Courtesy of Chris Cox at NFL-forecast.com, the latest playoff probabilities for each team.
These are generated using the NFL-Forecast software app, which uses the win probabilities generated by the team efficiency model to simulate the NFL season 5,000 times. And if you don't buy the game probabilities from Advanced NFL Stats, you can tweak them as much as you like to generate your own playoff projection. I encourage everyone to download the app and test out your own scenarios.
Their win over Houston jolted Baltimore into first place in the team rankings and gave a 21% boost to the Ravens' overall playoff probability, putting them at the top of the tables in the AFC. In addition, the Ravens are now forecast to get a first-round bye in over half of the simulations.
Things tightened in the NFC East last week, as the Redskins lost a division matchup and the Cowboys' failure to capitalize on Patriot turnovers dropped Dallas to 2-3. As a result, both teams saw their playoff probabilities decline 19%. However, the Cowboys' strong position in the team rankings (#2 overall) continues to propel them to a playoff berth in 64% of simulations.
High Leverage Game of the Week
Houston at Tennessee | Sunday, October 23 | 1:00pm ET
|Playoff Prob.||TEN Win||HOU Win|
The above table shows each team's respective playoff probability given the two possible outcomes of Sunday's game (excluding a tie, cancellation, or the zombie apocalypse). As you can see, this game has a big impact on the playoff probabilities of both teams, with each seeing a swing of over 30%, a very large number for a game this early in the season. So what gives?
With only three wins apiece, both teams are a step behind the primary wild card contenders in the AFC. Given that things in the conference are as tight as they are, the surest route to the postseason for either is the division title. And with the Jaguars (1-5) and Colts (0-6) out of the mix, the model sees the battle for the AFC South as essentially a two team race, with either Houston or Tennessee taking the division in over 98% of simulations.
As of now, each team captures the South about half the time, but the outcome of this game will tilt the balance heavily toward the winner. If Tennessee wins, they go on to win the division in 65% of simulations (compared to Houston's 33%). If Houston wins, they go on to win the division 74% of the time (compared to Tennessee's 25%).
All this adds up to a midseason game with big postseason implications (with a rematch the final week of the season, in what could be a stroke of NFL scheduling genius).
News & Notes
- Despite beating the Saints to take the lead in the NFC South, Tampa Bay (4-2) continues to get no respect from the model, and as a result has a playoff probability of only 18%, on par with the 2-4 Eagles.
- The Panthers (1-5) aren't out of it yet, but this week's faceoff against the Redksins and their newly anointed starting quarterback is looking like a must-win. A Carolina loss would put them in a big hole—they go on to make the playoffs less than 1% of the time.
The probabilities below may not add up to 100 (in percent form) due to rounding. Enjoy.
|AFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding|
|NFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding|