After 11 weeks, the NFL playoff picture is beginning to develop.
Last week, losses were particularly damaging to playoff hopes for teams like Denver, Buffalo, Miami, Chicago and Arizona. In the case of Buffalo, it was a bit surprising that they turned to a rookie QB when they actually had a legitimate shot at the playoffs. We’ll see if the team can rebound from that disastrous experiment with Tyrod Taylor back under center.
Let’s take a look at the updated NFL playoff picture entering Week 12. Each week, AccuScore will update its 2017 NFL postseason forecast by simulating the remainder of the NFL season 10,000 times to predict win totals, division winners and probabilities of reaching the playoffs on the road to Super Bowl 52. Below are the probabilities and Vegas odds of making the NFL playoffs and how they have changed.
AccuScore’s odds to make NFL playoffs
Probability vs. weekly % change
|New England Patriots||0.99||0.01|
|Kansas City Chiefs||0.95||-0.02|
|New Orleans Saints||0.9||0.19|
|Green Bay Packers||0.02||-0.04|
|Tampa Bay Bucs||0.01||0|
|San Francisco 49ers||0||0|
NFL playoff odds changes
Biggest improvements to playoff chances entering Week 12:
Minnesota Vikings (+33%): With a great deal of uncertainty at QB for the Minnesota Vikings, Case Keenum’s strong statement against the Rams bumped up the Vikings’ playoff chances considerably. Simulations assume that he will be the starting QB for the rest of the season, and that makes the Vikings strong candidates to win the division or at least reach the playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons (+23%): The Week 11 win at Seattle was huge for Atlanta. Even though the Falcons are behind the Saints and Panthers in the NFC South, their Monday Night Football performance keeps them in the wild-card hunt. Right now, it looks like there will be three teams from the NFC South in the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints (+19%): Winning eight games in a row is not easy in the NFL. The Saints are on the top of the division and their postseason destiny is in their own hands, including a potential first-round bye. However, two games against Atlanta and one against Carolina in the final six weeks will likely decide the winner of the division.
MORE: NFL Power Rankings
Biggest drops in playoff chances entering Week 12:
Buffalo Bills (-32%): Buffalo’s defense was a driving force for the team’s good performance at the beginning of the season. In the last two games, however, the Bills have allowed more than 100 points combined. This, along with QB questions, crushed their playoff chances. Note that if Tyrod Taylor starts for the rest of the season, the Bills’ playoff probabilities would be higher than presented here.
Dallas Cowboys (-19%): The Cowboys’ playoff probability dropped significantly for the second week in a row. They lost a key divisional game at home and looked less than convincing against the Eagles. Currently, Dallas is not the computer’s pick to take the final NFC wild card spot. If NFC South teams continue to play well, Dallas’ playoff chances will keep diminishing.
Detroit Lions (-15%): Like the drop in the Lions’ probabilities a week ago, this change is due to the Vikings’ QB speculation. The Lions can improve their chances quite a bit with a win in the Thanksgiving showdown with Minnesota. Plus, their schedule is a little easier than the Vikings’, so the Lions should continue to be in the mix for a wild-card spot.
AccuScore’s NFL playoff probabilities will be updated on a weekly basis.