In 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs were the last undefeated team thanks to an offense that dominated the early part of the season. In 2018, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of the last two undefeated teams thanks to an offense that has dominated the early part of the season. But a lot else has changed.
Last year's two Super Bowl teams have each started 2-2, although the Eagles have been more consistently mediocre while the Patriots have had significant highs and lows. Each conference also has two playoff teams from last season that have started with losing records: Minnesota and Atlanta in the NFC, Pittsburgh and Buffalo in the AFC.
And while before the season we all swore that the NFC was by far the stronger conference, so far it's the AFC teams with the better records. Six AFC teams are 3-1 or better. Only three NFC teams are 3-1 or better. Somehow, one of them is the Chicago Bears, a franchise that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2010.
Can the Bears finally return to the playoffs? Can the Chiefs win their first Super Bowl in nearly 50 years? And can the Rams go all the way only three years after returning to Los Angeles? We can figure out those odds by going beyond just looking at each team's record after four games. It's important to consider just how well a team has played so far, based on a play-by-play breakdown rather than just binary wins and losses. We want to consider what we knew about how good a team was going into this year. We also should consider injuries as well as the schedule each team has yet to face, which is harder for some teams than others.
We've done all that using Football Outsiders DVOA ratings and produced current playoff odds for all 32 teams below. For a full explanation on how we calculate each team's playoff odds, see the bottom of the article.