<
>

Panthers rise, Seahawks fall in FPI's latest playoff projections

Cam Newton and the Panthers saw their playoff chances increase with a win at Seattle. Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports

After upsetting the Seattle Seahawks 27-23 at CenturyLink Field, the Carolina Panthers' chances of making the playoffs rose from 69 percent to 90 percent. Carolina’s 21-percent increase in playoff probability was the largest for any team in Week 6.

On the flip side, the Seahawks saw their chances of making the playoffs fall by 24 percentage points, the biggest decline in playoff chances for a team this week. The Seahawks now have a 23-percent playoff probability, eighth in the NFC, after beginning the season at 80 percent.

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw their playoff chances rise more than any other team in the AFC (18 percentage points) after their 25-13 win against the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers now have a 71 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to FPI. The Steelers are one of six teams in the AFC with at least a 70 percent playoff probability; no other team is higher than 30 percent.

That being said, it is still not a sure bet that all six of those teams (New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and Steelers) are in the postseason. FPI projects there is a 57 percent chance that at least one of those teams misses the playoffs, with the Bills the most likely team to claim that playoff spot.

With a record five undefeated teams after Week 6, many may wonder if a team will run the table this year. FPI projects there is only a 3.6 percent chance a team finishes 16-0, with the Patriots (2.3 percent chance) the most likely to accomplish that feat.

For a full explanation on how the FPI is put together, please read this explainer. For more background, you can also read this Q&A with the developers of the FPI.

Matchups to watch in Week 7

Top Game: New York Jets at New England Patriots

- Highest pregame matchup quality of the week (82.7 on 0-100 scale)

- Patriots: 70 percent chance to win (+7.0 predicted pt diff)

- Patriots: approximately 91 percent chance to win division they win and a 61 percent chance if they lose (currently 82 percent)

- Jets: approximately 36 percent chance to win division if they win and an 8 percent chance if they lose (currently 16 percent)

Biggest tossup: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

- Lions: 51 percent chance to win (+0.6 predicted pt diff)

- Vikings: 19th in FPI, six spots lower than any other team with a winning record

- Vikings: 29 percent chance to make the playoffs, sixth-best in NFC

Biggest Mismatch: Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals

- Cardinals: 79 percent chance to win (+11.1 predicted pt diff)

- Ravens: All five losses by six points or fewer

- Cardinals: Only team in top five of both offensive and defensive efficiency