NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Playoff Odds for Every Team

Marques EversollAnalyst INovember 20, 2012

NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Playoff Odds for Every Team

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    The playoff picture in Week 12 has plenty of familiar faces. But there are also a few unfamiliar ones as well.

    It's no surprise that the San Francisco 49ers, who played terrific on Monday night against the Chicago Bears, are in the playoff hunt. But who would have thought that the Indianapolis Colts, led by rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, under first-year head coach Greg Schiano, would be there as well.

    Both conference playoff races are beginning to take shape, as several teams compete for just a couple of spots.

    It's almost Thanksgiving, which means the NFL season is about to get really interesting.

    Here's a look at every team's updated playoff odds.

1. Houston Texans

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    Playoff Odds: 99.9 percent

    Record: 9-1

    The Jacksonville Jaguars gave Houston all it could handle on Sunday. But good teams find a way to win, and that’s what the Texans did.

    This team is headed for the playoffs and will likely be the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The AFC South, with Houston and Indianapolis, could produce two playoff teams.

2. Atlanta Falcons

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    Playoff Odds: 99.9 percent

    Record: 9-1

    Prior to Sunday when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw five interceptions and no touchdowns and still won, the last QB to accomplish that dubious feat was Bart Starr of the Green Bay Packers.

    Atlanta didn’t play well in defeating Arizona. But a win is a win for the Falcons, who still have the inside track on the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

3. San Francisco 49ers

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    Playoff Odds: 94 percent

    Record: 7-2-1 

    Following a disappointing tie at home against the St. Louis Rams, the 49ers faced the Chicago Bears in a Monday night matchup between two of the league’s best defenses.

    49ers quarterback Alex Smith was out with a concussion, but Colin Kaepernick filled in admirably, throwing for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It will be interesting to see which direction the 49ers go at quarterback entering the stretch run.

4. Green Bay Packers

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    Playoff Odds: 90 percent

    Record: 7-3

    After a disappointing 1-2 start, the Packers have their sights set on an NFC North title and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the team to a dramatic 24-20 win at Detroit on Sunday, which left the Packers tied with the Chicago Bears for the division lead.

    Green Bay holds the tiebreaker over Chicago, but the teams will face off in Chicago in mid-December. Regardless of which team wins the division, both the Packers (7-3) and Bears (7-3) should be headed to the playoffs.

5. Denver Broncos

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    Playoff Odds: 95 percent

    Record: 7-3

    The Broncos are 7-3 and already have swept the second-best team in the AFC West. So barring an unforeseen collapse, Denver is headed for the postseason.

    While the Houston Texans are 9-1 and have a clear path toward earning the No. 1 seed in the conference, an argument could be made that the Broncos are the best team in the AFC at the moment.

    Peyton Manning looks like Peyton Manning, and Von Miller may be the best defensive player in football. This is a dangerous team.

6. New England Patriots

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    Playoff Odds: 95 percent

    Record: 7-3

    Cheer up, Patriots fans. Although the team has lost Rob Gronkowski with a broken forearm, the Patriots are clearly headed for the playoffs. No one else in the AFC East (Buffalo, Miami or the Jets) is going to catch them.

    The Patriots have been unbeatable in the second half of the season under Bill Belichick, and that trend should continue. This is a playoff team.

7. Baltimore Ravens

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    Playoff Odds: 95 percent

    Record: 8-2

    The Ravens likely need to win only two of their final six games to make it to the postseason. There’s no doubt Baltimore will reach the playoffs, but it’s possible that the Pittsburgh Steelers win the AFC North. 

    Pittsburgh gave Baltimore everything it could handle on Sunday, even without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But the Ravens remain a complete team that is bound for the playoffs.

8. Chicago Bears

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    Playoff Odds: 80 percent

    Record: 7-3

    Chicago’s defense has been unbelievable this season. Despite getting shredded by Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers on Monday night, the unit will keep the Bears in the NFC playoff picture.

    The Packers and Bears are tied at 7-3 atop the NFC North. Since Green Bay has already beaten Chicago once, the Bears will likely need to beat the Packers at Soldier Field on December 16 if they have any hope of winning the division. Regardless, both teams appear headed for the playoffs.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Playoff Odds: 85 percent

    Record: 6-4 

    Backup quarterback Byron Leftwich almost led the Steelers to a victory over the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. But the Ravens prevailed, improving their record to 8-2 while the Steelers fell to 6-4.

    Pittsburgh needs Ben Roethlisberger to return from injury to make a run at the Ravens for the division title. But either way, the Steelers should find themselves in the postseason. As things stand, the Steelers and Colts are in the driver’s seat for the AFC wild-card berths.

10. New York Giants

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    Playoff Odds: 75 percent

    Record: 6-4

    Following their Week 11 bye, the Giants will host the red-hot Green Bay Packers this Sunday night. Everything was looking great for the defending Super Bowl champions when they were 6-2, but a two-game skid leaves them 6-4.

    The 5-5 Dallas Cowboys are just one game back in the NFC East race, so the Giants won’t be able to coast into the playoffs. But even if the Cowboys catch the Giants atop the division, the NFC East still has a chance to sneak two teams into the playoffs.

11. Seattle Seahawks

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    Playoff Odds: 50 percent

    Record: 6-4

    At 6-4, the Seahawks are the clear front-runners for the NFC’s final wild-card spot. With three of the four divisions with clear front-runners and the NFC North likely to produce two playoff teams, the final wild-card spot will likely come down to Seattle, Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans or Tampa Bay.

    Of those five teams, the Seahawks may have the easiest schedule. The Seahawks play at Miami, at Chicago, at home vs. Arizona and at Buffalo before home games against San Francisco and St. Louis to finish the season. Winning four of their final six games would likely punch their ticket to the playoffs.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Playoff Odds: 35 percent

    Record: 6-4

    Tampa Bay started out a disappointing 1-3, but the Bucs have battled back into playoff contention. Now  6-4, Tampa Bay controls its playoff destiny.

    The Bucs’ final six games are at home against Atlanta, at Denver, at home against the Eagles, at New Orleans, at home against the Rams and at Atlanta. Ten wins will likely be enough to get into the playoffs, but that won’t be easy with Tampa Bay’s schedule.

13. New Orleans Saints

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    Playoff Odds: 35 percent

    Record: 5-5

    Once upon a time, the Saints were 0-4 and appeared headed toward a frustrating season. But they have since won five of six games, improving their record to 5-5. 

    The defense may be historically bad, but Drew Brees remains one of the best quarterbacks in the game and the Saints are still a threat for the postseason. The Seahawks, Buccaneers and Vikings are all 6-4, but the Saints are still very much alive.

    If they find a way into the playoffs, they’ll be a tough out for the rest of the NFC.

14. Indianapolis Colts

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    Playoff Odds: 55 percent

    Record: 6-4

    Indianapolis is coming off an ugly performance against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. But the Colts have been the best underdog story of the 2012 season.

    The 6-4 Colts play three consecutive games against sub-.500 teams—Buffalo, Detroit and Tennessee. But of their final three games, two will be against the 9-1 Houston Texans.

    It will be a close finish in the AFC, but the Colts could make the postseason.

15. Dallas Cowboys

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    Playoff Odds: 30 percent

    Record: 5-5

    Despite the occasional struggles of Tony Romo, the Cowboys are only a few plays away from being 8-2. On the other hand, they're also a few plays away from being 2-8. So their 5-5 record seems about right.

    Dallas will likely need to go at least 4-2 in their final six games to make the playoffs. With the tough part of their schedule out of the way, the Cowboys aren't dead yet.

16. Minnesota Vikings

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    Playoff Odds: 25 percent

    Record: 6-4

    The Vikings got off to a surprising 4-1 start, but they're just 2-3 since. Following their Week 11 bye, they will travel to Chicago to play the 7-3 Bears.

    The Vikings remain in playoff contention. But among their remaining games, two are against the Packers and two are against the Bears. They also play the Texans in Houston.

    Minnesota could easily finish with a losing record.

17. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Playoff Odds: 42 percent

    Record: 5-5

    Cincinnati traveled to Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Sunday, and they did what they were supposed to do by getting the road win. Now back to .500, the Bengals could be peaking at the right time.

    Wide receiver A.J. Green has arguably been the league's best receiver, and Andy Dalton is coming off what may have been his best performance as a professional.

    This could be a dangerous team if it can can put together a winning streak. 

18. Detroit Lions

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    Playoff Odds: 9 percent

    Record: 4-6

    The Lions played well on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, but they weren't able to get the much-needed home win. As a result, the Lions will be fighting for their playoff lives on Thanksgiving against the Houston Texans.

    Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has not been the same this season, and this team faces an uphill battle to get back into playoff contention. Detroit took a huge step forward last season, but it is taking a giant leap backward in 2012.

19. San Diego Chargers

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    Playoff Odds: 10 percent

    Record: 4-6

    The Chargers are 4-6 and have been swept by the top team in the AFC West, meaning their hopes of  winning the division are pretty much gone.

    But San Diego still has a fighting chance to earn a wild-card spot. Indianapolis is the most likely candidate for the No. 6 seed in the conference. But teams like Cincinnati and San Diego could still contend for that spot. 

    San Diego still has hope...just not much.

20. Washington Redskins

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    Playoff Odds: 10 percent

    Record: 4-6

    The Redskins had one of their best games of the season on Sunday, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles with ease. Quarterback Robert Griffin III threw only one incomplete pass, as the Eagles had no answer for the Washington offense.

    But at 4-6, the Redskins may be out of playoff contention unless they win their final six games. Still, it's been a successful transition year under the rookie quarterback.

21. Arizona Cardinals

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    Playoff Odds: 7 percent

    Record: 4-6

    The Cardinals' defense intercepted Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan five times on Sunday, but Arizona still wasn't able to win. That's not a good sign for a team struggling to save its playoff hopes.

    Arizona has been solid defensively, and if it had a capable quarterback, it might be right in the thick of consideration for a wild-card spot. Instead, the Cardinals are likely one loss away from the end of their playoff hopes.

22. Buffalo Bills

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    Playoff Odds: 9 percent

    Record: 4-6

    Many people, myself included, expected a jump forward for the Buffalo Bills this season. But the defense has been a sieve and the offense is too one-dimensional.

    In their win over the Miami Dolphins, the Bills played exceptional defense and pulled even with the Jets and Dolphins for second place in the AFC East. But the Bills would likely need to run the table to make the playoffs.

23. Miami Dolphins

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    Playoff Odds: 8 percent

    Record: 4-6

    Just a few weeks ago, Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins were 4-3 and in the playoff conversation. But now the Dolphins are 4-6 and would be on the outside looking in if the postseason started today.

    Still, Tannehill has been impressive as a rookie, and the arrow is pointing up in Miami.

    Wide receiver Brian Hartline has taken a step forward, and the team finally seems to have direction under Joe Philbin.

24. Tennessee Titans

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    Playoff Odds: 3.01 percent

    Record: 4-6

    Tennessee's defense has been torched for much of the season. But at 4-6, the Titans aren't completely lifeless yet. If the Titans can string together a winning streak, they may keep their playoff hopes alive.

    But in all likelihood, this team isn't headed to the postseason. It's time to start looking to the offseason and the questionable future of Chris Johnson.

25. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Playoff Chances: 1 percent

    Record: 3-7

    The Eagles haven't been any better under Nick Foles than they were under Michael Vick. It will be interesting to see whether Philadelphia puts Vick back under center this season or whether the Eagles opt to get a closer look at Foles over the final six games.

    There's no way the Eagles are making the playoffs. Their season is all but over, much like head coach Andy Reid's tenure in Philadelphia.

26. New York Jets

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    Playoff Odds: 3 percent

    Record: 4-6

    The New York Jets just went to St. Louis and beat the Rams. Still, the 4-6 Jets have next to no chance of making the postseason.

    They lack offensive weapons, the offensive line is no longer elite and the Jets' quarterback position contains more question marks than any one position in league history.

    The Jets will stay in the news, but they'll continue to stay out of the win column.

    This team is done.

27. St. Louis Rams

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    Playoff Odds: 0.8 percent

    Record: 3-6-1

    Sam Bradford has looked a lot more like his 2010 form than his 2011 form this season, and that's a good thing for the Rams. However, at 3-6-1, St. Louis needs to start winning if it is going to complete one of the most unlikely playoff runs in history.

    The Rams will face questions regarding several key players this offseason. So it may be time to start focusing on those issues. The Rams are all but done in 2012.

28. Carolina Panthers

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    Playoff Odds: 0 percent

    Record: 2-8

    They're done. The Panthers will not be in the playoffs.

    Looking forward to the next few years, it will be interesting to see what management does with the head coaching job. Ron Rivera hasn't fixed the problems defensively, and it may be time to look elsewhere.

    This team has a few building blocks, but needs more talent to be a playoff-caliber team.

29. Oakland Raiders

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    Playoff Odds: 0 percent

    Record: 3-7

    It's over. The Raiders will not make the playoffs.

    It wasn't an overnight fix in Oakland. General manager Reggie McKenzie still has time to right the wrongs with the Raiders, and several key pieces are in place.

    If they have the opportunity to draft a young quarterback, it may be time to start looking for a replacement for Carson Palmer despite his improvement from last season.

30. Cleveland Browns

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    Playoff Odds: 0 percent

    Record: 2-8

    Sorry, Cleveland. The Browns will not be in the playoffs.

    But on the bright side, Cleveland's trio of rookies has been stellar. Quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Josh Gordon have given legitimacy to the Browns' offense.

    It will be interesting to see which faces fit into Cleveland's plans and who might be on his way out.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Playoff Odds: 0 percent

    Record: 1-9

    The Jags gave the Texans a tough game, but they're done.

    Without Maurice Jones-Drew, this isn't an explosive offense, and Jacksonville certainly will have an eye on the draft during the stretch run.

    There isn't much stability in the Jaguars' organization, so this team will be at a crossroads during the offseason.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Playoff Odds: 0 percent

    Record: 1-9

    The Chiefs are at the bottom of the totem pole. They're out of playoff contention.

    The only thing the Chiefs are in contention for is the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Kansas City would benefit greatly from earning the top pick because they are desperate for a young franchise quarterback.

    Neither Matt Cassel nor Brady Quinn is capable of being "the guy" for the Chiefs. This team needs a new face.