Inside the numbers: Which playoff seeds have the best chance?

  • By Pat Kirwan
More Columns >
The road to the Super Bowl
Here's how the individual playoff seeds have fared in making it to the Super Bowl since 1990.
Seed Super Bowl appearances, AFC Super Bowl appearances, NFC   Comment
1. 6 (35.3%) 11 (65%)   The No. 1 seeds have made it to the Super Bowl a combined 50 percent of the time. That's good news for the Patriots and Cowboys.
2. 5 (29.4%) 5 (29.4%)   The No. 2 seeds have made the Super Bowl a combined 29 percent of the time, which is a significant dropoff from the No. 1 seeds for Green Bay and Indianapolis. But when you realize the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have a combined 79.4 percent chance of making it, it makes it tough for the rest of the playoff teams and the mountain gets much steeper from here on out.
3. 1 (6%) 1 (6%)   Reality sets in for the Chargers and Seahawks. Sure, both teams get a home game this week but an extra game and a road trip next week are hard to overcome.
4. 4 (23.5%) 0 (0%)   There seems like a little ray of hope in the AFC but overall the Steelers and Bucs are looking at a 12 percent chance, which at least looks better than the chances for the No. 3 seeds.
5. 0 (0%) 0 (0%)   The No. 5 seed has never been the place to be. The Jaguars and Giants have other ideas this year but they are going to have to buck 17 years of history. Both are capable of making something happen, but it is one big mountain to climb. No one has ever done it!
6. 1 (6%) 0 (0%)   Only the Steelers under Bill Cowher came from the No. 6 seed and got to the Super Bowl, which they won. The chances of a No. 6 seed making it are 3 percent.



The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop