NFC and AFC Playoff Probabilities: Final Take
With one week to play in the NFL season, we finally know the teams who will comprise the NFC playoff picture...whew! Knowing the teams doesn't sap all the drama from the conference however. The Eagles have the most to gain or lose with their week 16 match up against Dallas. They'll either have a home field playoff game and a bye, or they'll be a wild card entrant. That's a big mozza ball for Philly.
The Packers are most likely to hold on to their #5 seed, and the Cardinals are most likely to be the #4 seed. This calculation is based upon the probability the Vikings will beat the Giants (in Minnesota) on Sunday. If the Vikings win, the Cardinals can do no better or worse than 4th...which means the Packers would likely see a heavy dose of Matt Leinart instead of Kurt Warner. Because the Vikings play the early game, the Cardinals will understand their position before kickoff against the Packers.
The playoff probability chart below presents the probabilities a team will win each playoff spot. All future unplayed games are assumed won/lost with a probability based upon relative team strengths.
Analyzing the playoff picture will give you an ulcer...so grab a glass of milk before you dive too far in to it. The top four teams are locks, but after that, it's thunderdome.