Earlier in the week we provided you a "rooting" schedule for the best possible output for the Patriots this week. The hopes are for the Patriots rivals to lose and for the bad teams to lose to keep the Jets away from the top pick and quarterback Marcus Mariota. Let the middle class in the NFL win out. That's basically all it comes down to.
But what are the odds of things falling into place for the Patriots? Our friends at numberFire are giving the Patriots pretty good chance, even if it's not the best chance.
According to their projections and simulations, the Patriots are looking at 11.6 victories on the year, or 2.6 over the final quarter of the season. With three games are playoff hopefuls and one against an annoying division rival, the Patriots can't rest on their laurels. These 11.6 wins are good for second most in the league, behind only the Broncos projected 11.8 wins against a similarly tough schedule.
Still, there are no half wins in the NFL so these projections of 12-4 for both teams would still give the Patriots the inside edge and homefield advantage. numberFire gives New England a 17.7% chance of winning the Super Bowl.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Patriots will fare slightly better and are projected for a 12-4 season, for the best in their calculations. They give New England a 22% chance of winning the Super Bowl, also for the highest in the league, with no other team with a chance greater than 14% (Broncos are at 14%, the Packers and Seahawks are at 13%).
FiveThirtyEight gives the Patriots a 55.6% chance of claiming the top seed, with the upcoming game against the Chargers the most important for the AFC in determining home field advantage. No pressure.
Over at another entity, Football Outsiders gives the Patriots a 49.3% chance of earning home field advantage and an 18.3% chance of winning the Super Bowl.
Here's a summary for the Patriots:
And for reference, here's a summary for the Broncos:
These two teams are roughly equal when it comes to the forecast, with Denver getting the upper hand entering the playoffs, but the Patriots having a better chance at the top seed and the Super Bowl.
We can use this breakdown on all the potential playoff teams to project the following chart:
|Team||Playoffs||Division||1st Seed||Super Bowl|
Sorted by Super Bowl odds.