Steve Kornacki Joins Sunday Night Football to Map Out the NFL Playoffs Picture

By A.J. Katz 

Sports and politics have a lot in common, as we all know. Acutely aware of this connection, and impressed by what he saw on NBC News/MSNBC’s recent election night coverage, NBC Sunday Night Football ep Sam Flood was able to borrow NBC News/MSNBC national political correspondent (and diehard Patriots fan) Steve Kornacki for this week’s broadcast of Football Night in America.

“As we push to the playoffs, who better to spot the trends, make the call about division and conference races, and identify the toss-up games that can flip the standings than the man in the khakis?” Flood said in a statement released last week.

Instead of mapping out the paths to 270 electoral votes, Kornacki mapped out paths to AFC and NFC playoff spots from a new Big Board.


All while sporting his signature khakis.

One of the more interesting findings from Kornacki’s analysis of the Pro Football Focus Analytics data model was that the Las Vegas Raiders’ last-second win over the winless New York Jets earlier today meant their odds of making the playoffs moved from 47% to 49%. While that might not sound like much, Kornacki explained that had the Raiders had lost to the Jets (which very nearly happened), their odds of making the playoffs would have plummeted to roughly 10-15%.

Here’s Kornacki’s analysis of the race for AFC playoff spots:

Kornacki on the NFC:

Kornacki also returned for Sunday Night Football’s halftime show, and broke down “the state of the race” once again.

This appearance might not be a one-and-done for the NBC Newser: