Last season, 5 of the 15 teams that started the season 2-2 made. This falls right in line with the historical average of around 36%. This year, there are only 7 teams that are 2-2 at the moment, with the possibility of 9 if the Redskins and Panthers lose. What this means is that 2 or 3 of these teams are likely to make the playoffs, so below you will find rankings of the teams likelihoods and a percentage of each teams chance to make the playoffs!
Tier 1: Almost Surely
1. New England Patriots
The Patriots were not going to start 1-3, no matter how hot the Dolphins were going in. With the Bills and Jets showing no signs of being a contender for the division title, it’s a two horse race, and we saw which team was clearly superior last week. No way the Dolphins maintain that 1 win lead with a Brady-led unit that seems to have found its groove
OVERALL CHANCE: 95%
Tier 2: Pretty Good Chance
2. Denver Broncos
The Broncos were painfully close to winning on Monday. A better throw by Keenum to a wide open Thomas and we’re potentially putting the Broncos in the top 5 NFL teams. The defense looks as potent as ever, with the pass rushing tandem of Miller and Chubb being nightmare fuel for opposing quarterbacks. The offense is the best it’s been since Manning’s record breaking season. If Keenum can cut back on the turnovers, which I believe he can, this team has a very real shot at a wild card spot, and maybe even a division title if the Chiefs cool off.
OVERALL CHANCE: 65%
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have not looked good thus far. Both of their wins have been close and both of their loses were to teams they should have beaten. Despite this, they have two major things going for them. One is a weak division. Alex Smith is a game manager, and the Redskins lack the true skill outside of their o-line. The Cowboys offense is insanely reliant upon Zeke without a defense that can support that kind of play. The Giants continue to play with a rapidly regressing quarterback without any semblance of an offensive line. The division is the Eagles for the taking if Wentz can return to his dominant self that we saw last year. The second thing the Eagles have going for them is their head coach. Peterson is one of the more creative minds in the league, and as we see with the Patriots every year, it often takes great coaches a month to see their teams true strengths and weaknesses to improve upon them. Expect the Eagles to at least be in the hunt for the division if not already having it secured.
OVERALL CHANCE: 65%
4. Los Angeles Chargers
The Charger’s only two loses have come at the hands of the only undefeated teams in the league. Their offense is playing at a very high level, with Melvin Gordon playing Todd Gurley and Rivers playing as well as ever. The defense is somewhat of a concern (giving up 27 to a Garoppolo-less 49ers is unacceptable), but the unit should improve once Bosa is able to return, and the firepower of this offense alone may be enough to get this team into the playoff picture in a weak AFC.
OVERALL CHANCE: 55%
Tier 3: I Don’t Know About That Chief
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fitzmagic has officially ended (for now). That likely means the up-and-downs will flatten out into more consistent play under the watch of Winston. Fitzpatrick was able to highlight the maximum and the minimum potential of this team. There is no defense to speak of, so it’ll be up to the offense to carry this team. This receiving core is the best in the league, but without a great running back, it will be difficult for the team to keep up the great play. Is there a world where the Bucs make the playoffs, of course. But in one of the most talented divisions in football, it will be difficult for them to play like they did in the first two weeks.
OVERALL CHANCE: 20%
6. Dallas Cowboys
What on earth has happened to Dak Prescott? He looked like the next GOAT his rookie year, but has fallen to below-average these last two seasons. The offense has ground to a standstill, with the o-line that once carried this team looking mediocre and the receiving core lacking any real talent. So how do they make the playoffs? The defense is much improved and Zeke is the same as ever. They should have the ability to keep games close, and if they can win a handful of the close battles, they have a legitimate shot at winning a lackluster division. This would require Wentz to not return to form (which I see as unlikely) and Alex Smith to be mediocre (very possible). But can it happen? Sure.
OVERALL CHANCE: 15%
Tier 4: Miracles Can Happen
7. Seattle Seahawks
Let’s start with the positives: Doug Baldwin is back and Russell Wilson looks as great as ever. Sadly for this team, that’s about it. With the loss of Thomas, the defense isn’t even a shadow of who they once were. They barely squeaked by against the winless Cardinals and beat a Cowboy’s team with no offense whatsoever. To make matters worse, they’re in the same division as the Rams, essentially making it impossible to capture a division title barring a slew of injuries to the Rams stars. Given the strength of the NFC, a wild card is not looking too likely either. This team is in rebuilding mode, whether they want to admit it or not. More than 7 wins would be a pleasant surprise. A playoff birth akin to a miracle.
Overall Chance: 2%