AccuScore: NFL Playoff Shifts Week 9

By Ernie Padaon
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Eli Manning might be the difference in the NFC East. The quarterback led the Giants to a superb win over the Patriots in the 4th quarter to push his team to 6-2. New York is now 70.5 percent likely to make the playoffs, and maintained favored status in the division at 54.5 percent. Philadelphia really needed to win on Monday Night to keep pace, but the loss to Chicago was very damaging. The Eagles lost 22.5 percentage points in playoff probability, most in the conference. Michael Vick and company now make the playoffs in just 16.5 percent of simulations. Dallas got a comfortable win over Seattle to remain in second place in the division. Washington is the one non-contender winning the division in just 1.6 percent of simulations.

The Packers continue to roll through all their opponents, and are halfway to 16-0. AccuScore projects that Green Bay has an eight percent chance to remain undefeated through the regular season. Detroit has about a 60 percent chance at the playoffs. That number would be higher, but Green Bay has such a strong hold on the projected division title that the Lions will have to get in as a Wild Card. The path will be the same for Chicago which is on a solid three game winning streak. The Bears gained 12.9 percentage points in probability this week, most in the NFC. They need to keep winning however to keep up with both Detroit and Green Bay. Minnesota’s playoff chances are almost down to 0.

New Orleans and Atlanta are heading towards a big game Sunday in Week 10. For now, the Saints are more likely for the playoffs at 86.1 percent while the Falcons project to make the postseason 54.7 percent of the time. Tampa Bay is 4-4, but is really not a contender having been outscored by 49 points on the year. The Bucs have just a 4.2 percent chance to win the NFC South. The Panthers’ playoff chances continue to march towards zero.

San Francisco is all the way up to 99.8 percent likely to win the NFC West. At 7-1, the Niners could actually clinch a playoff spot soon with a couple more wins. St. Louis, Seattle, and Arizona combined have just 5 wins and a 1.3 percent chance to make the playoffs.