With a quarter of the season complete, the projected playoff picture is starting to become more consistent week to week. See the full list of projections here.
Green Bay remains the top overall team, projected at 15-1 with New Orleans close behind at 14-2. The Saints actually have a very good chance (36.4%) at 15-1 as well. Surprises Detroit and San Francisco would be in the playoffs at 12-4 with Washington winning the NFC East at 11-5 and Dallas getting in the playoffs at 10-6. Presently only Chicago would be close on Dallas' heels for the last spot. These are the same teams as projected last week, just Dallas and Washington swapping positions.
New England is projected to lead the AFC at 14-2 with Houston and Baltimore vying for the #2 seed at 12-4. It may take an 11-5 record to get into the AFC playoffs with surprise Oakland, Tennessee, and Buffalo all at that record. Another surprise, Cincinnati would be a game back. These are also the same teams as last week.
What about some of the early season favorites?
The Jets are 2-2 and with the Patriots twice, Buffalo twice, plus 3 more from the NFC East, 9-7 is their projected record.
The Giants are 3-1 but play Buffalo, New England, and the Jets, plus Dallas twice and Washington another time, plus the 49ers, Packers, and Saints. Most likely record for them is just 8-8.
Pittsburgh is 2-2 and has Tennessee, New England, Baltimore, Cincinnati twice, and the 49ers as tough games on the schedule leading to an 8-8 record being most likely.
San Diego is 3-1 but has the Jets, Packers, Oakland twice, Chicago, Buffalo, Baltimore, and Detroit as tough games leading to 6-10 being most likely.
And likely the biggest disappointment, the Eagles are 1-3 and have Washington and Dallas twice, the Giants, Jets, Bears, Bills, and Patriots as tough games leading to 4-12 being most likely.
Team's performance can certainly change and improve or go downhill so the above projections can and most likely will change. But the first quarter of the season has certainly set us up for some surprises.