NFL News & Analysis

2022 NFL Playoff Picture: New York Jets boost playoff chances to 81% with a win over Buffalo Bills

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mike White (5) looks to pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Now that there are just five weeks remaining in the 2022 NFL season, it’s time to start looking forward to the playoffs.

Each week, PFF will present current and projected playoff pictures, focusing on the teams that look set and the way forward for the teams on the outside.

Current AFC playoff standings

  1. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (8-4)
  4. Tennessee Titans (7-5)
  5. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)
  6. Miami Dolphins (8-4)
  7. New York Jets (7-5)

Current NFC playoff standings

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-1)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (10-2)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (9-3)
  6. New York Giants (7-4-1)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (7-5)

If these standings hold, we would welcome three different AFC teams (Ravens, Dolphins and Jets) and three different NFC teams (Vikings, Giants and Seahawks) into the postseason this year.

The Jets (2010), Dolphins (2017) and Giants (2016) would end long playoff droughts.

Playoff Projections

Naturally, it’s unlikely the playoff picture will remain constant over the remainder of the season. And that’s why it makes sense to look at the projected playoff picture — the estimated chances PFF gives each team to make the playoffs.

The following charts show the projected playoff chances for each team alongside the playoff leverage, i.e., how the playoff chances would change with a win or loss.

The logos show the current playoff chances. The points to the right of the logos indicate the chances after a win, and the points to the left indicate the chances after a loss.

AFC PLAYOFF CHANCES

NFC PLAYOFF CHANCES

Note: The Commanders, Falcons, Packers, Saints and Bears are on a bye week.

TEAMS WITH THE MOST AT STAKE IN WEEK 14

Team Chances with win Chances with loss Leverage
Los Angeles Chargers 46% 9% 37%
Seattle Seahawks 80% 43% 37%
New York Jets 81% 49% 32%
New York Giants 79% 47% 32%
New England Patriots 40% 13% 27%
Baltimore Ravens 97% 76% 21%

The AFC East and NFC West division races

Entering Week 14, the two closest divisions are the AFC East and the AFC North. Here is how the odds stack up in the AFC East:

  • Buffalo Bills: 75%
  • Miami Dolphins: 20%
  • New England Patriots: 1%
  • New York Jets: 4%

And this is how the AFC North is supposed to shake out:

  • Baltimore Ravens: 50%
  • Cincinnati Bengals: 48%
  • Cleveland Browns: 1%
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 1%

Home-field advantage

The dream of a perfect season is over for the Eagles. Still, home-field advantage is practically the highest achievable goal in the regular season anyway.

Jalen Hurts & Co. still have a good chance of earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC because they already own the tiebreaker against the Minnesota Vikings. The following teams are most likely to finish with the best record in their respective conference:

  • Philadelphia Eagles: 77%
  • Kansas City Chiefs: 37%
  • Buffalo Bills: 44%
  • Dallas Cowboys: 12%
  • Cincinnati Bengals: 11%
  • Minnesota Vikings: 10%
Beasts from the East

Few people would have seen this coming, but as of now, both the NFC East and the AFC East would feature three or even four playoff teams.

The NFC East sends three playoff teams in 97% of our simulations. The AFC East sends three teams into the playoffs 65% of the time.

The East divisions are also the most likely divisions to send all teams to the playoffs. Our simulations see this happening 28% of the time for the NFC East and 4% of the time for the AFC East.

The disappointing AFC West

Going into the season, the AFC West was considered the only division strong enough to send all the teams to the playoffs. Right now, it looks more like the opposite could be the case, as there is a 65% chance the AFC West sends only the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs.

Riding a losing record into the playoffs?

Every team in the NFC South is currently below .500. The chance that it stays this way — i.e. the NFC South winner ends up being 8-9 or worse — is currently 41%, according to our simulations. In 74% of these cases, the beneficiary of the weak division would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Most likely playoff matchups

The following matchups are most likely to happen in the wild-card round:

  • Cowboys at Buccaneers (happens 57% of the time)
  • Dolphins at Titans (30%)
  • Commanders at 49ers (28%)
  • Seahawks at 49ers (26%)
  • Giants at Vikings (25%)
  • Commanders at Vikings (24%)
  • Seahawks at Vikings (24%)
  • Bengals – Ravens (23%)
  • Bengals – Titans (21%)

The following matchups are most likely to happen at any point in the playoffs:

  • Cowboys – Buccaneers (63%)
  • Vikings – 49ers (38%)
  • Bills – Chiefs (36%)
  • Bills – Titans (35%)
  • Cowboys – Eagles (35%)
  • Dolphins – Titans (35%)
  • Chiefs – Bengals (33%)

The following matchups are most likely to happen in the conference title games:

  • Chiefs – Bills (25%)
  • Vikings – Eagles (19%)
  • 49ers – Eagles (16%)
  • Cowboys – Eagles (11%)
  • Bengals – Chiefs (10%)
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