Playoff Race Predictions Wk 12

Beginning this week, NFL Stats and NFL Forecast are teaming up to predict the playoff races for the 2007 NFL season. NFL Forecast offers a free a web/java-based program that calculates playoff probabilities for each team and for each possible playoff seeding based on individual game probabilities. Check out the java program here. For the rest of the season, NFL Forecast will be using the game outcome probabilities published here at NFL Stats as its official baseline. The resulting playoff chances will be published weekly at the NFL Forecast blog. (By the way, some of the java code is being updated, so be patient if some of the functions are temporarily disabled. But the blog site has all the final output based on the NFL Stats game probabilities.)

NFL Forecast's playoff prediction engine goes beyond wins and losses, and accounts for the complex NFL tiebreaker and seeding procedures that baffle many fans.

My personal observations of the current playoff predictions focus on the second NFL wildcard spot. (Scroll down past the division ranking probabilities to the AFC/NFC Playoff Seeding Probability tables). It appears totally up for grabs. DET is currently holding the spot at 6-5, but there are 7 teams right behind at 5-6. I was very surprised to see 5-6 MIN with a 46% chance to grab a playoff spot, while DET has only a 4% chance. More on the reasons for this later.

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