ESPN gives Chiefs a 56 percent chance to make playoffs

May 23, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) speaks to the media after the organized team activities at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) speaks to the media after the organized team activities at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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ESPN’s own football analytics team has put out their predictions for the 2017 NFL season, and has the Chiefs’ chances of making postseason at 56%.

The Kansas City Chiefs should feel just fine about their chances for the 2017 NFL season. Not only are they among the league’s deepest teams, but they have impact players on both sides of the ball and plenty of developmental talent that should enjoy breakout performances. The folks at ESPN’s own football analytics department agree and have given the Chiefs a 56% chance of making the playoffs in 2017.

ESPN unveiled their complete predictions, called the Football Power Index, and the New England Patriots are an overwhelming favorite to win everything that’s ever existed, including odds that say they have a 92% chance of winning the AFC East. The Chiefs are fourth in the AFC in terms of postseason odds, after the Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders, who are actually almost identical with the Chiefs in all categories, given a slight increase for, well, who knows given that the Chiefs owned the Raiders last season.

Still it’s clear that most projections like the Chiefs’ chances of once again making noise heading into January, despite facing one of the league’s most difficult schedules. However, when it comes to advancing in the playoffs, the Chiefs odds drop dramatically, down to only a 7.7% chance of making the Super Bowl and 4.4% of winning the Lombardi Trophy.

Overall for the season, the Chiefs are projected to go 9-7, same as the Oakland Raiders, while the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers are all predicted to go somewhere between 7-9 and 8-8. In other words, the idea that the AFC West is the toughest division in football is backed up by the giant prediction machine used by ESPN.

"The AFC West is the home of the closest projected division-winner race. The Raiders are a slim favorite over the Chiefs by just more than 1 percent. The Broncos and Chargers are also seen as credible threats at just more than 15 and 11 percent, respectively. While the AFC South houses the teams projected to have the easiest schedules, the AFC West is the home of four of the 14 most difficult schedules, as projected by FPI."