Playoff Probabilities Week 12

Courtesy of Chris at, here are the latest playoff probabilities for each team.

These are calculated using the NFL-Forecast software mini-app that runs thousands of simulated seasons. The outcomes are based on game-by-game probabilities with every crazy tie-breaking scenario factored in. Chris uses the probabilities from Advanced NFL Stats as his default game probabilities for the past two seasons.

There are two tables below. The first lists the probability that each team will finish in each place in their division. The second table lists the overall playoff probabilities, broken down by seed.

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
NY Jets 6522111
Miami 2437326
New England 9364312
Buffalo 151480
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Pittsburgh 92800
Baltimore 89200
Cleveland 00946
Cincinnati 00694
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Tennessee 100100
Indianapolis 19900
Houston 005941
Jacksonville 004159
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
San Diego 564210
Denver 435610
Oakland 02935
Kansas City 00595
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
NY Giants 93610
Washington 771185
Dallas 1165628
Philadelphia 072568
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Chicago 6721120
Green Bay 1643420
Minnesota 1736460
Detroit 000100
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Carolina 4529206
Atlanta 20343213
Tampa Bay 27262721
New Orleans 8122160
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Arizona 100000
San Francisco 053416
Seattle 0394813
St Louis 081181

AFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Total
Tennessee 81144000100
Pittsburgh 14502901396
NY Jets 52534151383
New England 055051933
Baltimore 044093248
Miami 0222031845
Indianapolis 0000771390
San Diego 000560056
Denver 001420043
Buffalo 0010024
Oakland 0000000
Kansas City 0000000
Houston 0000000
Cincinnati 0000000
Cleveland 0000000
Jacksonville 0000000
NFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Total
NY Giants 7318104299
Carolina 172620131675
Tampa Bay 3185081550
Washington 4200482075
Arizona 117592300100
Atlanta 11450152056
Chicago 0218470067
New Orleans 03411716
Dallas 000081524
Minnesota 003140018
Green Bay 001150016
Philadelphia 0000246
Detroit 0000000
St Louis 0000000
San Francisco 0000000
Seattle 0000000

Week 13 Game Probabilities

Win probabilities for week 13 NFL games are listed below. The probabilities are based on an efficiency win model explained here and here with some modifications. The model considers offensive and defensive efficiency stats including running, passing, sacks, turnover rates, and penalty rates. Team stats are adjusted for previous opponent strength.

Every week I look at the game probabilities and think they're out to lunch, but somehow they consistently end up 10-4. I'm thinking the same thing this week.

The two broadcast network games on Thanksgiving are likely to be mismatches. But if the probabilities below are right, we have about a 1 in 4 chance that one of the two games will be a big upset. Meanwhile, the Lions 0-16 watch is now at 41%. But if you're a "glass-is-nanoscopically-full" type of Lions fan, the probability Detroit wins out the season and finishes 5-11 is 0.00009.

0.92 TEN at DET 0.08
0.15 SEA at DAL 0.85
0.37 ARI at PHI 0.63
0.28 SF at BUF 0.72
0.37 NYG at WAS 0.63
0.72 IND at CLE 0.28
0.67 CAR at GB 0.33
0.34 DEN at NYJ 0.66
0.51 NO at TB 0.49
0.92 MIA at STL 0.08
0.74 BAL at CIN 0.26
0.37 ATL at SD 0.63
0.62 PIT at NE 0.38
0.32 KC at OAK 0.68
0.60 CHI at MIN 0.40
0.31 JAX at HOU 0.69

Week 12 Efficiency Rankings

The Eagles were exposed against the Ravens defense. Miami was shredded by a surging Patriots offense. The Steelers offense got healthy against Cincinnati. Drew Brees' near-perfect game pushes New Orleans up 5 spots.

By far, the biggest puzzle right now is 4-7 San Diego who top the efficiency rankings despite another loss. How is it that the league's most efficient team is so far below .500? A total of about 2 minutes of football separate them from their current record and being 8-3, in the thick of the battle for a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Chargers have lost four games within the final 24 seconds of the fourth quarter.

  • Week 1 vs. the Panthers--Carolina TE Dante Rosario catches a desperation touchdown pass as time expires to steal a win.
  • Week 2 vs. the Broncos--A blown call by referee Ed Hochuli robs San Diego of a game clinching turnover and allows Denver to score the go-ahead touchdown with 24 seconds remaining in the game.
  • Week 11 vs. the Steelers--Jeff Reed kicks a 32-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining to take an 11-10 lead.
  • Week 12 vs. the Colts--The Chargers defense forces fourth down in the final seconds only to be burned by an unexpected deep pass. Adam Vinatieri subquently kicks a 51-yard field goal as time expires.
The Colts game is a good example of what is happening to the Chargers. San Diego out-threw the Colts by 8.3 net yards per attempt to 5.6 net yards per attempt. They outran Indy 4.7 yards per rush to 4.0. Each team had one turnover, SD a fumble lost, and IND an interception. Both teams had identical kick and punt return averages. SD totaled more total yards, more first downs, better efficiency and fewer negative plays, yet somehow lost the game.

Throw in two more games that hinged on single plays, although not final-second ones.
  • Week 7 vs. the Bills--Down by 6 with 6:16 remaining in the 4th quarter, the Chargers were poised to take the lead with a 1st and 10 on the Bills 9 yard line. An untimely interception thrown by the otherwise effective Phillip Rivers sealed their fate. The Bills went on to kick a FG, winning 23-14.
  • Week 5 vs. the Dolphins--LaDanian Tomlinson is stuffed at the goalline on 4th down early in the 4th quarter. Miami holds on to its 7-point lead to win.
I'm not claiming that the Chargers would have or should have won any of those games. My point is that this is probably the best 4-7 team the NFL has ever seen. A few plays either way might have completely changed their record. And despite their losing record, the Chargers only trail the Broncos by two games with five left to play. Don't count them out just yet. The week 17 game between the two teams might determine the winner of the AFC West depending on how the tie breakers sort out.

1 SD40.770.55215
2 WAS20.750.4977
3 CAR70.750.55112
4 ATL50.750.53122
5 PIT80.730.50211
6 NYG60.720.46510
7 PHI10.720.51105
8 NO130.710.54317
9 MIA30.690.50423
10 ARI100.680.54616
11 TEN90.670.43123
12 CHI110.640.48148
13 TB120.610.50194
14 DAL140.580.51139
15 IND160.570.54819
16 NYJ180.560.472414
17 NE200.530.491824
18 BAL210.530.50226
19 DEN170.500.50927
20 GB150.490.521613
21 MIN190.450.522511
22 BUF220.440.432620
23 HOU230.410.461528
24 JAX240.320.451726
25 SEA260.310.492821
26 OAK280.310.583112
27 SF270.260.532725
28 CLE250.250.522029
29 KC290.240.572330
30 CIN300.210.563218
31 STL310.110.562931
32 DET320.110.553032

To-date efficiency stats below. As always, click on the headers to sort.