Superbowl LII Projection, Week 14, Sunday

Philadelphia over New England

First, two teams clinched their division, and both are from the state of Pennsylvania. That's a pretty meaningless connection in the NFL, but it's all I've got today.

We've got a slightly odd sight at the top of the chart here, with New England favored to win the AFC, even though Jacksonville is the stronger team and more likely to win the Superbowl. This is because Jacksonville is a much stronger team by the numbers, and would win a much higher percentage of its Superbowl matchups, while New England is in excellent position for a first round bye and therefore gets the benefit of a "first round success" projection of 100%. Also, New England plays its 13th game on Monday, so everyone will be back to the same number of games played after tonight.

At the bottom, I show Houston as eliminated. Every official source I see shows them with some chance of making the playoffs. They won't, but I like to tease out the unlikely scenarios it would take, especially when my simulations don't hit one in over 2 billion tries.

First, Houston has to finish 7-9. At best, that will have them finishing third in the division, which simplifies the picture a little bit. The only way for a third place team to make the playoffs is for the second place team to also make it, so we have to assume no one but division winners or Jacksonville and Tennessee will exceed 7 wins in the AFC.

Buffalo and Baltimore both already have 7 wins, so they'd have to lose all 3 of the rest of their games. Two of Buffalo's games are against Miami, which also gives them 7 wins, and forces them to lose to Kansas City and New England (So this could all be moot tonight). That puts Kansas City at 8 wins in the AFC West, which means that 7-win LA must also lose their remaining 3 games. One of those losses is to Oakland, giving them 7 wins, so they have to lose their other 2 games.

That gives us at least a 6-way tie at 7-9, and a quick 10 million simulations still show no chance of a Houston playoff appearance. Some combination of Denver, Cincinnati, and New York could join the group of tied teams, but I still don't show it happening. That means I have a tiebreaker coded wrong, I've made some bad assumption about which games need to go which way, or some specific game needs to end it a tie to get the strength of schedule or strength of victory just right. I suppose I'll root for Houston to stay alive as long as possible so I can sort it out.


First to 10% chance of Superbowl win: Kansas City (Week 4, Final)
First to 20% chance of Superbowl win: Philadelphia (Week 12, Sunday)

First to 80% chance of Playoffs: Pittsburgh (Week 4, Sunday)
First to 90% chance of Playoffs: Kansas City (Week 5, Sunday)
First to 99% chance of Playoffs: Pittsburgh (Week 11, Thursday)
First to 99.9% chance of Playoffs: Philadelphia (Week 11, Sunday)
First to 99.99% chance of Playoffs: Philadelphia (Week 12, Sunday)
First to clinch Playoffs: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (Week 14, Sunday)

First teams eliminated from playoff contention: San Francisco, Cleveland, New York Giants (Week 12, Sunday)

[Week 1] Jacksonville over Los Angeles Rams
[Week 2, Thursday] Jacksonville over Los Angeles Rams
[Week 2, Sunday] Carolina over Baltimore
[Week 2, Final] Carolina over Baltimore
[Week 3, Thursday] Carolina over Baltimore
[Week 3, Sunday] Kansas City over Atlanta
[Week 3, Final] Kansas City over Atlanta
[Week 4, Thursday] Kansas City over Atlanta
[Week 4, Sunday] Pittsburgh over Detroit
[Week 4, Final] Kansas City over Detroit
[Week 5, Thursday] Kansas City over Detroit
[Week 5, Sunday] Kansas City over Philadelphia
[Week 5, Final] Kansas City over Philadelphia
[Week 6, Thursday] Kansas City over Philadelphia
[Week 6, Sunday] Kansas City over Philadelphia
[Week 6, Final] Kansas City over Philadelphia
[Week 7, Thursday] Philadelphia over Kansas City
[Week 7, Sunday] Jacksonville over Los Angeles Rams
[Week 7, Final] Jacksonville over Philadelphia
[Week 8, Thursday] Jacksonville over Philadelphia
[Week 8, Sunday] Philadelphia over Jacksonville
[Week 8, Final] Philadelphia over Jacksonville
[Week 9, Thursday] Philadelphia over Jacksonville
[Week 9, Sunday] Philadelphia over Jacksonville
[Week 9, Final] Philadelphia over Jacksonville
[Week 10, Thursday] Philadelphia over Jacksonville
[Week 10, Sunday] Los Angeles Rams over Jacksonville
[Week 10, Final] Jacksonville over Philadelphia
[Week 11, Thursday] Los Angeles Rams over Jacksonville
[Week 11, Sunday] Jacksonville over Philadelphia
[Week 11, Final] Jacksonville over Philadelphia
[Week 12, Thursday] Jacksonville over Philadelphia
[Week 12, Sunday] Philadelphia over New England
[Week 12, Final] Philadelphia over New England
[Week 13, Thursday] Philadelphia over New England
[Week 13, Sunday] Philadelphia over New England
[Week 13, Final] Philadelphia over New England
[Week 14, Thursday] Philadelphia over New England

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