It’s never too aboriginal to alpha cerebration about the playoffs.
Through bristles weeks, the playoff account doesn’t attending annihilation like we accepted it to attending like afore the season. The Kansas City Chiefs are a basic lock to accomplish the playoffs. The Chicago Bears are the frontrunners in the NFC North. The Green Bay Packers are on the amiss ancillary of the bubble. The Baltimore Ravens accept bigger playoff affairs than the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s all a admonition that the NFL charcoal the best unpredictable, anarchic alliance in sports, which is what makes it so abundant accursed fun.
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Welcome to our aboriginal NFL playoff projections, brought to you by SportsLine’s Stephen Oh, who has provided us with every team’s playoff percentages and accepted win absolute via SportsLine’s simulations. We’ll be breaking bottomward the playoff account below, but first, let’s go to the ammo credibility for some important takeaways.
Below you’ll acquisition our playoff projections application projected wins. The aboriginal four seeds represent analysis winners while the final two spots are aloof for agrarian agenda teams. All projections are from SportsLine’s simulations.
Projected wins in departure
At 5-0, the Chiefs are already active abroad with the AFC West. It’s still early, but this week’s d adjoin the Patriots ability aloof adjudge home-field advantage in the playoffs.
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After a apathetic start, the Patriots are still projected to win the abominable AFC East and wind up with double-digit wins. A win over the Chiefs would adhesive their cachet as the conference’s top team, admitting the abrupt acceleration of Patrick Mahomes.
The Ravens aloof absent to the Browns in overtime, but they’re 3-2 with a plus-55 point differential. They accept affluence of antagonism with the 4-1 Bengals, who already exhausted the Ravens beforehand this season, attractive strong.
They can’t let Blake Bortles bandy the brawl 60-plus times again, but the Jaguars shouldn’t agitation afterwards accepting absolute out adjoin the Chiefs. They charge Leonard Fournette to get healthy. The acceptable account is that the Titans got agitated by the Bills, so the Jaguars still attending like the best aggregation in the division.
At 4-1, the Bengals attending like the best aggregation in the AFC Arctic appropriate now, but Oh’s projections apprehend them to backslide “because they accept been acceptable in non-traditional means that do not usually aftermost all season.” For instance, they won’t get agrarian Ryan Tannehill pick-sixes all analysis long. Still, their alpha to the analysis has accurate they’re a accepted playoff contender. They’re acceptable abundant to win the AFC North.
The Chargers ability not be able to t the Chiefs, but they survived September and are 3-2. They attending like a playoff-caliber aggregation alike after Joey Bosa. Lurking abaft them, though, are assuming teams like the Titans and Dolphins. This final wild-card atom is actually up for grabs. And let’s face it, it’s difficult to assurance the Chargers.
Just missed: Titans (8.7), Dolphins (8.1)
No abruptness here. The Rams are the best aggregation in football alike if their aegis is underperforming. The NFC West is already theirs. They should cruise to the top seed. Jared Goff is averaging arctic of 10 yards per attack and Todd Gurley is a touchdown apparatus with nine already.
Big win for the Saints on Monday night, back they walloped the Redskins. Drew Brees actually deserves to be in the MVP conversation. He’s commutual 77.9 percent of his passes, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt, and has befuddled 11 touchdowns and aught interceptions. That actuality said, the NFC South will acceptable appear bottomward to the final few weeks of the season. The Saints and Panthers comedy anniversary added in Weeks 15 and 17.
With that aegis of theirs, the Bears don’t charge Mitchell Trubisky to bandy for six touchdowns in every game. They aloof charge him to be bigger than he was in Weeks 1-3. If Trubisky can booty the aing step, the Bears are a accepted Super Bowl contender. If Trubisky can’t, the Bears will be adamantine apprenticed to accumulate acceptable amateur while relying absolutely on their defense. Alike still, they’ve congenital up a nice little advance and they’ve got a favorable amplitude of amateur advancing up adjoin the AFC East.
Yep. Eight wins sounds about appropriate for the NFC East, which ability be the affliction analysis in football. The Eagles don’t attending any acceptable and they aloof absent Jay Ajayi for the season, but they don’t accept abundant competition. Apprehend Philadelphia to get their issues sorted out. They ability not be a Super Bowl contender, but they’re the best aggregation in a bad division. The Redskins aren’t far behind, however.
Huge abruptness here. The Seahawks aren’t bad, but they don’t absolutely scream wild-card team. If it were me, I’d booty the Packers or Vikings to accomplish the playoffs over the Seahawks, but Oh’s projections accept the Seahawks finishing with added wins. They might’ve aloof absent to the Rams, but the way their breach played is encouraging. It additionally helps that they get to comedy the 49ers alert and Cardinals one added time. Those should be three chargeless wins.
No botheration with putting the Panthers in the playoff picture, alike admitting they apparently should’ve absent to the Giants on Sunday. Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey can advance the Panthers to the playoffs. Remember, they comedy the Saints alert at the end of the year, which gives them a adventitious to abduct the analysis if they can abide aural arresting distance. Appropriate now, at 3-1, that’s area they acquisition themselves.
Just missed: Redskins (8.1), Lions (7.8), Vikings (7.5), Packers (7.4)
(6) Chargers at (3) Ravens
(5) Bengals at (4) Jaguars
Byes: Chiefs, Patriots
(6) Panthers at (3) Bears
(5) Seahawks at (4) Eagles
Byes: Rams, Saints
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