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cmosdes 11-13-2019 12:57 PM

NFL Playoff tiebreaking
What is the deepest any tiebreaking procedure has had to go in the NFL?

There are a minimum of 11 steps possible, but most have 12 and the final arbiter in all cases is a coin toss, which obviously will never happen.

Just curious if any tiebreaking procedure ever got past step 3, let alone 4 and beyond.

enalzi 11-13-2019 01:24 PM

In 2008 the Patriots were knocked out of the playoffs in a three way tie with the Dolphins and Ravens because they had the better conference record. I don't think it's ever gotten to strength of schedule.

Kimble 11-13-2019 01:27 PM

Tiebreaks that determine who made the playoffs are asterisked.

In wild card and/or seeding purposes, Step 4, "strength of victory," happens every few years:

2018: Denver, Cincinnati, and Buffalo tied for 11th in the AFC
2017: Buffalo and Baltimore tied for 6th in the AFC*
2010: Green Bay and Dallas tied for 6th in the NFC*
2010: Denver, Cincinnati, and Buffalo tied for 14th in the AFC [Not a copy-paste mishap!]

Within a division, conference record is Step 4. That occurs occasionally as well:

2013: Atlanta and Tampa Bay tied for 3rd in the NFC South
2011: San Diego and Oakland tied for 2nd in the AFC West
2008: Miami and New England tied for 1st in the AFC East* (as enalzi mentioned)
2007: Carolina and New Orleans tied for 2nd in the NFC South

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