NFL playoff tiebreaker procedures

DIVISION TIES

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical best won-lost-tied percentage, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined. The same steps are used to determine the sites of post-season games.

Two clubs

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 games played within the conference.

4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, if applicable.

5. Best net points in division games.

6. Best net points in all games.

7. Strength of schedule.

8. Best net touchdowns in all games.

9. Coin toss.

Three or more clubs

1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games among the clubs).

2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.

3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.

4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.

5. Best net points in division games.

6. Best net points in all games.

7. Strength of schedule.

8. Best net touchdowns in all games.

9. Coin toss.

NOTE: If one team wins multiple-team tie breaker to advance to playoff round, remaining teams revert to step 1 of applicable two-club format, i.e., either in division tie breaker or wild-card tie breaker. If two teams in a multiple-team tie possess superior marks in a tie-breaking step, this pair of teams advances to the top of the applicable two-club format to break the tie. One team advances to playoff round, while other returns to original group as in step 1 of applicable tiebreaker.

WILD-CARD TIES

If necessary to break ties to determine the three wild-card clubs from each conference and the site of one of the two first-round playoff games, the following steps will be taken:

1. If the tied clubs are from the same division, apply division tiebreaker.

2. If the tied clubs are from different divisions, apply the following steps.

Two clubs

1. Head-to-head-- if applicable.

2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.

3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.

4. Best average net points in conference games.

5. Best net points in all games.

6. Strength of schedule.

7. Best net touchdowns in all games.

8. Coin toss.

Three or more clubs

1. Apply division tiebreaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to a step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the three Wild Card applicants.

2. Head-to-head sweep (Applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others, or if one club has lost to each of the others).

3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.

4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.

5. Best average net points in conference games.

6. Best net points in all games.

7. Strength of schedule.

8. Best net touchdowns in all games.

9. Coin toss.

NOTE: If two clubs remain tied after a third or other clubs are eliminated, the tie-breaker reverts to Step 1 of the applicable two-club format. When the first wild-card team has been identified, the procedure is repeated to name the second wild card, i.e., eliminate all but the highest-ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step two, and repeated a third time, if necessary, to identify the third wild card. In situations where three or more teams from the same are involved in the procedure, the original seeding of teams remains the same for subsequent applications of the tie breaker if the top-ranked team in that division qualifies for a wild-card berth.

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