How are tiebreakers determined among teams within an NFL conference?

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The first, and only, case of a tiebreaker deciding a playoff spot prior to the AFL-NFL merger was a notable one. In 1967, the Baltimore Colts entered the final week of the regular season at 11-0-2, trying to become the first team to go undefeated since the 1929 Green Bay Packers. However, they had to travel to Los Angeles to face the 10-1-2 Rams, their Coastal Division rival. The Rams won that game, and the tiebreaker, on net points scored in the two head to head matchups, and advanced to the playoffs. The Colts, despite tying for best record in the league, stayed home.

In Divisional tiebreakers, five three way ties have been used. Four were determined affirmatively by head to head record (that is, one team had either a 3-1 or 4-0 record combined against the other two), and one, the AFC East in 2002, was determined in the negative by kicking out Miami based on division record (2-4 versus 4-2 for both the Jets and Patriots).

Virtually all the divisional tiebreakers...

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The race to the NFL playoffs will come down to the final weeks of the regular season. Unless you’re a fan of the Cowboys, Patriots, or Seahawks, you’ve probably rolled through some complex tiebreaker scenarios just in case Week 17 leaves two teams tied atop your favorite division.

The NFL’s tiebreaking procedures are arduous and thorough. You have to plow through 11 different steps before you get to the nuclear option of the league throwing up its hands and just flipping a coin. They range from the obvious (head-to-head results) to the obscure (net touchdowns in all games).

Here’s how the NFL unties its knots after Week 17. These tiebreakers are not cumulative. Whichever team can claim victory in the earliest entry on increasingly complex metrics advances. Therefore, a team could win the head-to-head battle with a division rival and lose every other measure and still advance to the postseason.

For two teams in the same division:

Head-to-head results....
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The four divisions in each conference.6 teams from each conference makes the playoffs the four division winners get playoff spots.then the 2 best teams not including the division winners in the whole conference get wildcard spots.The 2 best teams in each conference get a week off in the playoffs and a automatic home game, while the overall best team in the conference gets all their games at home not including the Super Bowl. Unless the Super Bowl is in their stadium, which is possible to happen.

Match-ups are based on records.Wild card Round: Team with 6th best VS Team with 3rd best record Team with 5th best VS team with 4th best record 1st best record and 2nd best record get week off.
Divisional Round: Team with lowest record faces Team with best record, Team with 2nd best record faces the other.

Championship: 2 Teams that win divisional round best record team gets Home Field Advantage if team without home field losses in the previous round, teams that win...

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Tiebreaker Rules

The six postseason participants from each conference will be seeded as follows:

The division champion with the best record. The division champion with the second-best record. The division champion with the third-best record. The division champion with the fourth-best record. The Wild Card club with the best record. The Wild Card club with the second-best record.

The following procedures will be used to break standings ties for postseason playoffs and to determine regular-season schedules.
NOTE: Tie games count as one-half win and one-half loss for both clubs.

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION:

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with the best won-lost-tied percentage, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs:

Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs). Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within...
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The National Football League is the top professional league of American football. The league was created in 1920 and in 1970 a merger with the American Football League was completed to create the strongest league in the world. In 2002 the structure of the season was changed to a 4 week preseason, 17 week regular season consisting of 16 games and 1 bye, and a 12 team playoff series of which the Super Bowl is the final game. If you have ever wanted to know how the regular season games are scheduled, keep reading to find out.

How is the NFL schedule made?
The NFL schedule is created by the NFL Commission and they use a scheduling formula to determine which teams play each other during the regular season. The following in the formula that has been used since 2002.

To understand the following formula you need to know that the NFL is broken up into 2 conferences (NFC and AFC) with 4 divisions (east, north, south, west) in each conference. Each division has 4...

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As with many sports, the National Football League schedule is prone to completing its slate of games with two or more teams sharing identical records. Ties in the standings at the end of a season pose a problem for the NFL, because unlike Major League Baseball, tiebreaker playoff games are impractical, in which teams get multiple days to prepare for an opponent and recover afterward. To slot its playoff bracket equitably, the NFL has a multi-tiered process of applying tiebreakers to determine which get into postseason play.

Division Vs. Wild Card Tiebreakers

The first determination between two or more teams that end the season with identical records is whether they reside in the same division. Divisional tiebreakers only apply to the four teams in a particular NFL division. The structure of playoff seeding for each conference slots the division winners into the first four seeds, then slots the two teams with the best overall records into the final two spots....

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The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held at the end of the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Six teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season records, and a tie-breaking procedure exists in the case of equal records. It ends with the Super Bowl, the league's championship game, which matches the two conference champions.

NFL post-season history can be traced to the first NFL Championship Game in 1933, though in the early years, qualification for the game was based solely on regular season records. The first true NFL playoff began in 1967, when four teams qualified for the tournament. When the league merged with the American Football League in 1970, the playoffs expanded to eight teams. The playoffs were expanded to ten teams in 1978 and twelve teams in 1990.

The NFL is the only one out of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States to use a...

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The six postseason participants from each conference are seeded as follows:

The division champion with the best record. The division champion with the second-best record. The division champion with the third-best record. The division champion with the fourth-best record. The Wild Card club with the best record. The Wild Card club with the second-best record.

The following procedures will be used to break standings ties for postseason playoffs and to determine regular-season schedules.

NOTE: Tie games count as one-half win and one-half loss for both clubs.

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs

Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs). Best won-lost-tied percentage in games...
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Two teams

Head-to-head, if applicable. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four. Strength of victory. Strength of schedule. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed. Best net points in conference games. Best net points in all games. Best net touchdowns in all games. Coin toss.

Three or more teams (Note: If two teams remain tied after the third step or other teams are eliminated, tiebreaker reverts to step 1 of applicable two-team format.)

Apply division tiebreaker to eliminate all but the highest-ranked team in each division prior to proceeding to step The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tiebreaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two wild-card ...
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PLAYOFF SEEDING CRITERIA

The six postseason participants from each conference will now be seeded as follows:

1. The division champion with the best record.
2. The division champion with the second-best record.
3. The division champion with the third-best record.
4. The division champion with the fourth-best record.
5. The wild-card team with the best record.
6. The wild-card team with the second-best record.

The following procedures will be used to break standings ties for postseason playoffs and to determine regular-season schedules.
NOTE: Tie games count as one-half win and one-half loss for both teams.

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION
If, at the end of the regular season, two or more teams in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two teams
1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the...

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By James Alder

Within a Division

If two teams in the same division finish with identical records, the following tiebreakers will be used, in this order, until a champion is determined.

1. Head-to-Head
2. Division Record
3. Common Games
4. Conference Record
5. Strength of Victory
6. Strength of Schedule
7. Combined Ranking Among Conference Teams (points scored and points allowed)
8. Combined Ranking Among All Teams (points scored and points allowed)
9. Net Points (common games)
10. Net Points (all games)
11. Net Touchdowns (all games)

If three or more teams in the same division finish with identical records, the following tiebreakers will be used, in this order, until a champion is determined.
1. Head-to-Head
2. Division Record
3. Common Games
4. Conference Record
5. Strength of Victory
6. Strength of Schedule
7. Combined Ranking Among Conference Teams (points scored and points...

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As we enter the final quarter of the regular season, things are quite tight in the NFC playoff race. When Week 17 arrives, there could be several teams with similar records battling for the two wild-card spots, and it's possible that the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers could end up tied atop the NFC North. How exactly will everything be sorted out if ties happen? Let's take a look at the NFL's tiebreakers.

Ties within the division

If the Lions and Packers end up finishing with the same record, here's how that tie would be broken:

1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
5. Strength of victory.
6. Strength of schedule.
7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points...

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The six postseason participants from each conference are seeded as follows:

The division champion with the best record The division champion with the second-best record The division champion with the third-best record The division champion with the fourth-best record The wild card club with the best record The wild card club with the second-best record

The following procedures will be used to break standings ties for postseason playoffs and to determine regular-season schedules.

NOTE: Tie games count as one-half win and one-half loss for both clubs.

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs

Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs) Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division Best won-lost-tied...
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The six postseason participants from each conference will now be seeded as follows:

1. The division champion with the best record. 2. The division champion with the second-best record. 3. The division champion with the third-best record. 4. The division champion with the fourth-best record. 5. The wild card club with the best record. 6. The wild card club with the second-best record.

The following procedures will be used to break ties for postseason playoffs and to determine regular-season schedules.

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION

If two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical records, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs 1. Head-to-head (games between the clubs). 2. Best won-lost percentage in games played within the division. 3. Best won-lost percentage in common games. 4. Best won-lost- percentage in games played within the conference. 5. Strength of victory. 6. Strength of schedule. 7....

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Logo of the National Football League playoffs, 2010–present

The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the end of the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Six teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season records, and a tie-breaking procedure exists in the case of equal records. The tournament ends with the Super Bowl, the league's championship game, which matches the two conference champions.

NFL postseason history can be traced to the first NFL Championship Game in 1933, though in the early years, qualification for the game was based solely on regular season records. From 1933 to 1966, the NFL postseason generally only consisted of the NFL Championship Game, pitting the league's two division winners (pending any one-game playoff matches that needed to be held to break ties in the division standings). The NFL playoffs then expanded in 1967, when four teams...

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