NFL Playoff Implications - Week 5

Here are playoff implications for week five of the NFL season. The purpose of this feature is to highlight games that have a significant impact on the playoff picture (see this post for background).

The playoff implications below are derived from a 50,000 round simulation of the remainder of the NFL season. I use my daily NFL rankings to simulate future games. I can group the simulation runs by the outcome of each game and then see how a team's playoff chances vary between the two groups. The interactive table at the bottom of the post will allow you to see corresponding results for any game or team. The results of the Thursday night game have already been taken into account.

Ranking Week 5 Games by Leverage

The table below ranks the week 3 games by total leverage. Leverage in this context is a measure of both how uncertain a game's outcome is (games between evenly matched teams have higher leverage) and how much the playoff picture swings as a result of that outcome.

CIN @ DAL33.8%
BUF @ STL28.8%
WAS @ BAL22.8%
SD @ OAK21.6%
NYG @ GB21.0%
TB @ CAR18.4%
ATL @ DEN17.2%
PHI @ DET14.9%
HOU @ MIN12.2%
CHI @ IND11.0%
NYJ @ PIT10.5%
TEN @ MIA4.6%
NE @ CLE1.6%

This week's highest leverage game is an inter-conference matchup between the Bengals and the Cowboys. Both teams are in the playoff hunt, each with a decent chance at winning one of the wild card spots (making for a lot of teams with a rooting interest).

The lowest leverage game pits the Patriots (with Tom Brady) against the Browns. The Patriots playoff odds only swing by 3%, from 95% to 98%, depending on the outcome of this game. As for the Browns, this game actually has no statistical significance on their 0.03% chance of making the playoffs this year. On the bright side, they already have a 50% chance of picking first in the draft next year.

Beyond Week 5

We can also use the simulation dataset to look ahead to the remainder of the season and see which games (based on what we know now) will have significant playoff implications. The table below shows the top 10 week 6-17 games by total leverage.

13KC @ ATL31.7%
16ATL @ CAR31.3%
12ARZ @ ATL31.3%
11BAL @ DAL31.1%
12CAR @ OAK30.6%
8ARZ @ CAR30.5%
10CIN @ NYG30.3%
9CAR @ STL29.7%
16CIN @ HOU29.7%
17ARZ @ STL29.4%

Week 5 Cheat Sheet

And here is your cheat sheet for week 5. You can filter by game or team below. I have already filtered out any games that aren't statistically significant to a team's playoff chances.

Select Game: OR Select Team:

home team:
gamegame probteamplayoff probloseswinsswingleverage
SD @ OAK62.0%OAK43.6%29.2%52.4%23.3%11.3%
TB @ CAR80.1%CAR54.7%34.2%59.8%25.6%10.2%
NYG @ GB73.0%GB72.5%56.2%78.5%22.3%9.9%
NYG @ GB73.0%NYG25.2%40.7%19.5%-21.3%9.4%
CIN @ DAL46.7%CIN42.3%50.8%32.5%-18.3%9.1%
BUF @ STL56.9%STL33.8%24.4%40.9%16.5%8.2%
WAS @ BAL63.7%BAL34.9%24.2%40.9%16.7%8.1%
CIN @ DAL46.7%DAL36.5%29.1%45.0%16.0%8.0%
ATL @ DEN65.6%ATL58.6%69.6%52.8%-16.8%8.0%
PHI @ DET39.6%PHI72.7%79.0%63.0%-16.0%7.8%
BUF @ STL56.9%BUF23.0%31.0%16.9%-14.1%7.0%
SD @ OAK62.0%SD9.9%17.6%5.2%-12.4%6.0%
NYJ @ PIT73.0%NYJ9.9%19.4%6.4%-13.0%5.8%
CHI @ IND65.9%IND19.5%12.2%23.3%11.1%5.3%
HOU @ MIN71.7%HOU76.4%84.4%73.2%-11.2%5.0%
NYJ @ PIT73.0%PIT90.7%83.4%93.4%10.0%4.5%
WAS @ BAL63.7%WAS11.9%17.6%8.6%-8.9%4.3%
TB @ CAR80.1%TB5.7%13.9%3.7%-10.2%4.1%
ATL @ DEN65.6%CAR54.7%49.9%57.2%7.3%3.5%
PHI @ DET39.6%DET5.0%2.5%8.8%6.3%3.1%
ATL @ DEN65.6%DEN92.8%88.7%95.0%6.3%3.0%
TB @ CAR80.1%ATL58.6%64.5%57.1%-7.4%2.9%
CHI @ IND65.9%HOU76.4%79.7%74.7%-5.0%2.4%
BUF @ STL56.9%ARZ39.7%42.3%37.7%-4.5%2.2%
HOU @ MIN71.7%IND19.5%16.2%20.8%4.6%2.1%
TEN @ MIA62.0%TEN4.3%7.0%2.7%-4.2%2.0%
CIN @ DAL46.7%BAL34.9%33.1%36.9%3.8%1.9%
HOU @ MIN71.7%MIN96.3%93.3%97.5%4.2%1.9%
TEN @ MIA62.0%MIA3.7%1.3%5.2%3.8%1.9%
WAS @ BAL63.7%CIN42.3%44.4%41.1%-3.4%1.6%
SD @ OAK62.0%KC41.9%43.7%40.7%-3.0%1.5%
CIN @ DAL46.7%KC41.9%40.5%43.4%2.9%1.5%
CIN @ DAL46.7%PHI72.7%73.9%71.3%-2.7%1.3%
BUF @ STL56.9%SEA81.6%83.2%80.5%-2.7%1.3%
HOU @ MIN71.7%JAC8.8%6.7%9.6%2.9%1.3%
CIN @ DAL46.7%NYG25.2%26.4%23.8%-2.6%1.3%
CHI @ IND65.9%CHI2.4%4.1%1.5%-2.6%1.2%
BUF @ STL56.9%CIN42.3%40.9%43.3%2.4%1.2%
PHI @ DET39.6%NYG25.2%24.3%26.7%2.4%1.2%
WAS @ BAL63.7%OAK43.6%45.2%42.7%-2.4%1.2%
WAS @ BAL63.7%KC41.9%43.4%41.0%-2.4%1.1%
BUF @ STL56.9%KC41.9%40.6%42.8%2.3%1.1%
BUF @ STL56.9%PHI72.7%73.9%71.8%-2.1%1.1%
NE @ CLE9.8%NE98.2%98.6%95.0%-3.5%1.0%
SD @ OAK62.0%BAL34.9%36.2%34.0%-2.1%1.0%
CIN @ DAL46.7%OAK43.6%42.7%44.7%2.0%1.0%
SD @ OAK62.0%CIN42.3%43.5%41.5%-2.0%1.0%
WAS @ BAL63.7%PHI72.7%71.4%73.4%2.0%1.0%
PHI @ DET39.6%DAL36.5%35.7%37.7%2.0%1.0%
WAS @ BAL63.7%BUF23.0%24.3%22.3%-2.0%1.0%
CIN @ DAL46.7%BUF23.0%22.1%24.0%1.9%0.9%
ATL @ DEN65.6%OAK43.6%44.9%42.9%-2.0%0.9%
BUF @ STL56.9%OAK43.6%42.6%44.4%1.9%0.9%
CIN @ DAL46.7%ARZ39.7%40.5%38.7%-1.8%0.9%
WAS @ BAL63.7%DAL36.5%35.4%37.2%1.8%0.9%
BUF @ STL56.9%BAL34.9%33.9%35.6%1.8%0.9%
ATL @ DEN65.6%DAL36.5%35.4%37.1%1.7%0.8%
CIN @ DAL46.7%GB72.5%73.3%71.6%-1.6%0.8%
NYG @ GB73.0%PHI72.7%71.4%73.2%1.8%0.8%
CHI @ IND65.9%JAC8.8%9.9%8.2%-1.6%0.8%
CIN @ DAL46.7%PIT90.7%90.0%91.5%1.5%0.8%
CIN @ DAL46.7%STL33.8%34.5%33.0%-1.5%0.7%
CIN @ DAL46.7%SD9.9%9.2%10.7%1.5%0.7%
BUF @ STL56.9%ATL58.6%59.4%58.0%-1.5%0.7%
TEN @ MIA62.0%HOU76.4%75.5%77.0%1.5%0.7%
WAS @ BAL63.7%IND19.5%20.5%19.0%-1.5%0.7%
WAS @ BAL63.7%NYG25.2%24.3%25.7%1.4%0.7%
HOU @ MIN71.7%GB72.5%73.6%72.1%-1.5%0.7%
WAS @ BAL63.7%SD9.9%10.8%9.4%-1.4%0.7%
BUF @ STL56.9%DAL36.5%37.3%35.9%-1.3%0.7%
PHI @ DET39.6%WAS11.9%11.4%12.7%1.3%0.7%
BUF @ STL56.9%GB72.5%73.2%71.9%-1.3%0.6%
HOU @ MIN71.7%TEN4.3%3.3%4.7%1.4%0.6%
CIN @ DAL46.7%WAS11.9%12.5%11.2%-1.3%0.6%
WAS @ BAL63.7%PIT90.7%91.5%90.2%-1.3%0.6%
PHI @ DET39.6%BAL34.9%35.4%34.1%-1.3%0.6%
CIN @ DAL46.7%NYJ9.9%9.3%10.6%1.2%0.6%
CHI @ IND65.9%CIN42.3%43.1%41.9%-1.3%0.6%
CIN @ DAL46.7%ATL58.6%59.2%58.0%-1.2%0.6%
TB @ CAR80.1%ARZ39.7%40.9%39.4%-1.5%0.6%
BUF @ STL56.9%WAS11.9%12.6%11.4%-1.2%0.6%
HOU @ MIN71.7%KC41.9%40.9%42.2%1.3%0.6%
CIN @ DAL46.7%CAR54.7%55.2%54.1%-1.2%0.6%
NYG @ GB73.0%STL33.8%34.7%33.4%-1.3%0.6%
CIN @ DAL46.7%IND19.5%19.0%20.1%1.1%0.6%
PHI @ DET39.6%GB72.5%72.1%73.2%1.1%0.5%
ATL @ DEN65.6%TB5.7%4.9%6.1%1.2%0.5%
NE @ CLE9.8%BUF23.0%22.8%24.6%1.8%0.5%
CIN @ DAL46.7%SEA81.6%82.1%81.1%-1.1%0.5%
BUF @ STL56.9%DEN92.8%92.3%93.3%1.0%0.5%
CHI @ IND65.9%NYG25.2%24.5%25.6%1.1%0.5%
SD @ OAK62.0%BUF23.0%23.7%22.6%-1.0%0.5%
BUF @ STL56.9%PIT90.7%90.1%91.1%1.0%0.5%
ATL @ DEN65.6%NO3.1%2.5%3.5%1.0%0.5%
WAS @ BAL63.7%NYJ9.9%10.5%9.6%-0.9%0.4%
BUF @ STL56.9%NYJ9.9%9.5%10.3%0.8%0.4%
BUF @ STL56.9%SD9.9%9.5%10.3%0.8%0.4%
WAS @ BAL63.7%DEN92.8%93.3%92.6%-0.8%0.4%
CIN @ DAL46.7%MIA3.7%3.3%4.1%0.7%0.4%
CIN @ DAL46.7%DET5.0%5.3%4.6%-0.7%0.4%
CIN @ DAL46.7%DEN92.8%92.5%93.2%0.7%0.3%
TB @ CAR80.1%NO3.1%3.7%3.0%-0.8%0.3%
SD @ OAK62.0%MIA3.7%4.1%3.5%-0.6%0.3%
BUF @ STL56.9%NE98.2%97.9%98.5%0.6%0.3%
NYG @ GB73.0%TB5.7%6.2%5.5%-0.7%0.3%
CHI @ IND65.9%TEN4.3%4.7%4.1%-0.6%0.3%
NYJ @ PIT73.0%TB5.7%5.2%5.9%0.6%0.3%
TB @ CAR80.1%MIN96.3%96.9%96.2%-0.7%0.3%
CIN @ DAL46.7%CHI2.4%2.6%2.1%-0.5%0.3%
WAS @ BAL63.7%NE98.2%98.5%98.0%-0.5%0.2%
BUF @ STL56.9%CHI2.4%2.6%2.2%-0.4%0.2%
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