NFL Playoff Clarity

Now up on Advanced NFL Stats: Sam Waters examines the manner in which the NFL playoff picture moves from cloudy to clear.

The NFL season might only be nine weeks old, but the league’s playoff picture is already starting to gain clarity. Having a playoff picture that is too clear, too early, might make games a little less exciting, so I thought it would be interesting to see if this year’s playoff qualifiers really are more certain at this point than in past years.

We can start to attack this question using the projections at, which use the team efficiency ratings here at Advanced NFL Stats to estimate each team’s chances of making the playoffs. According to these projections, eight teams currently have a probability of playoff qualification higher than ninety percent. While these teams (like Denver, Kansas City, and Seattle) are virtual locks, we have thirteen teams with a ten percent chance or less of qualifying, leaving us with a pretty polarized distribution of playoff odds after nine weeks of play.

Read on here.

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