AccuScore : NFL Playoff Shifts Week 13

By Ernie Padaon
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The biggest gainer in the NFC is Detroit despite a fifth loss in seven weeks on Sunday. The Lions lost to New Orleans, but gained ground in the projected playoff race due to the losses by the Giants, Falcons, and Bears. They are now 48.4 percent likely for a playoff spot, up 8.6 percentage points from last week. Chicago is the biggest loser this week, falling 12.2 percentage points this week, and the Bears are down to 46.9 percent likely for a playoff spot and falling. The injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte have really dampened the outlook for the Bears, and have in turn boosted the Lions.

New York lost on Sunday and trails the other three teams in Wild Card contention (Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit) by a game, but the Giants still gained 7.8 percentage points this week. That is because NFC East leader, Dallas, also lost, keeping the Giants just a game back for the division. The Cowboys are still 72 percent likely to win the East, but a win in Arizona could have basically salted away a postseason berth. Now the Giants still win the division in 27.4 percent of simulations. Miraculously, a loss on Thursday night still didn’t knock Philadelphia completely out of the playoffs. The Eagles are not mathematically eliminated, but make the playoffs in just 1.1 percent of simulations.

Seattle and Arizona both got their fifth wins of the year and stayed alive for a Wild Card spot. Both would likely need to win out, but both made significant leaps this week. Seattle makes the playoff in 8.6 percent of simulations while Arizona does so 4.8 percent of the time. Atlanta is still a favorite for a Wild Card spot, but missed out on a golden opportunity to distance themselves after losing to a T.J. Yates led Houston team. The Falcons still make the playoffs nearly 70 percent of the time, but that is down nearly 8 percentage points compared to last week.