Determining top AFC seed if there is a tie

Ravens currently third but they're in position to change that

November 28, 2011|By Jeff Zrebiec

Admittedly, it is probably a little early for this but so many people have asked about the tiebreaker procedures for determining the No.1 seed in the AFC that I thought it was at least worth noting here. The Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Houston Texans are all currently tied with 8-3 records.

Each team has five more games left so I expect a lot to change. But in general, here is a brief look at how the tiebreaker will work in case there is a deadlock for the best record in the AFC.

1. Head-to-head: This would only apply if it was between two teams that played each other during the season, like the Ravens and Steelers, the Ravens and Texans, the Steelers and Texans and the Steelers and Patriots. It would not apply in a three-team tiebreaker situation.

2. Conference record: This should speak for itself. The Texans are currently the top seed in the AFC because they have a 7-2 conference record, compared to the Patriots' 6-2 mark, and the Ravens' 5-2 AFC record. However, the Ravens final five games are against conference foes.

3. Record against common opponents: For this to apply, each team involved in the tie would need four common opponents. The Patriots, Ravens and Texans don't currently have that so this factor wouldn't apply if those three teams finish in a tie.

4. Strength of victory: It's obviously too early to apply this because it depends on the final winning percentage of oppnonents, but with two victories this season against Pittsburgh and one against Houston, the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens should stack up pretty good in this category.  

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