For over a week, football fans have debated the possibility that the Patriots will win the Super Bowl. Even with the Packers’ big win, the Seahawks and Broncos are both ahead of New England in the NFL’s playoff standings. This week, however, the Patriots won a game, whereas the Seahawks lost one, so the teams are essentially tied in the standings. So, will the Patriots win this week and which team will win the Super Bowl?

The website Football Power Index (FPI) uses math to calculate the probability of winning a game, winning a championship and winning Super Bowl. Here’s how they do it . FPI is not a site to just look at one team or one game. Instead, it’s a tool that you can use to get a sense of the entire season.

More than a half-century after its invention, the Bill James baseball statistics system continues to be one of the most influential ways for coaches, players, and fans alike to navigate through the intricacies of the game. James invented the system in the mid-1970s as a way to analyze the best players of the era and to gauge their contributions to their team’s record. James’ system put a numerical value on each aspect of a player’s contribution and then used those numbers to create a probability for the team to win or lose a particular game.. Read more about most playoff wins nfl and let us know what you think.

According to the latest ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) predictions for 2021, the Kansas City Chiefs are still the NFL team to beat this season, despite losing Super Bowl LV.

FPI is a forward-looking projection model that incorporates ratings and predictions for every club, from predicted win-loss records to probabilities to win each division, which debuted on Monday.

The full explanation of how FPI works can be found here, but here’s the short version: The model calculates forward-looking strength ratings for each team based on a number of factors, including the team’s win total, projected starting quarterback, returning starters, and previous offense, defense, and special teams performance. FPI then utilizes those ratings to generate predictions by simulating the season 20,000 times.

We made several under-the-hood changes for the 2021 edition of FPI, including an improved anticipated points added model and a more predictive quarterback rating system. But the results are the same: we’re still talking about football — and the odds of each team’s success — with 17 regular-season games and a larger playoff field.

Let’s take a look at the 10 most important conclusions from the 2021 FPI forecasts. Let’s begin with the Chiefs:

More: Complete FPI predictions for each team Strength-of-Schedule rankings for each team

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The Chiefs are still the favourites to win the Super Bowl.

Yes, the Chiefs are expected to be the greatest team and have the best odds to win the Lombardi Trophy next February, not the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.

If the clubs met again tomorrow on a neutral field, FPI thinks Kansas City would be favored by 1.3 points over Tampa Bay. With the exception of the Buccaneers, Bills, and Ravens, the Chiefs would have a 3.5-point advantage over every other team.

It’s no surprise that the Patrick Mahomes-led offense, which has Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and a rebuilt offensive line, is the best in the league, outscoring the next-best offense by more than 2.5 points per game (Green Bay). With that type of power on the opposite side of the ball, Kansas City’s mediocre defense (No. 11 in the league, according to FPI) isn’t an issue.

The Chiefs are ranked first in almost every prediction, including predicted wins (11.5), odds to make the playoffs (89 percent), win their division (72 percent), be the AFC’s No. 1 seed (32 percent), and reach the Super Bowl (32 percent) (30 percent ).

With a 19% chance to win the Super Bowl, the Chiefs are a bit above average for the league’s favorite heading into the season. FPI has created preseason projections every year since 2015, and the 2021 Chiefs rank third out of the seven favorites, behind the 2017 Patriots (32%) and 2020 Chiefs (22%). Both of those teams went on to lose in the Super Bowl.

Of course, don’t overlook the rest of the league. While Kansas City’s 19 percent probability of winning the Super Bowl is higher than any other club’s, FPI also predicts that a team other than the Chiefs will win the game 4-in-5 times. The following are the ten teams with the best chances of winning Super Bowl LV:

Super Bowl LVI’s Most Likely Winners


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The Super Bowl matchup that is most probable is… a second meeting

However, a matchup between Kansas City and Tampa Bay is still unlikely. More than any other possible game, the Chiefs have an 8% probability of seeing the Bucs again, according to FPI.

Despite not being on Kansas City’s level, the Buccaneers remain the NFC’s favorite and the only other team with a chance to win the Super Bowl in double digits. According to FPI, the Bucs have an 85% probability of reaching the playoffs and a 15% chance of repeating as champions if they run it again with roughly the same team. Two things contribute to these figures:

  • FPI projects them to have the best defense in the league. The Bucs finished the season, including playoffs, with the sixth-most efficient defense under coordinator Todd Bowles. FPI thinks they take another step forward this season. The model gains confidence because of all of the returning starters from an already good unit. On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady & Co. are projected to be the No. 5 offense.

  • With two of the top six clubs in the FPI ranking, the NFC is a bit less dangerous than the AFC. There are no other teams in the NFC South that are rated in the top 10 according to FPI.

The following are the top ten Super Bowl LV matchups:

Super Bowl LVI Matchups Most Likely

AFC NFC Chance in Percentage
Chiefs Buccaneers 8%
Bills Buccaneers 5%
Chiefs Packers 4%
Chiefs 49ers 4%
Ravens Buccaneers 3%
Chiefs Rams 3%
Chiefs Seahawks 3%
Browns Buccaneers 3%
Bills Packers 2%
Bills 49ers 2%

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The difference between the Packers with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers without him is… everything

The Green Bay Packers are clearly Super Bowl contenders. They’re the fifth-best team in football and have the fourth-best chance to win it all with a 6% shot, according to FPI. They’re returning the 2020 MVP and had the league’s most efficient offense last year — yes, even better than Kansas City’s.

But it wasn’t always the case that FPI would show affection to Green Bay. The Packers’ predictions hung in the balance as Rodgers’ future hung in the balance during the summer. Green Bay’s odds of making the playoffs would have fallen from 70% to 24% if Rodgers had simply chosen to retire rather than participate, and their chances of winning the Super Bowl would have gone from 6% to… 0.2% of the population


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The Ravens and Browns are both playoff candidates, but they are hurting one other.

Baltimore and Cleveland are two big Super Bowl contenders in the AFC North. And, although the impact isn’t spectacular, they’d both be better off if the other wasn’t around. The Ravens and Browns are ranked fourth and sixth in FPI (actual talent level) respectively, but fifth and seventh in probability to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.

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When it comes to victory totals and a chance to secure the desired top seed in the AFC, the fact that they have to play one other twice and are competing for the same divisional title are limiting considerations. With Kansas City in the conference, that’s a tough shot, but both the Ravens and Browns have a 10% chance of pulling it off.

Baltimore has a well-balanced offense and defense (as well as special teams!) that are both predicted to be in the top ten. FPI, on the other hand, is optimistic about Cleveland’s offensive, which ranks third in the league after the Chiefs and Packers but ahead of the Bills, but rates the Browns’ defense as the 18th-best.

In terms of the division championship, the Ravens are a slim favorite over the Browns, 43 percent to 40 percent.


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In the NFL draft of 2022, which club is most likely to select first?

We’ve only been predicting preseason odds to earn the top draft choices since 2018, but no club began the year with a higher probability of walking away from the No. 1 pick than the Houston Texans in 2021, who had a 24 percent chance of doing so. That puts the 2020 Jaguars ahead of the pack, since they began last season with a 23 percent chance of landing the No. 1 selection. (At the very least, Trevor Lawrence’s availability helped them out.)

Houston is more than a score poorer than the average NFL club on a neutral field, according to FPI, and the Texans have the league’s worst offense and defense at the same time. Deshaun Watson is not expected to play for the Texans this season, according to FPI. Watson sexually abused or participated in sexually improper conduct during massage sessions, according to twenty-two women who have filed complaints.

The Lions are the second-most probable club to get the No. 1 selection in the 2022 NFL draft, with a 15% probability, followed by the Jets (10%), Jaguars (8%), and Eagles (7%). (7 percent ).


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In a strong NFC West, the 49ers are slight favorites.

The Rams, 49ers, and Seahawks are three of FPI’s top 10 teams in the NFC West, and the 21st-ranked Cardinals aren’t exactly an easy out. Despite the fact that the Rams are FPI’s top team, San Francisco is the favored here. Slightly.

Teams from the NFC West have a chance to make the playoffs.

Team Possibility of Winning Division Possibility of Making the Playoffs
49ers 33% 68%
Rams 29% 64%
Seahawks 28% 63%
Cardinals 9% 32%

Why? It all comes down to the timetable. Despite the division’s strength, the 49ers have one of the league’s easiest strength of schedules (SOS rank: 29th). In a 17-game schedule, the division is less important than the strength of schedule. The Eagles, Bengals, and Falcons are all ranked 24th or worse in FPI, thus San Francisco’s three games are against them. In the meanwhile, the Cardinals, Rams, and Seahawks all have schedules that rank in the top half of the most tough.

The prediction for the 49ers is predicated on Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting quarterback. This choice is influenced by two factors:

  • At the start of the season, Garoppolo is widely seen as the favorite over rookie No. 3 overall selection Trey Lance.

  • Because the model thinks Lance is a bit poorer than Garoppolo right now, making Lance the starter or partial starter would harm the 49ers’ forecast. If Lance defeats Garoppolo, it will be an indication that he is on level with the veteran, and a downgrade will be unnecessary. As a result, Garoppolo’s selection as the starter seemed to be the safer option.

But it’s not just about winning a hotly fought division. The NFC West is so excellent that three of the four teams have a 37 percent probability of making the playoffs, and there’s even a 3% possibility that all four make it.


NFC-East-QB-breakdown-New-deals-new-faces-higher

The Cowboys are in first place in the NFC East, which is a poor division.

Last season, Washington won the NFC East with only seven victories, and the FPI still doesn’t think much of the division a year later. The Dallas Cowboys are the only club in the division with a positive FPI rating, which means they are above average, at +0.7. (meaning they would be favored over an average NFL team by less than a point).

The Cowboys are the division favorites, with a 45 percent chance of winning, thanks to quarterback Dak Prescott’s return and the prospect of a fully healthy offensive line. Despite being the defending champion and having a new quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington is ranked second (29 percent), followed by the Giants (15 percent), and the Eagles (15 percent) (11 percent ).

FPI does not believe the divide has significantly improved. And one extreme outcome exemplifies this: the NFC East is the only division to have a simulation with a five-win champion. The Eagles won one of our 20,000 simulations, going 5-11-1. That doesn’t even seem like a legitimate record, much less a division champion.


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Will the Colts be able to survive without Carson Wentz?

When the Colts acquired Wentz, they were hoping for a comeback season from the former Eagles quarterback. Now the Colts must remain afloat while he recovers from foot surgery, which will likely keep him out of the first several weeks of the season.

Wentz’s absence is unquestionably a setback: according to FPI’s predicted quarterback rating methodology, backup Jacob Eason’s mean projected season is approximately on pace with Wentz’s (bad) 2020 campaign. Wentz is expected to improve significantly from last season, but not to pre-2020 levels, according to the same model.

To account for the uncertainty surrounding Wentz’s comeback, FPI assigns him a low probability of playing in Week 1 and progressively raises his chances of returning until Week 8 — covering the range of coach Frank Reich’s rehabilitation timetable set forth last week.

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After Carson Wentz’s foot injury, Louis Riddick lays down the dangers the Colts would face if they decided to trade for Nick Foles.

The Colts’ schedule is tough for the first five weeks, as they host the Seahawks and Rams before traveling to play the Titans, Dolphins, and Ravens. Even without Wentz, the outlook for that period is brighter than one would expect; the Colts win 2.2 of those games on average, and the odds of them starting 0-5 are less than 1 in 20. Keep in mind that those figures imply Wentz will play in each of these games, especially the latter ones.

The Colts have a 44 percent probability of winning the AFC South (second to the Titans) and a 59 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to FPI’s predictions. It might be much worse for a club with a questionable quarterback.


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FPI is currently assuming that two rookies, Lawrence of the Jaguars and Wilson of the Jets, are their respective teams’ current starters. It’s also not too optimistic about their chances. The Jaguars and Jets are ranked 29th and 30th, respectively, in the FPI rankings.

Though FPI is never especially enthusiastic on rookie quarterbacks, this isn’t completely their fault. However, the remainder of the lineup is as essential. In each of these instances, the quarterbacks will be facing below-average pass protection and will be attempting to compensate for their teams’ defenses, which rank in the bottom six of the FPI.


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The Bears and Broncos are on opposite ends of the schedule spectrum.

Any NFL fan understands that basing strength of schedule on a team’s previous season’s record is a fool’s errand since teams’ skills vary much too much from year to year, not to mention the fact that a single NFL season is not necessarily a good indication of a team’s ability.

A-step-back-for-the-Packers-Improvement-for-the-Falcons

To come up with top-10 rankings for 2021, Jeremy Fowler surveyed a group of more than 50 coaches, executives, scouts, and players.

• CB | Safety | OT | Interior OL • QB | RB | WR | TE | QB | RB | WR | TE | QB | RB | WR | TE | QB | RB | WR | TE | QB | RB | WR | TE | QB | RB | WR

The mean win total for each team’s opponents is a step up from the traditional method, but it too has flaws; for example, every Chiefs opponent’s win total is depressed because it has to play the Chiefs (division opponents doubly so! ), while every Texans opponent’s win total is inflated for the same reason. FPI is able to resolve this problem in order to establish a more precise SOS. And no one has it worse in 2021 than the Bears.

To begin with, the NFC has nine road games this season, so a team from that conference was always a strong contender for the top position. And the Bears have eight games against the top ten teams in the FPI: at the Rams, at the Browns, at the Buccaneers, at the 49ers, at the Ravens, at the Seahawks, and then a home-and-home with the Packers.

Denver, on the other hand, is on the other extreme of the scale. The Broncos will face Mahomes and the Chiefs twice, but they will only face four top-10 FPI teams and will have an additional home game due to their AFC status. Denver plays the Giants at home, the Jaguars at home, the Jets at home, the Eagles at home, the Lions at home, the Bengals at home, and the Raiders at home. Those are the Broncos’ first three games of the season, a rather easy schedule to begin with.

Here’s where you can see the complete strength of schedule rankings.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • most playoff wins nfl
  • nfl playoff schedule 2020
  • nfl standings playoffs
  • 2017 nfl playoff bracket
  • nfl standings
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