A handful of NFL teams have already clinched a playoff spot. In Week 14, the Steelers and Eagles took victories against other playoff contenders to claim their spots in the postseason.
The news for the Eagles was not all good, however, with MVP-caliber QB Carson Wentz suffering a season-ending knee injury. Our simulations don’t trust backup QBs, and now Nick Foles has three games before playoffs start to build confidence.
Even though a single player rarely has significant impact to the success of NFL team over the long-term, this season we have seen that injuries or suspensions to players such as Aaron Rodgers and Ezekiel Elliott have derailed strong teams. Wentz has became a star with his play this season, and replacing him won’t be easy for Foles. The next three weeks will have a major impact on how the Eagles fare in the postseason.
Let's take a look at the updated NFL playoff picture entering Week 15. Each week, AccuScore will update its 2017 NFL postseason forecast by simulating the remainder of the NFL season 10,000 times to predict win totals, division winners and probabilities of reaching the playoffs on the road to Super Bowl 52. Below are the probabilities and Vegas odds of making the NFL playoffs and how they have changed.
AccuScore's odds to make NFL playoffs
Probability vs. weekly % change
New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints
Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Bucs
San Francisco 49ers
Changes to NFL playoff odds
NFC playoff picture entering Week 15:
Division winners: Eagles (clinched), Vikings (98% chance), Saints (92%) and Rams (79%). Seattle, though, has the division in its own hands as the Seahawks host the Rams in Seattle this weekend. The same scenario applies to the Falcons, as they have already once beaten the Saints and will face them and the Panthers again in Weeks 16-17.
Wild cards: Falcons (70%) and Panthers (61%). It looks like the NFC South will have three teams in playoffs. The Falcons only have divisional games remaining; the Saints' remaining schedule looks easy when compared to the Panthers.
Just outside: Seattle (60%) and Green Bay (28%).The Seahawks can secure a playoff position by winning out. The Packers are in a similar position and are getting Aaron Rodgers back from injury. Green Bay will need quite a bit of help from other teams, though. We all remember last year and the late-season run that Green Bay put together, but this time it may be too late.
MORE: NFL Power Rankings
Seattle Seahawks 0.6 -0.2
AFC playoff picture entering Week 15:
Division winners: Steelers (clinched), Patriots (99%), Jaguars (98%) and Chiefs (68%). Jacksonville has an easier finish to the season than Tennessee as the two fight for the AFC South title. These teams face each other in Week 17 and that could ultimately decide the winner.
Wild cards: Titans (83%) and Ravens (71%). The devastating loss to the Steelers in a divisional showdown on Sunday night left the Ravens only fighting for a wild-card spot. They have a relatively easy schedule remaining as they face winless Cleveland and host the Colts and the Bengals. All three of these opponents have combined for only one more wins than the Ravens this season.
Just outside: Chargers (49%) and Bills (20%). The Chargers have put together an impressive run during second half of the season. They control their destiny and need to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead this weekend. Easier said than done. There are many AFC teams within a win of the postseason. Combine that with teams that tend to quit on losing seasons at this stage, and it will make the last three weeks of regular season very interesting.
AccuScore's NFL playoff probabilities will be updated on a weekly basis.