AccuScore: NFL Playoff Shifts Week 12

By Ernie Padaon
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The NFC playoff picture is much clearer than in the AFC. San Francisco and Green Bay are both locks according to AccuScore simulations, and the only thing to play for is home field and history. The Niners still have an outside shot of catching Green Bay for the top seed, but if not, should still earn a bye. The Packers are 11-0 and have a 32.1 percent chance of going undefeated.

The Saints and Cowboys are big-time favorites to win the South and East respectively, each at over 77 percent. New Orleans is almost a near-lock to reach the playoffs at 98.1 percent even if it were to be caught by Atlanta for the division lead. The Falcons are significant favorites for one Wild Card spot, gaining a whopping 27.4 percentage points this week after winning their second straight game. They are making the playoffs in 76.7 percent of simulations. The Bears hold the edge for the other Wild Card spot at 59.2 percent. That is the only route into the postseason for Chicago because Green Bay already has the division locked up.

Detroit and New York are the only real challengers for either Wild Card spot. The Lions reach the playoffs 39.7 percent of the time, while the Giants are projected to do so 33.2 percent of the time. New York got absolutely lit up by New Orleans on Monday night, causing a huge 29.2 percentage point drop in probability. The other eight teams in the NFC all have between two and four wins. Philadelphia is the only longshot with any kind of chance because the division lead is still within three games of the Eagles. The Eagles have a 2.4 percent chance to miraculously win the East and a 4.2 percent shot overall at the postseason.