Team Playoff Probabilities - Week 12

Courtesy of NFL-Forecast.com, here are the latest playoff forecasts. The tables below do not include results from the Thursday games.

It looks like the AFC teams remain relatively firm. As of now, the Colts, Bengals, Steelers, Patriots, Broncos, and Chargers are on the inside track. Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Houston are on the outside looking in.

Not much has changed for the NFC either. The top teams have a tight hold on playoff spots, but the wildcards are up for grabs. The Saints, Vikings, and Cardinals each have a good grip on their divisions if they keep playing well. The Cowboys are the class of the East at the moment, and have a good shot at a wildcard if they don't take the division. The other contenders include the Eagles, Giants, Packers, Falcons, and the 49ers.

These playoff probabilities 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 has (wisely?) used the probabilities from Advanced NFL Stats as his default game probabilities for the past two seasons.

But if you don't like my numbers you can easily change them. Or you can play what-if scenarios. For example, to account for Thurday's games, you can mvoe the slider to 100% for the winners to give them the win. Pretty cool.

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. The probabilities are rounded as percentages to make the table easier to read.


AFC EAST
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
NE
98
2
0
0
MIA
2
51
40
7
NYJ
0
41
45
13
BUF
0
6
14
80
AFC NORTH
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
CIN
70
29
1
0
PIT
28
54
19
0
BAL
2
18
80
0
CLE
0
0
0
100
AFC SOUTH
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
IND
100
0
0
0
JAC
0
65
25
10
HOU
0
29
44
27
TEN
0
6
31
64
AFC WEST
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
SD
86
14
0
0
DEN
14
85
0
0
KC
0
0
57
43
OAK
0
0
43
57
NFC EAST
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
DAL
41
32
27
0
NYG
31
33
36
0
PHI
28
35
36
1
WAS
0
0
1
99
NFC NORTH
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
MIN
99
1
0
0
GB
1
93
6
0
CHI
0
6
93
1
DET
0
0
1
99
NFC SOUTH
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
NO
100
0
0
0
ATL
0
87
13
0
CAR
0
13
86
1
TB
0
0
1
99
NFC WEST
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
ARI
94
6
0
0
SF
6
79
15
0
SEA
0
15
78
7
STL
0
0
7
93




AFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
Total
IND
99
1
0
0
0
0
100
SD
1
39
27
19
5
6
97
NE
0
27
32
38
0
0
98
CIN
0
18
24
29
9
12
92
PIT
0
12
10
5
41
13
82
DEN
0
4
5
5
22
34
71
BAL
0
0
0
1
9
10
21
MIA
0
0
0
2
1
1
3
JAC
0
0
0
0
9
15
24
NYJ
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
HOU
0
0
0
0
3
7
10
TEN
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
BUF
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
CLE
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
KC
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
OAK
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
NFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding
Team
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
Total
NO
80
19
1
0
0
0
100
MIN
19
64
11
4
1
0
100
ARI
0
9
31
55
0
1
95
DAL
0
2
24
14
14
22
77
PHI
0
3
19
6
20
20
68
NYG
0
3
13
16
14
20
65
GB
0
1
0
0
46
26
73
SF
0
0
0
5
1
3
9
ATL
0
0
0
0
4
8
12
CHI
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
SEA
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
CAR
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
WAS
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
DET
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
TB
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
STL
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

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7 Responses to “Team Playoff Probabilities - Week 12”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Talk about undermining the credibility of the mainstream media: Tennessee is supposed to be making a bid to get back into playoff contention right now!

  2. Anonymous says:

    says who?

  3. 81Trucolors says:

    Chris Johnson. :)

  4. Jeff Clarke says:

    Brian,

    Did you calibrate this off of past seasons?

    I'm curious if you could go back and apply the model to week 11-16 games as of week 10 for the last decade. I think it would be helpful to see the probs for teams at this point in those seasons.

    Perhaps I'm wrong here but I really feel like the model is underestimating the probability that it systematically got the talent level wrong on a team. I think its also underestimating the impact of a possible key injury. The model does a great job, but it is still working off of a small sample size. If Denver really did get extraordinarily lucky and Tenn really did get extraordinarily unlucky during the early part of the year, the model would be wrong on all their games. I guess the bottom line is I wonder if each game is as independent an event as implied.

    I'm working off of intuition here (I know that caused a lot of people problem's with 4th-2) but I have a hard time accepting that Tennessee is at 0% playoff prob and SD is at 97%. 5% and 90%...that I could see.


    Anyway, I'm curious what would happen if you went back and looked at past years. What was the lowest week 10 prob that made it in? What was the highest that didn't?

  5. Zach says:

    Tennessee would need to win out and get some help (I think), and they have games at Indy and home vs. San Diego left.

  6. Jeff Clarke says:

    They also have games against St Louis, Seattle and Miami. I'm not sure they do need to win out. I think winning 4 of them might be enough.

    At this point, they are only 1 game out of playoff position. I'm not saying that they are going to the playoffs. I do think they have considerably higher than 0% chance of going to the playoffs.

  7. Chris says:

    Hi Jeff --

    The charts above came from my website. Brian posts them here with my permission and encouragement. I just wrote an article covering the AFC Wild Card race on my blog (http://files.nfl-forecast.com/). Tennessee has a 0.2% chance of making the playoffs as of right now. If the win the rest of their games and finish 10-6 they will still only have a 34% chance of making the playoffs. The problem is that a lot of the tiebreakers are working against them.

    I keep all of my past predictions archived on my blog, so you can review the last two seasons to see how the predictions from week x held up and decide for yourself how accurate they are.

    P.S. Brian, feel free to repost my AFC wild card race article here if you want to. I hope to find time to do a summary of the NFC race soon.

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