• Miami Dolphins can seal their fate: We give the Dolphins an 85% chance to make the playoffs with a Week 10 win. Their chances fall to 59% with a loss.
• The rebirth of the NFC East: There is an 80% chance that three teams from the NFC East make the playoffs.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The 2022 NFL season is now past the halfway point, so 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
- Buffalo Bills (6-2)
- Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)
- Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
- Tennessee Titans (5-3)
- New York Jets (6-3)
- Miami Dolphins (6-3)
- Los Angeles Chargers (5-3)
Current NFC playoff standings
- Philadelphia Eagles (8-0)
- Minnesota Vikings (7-1)
- Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)
- Dallas Cowboys (6-2)
- New York Giants (6-2)
- San Francisco 49ers (4-4)
The Jets (2010), Dolphins (2017) and Giants (2016) would end long playoff droughts.
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
TEAMS WITH THE MOST AT STAKE IN WEEK 9
|Team||Chances with win||Chances with loss||Leverage|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||79%||52%||27%|
|Los Angeles Chargers||67%||43%||24%|
|Los Angeles Rams||35%||12%||23%|
The AFC wild-card picture
While there a still two wide-open divisions in the NFC, we currently have large favorites in each of the four AFC divisions, as the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens are in a good position to earn a home playoff game.
To get a sense of the wild-card picture, we can look at simulations in which these four teams end up winning their divisions and look at the rates with which the other teams earn a wild-card spot:
- Miami Dolphins: 72%
- New York Jets: 62%
- Los Angeles Chargers: 51%
- Cincinnati Bengals: 42%
- New England Patriots: 35%
- Las Vegas Raiders: 19%
- Cleveland Browns: 13%
The estimated odds that the Philadelphia Eagles continue their undefeated regular season are 5.3%. There is a 1.1% chance they go 20-0 to win the Super Bowl.
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 playoff teams. This happens 50% of the time in our simulations. The odds that three NFC East teams make it to January are already at 80%. The AFC East sends three teams into the playoffs 62% of the time.
The East divisions are also the most likely divisions to send all teams to the playoffs. This would require the Washington Commanders and the New England Patriots to step up. Our simulations see this happening 6.4% of the time for the NFC East and 6.5% of the time for the AFC East.
The disappointing AFC West
Going into the season, the AFC West was considered to be 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 40% the AFC West sends only its division winner to the playoffs. In almost all scenarios, this would be the Kansas City Chiefs.
The destined duel
The chance that we get to see a Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship rematch is currently 22.9%. The chance of it happening in any of the three playoff weeks before the Super Bowl is 34.9%.
If those two face each other, it would be played in Buffalo 52% of the time.