• The rebirth of the NFC East: There is an 89% chance three teams from the NFC East will 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
- Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)
- Miami Dolphins (7-3)
- Tennessee Titans (7-3)
- Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
- Buffalo Bills (7-3)
- New England Patriots (6-4)
- Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
Current NFC playoff standings
- Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
- Minnesota Vikings (8-2)
- San Francisco 49ers (6-4)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)
- Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
- New York Giants (7-3)
- Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
The 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 12
|Team||Chances with win||Chances with loss||Leverage|
|New York Jets||59%||31%||28%|
|New York Giants||80%||52%||28%|
|New England Patriots||66%||39%||27%|
The AFC East and NFC West division races
The two closest division races in the NFL right now are happening in the AFC East and the NFC West. Here is how the odds stack up in the AFC East:
And this is how the NFC West is supposed to shake out:
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: 65%
- Kansas City Chiefs: 52%
- Buffalo Bills: 25%
- Dallas Cowboys: 14%
- Minnesota Vikings: 14%
- Miami Dolphins: 8%
- Baltimore Ravens: 7%
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 89% of our simulations. The AFC East sends three teams into the playoffs 72% of the time.
The East divisions are also the most likely divisions to send all teams to the playoffs. Our simulations see this happening 16.8% of the time for the NFC East and 11.3% 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 62% chance the AFC West sends only the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs.
The destined duel
The chance that we get to see a Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship rematch is currently 20%. The chance of it happening in any of the three playoff weeks before the Super Bowl is 35%.
If those two face each other, it would be played in Arrowhead 72% of the time.