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2022 NFL playoff picture: Updated chances to clinch, projected bracket

The playoff field is finally set. See the final postseason standings and how multiple teams' chances changed throughout Week 18.

NFL Playoff Probability Updates

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The ESPN Analytics team's live NFL playoff probabilities -- which combine live in-game win probabilities with our Football Power Index (FPI) season projections -- provided each team's postseason chances throughout the Week 18 slate. The projected final standings updated regularly, and we tracked tight races over the course of the weekend. Here's how it all works.

Methodology

Playoff probabilities are updated as the games progress, based on ESPN Analytics' live win probabilities and its NFL Football Power Index projections.
Live in-game win probabilities measure multiple factors, including score, time remaining, field position, down-and-distance, team/opponent strength and game site.
These live probabilities are used by FPI season projections, which simulate the season based on each team's strength, schedule and tiebreaking rules.
The result is a live representation of a team's various playoff, division and seed chances, along with an updated projection of the final standings.

FINAL AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

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Team
Make
Playoffs
Win
Division
Earn
No. 1 Seed
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00.0
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Data updated as of

* The AFC's No. 1 seed was determined by these scenarios after Week 17's Bills-Bengals game was canceled and NFL owners approved an alternate plan.

FINAL NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

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20-40%

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80-100%

Team
Make
Playoffs
Win
Division
Earn
No. 1 Seed
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
00.0
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00.0
00.0
00.0
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00.0
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Data updated as of
What to Watch

Plenty of teams still had something to play for on Sunday, and many exciting surprises and twists of fate defined the regular season's final day. We tracked the most intriguing races -- including battles for the final spots in each conference -- from Sunday's first kickoff until the evening's last play.

TRACKING THE NO. 1 SEED IN THE NFC

PROBABILITY (%)
TIME (ET)
Data updated as of

For most of the season, it looked like the Eagles would roll to the NFC's top seed. But a shoulder injury to MVP candidate Jalen Hurts played a part in a two-game skid, setting up a three-way race for the conference's top seed in Week 18. But Philadelphia took care of business against the Giants to clinch both the NFC East and the conference's No. 1 seed. San Francisco and Dallas each had a chance to take the top seed entering the weekend, but the Eagles' win with Hurts under center eliminated both from contention. The Niners will be the No. 2 seed, while the Cowboys will be No. 5.

What we saw: Philadelphia led 16-0 at the half on Sunday and held on to win despite a late push from New York. The 49ers did beat the Cardinals, though the Cowboys lost to the Commanders -- but neither outcome ended up mattering, as the Eagles won their first division title since 2019 and earned a first-round playoff bye.

TRACKING THE FINAL NFC PLAYOFF SPOT

PROBABILITY (%)
TIME (ET)
Data updated as of

What a finish! The Seahawks completed an improbable run to the postseason after beating the Rams in overtime on Sunday afternoon and seeing the Packers lose on Sunday night. The Lions -- needing a Seattle loss -- were eliminated from the seventh seed before their game kicked off, but they still beat Green Bay to knock the Packers out of the race.

What we saw: The Seahawks missed a field goal attempt on the final play of regulation but kept their playoff hopes alive with a 32-yard game-winning kick in overtime. Then the Lions managed to hold off the Packers with a pair of Jamaal Williams touchdown runs and a gutsy fourth-down call late in the fourth quarter. Geno Smith is off to the postseason.

TRACKING THE FINAL AFC PLAYOFF SPOT

PROBABILITY (%)
TIME (ET)
Data updated as of

After the Jaguars won the AFC South on Saturday, there was just one AFC playoff spot still up for grabs entering Sunday. The Patriots had the inside track with a win-and-in situation, but Miami took the final spot. The Dolphins won their final regular-season game, beating the Jets by three points on a late field goal. They still needed a Patriots loss, which they got, courtesy of the Bills. (The Steelers had to win and see the other two both lose Sunday to make the postseason, but Miami's win eliminated them.)

What we saw: The Dolphins beat the Jets with just 18 seconds remaining, and two Nyheim Hines return touchdowns put Buffalo past New England. The Dolphins clinched the final AFC wild card.

How We Got Here

The chart below shows what each NFL team’s chances to make the playoffs were at the end of each week throughout the season. You can see the defining moments for each franchise as they climbed and fell in postseason likelihood. Check out the Seahawks’ wild ride! And how about the Giants’ rise?

Team playoff probabilities, Week 1-17

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AFC East
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Bills
Dolphins
Jets
Patriots
AFC North
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2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Bengals
Browns
Ravens
Steelers
AFC South
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Colts
Jaguars
Texans
Titans
AFC West
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Broncos
Chargers
Chiefs
Raiders
NFC East
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Commanders
Cowboys
Eagles
Giants
NFC North
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Bears
Lions
Packers
Vikings
NFC South
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Buccaneers
Falcons
Panthers
Saints
NFC West
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
49ers
Cardinals
Rams
Seahawks
Edited by Ben Arledge.
Produced by ESPN Creative Studio: Dominique DeMoe, Jarret Gabel, Luke Knox, Dan Pellegrino, Garrett Siegel, Rachel Weiss.
Illustrations by Elias Stein. ESPN Analytics: Hank Gargiulo, Matt Morris, Lauren Poe.