Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:13 pm

Week 12 Playoff Scenarios

Here are official scenarios we sent to the League for Week 12:


  San Francisco clinches West Division title:

   1) SF win + SEA loss or tie

   2) SF tie + SEA loss



  Green Bay clinches a playoff spot:

   1) GB win + DAL loss or tie + ATL loss

   2) GB win + DAL loss or tie + NO loss

   3) GB win + ATL loss + NYG loss or tie

The Niners situation is fairly obvious as they need to win on overall record at this point since they can't clinch either H2H, division record, common games or conf record tiebreakers.   

As for GB, that's a little more difficult since so many teams involved have to play each other still.  NYG and DAL still have 2 games left H2H.  NO plays nearly everyone involved as they play NYG this week and still have DET and ATL on their remaining schedule.

A GB win gets Packers to 11-0 and 11-5 at worst.  If Saints or Falcons get to five losses, they cannot get in over Packers.  Neither team can use DET or CHI to get in over GB either since both of those teams would lose a tiebreaker to GB at 11-5.  At 11-5, both DET and CHI would have to win certain games to tie GB in the division at 4-2 and that would lead to GB beating both teams on common opponents.  Currently GB leads DET in common games at 9-0 vs. 6-2 and leads CHI 8-0 vs. 6-2 and GB would go to 9-0 in CHI scenario with win at DET this week.

A DAL loss or tie this week is one key as that would force DAL to beat NYG twice to stay at pace with GB and would only leave the NFC East champion and no Wild Card contenders.  If you combine the DAL loss/tie with either an ATL loss (ATL lost to GB H2H and would have inferior conf record and can't use anyone to jump GB in multi-team tiebreaker) or a NO loss (loss would require NO to beat either DET or ATL to stay at pace with GB), that gets GB a playoff spot.

Since GB plays NYG wk 13, an NYG loss/tie on its own is not as key since the Giants could beat GB H2H in tiebreaker.  However, for that NYG-GB H2H to come into play, NYG would have to sweep DAL thus eliminating the Cowboys from this tiebreaker and gives NYG the East title.  When you combine that with an ATL loss it gets GB to a point where only one of DET or CHI could be Wild Card in front of them (the other would be the division winner).

If you don't factor in potential ties (especially for NO games down the road), GB really only needs a win and either a DAL loss or NYG loss to get into the playoffs.  However, ties are possible and must be factored in to actually CLINCH a playoff spot with no room for error.   

Hope that helps...Joe  


Posted on: November 20, 2011 10:44 pm

PLAYOFF SCENARIOS 2011 - Here we go again!

It's that time of year again where we dive into all of the various NFL playoff race possibilities...including division clinching scenarios, homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, wild card spots, seeding possibilities and the inevitable elimination scenarios and ultimately draft positioning.

This year, much like last year, I'm going to post tiebreaker updates to this blog on a regular basis, react to scenario questions both in the blog and in appropriate threads and work with the CBSSports.com production team on providing the earliest and most up-to-date playoff scenarios available.  I will also have live updates available on Twitter and Facebook at @NFL_Tiebreakers and http://www.facebook.com/pages/NFL-T
.  Following there DURING NFL games will provide updates for you the same way I do with CBS Sports and team personnel with an interest in scenarios.

Also, the CBSSports.com team has come up with some nice updates to the PLAYOFF RACE page with easier to read "Remaining games" pop up when you mouse over teams AND added the Note tag that provides tiebreaking notes from bottom of the page in pop up form as well. 

For some background, I handled the official tiebreakers for the NFL from the 1992 playoffs through the 1999 season and have worked with the League and their official stats source (Elias Sports Bureau) in compiling the official tiebreaker scenarios since leaving the League to join CBS SportsLine in 2000.  I have transitioned jobs from Executive Producer at CBS SportsLine (now CBSSports.com) to being the liaison for CBS Interactive to the CBS Entertainment Network and CBS TV Studios in Los Angeles...but I keep my fingers in sports through this venture and working with the CBS Sports division and various NFL teams and media outlets on playoff scenarios.  This allows CBSSports.com to publish what is typically the FIRST look at what will be OFFICIAL NFL tiebreaker scenarios.  I'll try and blog my way through the process...so you can get an insight into your favorite teams prospects (or maybe your mortal enemies) and get a better understanding how NFL Tiebreakers work and the interesting nuances that will surface.

As I stated last year, please DON'T BE SHY with the questions as I often get extremely insightful feedback from fans and closet tiebreaker gurus (there are many of you out there that will be ever-present on this board...and I LOVE IT!) that help me along the way.

This is sure to be a complicated, challenging tiebreaker season (especially in the AFC) but will no doubt be very enjoyable as always.

FYI:  INDY is still alive in the playoff race at 0-10 as they can still get to 6-10 and can win multiple team tiebreakers on conf record.  SF can clinch the NFC West during Week 12 with EITHER a WIN at BAL Turkey night + SEA loss or tie OR a TIE at BAL and SEA loss.

Stay Tuned! 

Joe Ferreira
Posted on: November 27, 2009 4:17 am

Thanksgiving Tiebreaker Tidbits

Here's what we know based on Thanksgiving Day games:

- DET (2-9 overall, 1-8 NFC) is eliminated from playoff contention with a PHIL WIN OR TIE against WASH.  They could have been eliminated with a NYG win but that didn't happen.  Detroit now can't catch GB (due to H2H sweep) and would lose H2H to GB as well in 3-way tie with CHI at 7-9.  PHIL has conference record advantage over DET and win would guarantee they get to 7-9 at worst.  DET can't use any other team to jump over PHIL except for WASH who DET beat H2H.  However, if PHIL beats WASH, the Skins can't catch them in the division.  And even if PHIL ties WASH, that would give PHIL a H2H advantage over WASH (1-0-1 vs. 0-1-1).  Furthermore, a PHIL tie would require them to lose every remaining game, thus giving the Giants their 7th win and their 5th conference win which would best DET.  If PHIL ties NYG, that gives PHIL the divisional advantage and gets them to 6-8-2 which is the same as 7-9 and they would beat DET in the same tiebreakers fashion as if they had won this week.

- GB (7-4 overall, 6-3 NFC) now holds the #5 seed with their win but will drop back to #6 if PHIL beats WASH due to conference record (6-3 for GB vs. PHIL's 6-2).  NYG's loss to DEN aided the Packers immensely in the Wild Card race on overall record, but both teams have 3 conference losses.

- GB does control it's own destiny for the #5 seed however, since PHIL plays DALL and if GB wins out and PHIL wins out to tie them, that would give PHIL the NFC East title and GB has tiebreak over DALL due to H2H win.

- It should be noted that NYG would likely have common opponents record advantage over GB if they tie on overall record and conference record (all of NYG's remaining games are NFC games and GB could lose to either BAL or PIT).  If both teams tied at 11-5 and 9-3 in conf, the Giants would have common opponents advantage at 4-1 vs. 2-3.  I say "likely" as it depends on which games each team wins, but very likely the Giants would end up on top in this scenario.

- GB is the only team in the League in 2nd place where there is a two-game separation between them and both the team ahead of them and the team behind them.  Trivial...and fairly meaningless...but points out the hold they have on 2nd place in the NFC North.

- GB still has a long way to go to win the NFC North since they were swept by MINN, meaning the Pack needs to beat the Vikings outright to win the crown.

- DALL (8-3 overall, 6-2 NFC) gained a 1.5 game lead over PHIL and a 2 game lead over NYG with their victory and NYG's loss.  The only downside to the DALL win was it was a non-conference win and they remain at 6-2 in the conference.  

- DALL controls its own destiny for the NFC East title and a #4 seed.  They would need an ARIZ loss or tie this week to control the #3 seed.  PHIL also controls its own destiny for the #4 seed with game against the Cowboys still looming and they would have division record advantage if they can win that game.

- OAK (3-8 overall, 2-6 AFC) is not eliminated this week, despite the loss to DALL.  They would be eliminated from a potential division crown if SD beats KC this week.

- DEN (7-4 overall, 5-3 AFC) bounced back nicely from recent woes with the NYG win.  The Broncos are now 1/2 game behind SD and the Chargers have their final divisional game this week hosting KC.  DEN has yet to play KC yet so the Chiefs will has something to say about the AFC West title.

- If SD loses to KC this week, DEN will control its own destiny for the AFC West crown due to divisional record advantage.

- DEN's biggest issue in tiebreakers is that they have H2H losses against two Wild Card foes PITT and BALT and have a worse conference record than JAX.

- NYG (6-5 overall, 4-3 NFC) really put themselves behind the 8-ball with their loss this week with the only redeeming factor being it was a non-conference loss.  The Giants are now 2 games behind the Cowboys but can still gain a sweep against them by winning at home next week.

- This loss allows ATL to catch the Giants this week in the Wild Card race, but the Giants still have H2H win over ATL.  However, ATL plays PHIL in 2 weeks and could use the Eagles to jump over the Giants if they're all tied at the end.

Should be a fun weekend of games.  I'll be at the KC at SD game so I'll tweet from there with any relevant updates at www.twitter.com/NFL_Tiebreakers and obviously be back here for more blogs and banter.

Enjoy the leftovers.

Posted on: November 23, 2009 12:07 am

Looking Toward Week 12

Early week 12 tiebreaker notes:

NEW ORLEANS can clinch the NFC South title with:
- WIN + ATL loss or tie
- TIE + ATL loss

INDIANAPOLIS can clinch the AFC South title with:
- WIN + JAX loss

Key Week 12 Tiebreaker games include:
- PITT at BALT (Sunday Night)
- NYG at DEN (Thanksgiving Night)
- NE at NO (Monday night)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com