Biggest NFL Playoff Odds Movers: Week 6
With the Kansas City Chiefs falling to the Colts, only two unbeaten teams remain in the NFL in the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers. With those teams looking like near-locks to make the postseason, many others are seeing their odds dwindle.
There are still 12 weeks of the NFL season to play, but it is never too early to eye the playoffs. Let’s see which teams are soaring above expectations while others need to turn their seasons around. Here are the biggest playoff odds movers following Week 4, according to our models.
Indianapolis Colts (3-2)
Playoff Odds Movement: +21.3%
Week 5 Playoff Odds: 23.8%
Week 6 Playoff Odds: 45.1%
The Indianapolis Colts continue their improbably start to the season, picking off one of the few remaining unbeaten teams in the Chiefs. They did so on the back of Marlon Mack, as Jacoby Brissett only threw for 151 yards and a pick. Mack racked up 132 yards on the ground as the Colts milked the clock and depleted the chances of Patrick Mahomes beating them without some of his top weapons.
Marlon Mack consistently carved up the Chiefs defense on inside runs in the @Colts 19-13 win in Kansas City.@Marlon_Mack25 gained 100 of 132 yards on 20 inside runs behind a dominant Colts o-line, gaining an average of 1.1 yards before a defender closed in.#INDvsKC | #Colts pic.twitter.com/5eWopjfOwp
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 7, 2019
Because of Mack, Indianapolis now boasts the sixth-ranked rushing offense, averaging 0.11 Adjusted Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. With that level of efficiency, they could continue to pull off these upsets against top teams without putting too much on the shoulders of Brissett.
They are still tied with the Houston Texans for the division lead in the AFC South, something that will get sorted out in Week 6 when the two teams face off.
Green Bay Packers (4-1)
Playoff Odds Movement: +19.2%
Week 5 Playoff Odds: 63.3%
Week 6 Playoff Odds: 82.5%
Free Aaron Jones! With Jamaal Williams out with a concussion, the Green Bay Packers finally had to fulfill the dreams of every fantasy analyst in the industry. Jones racked up 26 touches for 182 total yards and four scores on the ground against the Dallas Cowboys, all of which were career-highs. He now ranks fifth in Rushing NEP per carry and second in Success Rate among running backs with at least 50 carries.
Aaron Jones waves goodbye to the #Cowboys, as he goes in for his 3rd TD of the daypic.twitter.com/csgB8PwDNU
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 6, 2019
That road win over Dallas moved the Packers to the fourth-best playoff odds in the NFL and can improve even more with a victory of the division rival Detroit Lions on Monday night. If they maintain their success on both sides of the ball, they'll be a lock for the playoffs sooner rather than later.
Oakland Raiders (3-2)
Playoff Odds Movement: +17.9%
Week 5 Playoff Odds: 12.9%
Week 6 Playoff Odds: 30.8%
The Oakland Raiders are clinging onto their playoff life after the Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers both dropped their Week 5 matchups. Meanwhile, the Raiders went across the pond and took down the Chicago Bears in London. They now boast a 30.8 percent playoff chance as they head into their bye to prepare for the Packers in Week 7.
This Raiders team has been extremely underrated, as they rank eighth in total offense with a 0.11 Adjusted NEP per play. Imagine how much more efficient they would have been with Antonio Brown.
They face a gauntlet coming out of their bye in the form of the Packers, Texans, Lions, and Chargers, so that stretch will be very telling of how good this Raiders squad truly is.
Chicago Bears (3-2)
Playoff Odds Movement: -25.4%
Week 5 Playoff Odds: 46.2%
Week 6 Playoff Odds: 20.8%
The biggest playoff slide comes from the Bears. While Chase Daniel may be an improvement over Mitchell Trubisky, this offense still ranks 30th in Adjusted NEP per play. They have Khalil Mack leading their elite defense, but you won't win many games without sustained drives on offense. It's even more difficult when your line can't block, as Chicago ranks 19th in adjusted sack rate on Football Outsiders after giving up four against the Raiders.
The Bears will have plenty of time to figure things out during their Week 6 bye prior to taking on the New Orleans Saints at home, but fixing an offense mid-season is never an easy task. They also have a tough stretch against the Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Lions, and Los Angeles Rams after their tilt with the Saints, meaning their playoff hopes could be dwindling.
Los Angeles Chargers (2-3)
Playoff Odds Movement: -19.7%
Week 5 Playoff Odds: 40.3%
Week 6 Playoff Odds: 20.6%
The Chargers are continuing their downward spiral, this time dropping a home matchup with the Denver Broncos. A once explosive offense and stout defense now rank outside the top-20 in both Adjusted NEP per play and Adjusted Defensive NEP per play.
The return of Melvin Gordon also did nothing for the offense, as he averaged a brutal -0.34 Rushing NEP per carry. They also didn't trust him in the passing game, as Austin Ekeler played nearly every third down and racked up 15 receptions.
LAC laughably went out of their way to get Melvin Gordon going in his 2019 debut. Ended up losing to the previously winless Broncos at home. https://t.co/F0yPzjskQ8
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 9, 2019
Philip Rivers posted his worst game of the season with a -0.31 Passing NEP per drop back. What makes matters worse is that he didn't even take a sack, meaning he struggled mightily from a clean pocket. The lack of weapons is clearly taking a toll on the veteran quarterback. If they don't get healthy soon, the Chargers might be watching the postseason from the couch.
Tennessee Titans (2-3)
Playoff Odds Movement: -19.5%
Week 5 Playoff Odds: 42.1%
Week 6 Playoff Odds: 22.6%
The Tennessee Titans looked fantastic against a banged-up Atlanta Falcons team, but then came back down to earth against a top-ranked Buffalo Bills defense. Marcus Mariota looked lost, completing 13 of 22 passes for 183 yards while taking five sacks.
Tennessee still ranks sixth in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play, but their offense has not been keeping up with the other side of the ball. This was likely a "make or break" season for Mariota, and he has certainly not been making it thus far.