We used ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine to generate probably the most impossible 2019 playoff group

For baseball fans, the annual unveiling of ESPN’s Playoff Machine is just as much of a holiday as Xmas or Thanksgiving.

The simulation allows users to choose winners and losers of the normal season’s outstanding activities and churns out a expected playoff group predicated on win-loss documents and tiebreakers.

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It’s a really of good use software for media and fans, but it’s just as entertaining to doll with the system to see what sort of goofy effects it can produce. Therefore that’s just what we did. The goal was easy: build probably the most statistically impossible playoff group possible.


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The initial get of business is trying to find ways to fit as much 2020 No. 1 draft pick competitors to the playoffs. In the AFC, the Bengals sit at 0-10 and the Dolphins (2-8) and Planes (3-7) may do number better than link the Patriots with seven benefits on the season. Not a ton going on here.

For the NFC, however, the doorway is a bit more open. The Redskins, which own a conference-worst 1-9 history, however have a mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs that season. Exactly the same case also pertains to the lowly Leaders (2-8), Falcons (3-7), Buccaneers (3-7) and Cardinals (3-7-1).

We started by trying to put as much recent non-playoff teams in the group and eliminate as much correct playoff competitors as possible. These attempts triggered the Patriots, Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, Packers, Saints and Cowboys all lacking the playoffs.

The final playoff seedings according to the simulation are shown under with each team’s expected playoff history and ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight playoff probabilities.



1. Browns (10-6) — Mathematically talking, Cleveland may however surpass its lofty preseason expectations. Because it presently stands, however, the Browns are 4-6 and three activities behind the Chiefs in the get column for the No. 6 seed. The fact that Cleveland may however theoretically area the utmost effective seed in the AFC is very remarkable. First-round bye likelihood: <1%

2. Raiders (10-6) — The Raiders, meanwhile, are trending nearer to playoff contention. Oakland is tied with the Chiefs in losing column and has only one sport against a team above .500 the remaining portion of the way, which will be Kansas City on Dec. 1. First-round bye likelihood: 2%

3. Bills (10-6) — Think about a changing of the defend in the AFC East? The Bills walk the Patriots by two activities but look the section of a playoff contender through the very first 10 games. The only problem is Buffalo has yet to beat a successful team in 2010 and its outstanding schedule characteristics the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers and Patriots. Playoff likelihood: 72%

4. Texans (9-6-1) — The AFC South might get very frantic down the stretch if the Texans stumble. Houston presently brings with a 7-4 history with the Colts (6-5), Leaders (5-5) and even the Jaguars (4-6) perhaps not much behind. Houston and Tennessee will match in weeks 15 and 17 for a pair of matchups that figure to go quite a distance in choosing the division. Playoff likelihood: 84%

5. Jaguars (9-6-1) — Shock, surprise. Despite slipping two activities below .500 after beginning 4-4, Jacksonville isn’t finished. The Jaguars’ outstanding schedule is favorable, too, with four of the ultimate six activities coming against teams under .500. Playoff likelihood: 7%

6. Leaders (9-6-1) — Operation AFC South Takeover is complete with the Leaders rounding out the playoff subject, making the Patriots, Ravens and Chiefs among potential Very Dish competitors booking early vacations. I wouldn’t bet hardly any money on this scenario visiting fruition. Playoff likelihood: 17%

Missing out: Patriots (playoff skip likelihood: <1%), Ravens (1%), Chiefs (8%), Colts (64%), Steelers (71%)

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