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After six weeks of the NFL season, the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers are the heavy favorites to meet in the Super Bowl, and only three other teams have a legit shot to win it all.
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 7, the Patriots are still the favorite and their chances are still growing, up from 19% two weeks ago and 23% last week, to 24% this week. The Packers are the favorite in the NFC with a 19% chance to win the Super Bowl.
Of the projections run this week by Silver’s model, 73% of the seasons ended with one of these teams winning the Super Bowl:
New England Patriots, 24% Green Bay Packers, 19% Denver Broncos, 13% Cincinnati Bengals, 9% Carolina Panthers, 8%
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals are next on the list, with both having a 4% chance of winning it all.
The Broncos (96%) and Bengals (96%) join the Patriots (99%) and Packers (97%) this week as the first teams to eclipse a 95% chance of making the postseason, making them virtual locks for the playoffs after just six weeks. The Carolina Panthers are on the cusp at 92%.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are still just three teams without a legit shot to make the playoffs. The Detroit Lions (4%), Jacksonville Jaguars (3%), and Cleveland Browns (2%) all have less than a 5% chance to make the playoffs.
Here are the eight teams with the best chance to win each division:
- AFC East – New England Patriots, 89% chance to win their division AFC North- Cincinnati Bengals, 76%AFC South – Indianapolis Colts, 68%AFC West – Denver Broncos, 94%NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles, 38%NFC North – Green Bay Packers, 90%NFC South – Carolina Panthers, 62%NFC West – Arizona Cardinals, 49%
You can see the full projections at FiveThirtyEight.