NBC’s Steve Kornacki Reveals Percentage Patriots Make NFL Playoffs

Kornacki called New England the 'biggest loser' of Week 15


Dec 19, 2022

Perhaps the only thing worse than the mind-blowing final play during the New England Patriots’ Week 15 debacle is how the unspeakable decision impacted the bigger picture. The Patriots had their playoff hopes plummet following Sunday’s 30-24 walk-off loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

NBC’s Steve Kornacki, a well-known political journalist who helps dissect playoff standings while using percentages and analytics, went on the “Sunday Night Football” pregame show after New England’s unspeakable defeat. Kornacki revealed the percentage for the Patriots to advance to the playoffs — and it wasn’t a review Patriots fans will enjoy.

“Yeah, trying to make sense of that lateral attempt from the Patriots there, but boy was that consequential when it comes to the AFC wild card race,” Kornacki started his segment Sunday night. “Because you can look at this, the Pats came into (Sunday) in the seventh spot in the AFC with a 42% chance of making the playoffs. Had they won the game against the Raiders, that number would have gone up. Instead, they get beat, they fall out of the top seven, now to the eight spot, and you see the Patriots, their playoff chances cut almost in half now, barely 20% for New England.”

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers jumped the Miami Dolphins in the AFC standings. They currently sit as the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively.

DraftKings Sportsbook clearly feels the same way. New England is heavily favored to miss the postseason at -750. The Chargers are -1000 to make the playoffs while the Dolphins are -250 to qualify.

“They’re the biggest loser on the day as it comes to the AFC wild card,” Kornacki said in reference to the Patriots. “And the biggest winner of the day? It’s the Chargers.”

Kornacki added: “The problem for the Pats, boy a tough one against (Cincinnati Bengals) next week and they close out the season in Orchard Park against a Bill team that could be playing for the top seed in the AFC. So really needed that one (Sunday), the Pats did.”

The Patriots still do control their own destiny when it comes to making the postseason. If New England wins its final three games — vs. Bengals, vs. Dolphins, at Bills — the Patriots will claim the seventh and final spot. But given how the Patriots have fared in recent weeks, and really throughout the entire season, it’s far from a certainty.

The Bengals opened as 3.5-point favorites entering the Week 16 contest at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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