During the past decade, 109 teams have won 10 or more games during the regular season. Of those 109, 102 (or 93.6 percent) made the NFL playoffs.
For that reason, we decided to scan the entire league and draw up a recipe for how each team can get to 10 wins, and thus a probable playoff appearance. Of course, because roughly 11 teams per season will reach the 10-win mark, we also included a more realistic outlook for 2018. Teams are ordered by my projected win totals for each team this season.
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How they can get to 10 wins: The last time the Patriots won fewer than 10 games was in 2002, and they went 11-5 the only season they missed the playoffs over the past 15 seasons. As long as Tom Brady is under center and Bill Belichick is calling the shots, New England won't have trouble hitting double digits for the 16th consecutive season.
Realistic expectations: New England will benefit from what is arguably the worst divisional competition it has faced during the Belichick/Brady era. The Jets, Bills and Dolphins are all bottom-10 -- if not bottom-five -- NFL teams. The unheralded but savvy additions of Danny Shelton, Adrian Clayborn and Jason McCourty will help solidify the defense and make New England the favorite for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
My projection: 12.4 | Vegas over/under: 11