With only two weeks of the regular season left, the NFL playoff picture has really come into focus. In Week 16, a number of teams will have a chance to punch their tickets for the postseason. Other teams have a strong chance to set up "extra playoffs."
By "extra playoffs," I mean Week 17 games that effectively serve as playoff games: Winner is in, loser goes home. Right now there are two situations that could set up as do-or-die games for the final Sunday of the season: Houston at Tennessee for the AFC South title, and Green Bay at Detroit for the NFC North title. One of these two games will likely be flexed into the prime-time slot as the final game of the 2016 regular season.
The odds of these matchups becoming do-or-die games are explored below, along with playoff odds for the 22 teams that still have a chance to make the postseason. This week, we're adding in each team's chance of winning Super Bowl LI. For a full explanation on how we calculate each team's playoff odds, see the bottom of the article.
AFC PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS
1. New England Patriots (12-2)
Clinched AFC East, first-round bye | Odds of Super Bowl win: 23.4 percent
The Patriots have sewn up a first-round bye, and they get the No. 1 seed in 86 percent of our simulations. The Raiders would win the tiebreaker if they can win their last two games while the Patriots go 1-1. (The Week 4 loss to Buffalo in which the Patriots started an injured Jacoby Brissett at quarterback would end up costing them because Oakland is undefeated against common opponents.) However, it's very unlikely that the Patriots will lose to the Jets or to a Miami team led by backup quarterback Matt Moore. And even if they do, the Raiders have to beat the Colts and then beat the Broncos in Denver. So in 68 percent of simulations in which the Patriots lose one of their last two games, the Raiders lose at least one game, as well.
2. Oakland Raiders (11-3)
Clinched playoff spot | Odds of Super Bowl win: 9.1 percent
The Raiders have officially ended their 14-year playoff drought, and the next goal is to win the AFC West title. The Chiefs made that a lot easier by losing to Tennessee, but the Raiders haven't sewn up the division just yet. Right now, the Raiders win the AFC West in 69 percent of our simulations: 31 percent in which they win the last two games to finish 13-3, 34 percent in which they lose a game but Kansas City does as well, and 4 percent in which both teams shockingly lose their final two games and the Raiders win the division at 11-5.