After three weeks of the NFL season only nine teams still have a legit shot to lift the Lombardi Trophy, and the New England Patriots are still the heavy favourite.
Using Nate Silver’s “2015 NFL Predictions,” a model that rates each team and then projects how the regular season and playoffs will play out, we can get a better sense of which teams are the true Super Bowl contenders.
Heading into Week 4, the Patriots are the favourite with a 19% chance to win the Super Bowl. They are also already nearly a lock for the postseason with a 92% chance to make the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers are the favourite in the NFC with a 13% chance to win the Super Bowl.
In all, there are now nine teams with at least a 5% chance of winning the Super Bowl after three weeks:
- New England Patriots, 19%
- Green Bay Packers, 13%
- Denver Broncos, 12%
- Arizona Cardinals, 7%
- Seattle Seahawks, 7%
- Cincinnati Bengals, 6%
- Pittsburgh Steelers, 5%
- Carolina Panthers, 5%
- Dallas Cowboys, 5%
The Atlanta Falcons (4%) and Buffalo Bills (3%) just missed the cut and were the only other teams given more than a 2% chance of winning it all.
The Seahawks were a slight favourite over the Patriots prior to the season but have fallen to fifth.
At the other end of the spectrum, for the first time we have teams without a legit shot to make the playoffs. Both the Chicago Bears (3%) and Cleveland Browns (3%) have less than a 5% chance to make the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7%) and Washington Redskins (7%) are both not far behind.
Here are the 8 teams with the best chance to win each division:
- AFC East — New England Patriots, 74% chance to win their division
- AFC North — Cincinnati Bengals, 51%
- AFC South — Indianapolis Colts, 45%
- AFC West — Denver Broncos, 75%
- NFC East — Dallas Cowboys, 52%
- NFC North — Green Bay Packers, 78%
- NFC South — Atlanta Falcons, 50%
- NFC West — Arizona Cardinals, 50%
You can see the full projections at Five Thirty Eight.
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