NFL - worst record possible and still be in playoffs

Some teams with losing records have and probably will be in the playoffs
Got me to thinking what the worst record a team could have and still be in the playoffs.
First thought was 0-15-1 (W-L-T) but each team plays the other 3 teams in the division twice.
What if all the division games tied. Then the other teams would be 0-10-6 and the best team would be 0-9-7
Slightly more realistically, what if the division games were split? (win at home, lose on the road is one way) then the other teams would be 3-13-0 and the best team would be 3-12-1.
I suppose you could have the best team also be 3-13-0 and win a tiebreaker (strength of victory probably)

Did I miss anything?

Except strength of victory wouldn’t be effective in the all 3-13 case. Each team would have 3 wins against 3 3-13 teams and be tied. So you’d have to go to the full schedule strength of the differences in the teams in the 13 losses, which I believe are all common except for 2 games per team.

Yes all division teams could be 0-10-6 (or 3-13-0, 2-12-2 1-11-4 all of which count the same in percentage terms) by losing all out of division games and “splitting” intra-division games. 0-10-6 looks worse to me though so I picked it

The tie-breakers are:

  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 common games.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  5. Strength of victory

all of which would still leave them tied.

The next tie-breaker is “Strength of schedule” which could possibly determine a winner as the four teams all play two teams that the the other teams in their division don’t play.

Keep in mind that the NFL considers 0-10-6, 1-11-4, 2-12-2, and 3-13-0 to be tied with each other. Back in the days before the major rules changes of the 1970s, when the goal posts were on the goal line and there was no overtime in the regular season, the ties would have been ignored, but ever since then, a tie counts as 1/2 win and 1/2 loss for standings purposes.

Here’s a kinda sorta related question (with answer) - can a 16-0 team not get a first round bye in the playoffs? Answer in the spoiler.

Because each team plays every other team in its division, only one team per division can be 16-0.
Every team in a division plays every other team in one other division in the same conference; the loser of that game cannot be 16-0.
This leaves no more than two 16-0 teams in each conference, and both of these teams would get byes as they have to have the best two records in that conference.

There has to be a “coin-toss” tiebreaker at some point, right (either for getting a playoff spot or seeding)? Even “strength of schedule” can be tied.

Yes coin flip is the last tie-break in all cases of playoffs and seeding for draft. However, there are others after strength of schedule before coin flip. For just two clubs in the same division the tie-breaks are

Best percentage in games played within the division.
Best percentage in common games.
Best percentage in games played within the conference.
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.
Combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
Combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
Net points in common games.
Net points in all games.
Net touchdowns in all games.
Coin toss

Things are a bit different for non-division comparisons. I’m not sure how far down tie-breaking has ever gone (and to complicate this the scheme has changed over the years).