1. (NFC East Champion)|
|The Eagles have been struggling over the past two weeks, but that hasn't hurt their standing in the eyes of the computer. SportsLine still thinks Philly is going to run away with the both the NFC East title and the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC. The computer views 13-4 as the worst-case scenario for the Eagles and even then, that should be enough to win the division since the Cowboys would have to go 6-1 just to tie them. |
|2. (NFC North Champion)|
|Despite getting blasted by the Cowboys, the computer still thinks the Vikings are going to finish the season as the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Three of Minnesota's final seven games are against NFC North rivals, which is good news for a Vikings team that has gone 3-0 against division opponents this year. |
|3. (NFC West Champion)|
|Here comes San Francisco. The 49ers took over first place in the NFC West with their win on Monday night and the computer doesn't think they'll be giving it up. The computer is projecting the 49ers and Seahawks to finish with the same record, but San Francisco has two key tiebreakers working in its advantage: The 49ers have already beaten the Seahawks once and they're also 4-0 in the division compared to just 2-1 for Seattle. |
|4. (NFC South Champion)|
|The computer has given up on every team in the NFC South except for the Buccaneers. Even though Tampa Bay only has a half-game lead in the division, the computer is still giving the Bucs an 89% chance of winning the division. The Falcons should put a picture of the computer on their bulletin board because it clearly doesn't respect them. |
|5. Wild Card 1|
|The Cowboys are having an impressive season that should be good enough to earn a wild-card spot, but the computer doesn't see them winning the NFC East. According to SportsLine, the Cowboys have just a 15.7% chance of winning the division, which is well behind the Eagles, who are sitting at 80.2%. The Cowboys would likely need to run the table to even have a chance of catching Philadelphia, but the computer doesn't see that happening with games still to play against the Titans, Giants, Commanders and yup, even the Eagles.|
|6. Wild Card 2|
|When the 2022 season started, no one expected the Seahawks to be in the playoff race at the end of November, but here we are. Not only are the Seahawks in the playoff race, but the computer seems pretty convinced that they're actually going to make the playoffs. According to SportsLine, the Seahawks have an 88.3% chance of making the playoffs.|
|7. Wild Card 3|
|The Giants playoff chances took a huge hit following their loss to the Lions and now, they're going to have to fend off the Commanders for the final playoff spot in the NFC. According to SportsLine, the Giants have a 67.6% chance of getting in the playoffs, which is more than double the chances being given to Washington (32.7%). One thing working against the Giants is the fact that they have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL. Their remaining opponents have a combined winning percentage of .678 (No other team is above .625). The Giants do play the Commanders twice over the final seven weeks so it's likely that the battle for the NFC's final spot will be settled on the field.|
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): Commanders (17.6%), Falcons (11.5%), Lions (7.4%), Saints (5.9%), Packers (3%), Cardinals (1%), Panthers (0.9%), Rams (0.7%), Bears (0.0%).
Note: The Texans and Bears haven't been eliminated from playoff contention, but they have a 0% 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 Houston or Chicago to make it.
Wild-card round projection
(7) Bengals at (2) Bills
(6) Patriots at (3) Ravens
(5) Dolphins at (4) Titans
(7) Giants at (2) Vikings
(6) Seahawks at (3) 49ers
(5) Cowboys at (4) Buccaneers