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AFC tiebreaker scenarios entering Week 17

The following charts seek to answer the following question: If these two (or more) teams finish with the same record, who wins the tiebreaker?

Notes and assumptions:

  1. At most 1 future tie game.
  2. Tiebreaker winners are as they would be if the teams were tied at the end of the season, NOT as if the season ended right now.
  3. Tiebreakers that don’t affect playoff berths or seeding are ignored.
  4. Division ties are broken first.
  5. If three or more teams are tied, apply that tiebreaker, not the two-team tiebreaker.
  6. Strength of victory is the combined winning percentage (essentially, the number of wins) of the teams a team has beaten. It has nothing to do with point totals.
  7. The BAL-HOU tiebreaker requires an IND-TEN tie.

No AFC team has yet clinched a playoff seed. NE has clinched their division. HOU, KC, and LAC have clinched playoff berths. NYJ, BUF, CIN, CLE, JAX, DEN, and OAK are mathematically eliminated.

The complete tiebreaker rules are here.

Jump to North | South | West | Interdivisional ties 2-way • 3-way

AFC North

If these teams tie at tie goes to based on
PIT-BAL PIT division record

AFC South

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
HOU-IND 10-6 IND division record
HOU-TEN 10-6 TEN division record
IND-TEN 9-6-1 IND head-to-head

AFC West

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
KC-LAC KC division record

Interdivisional ties

2-way ties

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
NE-BAL 10-6 BAL conference record
NE-HOU NE head-to-head
NE-IND 10-6 NE head-to-head
NE-TEN 10-6 TEN head-to-head
NE-KC 11-5 NE head-to-head
PIT-IND 9-6-1 PIT common opponents
BAL-HOU 10-6 BUF+OAK win more W17 games than DAL+DEN+NYJ+WAS BAL strength of victory
BAL-HOU 10-6 BUF+OAK win as many W17 games as DAL+DEN+NYJ+WAS BAL strength of schedule
BAL-HOU 10-6 BUF+OAK win fewer W17 games than DAL+DEN+NYJ+WAS HOU strength of victory
BAL-IND BAL conference record
BAL-TEN 10-6 BAL head-to-head
HOU-KC 11-5 CLE+DAL+WAS win at least as many W17 games as ARI+JAX+SF HOU strength of victory
HOU-KC 11-5 CLE+DAL+WAS win fewer W17 games as ARI+JAX+SF KC strength of victory

3-way ties

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
NE-BAL-HOU 10-6 BUF+OAK win more W17 games than DAL+DEN+NYJ+WAS BAL
  1. NE eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
NE-BAL-HOU 10-6 BUF+OAK win as many W17 games as DAL+DEN+NYJ+WAS BAL
  1. NE eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of schedule
NE-BAL-HOU 10-6 BUF+OAK win fewer W17 games than DAL+DEN+NYJ+WAS HOU
  1. NE eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
NE-BAL-IND 10-6 BAL conference record
NE-BAL-TEN 10-6 BAL conference record
NE-HOU-KC 11-5 NE head-to-head

 

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