NFL Playoff Picture: Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers would drastically improve playoff hopes with a Week 8 win

Landover, Maryland, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts after an incomplete pass against the Washington Commanders during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

• Crunch time for Packers and 49ers: According to PFF's model, Green Bay and San Francisco enter Week 8 with less than a 50% chance of making the postseason. But both teams would improve their odds to over 50% with a win.

• The game we all want to see (again): There is a 38% chance we see a playoff game between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.

• The rebirth of the NFC East: There is a 77% chance that three teams from the NFC East make the playoffs.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The 2022 NFL season is nearing 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
  1. Buffalo Bills (5-1)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
  3. Tennessee Titans (4-2)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)
  5. New York Jets (5-2)
  6. Miami Dolphins (4-3)
  7. Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)
Current NFC playoff standings
  1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
  3. Seattle Seahawks (4-3)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)
  5. New York Giants (6-1)
  6. Dallas Cowboys (5-2)
  7. Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

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

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.


Note: The Chiefs and Chargers have a bye week.


Playoff scenarios

Perfect Eagles

The estimated odds that the Philadelphia Eagles continue their undefeated regular season are 2.5%. There is a 0.5% 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 33% of the time in our simulations. The odds that three NFC East teams make it to January are already at 77%.

The NFC East is also the most likely division to send all its teams to the playoffs. With the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys already firmly in the picture, this would require the Washington Commanders to step up. Our simulations see this happening 7.5% of the time.

The destined duel

Unless you're a fan of another AFC playoff contender, the chances are that you anticipate a Patrick MahomesJosh Allen matchup in the playoffs.

The chance that we get to see a Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship rematch is currently 26%. The chance of it happening in any of the three playoff weeks before the Super Bowl is 38%.

If those two face each other, it would be played in Buffalo 68% of the time.


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