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NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The following procedures will be
used to break standings ties for postseason playoffs and to
determine regular-season schedules.

NOTE: Tie games count as one-half
win and one-half loss for both clubs.

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A
DIVISION

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the
same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages,
the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

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
(Note: If two clubs remain tied after third or other clubs are
eliminated during any step, tie breaker reverts to step 1 of the
two-club format).
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.

TO BREAK A TIE FOR THE
WILD-CARD TEAM

If it is necessary to break ties to determine the three Wild-Card
clubs from each conference, the following steps will be taken.
1. If the tied clubs are from the same division, apply division
tie breaker.
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 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
(Note: If two clubs remain tied after third or other clubs are
eliminated, tie breaker reverts to step 1 of applicable two-club
format.)
1. Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest
ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to 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 participants.
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 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.

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 2, and repeated a third
time, if necessary, to identify the third Wild Card. In
situations where three or more teams from the same division are
involved in the procedure, the original seeding of the 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.

OTHER TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES
1. Only one club advances to the playoffs in any tie-breaking
step. Remaining tied clubs revert to the first step of the
applicable division or Wild-Card tie breakers. As an example, if
two clubs remain tied in any tie-breaker step after all other
clubs have been eliminated, the procedure reverts to step one of
the two-club format to determine the winner. When one club wins
the tie breaker, all other clubs revert to step 1 of the
applicable two-club or three-club format.
2. In comparing division and conference records or records
against common opponents among tied teams, the best won-lost-tied
percentage is the deciding factor since teams may have played an
unequal number of games.
3. To determine home-field priority among division titlists,
apply Wild-Card tie breakers.
4. To determine home-field priority for Wild-Card qualifiers,
apply division tie breakers (if teams are from the same division)
or Wild-Card tie breakers (if teams are from different ivisions).

TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURE FOR
SELECTION MEETING

If two or more clubs are tied in the selection order, the
strength-of-schedule tie breaker is applied, subject to the
following exceptions for playoff clubs:

1. The Super Bowl winner is last
and the Super Bowl loser next-to-last.
2. Any non-Super Bowl playoff club involved in a tie shall be
assigned priority within its segment below that of non-playoff
clubs and in the order that the playoff clubs exited from the
playoffs. Thus, within a tied segment a playoff club that loses
in the Wild-Card game will have priority over a playoff club that
loses in the Divisional playoff game, which in turn will have
priority over a club that loses in the Conference Championship
game. If two tied clubs exited the playoffs in the same round,
the tie is broken by strength of schedule.

If any ties cannot be broken by
strength of schedule, the divisional or conference tie breakers,
whichever are applicable, are applied. Any ties that still exist
are broken by a coin flip.

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