We used ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine to create probably the most unlikely 2019 playoff area


For baseball supporters, the annual unveiling of ESPN’s Playoff Machine is the maximum amount of of any occasion as Christmas or Thanksgiving.

The simulation allows users to pick winners and losers of the standard season’s outstanding activities and churns out a expected playoff area centered on win-loss files and tiebreakers.

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It’s a really of good use instrument for press and supporters, but it’s just like amusing to toy with the system to see what sort of wacky results it may produce. So that’s precisely what we did. The target was easy: develop probably the most statistically unlikely playoff area possible.


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The first order of business is trying to find ways to squeeze as much 2020 No. 1 draft choose challengers into the playoffs. In the AFC, the Bengals sit at 0-10 and the Dolphins (2-8) and Jets (3-7) may do number a lot better than tie the Patriots with nine wins on the season. Not really a ton going on here.

For the NFC, but, the doorway is a little more open. The Redskins, which own a conference-worst 1-9 record, still have a mathematical chance of attaining the playoffs this season. Exactly the same event also relates to the lowly Giants (2-8), Falcons (3-7), Buccaneers (3-7) and Cardinals (3-7-1).

We started by seeking to position as much recent non-playoff teams in the area and eliminate as much true playoff challengers as possible. These initiatives resulted in the Patriots, Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, Packers, Saints and Cowboys all missing the playoffs.

The ultimate playoff seedings according to the simulation are listed below with each team’s expected playoff record and ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight playoff probabilities.



1. Browns (10-6) — Mathematically talking, Cleveland can still meet its lofty preseason expectations. Because it currently stands, however, the Browns are 4-6 and three activities behind the Chiefs in the gain order for the No. 6 seed. The truth that Cleveland can still technically land the very best seed in the AFC is pretty remarkable. First-round bye possibility: <1%

2. Raiders (10-6) — The Raiders, meanwhile, are trending closer to playoff contention. Oakland is tied with the Chiefs in the loss order and has only one game against a group over .500 the remaining way, which can be Kansas Town on Dec. 1. First-round bye possibility: 2%

3. Bills (10-6) — What about a changing of the defend in the AFC East? The Bills path the Patriots by two activities but search the section of a playoff contender through the initial 10 games. The only issue is Buffalo has yet to overcome a successful team this season and its outstanding schedule functions the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers and Patriots. Playoff possibility: 72%

4. Texans (9-6-1) — The AFC South might get pretty busy down the stretch if the Texans stumble. Houston currently brings with a 7-4 record with the Colts (6-5), Titans (5-5) and even the Jaguars (4-6) not much behind. Houston and Tennessee will meet in weeks 15 and 17 for a pair of matchups that determine to go a long way in determining the division. Playoff possibility: 84%

5. Jaguars (9-6-1) — Shock, surprise. Despite falling two activities under .500 following beginning 4-4, Jacksonville isn’t finished. The Jaguars’ outstanding schedule is favorable, too, with four of the final six activities coming against teams below .500. Playoff possibility: 7%

6. Titans (9-6-1) — Function AFC South Takeover is detailed with the Titans rounding out the playoff subject, making the Patriots, Ravens and Chiefs among potential Super Dish challengers booking early vacations. I wouldn’t guess any money with this circumstance coming to fruition. Playoff possibility: 17%

Lacking out: Patriots (playoff skip possibility: <1%), Ravens (1%), Chiefs (8%), Colts (64%), Steelers (71%)

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