NFL Playoff Picture, Odds: Seahawks Stay Alive With Comeback Win

NFL Playoff Picture, Odds: Seahawks Stay Alive With Comeback Win article feature image

It's Week 16 and each game takes on more meaning as teams make their playoff push. So much of the NFL playoff picture is up in the air with teams' odds just a close as their place in the standings.

Let’s take a look at whose chances increased and whose crashed, according to the NFL’s postseason probabilities from their Next Gen Stats.

AFC Playoff Picture

Cleveland Browns (10-5)

Cleveland is now a virtual lock to make the playoffs after dismantling the Houston Texans, 36-22. Joe Flacco continued to make a strong case for the Comeback Player of the Year award while Amari Cooper had a franchise-record 265 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns entered the game with an 86% chance to reach the postseason, but it’s now at 99%. A loss would have dipped their chances down to 78%. Cleveland finishes the season with a home game against the Jets and a visit to Cincinnati.

Buffalo Bills (9-6)

The Bills kicked off against the Chargers Saturday night knowing they controlled their destiny. They nearly blew it, needing a late field goal with 28 ticks remaining to pull out a 24-22 win. They entered Week 16 with a 60% chance to make the playoffs. They now have a 68% chance, which is drastically higher than the 26% shot they’d have had if the Bolts pulled off the upset. Buffalo hosts the lowly Patriots before ending the year in Miami in a game that could potentially decide the AFC East.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7)

The Jaguars continue to be in a free fall, suffering their fourth-straight defeat in a 30-12 loss to the Buccaneers. Trevor Lawrence cleared concussion protocol in time to suit up against Tampa Bay, but was forced out of action in the fourth quarter after suffering a shoulder injury. Jacksonville had a 69% chance to make the playoffs prior to kickoff. A win would have skyrocketed those odds to 90%. Instead, they’ve dropped to 56%. The Jaguars figure to be favored in their final two games of the year against the Panthers and Titans.

Indianapolis Colts (8-7)

Gardner Minshew and company struggled all day against the Falcons in a 29-10 loss. They’d won five of their last six to give them a 56% chance to make the playoffs. A win would have upped those odds to 72%. Instead, they sit at 43% with games a pair of home games against the Raiders and Texans on deck to close out the season.

Houston Texans (8-7)

The Texans couldn’t win a second-straight game with a backup quarterback, falling to the Browns, 36-22. They trailed virtually the entire game, and two late touchdowns made the score appear closer than it actually was. Houston entered Week 16 with a 52% shot at the playoffs. A win would have boosted them to 72%, but they now sit at 30%. The Texans host the Titans then visit the Colts to end the season.

Cincinnati Bengals (8-7)

Jake Browning finally crashed down to Earth, and as a result, the Bengals chances to reach the postseason cratered as well in a 34-11 loss to the Steelers. The Bengals opened Week 16 in the second Wild Card spot with a 47% shot to make the playoffs. A win would have put them in strong position with a 66% chance. Instead, they’re now on the outside looking in with a 20% chance. Cincinnati has a tough final two games, visiting Kansas City next week before hosting the Browns to end the year.

Denver Broncos (7-8)

The Broncos aren’t officially eliminated, but it looks pretty grim. Denver entered the game with a 24% chance to make the playoffs. They would have had a 32% shot by beating the three-win Patriots. Instead, their hopes are on life support with just a 3% chance after a gut-wrenching 26-23 loss. The Broncos face the Chargers and Raiders to end the year, but need a ton of help to make the postseason even if they win out.

NFC Playoff Picture

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)

Tampa Bay won it’s fourth-straight game Sunday in a wire-to-wire 30-12 win over the Jaguars. Baker Mayfield continues to play some of the best ball of his career, completing 26-of-35 passes for 283 yards a pair of touchdowns. Tampa Bay entered the game with a 73% chance to make the playoffs. A loss would have lowered those odds to 59%. Instead, the Bucs have an 84% chance to reach the postseason and are heavy favorites to win the NFC South. They close out the season with a home game against the Saints before ending the year on the road in Carolina.

Los Angeles Rams (8-7)

Matthew Stafford and the offense kept cooking as Los Angeles won for the fifth time in it's last six games, cruising to a 30-22 win over the Saints. Stafford completed 24-of-34 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns, Puka Nacua caught nine passes for 164 yards and a TD and Kyren Williams carried the ball 22 times for 104 yards and a score as the Rams continue to light up the scoreboard. The Rams kicked off Thursday Night Football with a 52% chance to return to the postseason after a one-year absence. Those odds increased to 73% while a loss would have plummeted them to just 15%. Los Angeles ends the year with games against the Giants and 49ers.

Seattle Seahawks (8-7)

Pete Carroll’s crew entered Week 16 fresh off a thrilling last second win over the Eagles on Monday Night Football that gave them a 51% shot to make the playoffs. They needed another late scoring drive to beat the Titans on Sunday, and their 20-17 win increased their odds to 64%. A loss would have dropped them all the way down to 29%. Seattle figures to be favored in their last two games of the season against the Steelers and Cardinals.

Minnesota Vikings (7-8)

Nick Mullens was a turnover machine yet again, throwing four interceptions as the Vikings couldn’t complete the comeback in a 30-24 loss to the Lions. Minnesota was in strong position to reach the postseason six weeks ago, but they’ve since lost four of five. They had a 54% shot to make the playoffs prior to kickoff. Those odds would have increased to 78% with a win but are now 39%. Minnesota has a pair of NFC North games against the Packers and Lions to end the year.

Green Bay Packers (7-8)

The Packers kicked a game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter, avoiding a complete collapse against the two-win Panthers. Green Bay had an 18% chance to make the playoffs in Jordan Love’s first year as the team’s starter, but it’s now 25% after it’s 33-30 win. A loss would have given them a miniscule 5% shot for the postseason. Green Bay ends the year with a visit to Minnesota before closing it out with a home game against the Bears.

New Orleans Saints (7-8)

New Orleans’ odds to make the playoffs were 41% heading into Thursday Night Football. A win would have boosted them all the way up to 70%, but they now sit at 24% after falling 30-22.  The Saints close the season against the division rival Buccaneers and Falcons

Atlanta Falcons (7-8)

Taylor Heinicke got the start at quarterback, and the veteran led the Falcons to a much needed 29-10 blowout win over the Colts. They entered the game with an 11% shot to make the playoffs, and a loss would have dropped them all the way down to 5%. Instead they climbed moderately to 16%, making them longshots to reach the playoffs. Atlanta has a pair of road games in Chicago and New Orleans to end the regular season.

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