NFL Playoffs: Each Team's Postseason Probability Prior to the Season

Going into an NFL season, predicting playoff teams is tough. What did our algorithm think would go down this year?

Despite the fact that we see a lot of the same teams in the NFL playoffs each year, there's also a good bit of turnover. And that makes predicting the NFL playoffs each year difficult.

This season was no different, especially when you consider the injuries sustained to big-time players and the breakouts by first-year guys. Combine that with a small-sampled, 16-game schedule, and you're bound for some variance.

If you're curious, here's a quick look at the playoff probabilities our algorithm assigned to each playoff team entering the 2016 season. For reference,

Team Preseason Playoff Probability NFL Rank
Seattle Seahawks 71.10% 1st
New England Patriots 65.40% 3rd
Pittsburgh Steelers 63.50% 4th
Kansas City Chiefs 59.60% 6th
Green Bay Packers 57.50% 7th
Houston Texans 53.40% 10th
New York Giants 33.80% 15th
Detroit Lions 31.50% 17th
Oakland Raiders 25.80% 23rd
Atlanta Falcons 25.40% 24th
Dallas Cowboys 22.80% 25th
Miami Dolphins 18.20% 28th

Overall, the teams that our model was high on entering the season that failed to make the playoffs include the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, and Denver Broncos.

On the flip side, the algorithm didn't love the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins. Currently, the Falcons and Cowboys rank second and third, respectively, in our power rankings.