The NFL season is only two weeks old and a lot can happen, but in reality there are only eight teams that have a legit shot to lift the Lombardi Trophy, and the New England Patriots are the heavy favorites.
Using Nate Silver’s “2015 NFL Predictions,” a model that rates each team and then projects how the regular season and playoffs will play out, we can get a better sense of which teams are the true Super Bowl contenders.
Heading into Week 3, the Patriots are the favorite with a 19% chance to win the Super Bowl. They also have an overwhelming 90% to make the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers are the favorite in the NFC with a 12% chance to win the Super Bowl, just ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, despite their loss of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant to injuries.
In all, there are eight teams with at least a 5% chance of winning the Super Bowl after two weeks:
New England Patriots, 19% Green Bay Packers, 12% Dallas Cowboys, 10% Denver Broncos, 10% Seattle Seahawks, 7% Arizona Cardinals, 6% Carolina Panthers, 5% Cincinnati Bengals, 5%
The Seahawks were a slight favorite over the Patriots prior to the season but have fallen to fifth. The Pittsburgh Steelers (4%) just missed the cut and were the only other team given more than a 2% chance of winning it all.
At the other end of the spectrum, only three teams have less than a 10% chance of even making the playoffs, including the Cleveland Browns (9%), Oakland Raiders (7%), and Chicago Bears (5%).
Here are the 8 teams with the best chance to win each division:
- AFC East – New England Patriots, 70% chance to win their division AFC North – Cincinnati Bengals, 43%AFC South – Indianapolis Colts, 43%AFC West – Denver Broncos, 61%NFC East – Dallas Cowboys, 73%NFC North – Green Bay Packers, 73%NFC South – Carolina Panthers, 55%NFC West – Arizona Cardinals, 42%
You can see the full projections at Five Thirty Eight.