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NFL Playoff Picture, Projections: Analytics Indicate Lions Now Have Inside Track to Playoffs

NFL Playoff Picture, Projections: Analytics Indicate Lions Now Have Inside Track to Playoffs article feature image
Credit:

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Goff.

With three weeks to go in the NFL season, there are a number of playoff races to monitor as we enter the business end of the season.

As the Predictive Analytics team, we update our NFL Power Ratings every week, projecting the number of victories that a team is projected to have at the end of the season. Using that win total, we’ll project what the playoff picture will look like at the end of the year.

For reference, check out what the NFL playoff picture currently looks like below. Remember, only one team per conference gets a bye into the Divisional Round, and there are three Wild Card spots available.

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Current NFL Playoff Picture

With the added importance of being a one-seed thanks to the lone bye available, the race between the Chiefs and the Bills for the top spot in the AFC will be an important one. The two teams are currently tied at 11-3, but a Bills win earlier this year gives them the head-to-head tiebreaker.

In the NFC, the Eagles are a near-lock to secure the top seed in the NFC, but the Vikings (11-3) and 49ers (10-4) trail behind.

AFC

  1. Buffalo Bills (11-3)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4)
  4. Tennessee Titans (7-7)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
  6. Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)
  7. Miami Dolphins (8-6)

NFC

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-1)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
  6. New York Giants (8-5-1)
  7. Washington Commanders (7-6-1)
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Projected NFL Playoff Picture

Our projections indicate that the Lions are the one team that should love their chances of sneaking into the postseason, while the Commanders should be concerned about their position.

Of course, it should also be noted that despite the thin projected edge to the Chiefs, the Bills still hold the tiebreaker between the two. And as we know, you can’t win 0.1 games in the NFL.

Projected number of wins in parentheses

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (13.2)
  2. Buffalo Bills (13.1)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (11.7)
  4. Tennessee Titans (8.6)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (10.9)
  6. Los Angeles Chargers (10)
  7. Miami Dolphins (9.8)

NFC

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (14.7)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (12.7)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (12)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8.2)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (11.8)
  6. New York Giants (9.8)
  7. Detroit Lions (8.8)

Full win total projections can be found below.

Updated AFC Win Projections

AFC Team Projected Win Total
Chiefs 13.2
Bills 13.1
Bengals 11.7
Ravens 10.3
Chargers 10
Dolphins 9.8
Titans 8.6
Jets 8.3
Patriots 8.1
Jaguars 7.6
Browns 7.6
Steelers 7.3
Raiders 7.2
Colts 5.9
Broncos 5.2
Texans 2.5

Updated NFC Win Projections

NFC Team Projected Win Total
Eagles 14.7
Vikings 12.7
49ers 12
Cowboys 11.8
Giants 9.8
Lions 8.8
Commanders 8.7
Buccaneers 8.2
Seahawks 8.1
Packers 7.4
Saints 6.3
Panthers 6.1
Falcons 6.1
Rams 5.3
Cardinals 5.1
Bears 3.9

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