Updated NFL Playoff Odds for Every Team After Week 5

Vincent Frank@VincentFrankNFLCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

Updated NFL Playoff Odds for Every Team After Week 5

0 of 32

    We are nearly a third of the way through the 2012 NFL regular season, but things don't seem to be clearing up in the postseason race outside of the AFC and NFC South. 

    The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons are the only remaining undefeated teams after the Arizona Cardinals laid an egg in St. Louis against the Rams.

    Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns have yet to win a game. 

    Here are the playoff odds for each of the 32 teams in the NFL. No, I am not going to give the Browns even a one-percent chance at earning a bid into the second season.

    Start 0-5 and expect more of the same! 

San Diego Chargers

1 of 32

    Record: 3-2

    Postseason Chances: 60 percent

    Sunday night's 31-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints was a downer for the San Diego Chargers. They needed to come away with a win over the previously winless New Orleans Saints to cement their status as the best in the AFC West.

    Following the Denver Broncos loss to the New England Patriots in the afternoon, the picking was ripe for San Diego to take a stranglehold on the division. 

    It just didn't happen. 

    This is a team that utterly confuses me. When on, they are among the best teams in the NFL. When off, they are barely mediocre. 

    It is this inconsistent effort that leads me to question whether San Diego will come up big when it counts the most. 



Denver Broncos

2 of 32

    Record: 2-3

    Postseason Chances: 40 percent

    The Denver Broncos simply couldn't stop the New England Patriots, who went for 35 first downs and nearly 450 yards in a 31-21 win. It doesn't matter how good Peyton Manning plays; if the Broncos don't get that defense sorted out, there are going to be major issues moving forward. 

    There is absolutely no reason to believe that Denver is out of the postseason race after just five weeks. It still has a quick-strike offense and a future Hall of Fame quarterback. It is the rest of the team—mostly the defense—that needs to step up. 

    If not, the Broncos could be looking at another 8-8 season. 

Oakland Raiders

3 of 32

    Record: 1-3

    Postseason Chances: 10 percent

    The Oakland Raiders had a much-needed bye after getting destroyed by the Denver Broncos last week. This is a team that is a complete and utter mess on both sides of the ball. 

    Darren McFadden still hasn't gotten it going and is on pace for just 804 rushing yards this season. Oakland needs its best player on offense to make a difference if it is going to be able to contend.

    Defensively, the Raiders are downright horrible right now. They have allowed nearly 1,400 total yards and 74 first downs over the last three games. 

    The road doesn't get any easier for Oakland, as it travels to the Georgia Dome to take on the undefeated Atlanta Falcons this upcoming week. 


Kansas City Chiefs

4 of 32

    Record: 1-4

    Postseason Chances: 10 percent 

    While Eric Winston was definitely right to attack the Kansas City Chiefs fans following their disgusting display in cheering the injury to Matt Cassel in Sunday's 9-6 loss to the Ravens, he needs to realize that the Chiefs are playing dreadful football right now. 

    Fans pay a lot of money to see a quality product and good effort. They are not getting that from Kansas City at this point. 

    Depending on the seriousness of Cassel's injury, it looks like Brady Quinn will take over at quarterback. In fact, he might have replaced Cassel even if the starter hadn't gone down to injury. 

    Kansas City has now turned the ball over 19 times in five games, with Cassel accounting for seven via the interception and a couple more on fumbles. This just isn't sustainable if Kansas City hopes to get back into the AFC West chase. 

    Right now, the chances of that happening are as bleak as Quinn all of a sudden looking like the Notre Dame golden boy he was seven years ago. 


Baltimore Ravens

5 of 32

    Record: 4-1

    Postseason Chances: 85 percent

    The Baltimore Ravens have been anything but perfect their last two games. After letting the Cleveland Browns stick around at home a couple weeks ago, Baltimore almost allowed a mistake-prone Kansas City team to win on Sunday before eventually prevailing 9-6. 

    Baltimore only had 15 first downs and less than 300 yards of total offense. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron continued to defy logic by putting the ball up 61 percent of the time despite Ray Rice gaining another 100 yards on the ground. 

    The Ravens' identity on offense has yet to be defined due to these play-calling issues. 

    Meanwhile, Baltimore's defense forced four turnovers and held Kansas City to 124 passing yards. Still, the Ravens weren't able to sack either Chiefs quarterback, proving that the loss of Terrell Suggs was as important as first imagined. 

    However, at 4-1, Baltimore is in good shape through five weeks. 

Cincinnati Bengals

6 of 32

    Record: 3-2

    Postseason Chances: 55 percent

    The Cincinnati Bengals threw away a golden opportunity to keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North on Sunday. They obviously have more talent than the Miami Dolphins, but they just were not able to put it all together Sunday in a 17-13 defeat.

    Instead, Andy Dalton clearly had his worst game of the season, throwing two interceptions, and A.J. Green wasn't able to break through against an undermanned Dolphins secondary. He did catch nine passes, but he only gained 65 yards. 

    Any hope of Cincinnati taking the division might have gone down the drain Sunday. They are essentially two games behind Baltimore after losing to the Ravens in the season opener. 

    A wild-card berth, however, is more than likely here. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

7 of 32

    Record: 2-2

    Postseason Chances: 55 percent

    Coming off their bye, the Pittsburgh Steelers earned a much-needed win Sunday, rebounding from a disastrous loss to the Oakland Raiders two weeks ago by edging the Philadelphia Eagles, 16-14.

    It wasn't pretty, but the Steelers showed a tremendous amount of resolve. 

    Ben Roethlisberger wasn't sacked once and had time to find receivers on the outside. Equally as important, Rashard Mendenhall proved his worth in his 2012 debut. Give the Steelers more balance on offense, and they are going to be dangerous.

    Defensively, it was another stout performance. They forced two Michael Vick fumbles and held LeSean McCoy to less than 60 yards on the ground. With a defense like this, you don't need to put up 30-plus points every game. 

Cleveland Browns

8 of 32

    Record: 0-5

    Postseason Chances: Zero percent

    The Cleveland Browns were able to stay competitive for about half of their road game against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants before falling 41-27.

    This represents the fifth straight game in which Cleveland competed pretty well against superior competition. 

    The results? An 0-5 record and absolutely no shot at earning a postseason berth. 

    Brandon Weeden may be on pace to eclipse 4,000 passing yards, but he has also thrown a league-high nine interceptions through five games. With the Browns' lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball, that just isn't acceptable. 

    Meanwhile, Trent Richardson racked up over 100 total yards once again and is on pace for more than 1,500 total yards in his rookie season. At the very least, Cleveland has a solid building block right there. 

    Once again, Cleveland appears to be in the midst of another long, drawn-out rebuilding process. 


Houston Texans

9 of 32

    Record: 4-0

    Postseason Chances: 95 percent

    The Houston Texans take on the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. This will be updated once that game is finished. 

Indianapolis Colts

10 of 32

    Record: 2-2

    Postseason Chances: 35 percent

    In my weekly preview of the AFC South, I noted that the Indianapolis Colts would hang tough with the Green Bay Packers. Not in my wildest imagination, however, did I believe they would actually pull off a win against Aaron Rodgers and company. 

    While some will conclude that Indianapolis was playing inspired football for its leukemia-stricken head coach Chuck Pagano, it must be noted that the Colts have been extremely competitive on a consistent basis all season. 

    Andrew Luck had the best game of his short career, leading Indianapolis to a stunning second-half comeback against a superior opponent and a 30-27 win. For all intents and purposes, Luck is the perfect example of what you want from a No. 1 pick. In just four games, he has dramatically sped up this franchise's rebuilding process.

    While they are not true postseason contenders, there is no reason to believe that the Colts can't flirt with a .500 record. At the least, they are clearly the second-best team in the AFC South. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

11 of 32

    Record: 1-4

    Postseason Chances: Five percent

    Boy, did the Jacksonville Jaguars offense regress a great deal this week. Of course, it didn't help that they were going up against an elite Chicago Bears defense, but it was ugly. 

    Blaine Gabbert threw for just 142 yards on 33 attempts while being intercepted twice in the 41-3 loss. Jacksonville has now been outscored by 75 points in three home games this season. That's not what you call protecting your home field. 

    More importantly, the Jaguars defense is downright anemic. The unit has given up more 1,300 yards and 69 first downs the last three weeks. 

    At this point, Jacksonville isn't even competitive. Look for that to continue with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans among their next five opponents. 


Tennessee Titans

12 of 32

    Record: 1-4

    Postseason Chances: Five percent

    Talk about lying down. I don't even know where to begin as it relates to the Tennessee Titans, who fell 30-7 to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. They have now been outscored 68-21 in two games since their overtime victory over the Detroit Lions a couple weeks back. 

    Matt Hasselbeck struggled in his first start since Jake Locker went down to injury last week. Chris Johnson couldn't follow up a stellar performance against the Houston Texans the week prior. He went for 29 yards on 16 touches. 

    Meanwhile, the Titans defense continues to get run over. They have now given up at least 30 points in each of their first five games and are allowing a league-high 36 points per game. 

    This team isn't even competitive at this point, and it doesn't look like the Titans have any hope of that changing anytime soon. That's sad to see, considering they came into 2012 with postseason expectations. 


New England Patriots

13 of 32

    Record: 3-2

    Postseason Chances: 90 percent

    When was the last time the New England Patriots rushed for more than 200 yards in consecutive games? My answer is pure conjecture and without doing research, but it has to be when Curtis Martin was running roughshod out of the backfield. 

    If the Patriots offense can maintain this type of balance, no other team in the AFC has a chance to dethrone them as conference champions. 

    More importantly, New England's defense seems to have righted the ship following a couple questionable outings. In Sunday's 31-21 win over the Broncos, Peyton Manning and company did gain more than 400 yards, but they turned the ball over three times.

    It is this type of opportunistic defense that New England needs since it doesn't have a ton of talent on that side of the ball. 

    Look for the Patriots to continue their run over the next four games against the Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins. Heck, New England might end up being 7-2 when they go into what promises to be a huge game against the Houston Texans in mid-December. 

    Regardless, the Patriots are clear favorites in what has quickly become a weak AFC East.

New York Jets

14 of 32

    Record: 2-2

    Postseason Chances: 15 percent

    The New York Jets take on the Houston Texans on Monday night. This will be updated once that game is finished.

Miami Dolphins

15 of 32

    Record: 2-3

    Postseason Chances: 25 percent

    The Miami Dolphins could easily be 4-1. Following a blowout loss to the Houston Texans in the season opener, Miami has maintained a fairly good level of play over the last four games. 

    None was more impressive than their 17-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Ryan Tannehill continued his strong play by managing the offense and not turning the ball over. While the 2012 first-round pick didn't throw a touchdown, he did lead a couple impressive drives. 

    Equally as important, Miami's defense came to play against a dynamic Cincinnati offense. The Dolphins  held the Bengals to just one score in their final 10 drives, forcing three turnovers in the process. 

    Miami might actually be the second-best team in what has to be considered a weak AFC East. With that in mind, the Dolphins could record a few more wins over the next five games, as they will face such lackluster teams as the New York Jets, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills during that span. 

    A 7-4 record certainly isn't out of the question going into Miami's early December matchup with the New England Patriots. This is definitely a team to keep an eye on. 

Buffalo Bills

16 of 32

    Record: 2-3

    Postseason Chances: 15 percent

    What an embarrassing performance by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. I could care less that they were going against an elite San Francisco 49ers team. Buffalo completely laid down and looked like a JV team going up against the Alabama Crimson Tide in a 45-3 defeat. 

    It was a disaster from the outset. More alarming than the yards and points that Buffalo has given up over  the last six games, the Bills just don't seem to care.

    Those may be harsh words, but fans deserve a better performance than what we have seen from Buffalo the last two weeks. You simply don't see defenses yield more than 600 yards of total offense in the NFL. That is usually reserved for Friday Night Lights. 

    I am at a loss for words here. Things need to change, and quickly. Otherwise, some coaches will be getting their walking papers. Looking at you, defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt. 

San Francisco 49ers

17 of 32

    Record: 4-1

    Postseason Chances: 90 percent

    Well, you don't see that every day. The San Francisco 49ers on Sunday became the first team in NFL history to pass and rush for 300 yards in the same game. Additionally, they broke a single-game franchise record with 621 total yards. 

    It really doesn't matter who San Francisco was playing, either. While the Buffalo Bills are in the midst of one of the worst defensive stretches in the modern history of the league, they are still an NFL team. As I noted in the Buffalo's slide, this was like a top-tier college program going up against a JV squad. 

    San Francisco has outscored its last two opponents by a combined score of 79-3. Needless to say, Jim Harbaugh and company took note following their disastrous performance against the Minnesota Vikings a few weeks back. 

    Defensively, the 49ers have allowed 19 first downs, less than 350 yards and three points during this amazing two-game stretch. 

    If the 49ers offense continues to excel, there is no team in the NFL that stands a chance against them. Now, they need to show up against better defenses, beginning next week against the New York Giants.

Arizona Cardinals

18 of 32

    Record: 4-1

    Postseason Chances: 50 percent

    Who are the real Arizona Cardinals? The team that won its first four games? Or the team that lost to the St. Louis Rams 17-3 on Sunday and allowed Kevin Kolb to be sacked nine times? 

    We will get an answer in relatively short order. Following what should be a win next week against the Buffalo Bills, the Cardinals will face a tough stretch of four games against the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. 

    Check back toward the end of November, when we will have a better gauge about whether the Cardinals are a legitimate playoff contender. 

    As it is, I couldn't be more surprised by their 4-1 start. This is a team that seems to be playing "team football" on both sides of the ball. How well they are able to protect Kolb will determine how they fare from here.

    Update: It is being reported that starting running back Ryan Williams will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. 

St. Louis Rams

19 of 32

    Record: 3-2

    Postseason Chances: 25 percent

    There is no doubt in my mind that these St. Louis Rams are for real. After Sunday's 17-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals, they have now beaten two consecutive NFC West teams in impressive fashion, clearly cementing their status as one of the most improved teams in the NFL. 

    Sam Bradford might not be lighting the world on fire, but he is managing the game well at this point. Meanwhile, the Rams defense is one of the hardest-hitting and most opportunistic units in the league. 

    I just wonder if this type of success is sustainable with Bradford possessing a 78 quarterback rating and Steven Jackson on pace for fewer than than 1,000 rushing yards. 

    Additionally, it appears that top receiver Danny Amendola is going to miss substantial time after dislocating his clavicle in what could have been a "life-threatening injury." 

Seattle Seahawks

20 of 32

    Record: 3-2

    Postseason Chances: 20 percent

    The Seattle Seahawks finally showed up and won a game on the road Sunday, defeating the free-falling Carolina Panthers 16-12 after losing 13 of 18 away from the Pacific Northwest since the start of the Pete Carroll era. 

    It wasn't pretty, as Russell Wilson continues to make rookie mistakes, but the Gus Bradley-led Seattle defense allowed less than 200 yards and sacked the elusive Cam Newton four times. 

    All Seattle needs is average play from Wilson and the offense. If that happens, the Seahawks will be in good position to vie for a postseason berth. 

    The obstacles are a brutally good NFC West, specifically the San Francisco 49ers, who stand between the Seahawks and a division crown. 

Chicago Bears

21 of 32

    Record: 4-1

    Postseason Chances: 70 percent

    If it weren't for the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears would be making a great deal of headlines. They have played exceptional football the last two weeks. 

    Just think about this for a second. Chicago has outscored its last two opponents 75-21 and forced a ridiculous eight turnovers. Moreover, Chicago's defense has scored four touchdowns in those two games, which yielded seven more points than it has allowed. 

    Simply amazing. 

    More important and slightly less expected is the play of Chicago's offense. It had more than 500 yards and 26 first downs in Sunday's 41-3 win over Jacksonville Jaguars. 

    Don't look now, but the Bears are definitely a top contender in the NFC. 


Minnesota Vikings

22 of 32

    Record: 4-1

    Postseason Chances: 45 percent

    As expected, the Minnesota Vikings took care of a bad Tennessee Titans team on Sunday. The simple fact that I used the term "as expected" indicates how much this team has improved since its three-win season in 2011. 

    Percy Harvin had eight receptions for 108 yards and a score in the 30-7 throttling of Tennessee on Sunday. The talented young receiver is now on pace for 126 receptions and more than 1,300 yards, seemingly putting himself into the early-season MVP conversation. 

    While Christian Ponder did throw his first two interceptions, he continues to excel beyond any previously set expectations as a much-improved sophomore. 

    Meanwhile, Minnesota's defense has to be considered one of the most underrated in the NFL. 

    This combination has led the Vikings to the top of the NFC North through five weeks. There are no indications that they are going to fade, either.

    The one thing stopping me from giving Minnesota a higher percentage is the difficulty of its remaining schedule and the fact that it plays in the highly competitive NFC North. 


Green Bay Packers

23 of 32

    Record: 2-3

    Postseason Chances: 40 percent

    Take notice. This Green Bay Packers team just isn't playing good football. They let a huge halftime lead slip away Sunday in a 30-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. That has to be considered one of the biggest upsets of the season. 

    Aaron Rodgers struggled down the stretch, and Green Bay's defense could do nothing to stop Andrew Luck in the passing game. The Packers have a tremendous number of issues on both sides of the ball. 

    Adding fuel to the speculation that Green Bay may miss the postseason is the difficulty of its schedule. The Packers have seven games remaining against teams that are currently above .500. 

    Still, you can never discount the talent that Green Bay possesses. If the Packers get it rolling, there is no reason to believe they can't run off a big winning streak. 


Detroit Lions

24 of 32

    Record: 1-3

    Postseason Chances: 15 percent

    The Detroit Lions couldn't have had a worse bye week. They lost ground to both the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears in the NFC North. This means that Detroit is 2.5 games behind the top two teams in the division. 

    They simply couldn't afford to fall too far behind in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. More importantly, there is no reason to believe that nine wins will earn them a postseason berth. Anything short of a 9-3 finish to the season will probably leave Detroit on the outside looking in. 

    Matthew Stafford just isn't the same quarterback we saw last season. He is struggling with accuracy, field awareness and confidence in the pocket. If that doesn't change in short order, Detroit's season could be over by November. 


Atlanta Falcons

25 of 32

    Record: 5-0

    Postseason Chances: 95 percent

    Matt Ryan and company haven't played extremely good football the last two games. In fact, it took fourth-quarter scores to win against the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins, teams that elite clubs should handle with relative ease.

    That being said, Atlanta is still one of the top teams in the NFL. Ryan is definitely an early MVP candidate, and the Falcons defense has been one of the league's most improved units. 

    One thing that should concern Atlanta is that it will most likely have the NFC South wrapped up by Thanksgiving. This could lead to complacency down the stretch, which happens at times.

    If so, Atlanta could kick away home-field advantage in the postseason. The Falcons need to keep the proverbial pedal to the metal. 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

26 of 32

    Record: 1-3

    Postseason Chances: Five percent

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers couldn't have had their bye at a better time. Their last three games had resulted in losses by a combined 15 points. While Tampa is much more competitive than last season, it has still lost 13 of its last 14 games. 

    It is one thing to earn moral victories. It is another to win on a consistent basis.

    Josh Freeman and company haven't reached that point yet. Instead, they continue to struggle when it counts the most.

    The talent is definitely there. It is now up to this young team to play at a more consistent level over four quarters.

    Either way, there is little hope of a postseason berth here.


Carolina Panthers

27 of 32

    Record: 1-4

    Postseason Chances: Five percent

    Is Cam Newton a leader? This is a question that would have been considered ridiculous five short weeks ago, but it now has merit.

    As with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, consistency has been a major issue for this young Carolina Panthers team. They recorded fewer than 200 total yards in Sunday's 16-12 loss to Seattle, which has one of the best defenses in the NFL. This comes after a late-game meltdown against the Atlanta Falcons a week prior. 

    It seems that Newton and company follow up solid performances by laying eggs the following week. This has been repeated over and over again in 2012. 

    At 1-4, the Panthers have little hope of even contending for a playoff spot. That reality seems to have set in. 


New Orleans Saints

28 of 32

    Record: 1-4

    Postseason Chances: Five percent

    Big, big win for the New Orleans Saints over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night. A loss and their season would have been over the first week in October. As it stands, New Orleans likely isn't going to make the postseason in 2012. 

    As I mentioned with the Detroit Lions, 10 wins is probably the cutoff to make the playoffs in the NFC. This means that New Orleans has to go 9-2 in its final 11 games to even stand a chance. If any one-win team can do that, it is definitely the Saints. 

    That being said, they are up against it, even after a record-setting performance by Drew Brees in Sunday's 31-24 win.



Philadelphia Eagles

29 of 32

    Record: 3-2

    Postseason Chances: 45 percent

    Michael Vick avoided an interception for the second consecutive week, but he did lose two fumbles in the Philadelphia Eagles' closely fought, 16-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

    The Eagles are definitely playing better football than earlier in the season, mostly on defense. Philadelphia also remains in first place in the NFC East, which would seem to indicate that Vick and company should be considered favorites in what is a tough division. 

    Defense is what's going to get Philadelphia to the postseason. The Eagles are much better tackling team than a year ago, and they can fly to the football.

    If they can avoid turnovers, the Eagles are one dangerous team.

New York Giants

30 of 32

    Record: 3-2

    Postseason Chances: 50 percent

    "Consistently good" is a term that I think best defines the New York Giants through five weeks. They haven't been spectacular, but New York just seems to understand how to play solid team football. 

    Eli Manning is continuing what has been a dynamic 2012 season. It also appears that the Giants have started to get their running game going. If they continue to get consistent yardage on the ground, their offense is going to be incredibly hard to stop. 

    With that in mind, the NFC East will probably be a one-bid division when the playoffs roll around, with the two likely wild-card teams coming from the NFC West and NFC North. This means that the division games are that much more important. 

    In Week 6, however, New York has to travel to Candlestick to take on the San Francisco 49ers, one of the hottest teams in the NFL, in a rematch of January's NFC Championship Game. 


Dallas Cowboys

31 of 32

    Record: 2-2

    Postseason Chances: 25 percent

    Imagine this: The Dallas Cowboys' major issue thus far has been the offense. Tony Romo's five interceptions against the Chicago Bears last Monday night has received a great deal of media attention, but he isn't getting much help. 

    Wide receiver Dez Bryant continues to struggle in nearly every aspect of the game. The Cowboys offensive line is mediocre at best, and they aren't getting much help in the run game, either. 

    Despite all this, Dallas is just a half-game out of the NFC East lead through five weeks. The Cowboys still have time to right the ship.


Washington Redskins

32 of 32

    Record: 2-3

    Postseason Chances: 15 percent

    The Washington Redskins have been in every game they have played, consistently looking the part of an improved football team. 

    Robert Griffin III seems to be the primary reason for this. Despite suffering a concussion in Sunday's 24-17 loss to Atlanta, the rookie should be ready to go when Washington plays host to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6. The Redskins are just a completely different team with him on the field. 

    Again, however, their chances are relatively low to earn a postseason berth due to the competition in the NFC East. 


    All statistics provided by ESPN

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