We looked at the playoff chances of every NFC team last week, but what are the chances of a playoff spot for the teams from the AFC?
Unlike the NFC, the AFC is log-jammed when it comes to playoff spots. Only three teams in the conference can sit comfortably knowing that their chances of making the postseason sit at over 95%
The New England Patriots began the season with a 2-4 record, but Mac Jones and company rattled off seven-straight wins. This streak surged the Pats into playoff contention and also atop the division that seemed to be Buffalo’s to lose. Despite losing to the Colts last time out, the Patriots still have a 97% chance of postseason football and a 66% chance to remain in front in the AFC East.
The Tennessee Titans are atop the AFC South, and they look to be clinching another playoff berth. Despite losing Derrick Henry earlier in the season, the Titans managed to steer the ship and remain top of the AFC South. The Colts are just behind them in the South but Mike Vrabel’s team has a 97% chance to be playing football in late January.
The reigning AFC Superbowl representatives are more than likely to return to the postseason. The Chiefs had a turbulent start, dropping games to the Ravens and Chargers, but the 2020 Super Bowl champions have turned their season around. They are now 10-4 and lead the whole conference, giving them an almost 99% chance to make the playoffs.
Behind the Patriots in the AFC East are the Buffalo Bills. The Bills led the division for the first half of the season, but McDermott’s team dropped some important games - including a loss to the 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars. They have too much offensive talent to miss out on the playoffs, and their chances are at a solid 74%.
The Indianapolis Colts have the best chance of any second-placed team - 84%. One of the main reasons for this playoff berth is running back Jonathan Taylor. He leads the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and touchdowns, staking his claim to be the 2021/22 NFL MVP.
With an 8-6 record, the Colts should be safe in the coming weeks.
The final team with over a 70% chance is the Los Angeles Chargers. They have a 74% chance as they sit second in the AFC West, ahead of the 7-7 Denver Broncos and the 7-7 Las Vegas Raiders. They have the Texans on Sunday and a win almost secures their spot in a wildcard place.
The entire AFC North could still make the playoffs and win the division. The Ravens lead the way at 8-6 and a 56% chance. They are followed by the Cincinnati Bengals who share the same record but a 49% chance due to tiebreakers. The Steelers and Browns both have a 21% chance with their 7-6-1 and 7-7 record respectively.
The Dolphins have climbed from 1-7 to 7-7 but they still only have an 8% shot of a wildcard place. Whilst the Raiders and the Broncos are tied at 7-7 but the Raiders edge the tiebreakers and have the better chance of making the postseason at 11%.
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