NFL Playoff Picture: How every team’s playoff chances move with win or loss in Week 16

Week 16 features games that will consequentially shift the NFL's playoff picture.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

There may be a few weeks left on the NFL schedule, but the playoff picture crystalizes in a major way in Week 16. Playoff probabilities take massive swings upward and downward depending on some team's wins or losses, creating plenty of excitement to the games that are scheduled for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Here's a breakdown of all the consequential teams and how their odds move with a win compared to a loss in Week 16.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Before Week 16: 58%
  • With win: 78%
  • With loss: 38%

The Vikings can give themselves a very strong chance of making the playoffs with a win over the Lions on Christmas Eve. That said, the Lions, with a win, win the NFC North for the first time in 30 years, so both teams have plenty to play for.

Cleveland Browns

  • Before Week 16: 94%
  • With win: 99+%
  • With loss: 78%

The Browns are taking on the Texans, with both teams having a ton on the line in terms of playoff chances. Consider this: The Browns have a 21 percent swing in odds with a win vs loss, the Texans on the other hand have a 41 percent swing with a win or loss. This game has the highest cumulative playoff probability swing on the line this week at 62 percent.

Houston Texans

  • Before Week 16: 42%
  • With win: 74%
  • With loss: 33%

Right on the other side of the Browns is the Texans, who have a startling 41 percent swing in odds with a win vs loss. As mentioned above, this game against the Browns has the most on the line cumulatively for both teams of any game this week.

Green Bay Packers

  • Before Week 16: 21%
  • With win: 26%
  • With loss: 5%

Green Bay stays just barely alive with a win, but playoff hopes nearly die with a loss.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Before Week 16: 40%
  • With win: 56%
  • With loss: 22%

The Seahawks get themselves up to a coin-flip probability with a win but drop to below 25 percent with a loss against the Titans.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Before Week 16: 60%
  • With win: 75%
  • With loss: 48%

The Colts and Falcons have the third-highest cumulative swing on the line in playoff probability. The Colts jump from 60 percent to 75 with a win but drop below half as likely if they lose.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Before Week 16: 12%
  • With win: 17%
  • With loss: 5%

The Falcons playoff hopes are dying, but the difference between life support and hospice will be a win or loss in Week 16. A win keeps them in it, a loss moves them nearly to zero percent chance.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Before Week 16: 73%
  • With win: 86%
  • With loss: 61%

This game is massive. It may have the second-highest total cumulative swing (56 percent) to the Browns/Texans matchup, but these teams are playing for a lot. Baker Mayfield has found his groove in Tampa, and Jacksonville wants to compete with the best of the AFC. A win for Tampa would make their NFC South title very likely.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Before Week 16: 77%
  • With win: 91%
  • With loss: 60%

The Jags jump all the way up to 91 percent likely to make the playoffs with a win. It's a big one in Tampa in Week 16.

Denver Broncos

  • Before Week 16: 24%
  • With win: 32%
  • With loss: 3%

Denver doesn't have a ton of control over its playoff destiny, needing a few other losses to happen to sneak in, but a loss obviously wouldn't help. They're facing the Patriots who are out of the playoff picture.

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