All of the numbers below come from Chris Cox at NFL-forecast.com. His app uses the win probabilities from the ANS team efficiency model to run a Monte Carlo simulation of the remaining NFL games thousands of times. Based on current records, our estimates of team strength, and knowledge of the NFL's tie breaking procedures we can come up with some pretty interesting predictions of how each team will fare come the end of the season. If you want to use a different model or just fiddle with the numbers by hand, go ahead and download the app yourself.
Week 10's big movers
Because New Orleans won, Carolina's chances of winning the division stayed pretty static, but the chances of a Panthers wild card berth sky rocketed. The 32% bump came almost entirely at the expense of the team they beat, San Francisco. Both teams are now 6-3 but Carolina holds the head-to-head tie breaker, which is especially significant because neither team is likely to win its division. San Francisco now only has a 4% chance of beating out the Seahawks in the West.
Philadelphia is now the distinct favorite (68%) over Dallas in the NFC East. Both teams are 5-5 and Dallas won the first matchup, but the ANS model thinks the Cowboys are mediocre and the Eagles are a top 5 team. It seems entirely possible that Dallas will once again be in a week 17 winner-takes-all match to determine the division champ.
Last weekend was the worst case scenario for the Packers. The loss to the Eagles coupled with the Lions' win puts them in second place. The Lions are a near 2:1 favorite to win the division, and that is not accounting for the Rodgers injury. To secure a wild card spot, the Pack would likely have to pass either San Francisco or whoever loses in the NFC South.
Losses for the Bengals and Colts mean that the AFC West has a death grip on the #1 spot in the conference. The model now favors Denver more strongly because its opinion of Kansas City's strength of schedule continued to drop during their bye week. Despite their record, the Chiefs seem to be a pretty mediocre team.
A first look at draft order
For weeks there have been discussions of whether Jacksonville or Tampa would get the first overall pick in this year's draft. NFL-forecast predicts this as well, so we are in luck.
Despite having the same record, the Jags are big favorites over the Bucs to pick first: 60% vs. 24%. (Minnesota and Atlanta are tied for third most likely at a distant 6%.) The ANS model thinks Jacksonville is a much worse team, with a GWP value of 0.21 compared to 0.30. This is also reflected in Jacksonville's abysmal -19.6 average point differential when the next worst in the league is -8.7. The simulations suggest both teams will likely win 1-3 more games this year and are nearly guaranteed top 5 picks.
Minnesota, Atlanta, and Oakland are the only other teams that can be confident at this point in a top 10 selection.
High leverage game of the week: IND @ TEN
As usual, the biggest leverage game is a battle between divisional rivals. A win benefits your schedule, hurts theirs, and helps with tie breakers at the end of the season. If Indy can pull off this win then they will have the division essentially wrapped up at 97% confidence. Tennessee would drop all the way to a 7% chance of making the playoffs with a loss, and almost all of that is their chance of being the 6th seed. A win would boost them up to a 33% chance.
The Jets, Packers, and Eagles are the individual teams with the most at stake this week. New York is on the cusp of that 6th AFC spot and Green Bay and Philadelphia need the wins because of their tight divisional races.
Washington, Houston, Oakland, and Buffalo must all win this week to hold on to what slim hopes they still have. A loss would drop all of them below a 1% chance of getting in.
|AFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding|
|NFC Percent Probability Playoff Seeding|