Updated Playoff Odds for Every NFL Team After Week 2

Jon DoveContributor ISeptember 17, 2012

Updated Playoff Odds for Every NFL Team After Week 2

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    Each week in the NFL is extremely important for those teams looking to make a run at the playoffs. Oftentimes, the difference between making the playoffs and not can be as slim as one win or loss. This is why a loss like the one the New England Patriots suffered at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals can be important.

    The way the percentages work in each slide is based what division each team represents. For example, the NFC East got a 100 percentage points to distribute. So the Philadelphia Eagles 45 percent means they have the best chance to make the playoffs out of that division.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Odds: 45 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 2-0

    The Philadelphia Eagles showed in their game against the Baltimore Ravens just how much talent they possess. The defense played extremely well, as slowing down the Ravens offense is easier said than done. It was the strong play of linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks that led the charge.

    Of course, Michael Vick's last-minute touchdown drive also played an important role. He delivered several excellent passes down the field and worked the intermediate passing game. However, the Ravens put a lot of big hits on Vick. This is why Philadelphia's Super Bowl hopes are fragile.

    It's hard to imagine any quarterback remaining healthy while taking that type of punishment. The Eagles must find a way to patch the holes along the offensive line. They also need to talk Vick into protecting himself better.

    This is a talented team, but it's really hard to feel good about Vick's long-term health.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Odds: 25 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    As usual, the Dallas Cowboys are really tough to figure out. They were able to beat the New York Giants, only to get blown out by the Seattle Seahawks. It seems that just when everyone is ready to start talking about the Cowboys and the Super Bowl, they go out and play poorly.

    This game was lost because of turnovers and poor special teams play. Seattle took advantage of all the mistakes made by the Cowboys.

    Dallas is still a team with the talent needed to make a playoff push. It just needs to find some consistency game to game.

New York Giants

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    Odds: 20 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    Things started off very ugly for the New York Giants, but they were able to put together a shocking come-from-behind win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Eli Manning and the passing attack is what helped the Giants avoid an 0-2 start. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks might be the best wide receiver duo in the league.

    However, the fact that the defense allowed the Buccaneers to score 34 points is concerning. The Giants secondary needs to get healthy if this team wants to remain in the hunt for the playoffs. They can't count on Manning throwing for over 500 yards each game.

    Of all the teams in the NFC East, the Giants look the worst. This is a very competitive division, and there's little room for error.

Washington Redskins

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    Odds: 10 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    Josh Morgan's bonehead personal-foul penalty at the end of the game cost the Washington Redskins a chance to start the season 2-0. The reason the Redskins were even in that position is because of Robert Griffin III. He has helped the Redskins offense collect over 800 offensive yards in only two games.

    Washington needs to be worried about the play of its defense. This unit has really struggled to shut down the opponent's passing attack. There's talent on defense; they just need to start playing better football.

    If the Redskins can get the defense fixed, they have a good shot at making the playoffs. RGIII is absolutely talented enough to lead a team on a playoff run.

San Francisco 49ers

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    Odds: 70 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 2-0

    The San Francisco 49ers are the most balanced football team in the entire NFL. They have an elite defense and strong running game, and Alex Smith is emerging as a top-notch quarterback. Smith's ability to run this offense is what makes the 49ers the best team in the league.

    San Francisco made upgrading the offensive weapons its offseason focus. Players like Mario Manningham and Randy Moss are providing the offense with a spark. Those players help pull coverage away from holdovers like Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.

    However, the defense is what will push this team forward in the playoffs.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Odds: 15 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 2-0

    It's not pretty, but the Arizona Cardinals are winning football games. They have to be one of the biggest surprises of the young NFL season. Arizona looked terrible during the preseason but has somehow been able to turn it around. The biggest reason for the turnaround is the play of the defense.

    Arizona's defense has held both of its opponents to less than 20 points. This included the high-scoring New England Patriots.

    Other than the defense, the play of Kevin Kolb has helped the Cardinals get off to such a good start. He's been able to move the football and avoid mistakes. One of the main reasons Kolb has been able to find success is because of the offensive line. Over the course of the first two games, this unit has only allowed two sacks.

    The NFC has a lot of very talented teams, so this good start is very helpful to the Cardinals' playoff hopes.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Odds: 10 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    If Braylon Edwards was able to haul in a late touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks would be 2-0. This is a team that has a lot of upside, as nobody is really sure what to expect from Russell Wilson. At this point, the rookie quarterback has shown that he can move the football and avoid major mistakes.

    The other thing the Seahawks have going for them is a talented defense. This unit does an excellent job stopping both the run and the pass.

    The key is the development of Wilson. If he is able to continue growing as a player, the Seahawks have a great chance to make a playoff appearance.

    With the St. Louis Rams looking better, the Arizona Cardinals starting 2-0 and the San Francisco 49ers being all that they are, the NFC West all of a sudden looks tough.

St. Louis Rams

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    Odds: 5 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    It's obvious that the St. Louis Rams are more talented than the group that took the field last season. St. Louis spent this offseason collecting good young talent, and it's paying off. Talent isn't the only reason the team looks better, as the changes made to the coaching staff have brought a different attitude.

    Jeff Fisher is an organized head coach who knows how to win football games. The Rams aren't ready to make a playoff push this year. However, things look good for the future, especially with Sam Bradford playing well.

    Of course, St. Louis' season depends on Bradford's ability to remain healthy. His durability has been an issue in the past.

Green Bay Packers

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    Odds: 50 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    After losing to the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers faced a lot of pressure to beat the Chicago Bears. Green Bay answered the call with an impressive performance, especially by the defense. This is a group that gets a lot of criticism, but it showed it has the talent to make plays.

    The one thing Green Bay should be a little concerned about is the offensive line. It allowed the Bears to register five sacks and many more quarterback hits. Aaron Rodgers will have a hard time remaining healthy if he continues to get hit that many times.

    This win served as a notice to the league that Green Bay is still among the elite teams. It also helped the fanbase move past the sky-is-falling stage.

Detroit Lions

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    Odds: 23 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Detroit Lions are in a bit of trouble because of issues on defense and a lack of a running game. They're putting a ton of pressure on Matthew Stafford to go out and out-duel the opponent's quarterback. If he's off his game, there's a good chance the Lions will lose.

    A lot of the issues in the secondary are because of injuries. However, even when guys like Louis Delmas and Chris Houston return, the secondary is still a problem. The Lions need this group to play much better if they hope to reach the playoffs again this year.

    The running game continues to be a problem area for Detroit. Jahvid Best's concussion issues have really put the team in a tough spot. The Lions are hoping that Mikel Leshoure can help things when he returns from a suspension. This team needs to find some sort of balance.

Chicago Bears

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    Odds: 22 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Chicago Bears have played two very different games to open the season. They looked excellent against the Indianapolis Colts and just awful against the Green Bay Packers. The loss to the Packers not only put them a game back in the division, but it also shook their confidence.

    As a result of this game, there are a lot of questions surrounding Jay Cutler's ability to perform in big games. Chicago is a very talented football team, but it needs Cutler to play at a high level if it hopes to reach the playoffs.

    This game could very well work as a wake-up call. The Bears won't be handed a playoff spot; they need to earn it.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Odds: 5 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Minnesota Vikings have started the season off better than expected. They pulled off a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and gave the Indianapolis Colts a tough game. The biggest thing to take from this start is the play of Christian Ponder.

    Ponder has showed good accuracy, an ability to move the chains and even some big-play potential. Minnesota isn't a team that has the overall talent to make a run at the playoffs, but we are seeing that the Vikings will be back in the race relatively soon.

    They need to spend the offseason working to add talent at wide receiver and on defense. Once they do that, they'll be on course to becoming a playoff contender.

    Minnesota might not be a playoff contender now, but other teams better watch out—this team is talented enough to pull off a few upsets.

Atlanta Falcons

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    Odds: 70 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-0

    Update: Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense continues to produce. However, it was the defense that helped them beat the Denver Broncos.

    Mike Nolan has been an excellent defensive coordinator in this league for many years. Atlanta is getting credit for adding Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator, but they should get equal credit for adding Nola.

    The Atlanta Falcons don't play until Monday Night Football, so I'll update this slide when that game is complete. However, the Falcons were one of the more impressive teams in Week 1. Matt Ryan and the offense were firing on all cylinders.

    With the New Orleans Saints starting the season 0-2, Atlanta has an early leg up in the NFC South.

Carolina Panthers

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    Odds: 15 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Carolina Panthers didn't only notch an important win this weekend, they also helped push the New Orleans Saints to an 0-2 start. The Saints are one of the teams Carolina needs to compete with inside the division. With the Saints' poor start, the Panthers have a clearer path to the playoffs.

    More importantly, Cam Newton rebounded from his poor performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The better news might be that Carolina was able to establish a strong running game. Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined to produce 191 rushing yards.

    This team still has some areas that are a concern, but with Newton running the show, it has a realistic chance to make a playoff run.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Odds: 10 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers squandered a great opportunity to start the season 2-0 when they allowed the New York Giants to come back from a 14-point deficit. Tampa Bay had the defense to thank for that lead—and it to blame for allowing the Giants to come back. The secondary had a real tough time shutting down the Giants' passing attack.

    Eric Wright, Aqib Talib, Ronde Barber and Mark Barron allowed Eli Manning to pass for over 500 yards. This defense looked completely different from the group that held the Carolina Panthers to only 10 points. However, that game was a little deceiving, because it did allow Cam Newton to top the 300-yard mark.

    Tampa Bay did a great job collecting good young talent this offseason. The Bucs will be highly competitive all season but might be just a bit too young to compete in a tough division.

New Orleans Saints

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    Odds: 5 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 0-2

    The New Orleans Saints have now lost two games in which they were the more talented team. Drew Brees is struggling to take care of the football, as he has already thrown four interceptions.

    What's even more of a problem is the struggling defense. The New Orleans defense has allowed a total of 75 points in just two games. This included allowing Robert Griffin III to throw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in his first game as a pro.

    In the past, the Saints defense could count on Drew Brees bailing it out. However, Brees' struggles are now magnifying the issues on defense.

    It's hard to ignore the fact that this team looks a little lost without its leader, Sean Payton.

New England Patriots

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    Odds: 60 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    Losing to the Arizona Cardinals isn't something the New England Patriots expected to happen. The Patriots are far more talented, and of course they have Tom Brady. Starting the season 1-1 isn't a major issue. However, it's important that teams win the games they are expected to win. It's losses like these that come back to haunt you at the end of the season.

    It's concerning that the defense was only able to record one sack. The Cardinals offensive line isn't very talented, so the Patriots should've been able to take advantage of that weakness. This is what the Patriots can expect when they count on a rookie to generate most of the pressure.

    New England is still an extremely talented football team, and it's basically a lock to make the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills

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    Odds: 25 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    C.J. Spiller is finally showing the world why the Buffalo Bills made him such an early draft pick. His explosiveness is why the Bills were able to distance themselves from the Kansas City Chiefs. It's obvious that they're going to make him the focal point of the offense moving forward.

    Buffalo is going to need Spiller to continue to produce, because Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn't looked that sharp. He did avoid turnovers this past weekend, but he also missed a few open targets. This team has the overall talent to make a run at the playoffs, but it needs Fitzpatrick to become more consistent.

    The defense still has a few areas where it needs to improve. However, it was nice to see it generate such a strong pass rush. It's that pressure that will play a role in this defense getting better.

New York Jets

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    Odds: 10 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The New York Jets offense came back to earth this week against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Mark Sanchez and company were only able to tally 219 offensive yards. The passing game was a mess, as Sanchez only completed 10 passes for 138 yards.

    This is a football team that needs its defense to play well in order to win football games. The offense will continue to look more like the unit that struggled against the Steelers and not the group that played great against the Buffalo Bills.

    Things in New York will quickly become hostile if the Jets continue to play like they did this weekend.

Miami Dolphins

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    Odds: five percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The best news for the Miami Dolphins is the fact that Ryan Tannehill is already showing signs of improvement. His ability to avoid turnovers against the Oakland Raiders played a major role in their victory. The biggest thing for Tannehill is to treat every situation as a learning experience.

    Reggie Bush has quietly turned himself into a true running back. He still has a ton of explosiveness, but now he's running with more power. His ability to produce is going to be very important to Tannehill's development.

    Despite some promising signs, the Dolphins are nowhere near talented enough to make a playoff run. Tannehill is going to have plenty of games where he makes a lot of mistakes. It's just hard to consistently win games with such a raw rookie quarterback.

San Diego Chargers

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    Odds: 55 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 2-0

    The San Diego Chargers quickly rebounded from a poor performance in their first game against the Oakland Raiders, finally putting the ball in the end zone against the Tennessee Titans. This is an offensive unit that has a ton of talent. They'll score plenty of points this season.

    Another positive thing the Chargers have going this season is an extremely talented defense. This is a unit that has allowed a total of 24 points through the first two games. They are doing a good job rushing the passer, stuffing the run and creating turnovers.

    The play of this defense is what gives the Chargers an excellent chance of returning to the playoffs. San Diego can now survive a bad offensive performance and still win the game.

Denver Broncos

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    Odds: 35 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-0

    Update: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos' horrendous start is what doomed them on Monday Night. The three interceptions by Manning showed that he still has a long way to go before he's 100 percent back.

    The one good thing is that the Broncos defense did a good job against the Atlanta Falcons high-powered offense. If it wasn't for those turnovers, Atlanta wouldn't have come close to reaching its point total.

    Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos don't play until Monday night, so you'll see this slide updated after the game. However, they looked really impressive in their first game of the year. Manning appeared to get stronger as the game progressed. By the end of that game, Manning was dictating the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive alignments.

    The biggest thing for Denver to keep an eye on is the way the wide receivers develop a relationship with Manning.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Odds: 5 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 0-2

    The Kansas City Chiefs have struggled on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense. This unit has allowed 75 points in only two games. It's not just one area, as this week the run defense was exposed, while last week it was the secondary.

    Matt Cassel and the offense just aren't explosive enough to keep up with that type of point production. This is a team that's built to run the football, but it can't run that type of offense when it's playing from behind.

    Starting off the season 0-2 is bad enough, but the way the Chiefs are playing is even more disappointing. This team doesn't look close to being a team capable of making a playoff push.

Oakland Raiders

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    Odds: 5 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 0-2

    This season couldn't have started any worse for the Oakland Raiders. They lost a very ugly game in Week 1 and now have been beaten by the less talented Miami Dolphins. The Raiders should be 2-0, not 0-2. Carson Palmer and the offense are just struggling to put the ball in the end zone.

    Palmer has played pretty well to start off the season. He has been stuck playing without his full complement of receivers, which really limits the explosiveness of the offense. The one good thing is that Darren McFadden has been able to remain healthy.

    However, Oakland has dug itself a pretty deep hole. It's going to be tough for it to get back into the playoff picture.

Houston Texans

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    Odds: 80 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 2-0

    The Houston Texans defense has opened the season by smothering their opponents. They've held the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars to a combined 17 points. This defense does a great job rushing the passer, creating turnovers and stuffing the run.

    J.J. Watt is quickly becoming one of the better defensive players in the league. He has already recorded a total of three sacks to go along with his excellent run defense.

    Houston combines that top-notch defense with a great rushing attack. Arian Foster and Ben Tate combined to rush for 184 rushing yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The only thing that can stop the Texans is the health of quarterback Matt Schaub. If he can remain healthy, this is a team that has a realistic shot at the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Odds: 10 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Indianapolis Colts are going through a rebuilding process, but they could be back to contending rather quickly. Things are moving so fast because of the presence of Andrew Luck. This young quarterback is very talented and already helping the Colts win games.

    While the playoffs are likely out of reach, there's no reason this team can't end the season with only the Houston Texans ahead of it in the AFC South standings. Luck is already a better quarterback than Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert, which is why the Colts could have a better season than both the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The biggest thing keeping the Colts down is the play of the defense. This group just doesn't have enough talent to consistently play winning football. The defense will have some good showings, but it isn't good enough to help the Colts make a playoff appearance.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Odds: 5 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 0-2

    It appears the Jacksonville Jaguars are on their way to dealing with a lot of losses this season. They just don't have the players in key positions to compete for a playoff spot. Actually, they are going to struggle to top the five-win mark.

    A lot of the problems surround the play of QB Blaine Gabbert. In his first game, Gabbert looked like he had developed and improved his play. However, he was really terrible against the Houston Texans. Gabbert only completed seven passes while averaging a horrible 2.8 yards per attempt.

    Houston has a very strong defense, but Gabbert needs to do a better job making plays down the field. He can't just manage the game. Gabbert has a lot of growing to do before he can consistently help the Jaguars win games.

Tennessee Titans

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    Odds: 5 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 0-2

    The Tennessee Titans aren't just losing football games; they're getting pounded. They've lost their first two games by a combined total of 49 points. The biggest issue the Titans are dealing with is the lack of a rushing attack. This has put a lot of pressure on Jake Locker, who just isn't ready to carry a football team.

    In two games, Chris Johnson has rushed for a total of 21 yards. Tennessee isn't going to win any football games if Johnson continues to play so poorly. His struggles are a major factor in the Titans' lack of offensive consistency.

    The team isn't able to sustain drives, which puts the defense on the field a lot. That unit also hasn't played well, but it doesn't help to be on the field for 142 plays while opposing defenses have only been on the field for 101 snaps. This is a unit that's getting worn out.

Baltimore Ravens

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    Odds: 40 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    After the first game of the season, everyone was dubbing the Baltimore Ravens one of the best teams in the league. The fact that they followed that win against the Cincinnati Bengals with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles is disappointing. However, this loss doesn't do anything to hurt the Ravens' playoff chances.

    The Ravens should definitely be concerned with the lack of a pass rush, as it showed against the Eagles. Philadelphia was without its starting left tackle, and Baltimore was only able to bring down Michael Vick twice.

    Baltimore's offense might be more explosive this season, but it's still counting on the defense to play at a high level.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Odds: 35 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Pittsburgh Steelers rebounded nicely after losing to Peyton Manning in his debut with the Denver Broncos. Pittsburgh's defense played really well in its win against the New York Jets. It was able to hold the Jets to just 219 total yards.

    Ben Roethlisberger and the offense have enough talent to win a few games on their own, but they need the defense to play at a high level if they want a chance to play in the Super Bowl. The fact that the defense played so well with Troy Polamalu and James Harrison out of the lineup is a good sign.

    An area of concern is the rushing attack. Neither Jonathan Dwyer nor Isaac Redman has performed well this season. However, it looks like Rashard Mendenhall is only a few weeks away from returning.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Odds: 25 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 1-1

    The Cincinnati Bengals need to be a little concerned about the way their defense is playing. They were shredded by the Baltimore Ravens, and this week they allowed the Cleveland Browns to tally 439 total yards. There's enough pressure on Andy Dalton to perform, and it only increases if the defense continues to struggle.

    On a positive note, BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to run the ball very well. His play has the potential to ease some of that pressure on Dalton's shoulders. Green-Ellis might not be very explosive, but he does a great job moving the chains.

    Despite some struggles against the Ravens, Dalton has looked very good this season. He is making good decisions and still hooking up with A.J. Green.

Cleveland Browns

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    Odds: 0 percent chance to make the playoffs

    Record: 0-2

    The first week of the season was a disaster for the Cleveland Browns. Brandon Weeden's poor play raised a lot of concerns about his ability to play winning football. However, he really rebounded against the Cincinnati Bengals to show the talent that made him a first-round pick.

    Weeden was able to top the 300-yard mark and avoided throwing any interceptions. He was helped out a lot by fellow rookie Trent Richardson. The rookie running back looked very explosive and powerful. He not only rushed for over 100 yards but also contributed four catches and 36 receiving yards.

    Cleveland isn't a playoff contender, but games like this create optimism for the future. This franchise is putting the future in the hands of Weeden, and it needs him to play well.