NFL playoff picture tiers: Stacking all 32 teams’ chances, from locks to long shots

We’re a little more than halfway through the 2022 NFL season, and fans are wondering whether their favorite team will make the playoffs. The standings tell part of the story, but they don’t show us everything. The strength of each team, remaining schedules and current division/conference landscapes also play big roles. Let’s divide all 32 teams into playoff picture tiers.

I’ll be relying on ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) projections, remaining strength of schedule, past performance metrics, the betting market and a dash of intuition in placing these teams into seven tiers, ranging from no-brainer Super Bowl contenders to teams playing out the string. And along the way, NFL Nation reporters will use their expertise to add critical X factors for each team — that is, what could cause each franchise to move up or down tiers before the end of the regular season.

Note: Teams are organized within tiers by overall confidence, and the FPI chances for the 49ers and Chargers are pre-“Sunday Night Football.”

Tier 1: True Super Bowl contenders

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