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2021 AFC tiebreakers after Week 16

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. No possibility of future tie games (PIT does not appear in the tables, but may be added for future weeks).
  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. (Example: the only way MIA and NE wind up with the same record at the end of the season is if MIA beats NE Week 18.)
  3. Tiebreakers that don’t affect playoff berths or seeding are ignored. (Example: any tie at fewer than 8 wins.)
  4. Division ties are broken first. If LAC, DEN, and IND all finish 9-8, break the AFC West tie between LAC and DEN first, then break the tie between the LAC-DEN winner and IND.
  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. KC has clinched the AFC West.
  8. NYJ, JAX, and HOU have been eliminated.

The complete tiebreaker rules are here.

Jump to East | North | South | West | Interdivisional ties 2-way • 3-way • 4-way

AFC East

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
NE-BUF BUF beats NYJ BUF division record
NE-BUF 10-7
  • BUF loses to NYJ and
  • NE beats MIA
NE conference record
NE-BUF
  • BUF loses to NYJ and
  • NE loses to MIA
BUF division record
NE-MIA MIA head-to-head
BUF-MIA BUF head-to-head
NE-BUF-MIA BUF head-to-head

AFC North

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
BAL-CIN CIN head-to-head
BAL-CLE CLE division record
CIN-CLE 9-8 CLE head-to-head
BAL-CIN-CLE 9-8 CLE head-to-head

AFC South

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
TEN-IND TEN head-to-head

AFC West

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
LAC-DEN DEN head-to-head
LAC-LV 9-8 LAC beats LV LAC division record
LAC-LV 9-8 LV beats LAC LV head-to-head
DEN-LV LV head-to-head
LAC-DEN-LV 9-8 LAC
  1. LV eliminated on division record
  2. common opponents

Interdivisional ties

2-way ties

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
NE-BAL NE conference record
NE-CIN NE common opponents
NE-CLE 9-8 NE head-to-head
NE-TEN NE head-to-head
NE-IND IND head-to-head
NE-KC 11-6 NE conference record
NE-LAC NE head-to-head
NE-DEN 9-8 NE conference record
NE-LV LV common opponents
BUF-BAL 10-7 BUF beats ATL ? strength of victory
BUF-BAL
  • BUF loses to ATL and
  • BAL beats LAR
BUF conference record
BUF-BAL 9-8 BAL loses to LAR ? strength of victory
BUF-CIN CIN conference record
BUF-CLE 9-8 BUF common opponents
BUF-TEN TEN head-to-head
BUF-IND IND head-to-head
BUF-KC 11-6 BUF head-to-head
BUF-LAC 10-7 BUF beats ATL LAC conference record
BUF-LAC BUF loses to ATL BUF common opponents
BUF-DEN 9-8 BUF conference record
BUF-LV LV conference record
MIA-BAL MIA head-to-head
MIA-CIN CIN conference record
MIA-CLE MIA common opponents
MIA-TEN 10-7 MIA head-to-head
MIA-IND IND head-to-head
MIA-LAC MIA common opponents
MIA-DEN MIA conference record
MIA-LV LV head-to-head
BAL-TEN 10-7 ? strength of victory
BAL-IND BAL head-to-head
BAL-LAC BAL head-to-head
BAL-DEN BAL head-to-head
BAL-LV LV head-to-head
CIN-TEN CIN conference record
CIN-IND 11-6 IND beats JAX, LV IND common opponents
CIN-IND 10-7 IND beats exactly one of JAX, LV ? strength of victory
CIN-IND 9-8 IND loses to JAX, LV CIN common opponents
CIN-KC 11-6 CIN head-to-head
CIN-LAC LAC head-to-head
CIN-DEN 9-8 CIN head-to-head
CIN-LV CIN head-to-head
CLE-IND 9-8 IND conference record
CLE-LAC LAC head-to-head
CLE-DEN CLE head-to-head
CLE-LV LV head-to-head
TEN-KC TEN head-to-head
TEN-LAC 10-7 LAC conference record
TEN-LV 10-7 LV conference record
IND-KC 11-6 IND conference record
IND-LAC IND conference record
IND-DEN 9-8 IND conference record
IND-LV LV head-to-head

3-way ties

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
NE-BAL-TEN 10-7 NE conference record
NE-BAL-IND IND
  1. BAL eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-BAL-LAC NE
  1. LAC eliminated on head-to-head
  2. conference record
NE-BAL-DEN 9-8 NE conference record
NE-BAL-LV LV
  1. BAL eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-CIN-TEN NE
  1. TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-CIN-IND ? strength of victory
NE-CIN-KC 11-6 NE
  1. KC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-CIN-LAC NE
  1. LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-CIN-DEN 9-8 NE
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-CIN-LV ? strength of victory
NE-CLE-IND 9-8 IND
  1. CLE eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-CLE-LAC 9-8 NE head-to-head
NE-CLE-DEN 9-8 NE conference record
NE-CLE-LV 9-8 LV
  1. CLE eliminated on head-to-head
  2. common opponents
NE-TEN-KC 11-6 NE conference record
NE-TEN-LAC 10-7 NE head-to-head
NE-TEN-LV 10-7 LV
  1. TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-IND-KC 11-6 IND
  1. KC eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-IND-LAC IND
  1. LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-IND-DEN 9-8 IND
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-IND-LV 9-8 ? strength of victory
BUF-BAL-TEN 10-7 BUF beats ATL ? strength of victory
BUF-BAL-TEN 10-7 BUF loses to ATL BUF conference record
BUF-BAL-IND IND conference record
BUF-BAL-LAC 10-7 BUF beats ATL LAC conference record
BUF-BAL-LAC
  • BUF loses to ATL and
  • BAL beats LAR
BUF
  1. BAL eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-BAL-LAC 9-8 BAL loses to LAR ? strength of victory
BUF-BAL-DEN 9-8 BAL beats LAR BUF conference record
BUF-BAL-DEN 9-8 BAL loses to LAR BUF or BAL
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
BUF-BAL-LV LV conference record
BUF-CIN-TEN CIN conference record
BUF-CIN-IND 11-6 IND beats JAX, LV IND
  1. BUF eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-CIN-IND 10-7
  • IND beats exactly one of JAX, LV and
  • CIN beats BAL
CIN or IND
  1. BUF eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
BUF-CIN-IND 9-8
  • IND loses to JAX, LV and
  • CIN beats BAL
CIN
  1. BUF eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-CIN-KC 11-6 CIN
  1. KC eliminated on head-to-head
  2. conference record
BUF-CIN-LAC CIN conference record
BUF-CIN-DEN 9-8 CIN conference record
BUF-CIN-LV CIN
  1. BUF eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
BUF-CLE-IND 9-8 IND conference record
BUF-CLE-LAC 9-8 BUF common opponents
BUF-CLE-DEN 9-8 BUF
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-CLE-LV 9-8 LV conference record
BUF-TEN-KC 11-6 TEN head-to-head
BUF-TEN-LAC 10-7 BUF beats ATL LAC conference record
BUF-TEN-LAC 10-7
  • BUF loses to ATL and
  • LAC loses to HOU
BUF
  1. TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-TEN-LV 10-7 LV conference record
BUF-IND-KC 11-6 IND conference record
BUF-IND-LAC IND conference record
BUF-IND-DEN IND conference record
BUF-IND-LV LV
  1. BUF eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
MIA-BAL-TEN 10-7 MIA head-to-head
MIA-BAL-IND IND conference record
MIA-BAL-LAC BAL beats LAR MIA
  1. BAL eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
MIA-BAL-LAC BAL loses to LAR ? strength of victory
MIA-BAL-DEN 9-8 BAL beats LAR MIA conference record
MIA-BAL-DEN BAL loses to LAR MIA
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
MIA-BAL-LV LV head-to-head
MIA-CIN-TEN 10-7 CIN conference record
MIA-CIN-IND CIN
  1. MIA eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
MIA-CIN-LAC CIN conference record
MIA-CIN-DEN 9-8 CIN conference record
MIA-CIN-LV CIN
  1. MIA eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
MIA-CLE-IND 9-8 IND conference record
MIA-CLE-LAC MIA common opponents
MIA-CLE-DEN MIA
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
MIA-CLE-LV LV head-to-head
MIA-TEN-LAC 10-7 MIA
  1. TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
MIA-TEN-LV 10-7 LV conference record
MIA-IND-LAC IND conference record
MIA-IND-DEN 9-8 IND conference record
MIA-IND-LV LV head-to-head
BAL-TEN-LAC 10-7 LAC conference record
BAL-TEN-LV 10-7 LV conference record
BAL-IND-LAC BAL head-to-head
BAL-IND-DEN 9-8 BAL head-to-head
BAL-IND-LV LV head-to-head
CIN-TEN-KC 11-6 CIN
  1. KC eliminated on head-to-head
  2. conference record
CIN-TEN-LAC 10-7 CIN conference record
CIN-TEN-LV 10-7 CIN
  1. TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
CIN-IND-KC 11-6 IND
  1. KC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
CIN-IND-LAC 10-7 IND beats exactly one of JAX, LV CIN or IND
  1. LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
CIN-IND-LAC 9-8 IND loses to JAX, LV CIN
  1. LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
CIN-IND-DEN 9-8 CIN
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
CIN-IND-LV ? strength of victory
CLE-IND-LAC 9-8 IND conference record
CLE-IND-DEN 9-8 IND conference record
CLE-IND-LV 9-8 LV head-to-head

4-way ties

If these teams tie at with these things happening tie goes to based on
NE-BAL-TEN-LAC 10-7 NE conference record
NE-BAL-TEN-LV 10-7 LV
  1. BAL & TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-BAL-IND-LAC IND
  1. BAL & LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-BAL-IND-DEN 9-8 IND
  1. BAL & DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-BAL-IND-LV NE, IND, or LV
  1. BAL eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
NE-CIN-TEN-KC 11-6 NE
  1. TEN & KC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-CIN-TEN-LAC 10-7 NE
  1. TEN & LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
NE-CIN-TEN-LV 10-7 NE, CIN, or LV
  1. TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
NE-CIN-IND-KC 11-6 NE, CIN, or IND
  1. KC eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
NE-CIN-IND-LAC NE, CIN, or IND
  1. LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
NE-CIN-IND-DEN 9-8 NE, CIN, or IND
  1. DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
NE-CIN-IND-LV ? strength of victory
NE-CLE-IND-LAC IND
  1. CLE & LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-CLE-IND-DEN 9-8 IND
  1. CLE & DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
NE-CLE-IND-LV 9-8 NE, IND, or LV
  1. CLE eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
BUF-BAL-TEN-LAC 10-7 BUF beats ATL LAC conference record
BUF-BAL-TEN-LAC 10-7 BUF loses to ATL BUF
  1. BAL & TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-BAL-TEN-LV 10-7 LV conference record
BUF-BAL-IND-LAC IND conference record
BUF-BAL-IND-DEN 9-8 IND conference record
BUF-BAL-IND-LV 9-8 LV
  1. BUF & BAL eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
BUF-CIN-TEN-KC 11-6 CIN
  1. KC eliminated on head-to-head
  2. conference record
BUF-CIN-TEN-LAC 10-7 CIN conference record
BUF-CIN-TEN-LV 10-7 CIN
  1. BUF & TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
BUF-CIN-IND-KC 11-6 IND
  1. BUF & KC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-CIN-IND-LAC 10-7 IND beats exactly one of JAX, LV CIN or IND
  1. BUF & LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
BUF-CIN-IND-LAC 9-8 IND loses to JAX, LV CIN
  1. BUF & LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-CIN-IND-DEN 9-8 CIN
  1. BUF & DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
BUF-CIN-IND-LV CIN, IND, or LV
  1. BUF eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
BUF-CLE-IND-LAC 9-8 IND conference record
BUF-CLE-IND-DEN 9-8 IND conference record
BUF-CLE-IND-LV 9-8 LV
  1. BUF & CLE eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
MIA-BAL-TEN-LAC 10-7 BAL beats LAR MIA
  1. BAL & TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
MIA-BAL-TEN-LAC 10-7 BAL loses to LAR MIA, BAL, or LAC
  1. TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
MIA-BAL-TEN-LV 10-7 LV conference record
MIA-BAL-IND-LAC IND conference record
MIA-BAL-IND-DEN IND conference record
MIA-BAL-IND-LV LV head-to-head
MIA-CIN-TEN-LAC 10-7 CIN conference record
MIA-CIN-TEN-LV 10-7 CIN
  1. MIA & TEN eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
MIA-CIN-IND-LAC CIN
  1. MIA & LAC eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
MIA-CIN-IND-DEN 9-8 CIN
  1. MIA & DEN eliminated on conference record
  2. common opponents
MIA-CIN-IND-LV CIN, IND, or LV
  1. BUF eliminated on conference record
  2. strength of victory
MIA-CLE-IND-LAC 9-8 IND conference record
MIA-CLE-IND-DEN 9-8 IND conference record
MIA-CLE-IND-LV 9-8 LV head-to-head

 

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