AccuScore provides football predictions and projections by calculating the precise probability teams have of winning each game, their division and making the playoffs. Using projected lineups, football predictions are created by simulating each game of the season one play at a time, up to 10,000 to 20,000 times. Visit AccuScore for weekly updates for all football and sports predictions.

AFC
Surprise, surprise – the only undefeated team left in the AFC is Buffalo. The Bills are one of the shocking stories of the early season, and another thrilling comeback (this week vs. New England) had them as one of the big gainers of the week. They are basically a 50-50 bet to make the playoffs now, up 16.3 percentage points from a week ago. The Patriots lost because Tom Brady threw four interceptions (as many as he had in all of 2010), but they are still the odds on favorite to win the AFC East at 64 percent. Many of the gains by Buffalo came at the expense of the Jets who lost 26.4 percentage points in playoff probability after losing at Oakland, the biggest drop this week. Miami is the one non-contender in the East with just a 2.3 percent chance at the playoffs.

Oakland was the other big winner this week after a win over the Jets. The Raiders stand at 2-1 and more than doubled their playoff odds to 44.9 percent. They are bunched up in a fight for wild card positioning with Buffalo and New York. The Chargers struggled more than expected with Kansas City but still got the win. They are still the favorites in the AFC West at 70.5 percent. The Chiefs are the unlikeliest playoff team after three weeks, making the postseason in just 0.3 percent of simulations. Denver is another longshot out of the West with just a 1.1 percent chance at winning the division.

The AFC North might be the most balanced division in the AFC top to bottom. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland are all tied at 2-1 with Cincinnati playing better than expected, but with just one win. The Ravens continue to gain on the Steelers and are now about 42 percent likely to win the division. Pittsburgh is about 55 percent likely to win the division, but the offensive line is becoming a massive problem that could lead to continued slippage in these and the actual standings. The Bengals actually gained an incremental amount of playoff probability despite losing to the Niners. On the flip side, Cleveland experienced a minor decline in playoff odds despite a win over the Dolphins. This all has to do with the difficulty of the game (opponent, home/road) and both teams’ performance in week three.

Indianapolis almost got its first win against the Steelers, but the Colts couldn’t pull it out late and are likely without Peyton Manning for the entire season. The Colts are just 2.2 percent likely to win the AFC South. Houston has taken over as the runaway favorite in the division at 68.3 percent. The loss to the Saints on the road did little to affect the odds for the Texans (-0.1 percent) because they were already underdogs, and still played down to the wire. This contrasts with Tennessee which lost 1.6 percentage points because of a real struggle with bottom-feeding Denver. Jacksonville also continues to slide with just a 6.4 percent chance at the division. The Jags have already turned to rookie Blaine Gabbert at quarterback and are effectively waving the white flag on the season.

AFC

WEEK 3 REVIEW

PLAYOFF

% CHANCE

TEAM

WK3

WK4

% DIFF

WIN DIV

OAKLAND RAIDERS

23.6%

44.9%

21.3%

28.3%

BUFFALO BILLS

33.2%

49.5%

16.3%

17.7%

BALTIMORE RAVENS

73.0%

79.9%

6.9%

41.9%

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

85.4%

86.7%

1.2%

54.8%

CINCINNATI BENGALS

7.1%

7.3%

0.2%

1.6%

HOUSTON TEXANS

71.6%

71.7%

0.1%

68.3%

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

2.9%

2.6%

-0.4%

2.2%

CLEVELAND BROWNS

7.1%

6.8%

-0.4%

1.7%

DENVER BRONCOS

2.9%

1.8%

-1.1%

1.1%

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

8.8%

7.4%

-1.4%

6.4%

MIAMI DOLPHINS

3.9%

2.3%

-1.6%

0.5%

TENNESSEE TITANS

30.2%

28.6%

-1.6%

23.1%

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

2.9%

0.3%

-2.6%

0.2%

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

91.8%

87.0%

-4.8%

63.9%

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

85.8%

80.1%

-5.7%

70.5%

NEW YORK JETS

69.8%

43.4%

-26.4%

17.9%

NFC
Like Buffalo in the AFC, the Detroit Lions have shocked the world by starting out 3-0. They used a massive comeback to beat Minnesota, and the Lions have showed that as long as they stay healthy they can be real contenders for the playoffs. Detroit is up to 62.9 percent likelihood for the postseason but is just 15.9 percent likely to win its division. The favorite in the NFC North is still Green Bay. The Packers continue to dominate on offense and are the most likely playoff team at 96.2 percent. Detroit’s upward trajectory is being inversely mirrored by Chicago. The Bears lost nearly 10 percentage points in playoff odds this week and are already less than 20 percent likely to reach the postseason. Minnesota has failed to get a win through three weeks despite being competitive into the fourth quarter in each game. The Vikings have dug a massive hole to climb out of and are just 5.1 percent likely for a playoff spot.

The most competitive division in the NFL is, once again, the NFC East. Dallas, Washington, and New York are all 2-1, while the super team in Philadelphia is in last at 1-2. The Giants made the biggest gains this week becoming 42.1 percent likely for a playoff spot, up 9.4 percent from last week. The other three teams made minor shifts in the projected playoff standings.

The Saints beat fellow division winner Houston, and New Orleans remains in position as the second likeliest playoff team in the NFC. New Orleans is 86.2 percent likely for the postseason. Tampa Bay continues to find ways to win and is tied with the Saints in the standings at 2-1. The Bucs, though, need to keep winning to keep pace as they are 28.5 percent for a playoff spot. Winning the division will be difficult, so a wild card spot is more likely. Atlanta is in the same position as Tampa, but the Falcons really need to start winning games to avoid losing more ground. The Falcons lost 11.6 percentage points this week, second most in the conference. Carolina can continue to enjoy the Cam Newton show, which should pull out a few more wins this season, but is unlikely to yield a postseason trip.

The Niners continue to lead the worst division in the NFL, gaining 14 percentage points in probability. Virtually all their chances at the playoffs are tied to the division as they don’t appear competitive in the chase for a wild card. Arizona lost a critical game to the Seahawks and dropped 14.3 percentage points accordingly, most in the NFC. Seattle took up some of the slack lost by the Cards gaining 4.9 percentage points. The defending West champs are still longshots to repeat at just 10.3 percent. The Rams are already two games back, and St. Louis desperately needs a win to stay in a winnable division race. After week three, the Rams are just 8.2 percent likely to win the West.

NFC

WEEK 3 REVIEW

PLAYOFF

% CHANCE

TEAM

WK3

WK4

% DIFF

WIN DIV

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

50.5%

64.5%

14.0%

62.8%

DETROIT LIONS

52.2%

62.9%

10.7%

15.9%

NEW YORK GIANTS

32.8%

42.1%

9.4%

26.3%

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

7.4%

12.3%

4.9%

10.7%

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

82.7%

86.2%

3.4%

73.2%

GREEN BAY PACKERS

92.8%

96.2%

3.4%

81.7%

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

25.2%

28.5%

3.3%

10.3%

CAROLINA PANTHERS

2.5%

4.4%

1.9%

1.5%

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

53.5%

53.2%

-0.3%

35.9%

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

16.3%

14.9%

-1.4%

6.8%

DALLAS COWBOYS

48.3%

45.7%

-2.6%

31.0%

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

9.4%

5.1%

-4.3%

0.6%

ST. LOUIS RAMS

15.8%

8.7%

-7.1%

8.2%

CHICAGO BEARS

28.6%

19.1%

-9.5%

1.9%

ATLANTA FALCONS

47.6%

36.1%

-11.6%

15.0%

ARIZONA CARDINALS

34.5%

20.3%

-14.3%

18.3%