Which Stats Predict that an NFL Team Will Make the Playoffs?

Imagine you could determine which NFL teams would make the playoffs? Such knowledge would produce numerous profitable betting opportunities. Super Bowl and conference futures bets would be easy winners. Luckily, SportsBetting3.com has research which stats predict whether an NFL will team the playoffs.

The following is adapted from a case study featuring the Kansas City Chiefs. For comparison purposes, we also looked at the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, and Indianapolis Colts. The Cleveland Browns, who’ve experience years of failed playoff attempts, were the control team. Dig in below and make some money this NFL season!

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Case Study: How the Kansas City Chiefs Made the Playoffs 2003-Present

We reviewed key Kansas City regular season stats for each year they made the playoffs, 2003-present. We also tabulated numbers for the 49ers and Colts.

New England made the playoffs every year except 2008 in our 2003-present sample. Meanwhile, Cleveland has the longest playoff drought in NFL history. They haven’t made the postseason since 2002. Cleveland’s stats from 2003 onward effectively demonstrate how a team does not make the playoffs. The Raiders have a similar track record, save one playoff appearance in 2016.

Each team’s overall averages are displayed below. Separate tables containing each team’s regular season stats follow. Numbers for the Cleveland Browns are provided as a control group.

Stats that Predict Playoff Appearances

Kansas City makes the playoffs if their regular season is above their playoff year averages. In our estimation, the most predictive stats are possession time greater than 30 minutes, a 97 QB rating or better, 5700 offensive yards or better, and at least 50 touchdowns.

Note also an average of 327 1st downs in the regular season. Most of the totals cluster closely around 300. The Kansas City Chiefs must consistently advance the ball to win games!

For the record, the New England Patriots’ averages exceed these numbers. That suggests a range of high end performance – well above the lowly Cleveland Browns and Raiders – guarantees a crack at the Super Bowl.

Key Overall Stats Averages

Select Regular Season Averages, Playoff Teams vs. Drought Teams 2003-Present

Average Stats - Regular Season - Each Team
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Chiefs Playoffs (11)
Averages
30:29104.4591951344
Colts Playoffs (13)
Averages
29:59102.3594150356
49ers Playoffs (5)
Averages
31:27134.6568546317
Raiders Drought (1)
Averages
29:3291.9516033286

Key Stats for Consistent Playoff Contenders

Chiefs 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

Chiefs - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average30:29104.4591951344
202130:57118.8674657419
202030:31118.8665357397
201929:27105.3606750350
201829:11113.8681071384
201730:55104.7600742322
201630:36118.8548842305
201530:5495.4529945303
201331:0589.1539652323
201031:3893.0559544319
200630:3098.0514337310
200329:3492.6591063348

Colts 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

Colts - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average29:59102.3594150356
202031:0697.0604950364
201830:0498.7617952371
201431:54102.6650653371
201329:4187.0546840318
201230:4576.5579940360
201029:5491.9609251366
200927:40158.3580953339
200828:3895.0536845321
200729:4998.0573954357
200629:31101.0607050376
200530:21104.1579953363
200428:45121.1647566379
200331:2799.0587448348

49ers 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

49ers - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average31:27134.6568546317
202131:09133.3638750361
201931:37158.3609756336
201330:34118.8518044286
201231:46104.1578944322
201132:07158.3497435282

Raiders 2003-Present Playoff Drought - Key Season Stats (Except: 2016)

Raiders - Regular Season Stats - Drought Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average29:3091.7517233287
202131:0094.0618437349
202031:04118.8613348359
201931:01108.8581937315
201830:5993.9537930300
201728:5386.4518536287
201529:3391.1533642300
201428:2076.6451528248
201329:54158.3534037275
201229:3085.3550428300
201129:55118.1607238328
201031:1284.5567444306
200928:1780.6425817234
200828:3177.1435627225
200731:2678.0471730267
200628:1361.7393916243
200528:0677.3495133294
200426:4786.9515335275
200328:0873.5457329258

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