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2020 NFL Playoff Picture: Here are the projected postseason chances for all 32 teams heading into Week 15

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Don’t be surprised if the NFL playoff race gets a little crazy down the stretch and that’s because with just three weeks left to play, there are still nine spots up for grabs. 

Heading into Week 15, there have been a total of four teams that have punched their postseason ticket. The Steelers and Packers became the latest teams to clinch a spot and they’ll be joining the Chiefs and Saints, who clinched back in Week 13. 

Since you’re probably wondering who else is going to make the playoffs and where everyone’s going to be seeded, that’s where our projections come in. The projections here are based on data from number-cruncher Stephen Oh of SportsLine.com. Basically, Oh plugged some numbers into his SportsLine computer this week and simulated the rest of the NFL season, and using those numbers, we’re going to let you know the playoff chances for the 26 teams who are still alive, plus the projected 14-team playoff field. 

If your team has already been eliminated from playoff contention — I’m looking at you Jets, Jaguars Bengals, Falcons, Texans and Chargers fans — here’s a mock draft you can read to pass the time. Spoiler alert: That mock draft has three quarterbacks going with the top six picks. 

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Anyway, for everyone else, let’s get to the projections. 

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Note: Remember, this is a projection based on how we think the rest of the regular season will play out. If you want to see the current playoff standings, be sure to click here.

With that in mind, let’s get to the projections. 

AFC Playoff Projection

First team out: Dolphins (45.3% chance of getting into the playoffs)

Note: The first team out could end up making the playoffs. The NFL has approved a proposal that will expand the playoffs to 16 teams, but that will only happen if COVID-19 causes the cancellation of multiple regular season games that have a bearing on who might make the playoffs. 

Here’s a list of the playoff chances for all the other AFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Raiders (12.3%), Patriots (2.5%), Broncos (0.0%). 

Officially eliminated: Jets, Jaguars, Chargers, Bengals, Texans. 

Note II: The Broncos haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention, but they have a zero percent chance of making it because the computer hates them. Actually, the computer doesn’t love or hate, it has no feelings, it just doesn’t think there’s a mathematical chance for either team to make it. 

NFC Playoff Projection

First team out: Bears (21.4% chance of getting into the playoffs)

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Note: The first team out could end up making the playoffs. The NFL has approved a proposal that will expand the playoffs to 16 teams, but that will only happen if COVID-19 causes the cancellation of multiple regular season games over the final eight weeks of the season. 

Here’s a list of the playoff chances for all the other NFC teams (their percentage chances of getting into the playoffs is listed next to them in parentheses): Giants (21.4%), Vikings (16.7%), Eagles (11.2%), 49ers (6%), Lions (1.7%), Cowboys (1.3%), Panthers (0.0%).

Officially eliminated: Falcons.

Note II: The Eagles, Cowboys and Washington have a higher percentage than several other teams because the computer believes they have a better shot of winning the NFC East than most other NFC teams have of earning a wild-card berth. 

Wild-card round projection

AFC

(7) Ravens at (2) Steelers
(6) Browns at (3) Bills
(5) Colts at (4) Titans

Bye: Chiefs (Kansas City would host MIami in the wild-card round of a 16-team playoff)

NFC 

(7) Cardinals at (2) Saints
(6) Buccaneers at (3) Rams
(5) Seahawks at (4) Washington

Bye: Packers (Green Bay would host Chicago in in wild-card round of a 16-team playoff)


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