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Football Perspective’s 2016 NFL Contest

In 2002, the league realigned its division format with the addition of the Houston Texans. From 2003 to 2015, of the 156 teams that made the playoffs, 75 of them were not in the playoffs a year ago. In other words, about 5.8 teams each year make the leap from out of the playoffs to into the playoffs, with the remaining 6.2 teams being repeat entrants.

If we had run this study four years ago, those numbers would be flipped: from ’03 to ’11, 6.3 of the playoff teams each year were new, but in recent years, there has been less turnover among playoff teams. Last year, only four teams — Kansas City, Houston, Minnesota, and Washington — took the leap. The graph below shows the number of teams to make the jump from out of to into the playoffs in each year:

playoff tms

Who will jump into the playoffs this year? The candidates:

Tier A: New York Jets, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts

Tier B: Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys

Tier C: Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars,  Tennessee Titans

Tier D: Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns

Now, here are the contest rules:

1. Pick at least one team from the above list to make the playoffs in 2016.  If none of those teams make the playoffs, this contest is over because this would be the most predictable NFL season ever.

2. Pick as many teams from the above list as you like. However, if any of your teams fail to make the playoffs, you lose.

3. If and only if all of the teams on your list make the playoffs, congrats! You are now eligible to win the contest.  For each team you have chosen in Tier A, you receive 3 points.  For each team in Tier B, you receive  5 points.  For each team in Tier C, you receive 7 points.  For each team in Tier D, you receive 10 points.  Whoever has the most points, wins.

4. More rules: Everyone is limited to one entry per person. This will be enforced by the honor system. If caught breaking this rule, you, your children, and your children’s children will be banned from all future FP contests. I won’t enter the contest myself, which will allow me to arbitrate any dispute impartially. Any ambiguities in the rules will be clarified by me in whatever way causes me the least amount of hassle.  Grand prize? TBD, but if honor and glory are not enough, you probably shouldn’t enter.

  • Anders

    I have my surprises as:



  • Mitchell Deeming

    Falcons, Raiders, Jags, Cowboys

  • Joff Callaghan

    Colts, Raiders, Saints, Giants

  • Ryan

    Giants, Chargers

  • vfefrenzy

    I would be surprised if the St. Louis Rams lost a game all season, but they definitely won’t make the playoffs.

  • Adam


    • Anders

      Just zero fun in that

      • Adam

        Zero fun…..until it wins me the contest 🙂

        • This guy is very smart!!!!

  • BK

    Colts & Cowboys

  • Clint


  • Hannibal

    Colts, Raiders, Cowboys

  • Giants, Chargers

    • Ryan

      I get the tiebreaker for posting this first!

  • Steven Tucker

    This is probably crazy talk, but go big or go home, right?

    Raiders and Titans

  • drew


  • Tom


  • Roger Kirk

    Cowboys Colts
    Bonus prediction: Dak Prescott vs. Trevor Siemian in the Super Bowl

  • AgronomyBrad

    Eagles, Saints, Colts, Jaguars

    Go Big or Go Home, right?

  • Eric Gravning

    Giants, Colts, Saints

  • AgronomyBrad

    How did you determine which teams went in each tier? SRS ratings?

    • Richie

      I’m going to guess that it is based on betting odds to make the playoffs.

    • Little bit of magic sauce: i.e., vegas odds and 2015 wins.

  • Mat

    Giants, Bears, Jaguars

  • Richie


  • Corbin

    Jaguars and Raiders… embrace the hype

  • The Mysteries of Rosewood

    Colts and Giants

  • mrh

    Colts and Lions

  • Joe Wright

    Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Jacksonville

  • Dan

    Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.

  • Colts, Giants, Bears

  • I was going to say just the Dolphins, but since Adam already did, this is my entry:

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    • Adam

      Didn’t think anyone else would try the one team strategy. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • The Daves

    Baltimore Ravens
    New York Giants
    Detroit Lions

  • Daniel Menezes


  • LooseCanons

    Ravens, Chargers, Cowboys, Bucs, Bears

  • Saints, Colts, Raiders

  • nate swaisgood

    Cowboys and Colts

  • sunrise089

    Colts and Chargers

  • mmurano

    NY Giants
    New Orleans

  • Alejandro


    I’m buying into Jameis this year, and I feel Miami has enough talent to stumble their way to a wild card.

  • Dallas and Jacksonville.

    Chase, it may also be a good idea to list a cutoff date for entries. I’m not even sure if mine is ok since the season started last night.

    • Yeah, I think after the 1PM games start, this will be cut-off.

  • Roger Kirk

    I just had a brilliant idea for next year’s contest. Before week 1 look at the week 17 matchups and predict which ones will have any effect on playoff berths. You’re welcome.

  • Richie

    Number of times each team was picked:

    Ind 15
    NYG 12
    Oak 10
    Dal 7
    TB 7
    Jac 7
    SD 5
    NO 5
    Det 4
    Mia 4
    Bal 3
    Atl 3
    Chi 3
    Phi 3
    NYJ 1
    Buf 1
    Ten 1
    LA 0
    SF 0
    Cle 0

  • Richie

    Standings if the season ended after week 6:

    (No winner.)