Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Week 14 Preliminary NFL Playoffs Projection; Big tie-breaker in NFC

There are still three games to play this weekend, but that doesn't stop me from taking a look at my computer's projected records and who will make the playoffs.

First here are the AFC projected records:

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
New England13-344.334.318.7
Pittsburgh12-446.438.414.6
Baltimore11-543.022.128.0
NY Jets11-541.412.038.7
Kansas City10-641.717.232.7
Miami9-749.513.831.3
San Diego9-744.830.221.7
Indianapolis9-743.520.629.4
Jacksonville9-739.438.111.5
Oakland8-839.713.037.0
Houston7-938.022.427.6
Tennessee6-1041.934.115.3
Cleveland6-1040.035.514.3
Denver4-1244.126.923.6
Buffalo4-1242.414.241.8
Cincinnati3-1347.417.434.3

This has New England and Pittsburgh winning their divisions and being the top seeds and Baltimore and the Jets being the wildcards with records (11-5) better than the other division winners.  Kansas City is projected to win the West at 10-6 and then one of Indianapolis or Jacksonville will win the South.  Indianapolis has the better chance of 9-7 but Jacksonville has the better chance of 10-6.  Next week's tilt between the two teams will be big, the winner likely winning the division, although it could go a ways down the tie-breaker list to decide it.

There is certainly a chance that the Ravens could tie Pittsburgh, but the Steelers seem to have a good handle on the potential tie-breakers.  In the West, should San Diego get to 10-6 with the Chiefs, they could very well win the tie-breaker.

The NFC is not as clear.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
Atlanta14-248.00.041.9
New Orleans11-546.332.015.3
Green Bay10-645.416.431.7
Tampa Bay10-644.614.233.8
Chicago10-642.133.316.7
NY Giants10-637.921.728.3
Philadelphia10-635.435.214.9
St Louis8-840.515.534.4
Seattle7-945.825.524.3
Minnesota7-937.619.730.3
San Francisco6-1045.333.114.8
Washington6-1044.226.923.5
Dallas6-1039.324.925.0
Arizona5-1143.230.319.8
Detroit4-1244.729.619.7
Carolina2-1450.23.446.4

Atlanta has a firm grip on the #1 seed and New Orleans seems to have one on a wildcard, but after that it gets interesting.  With five teams projected to be 10-6 and only three spots, potentially two teams with double digit wins will be left home.

In the North, the Green Bay / Chicago winner in week 17 will likely get the division, but Chicago has the tie-breaker advantages today if they tie.  In the East, Philadelphia has a better shot at 11-5 so could make it moot (and if they win tonight they may be projected at 11-5), but if they tie it could go well down the tie-breaker list as well.  St. Louis seems to have the upper hand in the West, but it could come down to the final game they play as well and Seattle has the tie-breaker advantage.

The other NFC wildcard could be a complex situation with the odd team out in the East and North tied with Tampa Bay at 10-6.  Given there are still a variety of ways each team could get there, hard to say who would win the tie-breaker.

This will be updated after Monday night's games.