THE NFL playoffs are fast approaching and the postseason is taking shape.
But there’s not always an easy result, as teams occasionally end up at the top of their respective divisions.
Look no further than the 2020-21 season when both the AFC South’s Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts finished 11-5.
And that could well be the case this season in the AFC South, where the Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars are heading home with 7-7 and 7-8 respectively.
Therefore, the NFL has established a comprehensive procedure for such an occasion.
head to head
The first tiebreaker would be the head-to-head percentage of win/loss/tie between the teams.
The next tiebreaker would compare the win/loss/tie percentage between teams during division matchups.
This would be followed by the percentage of wins/losses/ties between the teams in games against the same opponents.
If the tie still stood, it would go into the win/loss/tie percentage from conference games.
If, miraculously, a tie still existed at that point, the teams’ respective winning strengths would be compared, followed by their schedule strength.
The NFL would then review where teams rank in terms of points scored/allowed within their conference before expanding their search to include all opponents.
This was followed by net points during the season and then touchdowns scored.
The coin toss
Yes, that’s right, if all else failed, the league would turn to a good old fashioned coin toss to decide who would make the playoffs.
The above rules would apply if two teams from the same division were tied for a wildcard spot.
However, if they were from different departments, there would be a slight change.
In this case, of course, comparing their win/loss/tie percentages between teams during division matchups would be obsolete.
If three or more teams were tied for a wildcard spot, a division tiebreaker would be applied, with only the best team from each division going into the head-to-head comparison.
According to the NFL, this would be “applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others.”
It would then go through the same steps as previously mentioned.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6981568/how-nfl-divisional-standings-decided-if-tied-playoffs/ How is NFL division standings decided when two teams are tied in wins and losses?