The NFL season opens Thursday night and every team’s fan base still has hope that their team can win the Super Bowl. But in reality there are only six teams that have a legit shot to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.
Using ESPN’s Football Power Index, a model that predicts each team’s offensive, defensive, and special teams efficiency, and then projects how the regular season will play out, we can get a better sense of which teams are the true Super Bowl contenders.
Heading into Week 1, the Green Bay Packers are the favourite with a 16.2% chance to win the Super Bowl. They also have an 81.0% to make the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts are the favourite in the AFC with a 13.7% chance to win the Super Bowl.
In all, there are six teams with at least a 5% chance of winning the Super Bowl before any games are even played:
- Green Bay Packers, 16.2%
- Seattle Seahawks, 14.1%
- Indianapolis Colts, 13.7%
- New England Patriots, 11.7%
- Denver Broncos, 9.8%
- Dallas Cowboys, 5.3%
The Philadelphia Eagles (4.3%) just missed the cut and were the only other team given more than a 3.0% chance of winning it all.
At the other end of the spectrum, only six teams have less than a 10% chance of even making the playoffs, with the Jacksonville Jaguars (4.2%) and Oakland Raiders (3.4%) as the only two teams below 5%.
Here are the 8 teams with the best chance to win each division:
- AFC East — New England Patriots, 55.4%
- AFC North — Baltimore Ravens, 39.9%
- AFC South — Indianapolis Colts, 73.4%
- AFC West — Denver Broncos, 59.0%
- NFC East — Philadelphia Eagles, 40.5% (the Dallas Cowboys are at 39.7%)
- NFC North — Green Bay Packers, 68.4%
- NFC South — New Orleans Saints, 37.7%
- NFC West — Seattle Seahawks, 62.7%
You can see the full FPI rankings at ESPN.com.