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NFL win-total projections, NFC: Seahawks narrowly win NFC West; Falcons best Saints in NFC South

NFL franchises use contextualized data to create competitive advantages. In order to realize an edge, teams need to employ the right data in the right way at the right time. This means distilling, interpreting and applying only the most influential data in a framework that accounts for their personnel, their opponents and their evolving game situations. My goal is to be YOUR analytics department. I want to work for you by providing a peek into which numbers flag in my models as the most impactful ... or the most misunderstood.

With eight weeks (and the trade deadline) in the books, we're taking a midseason look at win projections for all 32 teams for the 2023 season, focusing on the NFC below.

As always, let me know if your eye test is picking up on something interesting, or if there's a stat/trend you'd like me to take a deeper look at. You can hit me up @CFrelund. As with any great analytics department, the more collaborative this is, the more value we can create.

NOTE: The odds presented below are provided by FanDuel. They are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 1 unless otherwise noted.

Philadelphia Eagles
  • Over/under Wins: 12.5
  • Make Playoffs: N/A
  • Win Division: -250
  • Win Conference: +230
  • Win Super Bowl: +500

The Eagles' trade for safety Kevin Byard increased their win total by almost 0.3 wins. Philadelphia earns the NFC’s only playoff bye in 38.6 percent of simulations.

Detroit Lions
  • Over/under Wins: N/A
  • Make Playoffs: -4500
  • Win Division: -1450
  • Win Conference: +650
  • Win Super Bowl: +1400

The Lions are favored in all but one of their remaining games in my models (at Dallas, Week 17). Their 2023 draft class has played a big part in their success this season, with Sam LaPorta's contributions, in particular, standing out. No rookie tight end has earned a higher win share through eight games in my 10-season sample.

Seattle Seahawks
  • Over/under Wins: 9.5
  • Make Playoffs: -340
  • Win Division: +250
  • Win Conference: +1300
  • Win Super Bowl: +3100

The Seahawks have been wildly inconsistent in the red zone this season, scoring touchdowns on 58.8% of their red-zone opportunities before their Week 5 bye, as opposed to 38.5% in the three games since. If they can get that percentage back to what it had been -- which should be possible with their personnel, healthy bookends and Shane Waldron calling plays -- they could play late into the postseason. On defense, a quick shoutout to CB Devon Witherspoon, who has the highest win share among rookie defenders so far this season.

San Francisco 49ers
  • Over/under Wins: 11.5
  • Make Playoffs: N/A
  • Win Division: -280
  • Win Conference: +410
  • Win Super Bowl: +600

The margin between the 49ers and Seahawks is only 0.075 of a game, per my models, so the reality is their two head-to-head matchups in a three-week span (Weeks 12-14) figure to decide the division. San Francisco's trade deadline acquisition of Chase Young, who's in the midst of a career-best season in terms of pressure rate (17.2%), adds to the team's embarrassment of riches up front. With Young in tow, the Niners now have two of the top-five pressure producers in the league: Young ranks fifth with 40 pressures, while Nick Bosa ranks fourth with 41.

Dallas Cowboys
  • Over/under Wins: 11.5
  • Make Playoffs: -1200
  • Win Division: +200
  • Win Conference: +480
  • Win Super Bowl: +1000

We had to wait nearly two months for it, but Mike McCarthy finally used CeeDee Lamb more on the outside against the Rams in Week 8 -- and it was glorious. Lamb hauled in a career-best 158 receiving yards and his first multiple-TD game of the season. More than anything, though, the adjustment perhaps suggests that McCarthy's offense won't remain as vanilla as we thought, which helps support a higher win total down the stretch.

Atlanta Falcons
  • Over/under Wins: 8.5
  • Make Playoffs: -162
  • Win Division: +135
  • Win Conference: +3200
  • Win Super Bowl: +7500

The Falcons edge out the Saints for the division title due to having zero games left in which their current win probability is less than 45%. The Saints, on the other hand, still have a date with the Lions -- a Week 13 matchup in which they currently forecast to win in less than 45% of simulations. The two teams still face off twice -- in Weeks 12 and 18 -- so there's certainly potential for a change here. How Atlanta handles the QB position -- Taylor Heinicke was named the starter this week, replacing Desmond Ridder -- will also heavily impact a potential playoff run.

New Orleans Saints
  • Over/under Wins: 9.5
  • Make Playoffs: -172
  • Win Division: +120
  • Win Conference: +1900
  • Win Super Bowl: +4400

The Saints have the third-easiest remaining schedule, per my team rankings. That and their stalwart defense, which boasts the fifth-best average pass EPA allowed (-0.21), open the door for New Orleans to snag the NFC's final wild-card spot.

Los Angeles Rams
  • Over/under Wins: N/A
  • Make Playoffs: +310
  • Win Division: +2800
  • Win Conference: +6500
  • Win Super Bowl: +14000

The Rams' hopes for a turnaround this season hinge heavily on Matthew Stafford's health and performance. Since 2016, no quarterback has a better play-after-a-pressure success rate than the veteran. What that means is, after a sack, hit or pressure of any kind, Stafford has rebounded with a first down or touchdown on the next play more often than any other quarterback (+4.8%).

Minnesota Vikings
  • Over/under Wins: N/A
  • Make Playoffs: +225
  • Win Division: +1600
  • Win Conference: +4400
  • Win Super Bowl: +12000

Losing Kirk Cousins for the season is undoubtedly a significant blow to this team's playoff hopes. The trade for Josh Dobbs, though, does create a new and valuable wrinkle in this offense, as he’s been the best scrambler in terms of yards per carry (11.9) and rushing yards over expected (+94), per NGS.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Over/under Wins: 7.5
  • Make Playoffs: +172
  • Win Division: +440
  • Win Conference: +4900
  • Win Super Bowl: +13000

The Bucs end up winning the NFC South in 17.2% of simulations, the highest percentage (by 8.8 points) for any team currently in third place within their division.

Green Bay Packers
  • Over/under Wins: 6.5
  • Make Playoffs: +360
  • Win Division: +4100
  • Win Conference: +6100
  • Win Super Bowl: +11000

The Packers' outlook for the rest of the season is bleak, but they brightened their future some by recently locking up free-agent-to-be Rashan Gary on a long-term extension. Gary has been one of the best pass rushers in the league this season, generating the third-highest pressure rate (22.2%) and average peak pressure probability (45.2%).

Washington Commanders
  • Over/under Wins: 6.5
  • Make Playoffs: +590
  • Win Division: +30000
  • Win Conference: +29000
  • Win Super Bowl: +23000

After the major changes to the D-line at the trade deadline, the data suggests it could take a few weeks for the defense to really show us its new identity. In the meantime, the Commanders' offense can help carry some of the load by keeping Sam Howell clean, allowing for a higher probability of explosive plays.

Chicago Bears
  • Over/under Wins: 5.5
  • Make Playoffs: N/A
  • Win Division: +11000
  • Win Conference: +29000
  • Win Super Bowl: +100000

Whether or not you agree with the trade for Montez Sweat, there's no debating that the Bears' pass rush eventually needed a massive upgrade. Sweat has 33 pressures on the season (T-17th) -- 11 more than any Bears player -- and should provide some juice to a unit that ranked dead last in pressure rate, per NGS.

New York Giants
  • Over/under Wins: 5.5
  • Make Playoffs: +1800
  • Win Division: +40000
  • Win Conference: +23000
  • Win Super Bowl: +55000

Dexter Lawrence has come on strong of late, with Next Gen Stats showing he had a career-high 12 pressures on 36 pass rushes against the Jets (33.3%) in Week 8. That brings his two-week total to 20 pressures -- the most in the NFL during that span -- after generating just 15 total from Weeks 1 to 6. It will be interesting to see how he and the rest of the resurgent Giants defense fare after the departure of Leonard Williams at the trade deadline.

Carolina Panthers
  • Over/under Wins: 4.5
  • Make Playoffs: +1600
  • Win Division: +5000
  • Win Conference: +24000
  • Win Super Bowl: +55000

Although it’s been a rough start for the Panthers and their rookie QB, Bryce Young’s individual win share has increased in every game he’s play in so far. The same can't be said for his O-line and playmakers.

Arizona Cardinals
  • Over/under Wins: 3.5
  • Make Playoffs: N/A
  • Win Division: +100000
  • Win Conference: +100000
  • Win Super Bowl: +100000

This win total supposes Kyler Murray returns to the starting lineup in Week 10 and plays the remainder of the season.

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