After 11 weeks of the NFL season, the New England Patriots are an overwhelming heavy favourite to win the Super Bowl, and only five other teams have a legit shot to beat them.
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 12, the New England Patriots are still the favourite and their chances are growing, up from 19% six weeks ago, they now have a 33% chance to win the Super Bowl. The Carolina Panthers (18%) and Arizona Cardinals (11%) are still lurking as the only other teams above 9%.
Here are the six teams with at least a 5% chance of winning the Super Bowl after 11 weeks:
- New England Patriots, 33%
- Carolina Panthers, 18%
- Arizona Cardinals, 11%
- Green Bay Packers, 9%
- Denver Broncos, 8%
- Cincinnati Bengals, 8%
No other team has more than a 2% chance of lifting the Lombardi Trophy in February.
Those six teams are also the only teams that can be considered locks to make the playoffs, with each having at least a 95% chance of reaching the postseason.
At the other end of the spectrum, nine teams can be scratched off as playoff contenders with less than a 5% chance of grabbing one of the 12 spots. Those teams are the Chargers, Browns, Titans, 49ers, Lions, Ravens, Raiders, Rams, and Dolphins.
Here are the eight teams with the best chance to win each division:
- AFC East — New England Patriots, >99% chance to win their division
- AFC North — Cincinnati Bengals, 89%
- AFC South — Indianapolis Colts, 58%
- AFC West — Denver Broncos, 89%
- NFC East — New York Giants, 58%
- NFC North — Green Bay Packers, 75%
- NFC South — Carolina Panthers, 98%
- NFC West — Arizona Cardinals, 90%
You can see the full projections at FiveThirtyEight.
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