All divisions except the NFC East have a clear favorite or lock for the division winner. The AFC North is the only other division with a team with a chance (CIN – 11%) to win the division. Baltimore has a lead in the tiebreakers with a 4-1 division record and a 8-3 conference record. Yes, Seattle has a 3% chance, but they need to beat San Francisco and then have San Francisco lose to Arizona at home.
Week 15 didn’t help resolve the NFC East. The combination of New York Losing and both of the other contenders has made them the underdog in the division race. There are a plenty of scenario analysis available so there is no need to repeat it here. With Super Standings you get a simple number for each team and standings position. So Washington has a 50% chance of winning the division, Dallas is at 33% and New York is down to 17%. So the NFC East is up for grabs with three teams that could win the division or miss the playoffs. The second highest rated team (NYG, PWR 55.6) in the NFC has a 38% chance of not making the playoffs. At the end of week 15 in 2011, NYG only had a 28% chance of winning the NFC East a 0% chance of being a wild card. So anything can happen.
NFC Playoff Seeding
Atlanta leads with a 95% chance of being the #1 seed. They also are the favorite to win the conference at 44%. San Francisco has a lead for the #2 seed at 68%, San Francisco has the highest PWR rating in the NFC, but the spread in PWR rating among the top 4 is only 1.3. The two teams that lead in getting the round 1 bye have a 71% (42%+29%) chance of winning the conference. The other two teams, NY and GB have a combined 22% chance of being conference champs. The first round bye is a big deal. In the Wild Card race, Seattle has the lead with a 92% chance of getting a wild card spot. The second spot is up for grabs with NYG (45%), CHI(26%), WSH(17%), DAL(10%), MIN(8%) still in the hunt with the three NFC teams still having a chance to win the division.
AFC Playoff Seeding
Houston and Denver have commanding leads for the #1 and #2 spots respectively. In the AFC we have two teams, NE and Denver who have 58+ PWR ratings and the next strongest teams, Houston and Pittsburgh have have PWR ratings of 54.2. With the highest power rating in the NFL (by only 0.1), NE will pay dearly for their slow start. If they go on to get the #3 seed, they will get the #2 wild card (most likely, Pittsburgh) which will be a much stronger team than the #1 wild card, Indianapolis. For the wild card spots, Indianapolis is about as close to a mathematical lock as you can get. The other spot is between Pittsburgh (59%) and Cincinnati (30%). These two play in Pittsburgh this week and it is a must win for Pittsburgh