Week 11 NFL Projections Update: Broncos Have A Real Shot & Giants Schedule Gives Cowboys The Edge in NFC East

Welcome to our NFL projections update, in which we check out how the games of the past few days have impacted the NFL playoff outlook. Let’s start with the most practical and fun part of the post — the updated playoff forecast.

Projected Playoff Seeding & Super Bowl Winner

As we do every week, let’s use our NFL season projections to take a look at how the playoffs will shake out, if our ratings and forecasts end up being spot on.

First, the seeding:

SeedAFC TeamRecord SeedNFC TeamRecord
#1New England Patriots12-4#1Green Bay Packers15-1
#2Baltimore Ravens11-5#2San Francisco 49ers13-3
#3Houston Texans11-5#3New Orleans Saints11-5
#4Oakland Raiders8-8#4Dallas Cowboys10-6
#5Pittsburgh Steelers11-5#5Chicago Bears11-5
#6Cincinnati Bengals10-6#6Detroit Lions10-6
Dropped OutNew York Giants9-7

Remember, the records shown are the averages of all possible outcomes. As such, they’ll be shaded a little bit towards an 8-8 record. In real life, a few teams will outperform their averages, we should end up with more extreme win totals, and it’s possible the AFC West leader may actually have a winning record.

If we choose the winner in each playoff matchup by advancing the team with the higher Super Bowl win odds, here’s what the postseason will look like (winning teams in bold):

Wildcard Round

– Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans
– Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland Raiders
– Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
– Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys

Division Round

– Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots
– Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens
– Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
– New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers

Conference Championships

– Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
– San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers

Super Bowl

– Green Bay Packers over New England Patriots

There’s not much change here from last week. The biggest news is that the Giants’ loss to the Eagles has allowed the Cowboys to pull back ahead of them in the race for top spot the NFC East. Dallas has a 62% chance to win the division, versus Eli and company’s 31%. While the teams are currently tied in the standings, New York’s remaining schedule is absolutely brutal, plus Dallas has a slightly higher predictive rating.

The Patriots continued their rise past Baltimore. The two teams are actually very close to tied in predicted wins, and Baltimore has better odds of winning the AFC’s top seed (39% to 25%) due to a slightly easier schedule, but because New England’s 11.6 wins round up to 12 while Baltimore’s 11.4 round down to 11, we’ll slot the Patriots in at #1 in the AFC.

San Diego’s free fall continued, as their fifth straight loss dropped them a full two games behind the Raiders in the AFC West. Oakland is now the clear favorite to win the division at 46%, and Denver is now second at 27%, with the Chargers in third at only 23%.

Changes In Playoff Odds For All Teams

Of course, the projections are a bit more nuanced than simply a thumbs up or a thumbs down on a team’s playoff chances. Below, we lay out every team’s predicted percent chance of making the playoffs, along with how that changed due to last week’s games.

The table shows projected playoff odds before this weekend, current NFL playoff odds, and the difference between those values, plus each team’s projected chance of winning the Super Bowl. It’s sorted by the change in playoff odds, so you can quickly see which teams had the best and worst Week 10:

AFCLast WkNowChangeSB Win% NFCLast WkNowChangeSB Win%
New England93.0%97.2%4.2%17.1%Seattle1.6%2.1%0.5%0.0%
Pittsburgh91.0%94.6%3.6%6.7%San Francisco99.6%100.0%0.4%8.3%
Miami0.3%0.7%0.4%0.0%Green Bay100.0%100.0%0.0%29.4%
Cleveland0.2%0.2%0.0%0.0%St Louis0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Indianapolis0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%Tampa Bay1.1%0.9%-0.2%0.0%
Kansas City5.8%4.0%-1.8%0.0%Minnesota0.2%0.0%-0.2%0.0%
NY Jets34.7%21.7%-13.0%0.6%New Orleans92.7%90.4%-2.3%6.2%
San Diego36.8%23.4%-13.4%0.3%NY Giants55.7%34.3%-21.4%0.7%

The Andrew Luck Sweepstakes

To be honest, this thing is just about wrapped up. The Colts aren’t expected to make it to two wins, so even if all the other teams lose out, Indianapolis can coast to a victory:

TeamCurrent WinsTR RankFuture SOSProj Wins
St Louis2320.93.4

The Colts host the Panthers this weekend, which is their easiest remaining game. If Carolina doesn’t hand a win to Indianapolis, I think it’s safe to say that the race is over.