The Pittsburgh Steelers may be the best team in football right now, while the NFC East is unquestionably the worst division in football.
At the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles are the ones who have a better chance at winning their division, at least according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
ESPN’s FPI – which projects results based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using results to date and the remaining schedule -- predicts that the 3-4-1 Eagles have a 78.8% chance at winning the division while the 8-0 Steelers have a 71.1% chance to take the AFC North.
On the surface, it seems ridiculous that the Eagles have better odds at hosting a playoff game than the Steelers, but it is more so an indicator of the strength of the division that each team plays in.
The Eagles play in non-competitive division and don’t need to do a whole lot to win it. The FPI projects the Eagles to finish at roughly 7-8-1. The Steelers, on the other hand, are in a highly competitive AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens, and even the Cleveland Browns in the mix, and are projected to finish with a record of about 13-3.
While the Eagles have the higher odds to take the division, the Steelers do have a 99.7% chance to make the playoffs – the second-best percentage based on ESPN’s FPI – and a 20% chance to make the Super Bowl, with only the Chiefs, Packers and Saints with better odds.
The Eagles, well, their playoff chances rest solely on the division and are also 78.8% while Super Bowl dwindles down to just a 2.7% chance.