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2021 NFC tiebreakers after Week 17 (plus PHI-DAL)

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.
  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. (Example: a tie at 8-8 between NO and ATL.)
  4. Any tie for the last wild card spot at 9-8 must include PHI and SF.
  5. Division ties are broken first.
  6. If three or more teams are tied, apply that tiebreaker, not the two-team tiebreaker.
  7. 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.
  8. GB has clinched the NFC North and the first-round bye.
  9. DAL has clinched the NFC East. TB has clinched the NFC South.
  10. LAR, ARI, and PHI have clinched playoff berths.
  11. SF or NO will be the final NFC playoff team.
  12. WAS, NYG, MIN, CHI, DET, ATL, CAR, and SEA have been eliminated.

The complete tiebreaker rules are here.

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

NFC West

If these teams tie at tie goes to based on
ARI-LAR 12-5 ARI division record

Interdivisional ties

2-way ties

If these teams tie at tie goes to based on
DAL-TB 12-5 TB head-to-head
DAL-ARI 12-5 ARI head-to-head
DAL-LAR 12-5 DAL conference record
PHI-NO 9-8 PHI head-to-head
PHI-SF 9-8 SF head-to-head
GB-TB 13-4 GB conference record
GB-LAR 13-4 GB head-to-head
TB-ARI 12-5 ARI conference record
TB-LAR LAR head-to-head
NO-SF 9-8 NO conference record

3-way ties

If these teams tie at tie goes to based on
  1. DAL eliminated on head-to-head
  2. conference record
DAL-TB-LAR 12-5 DAL conference record
  1. SF eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head
  1. TB eliminated on conference record
  2. head-to-head


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3 thoughts on “2021 NFC tiebreakers after Week 17 (plus PHI-DAL)

  1. On the NO-PHI-SF 3-way tie:

    SF d PHI in Week 2, PHI d NO in Week 11.

    There is a note that PHI is eliminated on H2H sweep, however PHI d NO and SF did not face NO, so I do not believe this step even applies.

    In which case conference tiebreaker would apply and in this step SF is eliminated (they would be 6-6 provided they lose to LA vs PHI at 7-5 provided they lose to DAL, and NO at 7-5 provided they defeat ATL.)

    So I think the proper application of the tiebreaker is PHI wins after SF eliminated on conference record, and PHI won Head to head against NO.

    NO would then win a 2-way tiebreak against SF on conference record.

    In other words the 3-way tie at 9-8 eliminates SF, instead of them winning the tiebreaker.

    Please correct me if I am in error.

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