NFL Playoff Probabilities: Who Is Taking the League by Storm, Who is Treading Water?

New York/New Jersey State of Mind: Giants, Jets Defying Odds With Strong Starts

Title Contenders Green Bay and Tampa Bay Struggling for Wins

NFL Playoff Probabilities Preview: With most of the teams in the NFL having played at least seven games, some trends are starting to develop. Some teams expected to contend for a championship are struggling. Teams that seem to be in a rebuilding mode have moved into contention as the NFL betting odds heading into the season look much different these days.

The NFL playoffs point spreads are worth taking a look at early, and especially a hard look at some of the most surprising teams and the ones struggling to live up to the expectations. There are a couple of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks having issues leading their teams to victory while, let’s see a show of hands of how many thought Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles would be the team with the best record in the NFL going into Week 8? It goes without saying that many of the current NFL stats leaders are on teams that have a clear path to the playoffs.

Five Surprise Teams

Philadelphia Eagles

Let’s dive into our NFL Playoff probabilities preview: The Eagles came into the season with an expected win total of 9.5 according to the NFL betting odds, a number that moved following the acquisition of receiver A.J. Brown.

Philadelphia is the last remaining undefeated team in the NFC at 6-0 and the Eagles now have the best odds to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

While Jalen Hurts has emerged as an MVP candidate, but the key has been the defense as the Eagles have allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL.

New York Giants

The Giants came into the season with an expected win total of 6.5 and a win this week would put the Giants at seven victories with nine regular-season games left to play.

Running back Saquon Barkley looks like he did before his injury issues while quarterback Daniel Jones has cut down on his turnover problems as the Giants have the second-best record in the NFC. When looking at the 2022 NFL stat leaders, Barkley is second in the league with 726 rushing yards.

The Giants already own wins against the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens. The ability to close out games has been the most impressive aspect of Brian Daboll’s first season at the helm of the Giants.

New York Jets

The injuries are piling up with running back Breece Hall and offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker the latest players headed to injured reserve. Still, the Jets enter the weekend at 5-2, just 1/2 a game behind Buffalo in the AFC East. That is certainly not what the NFL betting odds were projecting coming into the season.

Expectations were rather low for the Jets as the expected win total started at 5.5 and moved to 6. A perfect 4-0 record on the road has the Jets surprising just about everybody.

Seattle Seahawks

The departures of franchise quarterback Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, who is on a short list of the best defensive players in franchise history, had some predicting a long season for Seattle.

Geno Smith has been rock solid at quarterback as the Seahawks have the most points among NFC teams.
The defense is a work in progress, but the 4-3 Seahawks are approaching their expected win total of 5.5.

Rookie running back Kenneth Walker could be the key piece in the second half of the season as Seattle continues to make a playoff push.

Atlanta Falcons

Another team that moved on from a veteran quarterback as Matt Ryan was traded to Indianapolis. Leading rusher Cordarelle Patterson is sidelined, but the Falcons are sitting at 3-4 and before Thursday’s Tampa Bay-Baltimore game, Atlanta was tied for the NFC South lead.

The Falcons had an expected win total of just 4.5 and seem on the verge of moving by that number sooner rather than later.

The Week 8 NFL Point Spreads list the Falcons as four-point favorites against division rival Carolina.

Disappointing Teams

Green Bay Packers

The Packers have some work to do to hit the expected win total of 11 as Green Bay would need to finish the season 8-2 to hit that mark.

Veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing his teammates under the bus by suggesting that snap counts of his struggling teammates should be adjusted. With Geno Smith and Jimmy Garoppolo among the quarterbacks with higher passing ratings than Rodgers, he might want to start looking in the mirror when it comes to placing blame.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When two starting interior offensive linemen headed elsewhere in the offseason and then starting center Ryan Jensen when down in the preseason, there was cause for concern.

The offensive struggles have been hard to miss with future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady looking ordinary.
Tampa Bay stumbled again on Thursday night to fall to 3-5  so the Buccaneers don’t figure to top the expected win total of 11.5 that the Bucs had coming into the season.

Pittsburgh Steelers

It was odd to see the perennial playoff team listed at 7.5 projected wins coming into the season. With a 2-4 start and one of the worst offenses in the NFL, the Steelers might struggle to get to that number.

Getting defensive star T.J. Watt back will help, but the Steelers have allowed 55 more points than they score, the worst point differential in the NFL.

Denver Broncos

The acquisition of quarterback Russell Wilson was thought to be just what the Broncos needed to take the next step.

The Broncos came into the season with an expected win total of 10. They are currently last in the AFC West with a 2-5 record.

The defense continues to be among the best in the league. However, with the loss of talented young running back Javonte Williams and Wilson struggling at quarterback, points have been hard to come by for the Broncos.

New Orleans Saints

Concluding our NFL Playoff Probabilities Preview: Injuries at nearly every offensive position have made things tougher than expected for the Saints. Coming into the season with an expected win total of 8.5, the Saints are 2-5 with the two victories by one and seven points so New Orleans could easily be winless. All five of the losses are by 10 points or less so it could be argued that New Orleans could be better than a team tied for the second-worst record in the NFC.

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