For the Steelers it's win and they're in

AFC_Playoff_PicUP_121514.jpg

Win and they're in. That is the scenario that all teams want, to be in control of what happens in the playoff hunt. And that's exactly the situation the Steelers find themselves in today.

If the Steelers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on Sunday they will secure at least a wild card playoff spot. If they win the next two games not only are they in, but they are AFC North champions.

The Steelers 27-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons has them as the fifth seed in the AFC, holding on to the first wild card spot. But if they defeat Kansas City this week and the Cincinnati Bengals the following week, they will take the division.

Sounds so easy, but there is still a lot of football to be played and both the Chiefs and Bengals are also in the playoff hunt as well, so everyone has something on the line.

The New England Patriots clinched the AFC East with a win over Miami and hold the number one seed in the AFC. The Denver Broncos clinched the AFC South with a win over the San Diego Chargers, and at 11-3 are the second seed in the conference. The Indianapolis Colts clinched the AFC South and are the third seed with a 10-4 record, while the Bengals are on top of the AFC North at 9-4-1 and hold the fourth spot.

The Steelers, 9-5, are the fifth seed, followed by the Baltimore Ravens who are the sixth seed at 9-5 following Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With two weeks remaining the AFC is still jumbled, with Kansas City (8-6), San Diego (8-6), Buffalo (8-6), Houston (7-7), Miami (7-7) and Cleveland (7-7) still in the hunt and battling to earn a postseason berth.   

The race for a playoff spot and the AFC North continues to sizzle this week when the Steelers, who are 7-3 in AFC games, will host the Chiefs, while the Ravens are at the Texans, Browns are at the Panthers and the Bengals host the Broncos on Monday Night Football.

NorthStandings_121514.jpg

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures from NFL.com

The six postseason participants from each conference are seeded as follows:

  1. The division champion with the best record.
  2. The division champion with the second-best record.
  3. The division champion with the third-best record.
  4. The division champion with the fourth-best record.
  5. The Wild Card club with the best record.
  6. The Wild Card club with the second-best record.

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 common games.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in common games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. 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 common games.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in common games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. Coin toss TO BREAK A TIE FOR THE WILD-CARD TEAM

If it is necessary to break ties to determine the two 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. Strength of victory.
  5. Strength of schedule.
  6. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  7. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best net points in conference games.
  9. Best net points in all games.
  10. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  11. 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 two 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. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in conference games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. 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. 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 1 of the two-club format to determine the winner. When one club wins the tiebreaker, all other clubs revert to Step 1 of the applicable two-club or three-club format.
  2. In comparing 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 tiebreakers (if teams are from different divisions).
  5. To determine the best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed, add a team's position in the two categories, and the lowest score wins. For example, if Team A is first in points scored and second in points allowed, its combined ranking is "3." If Team B is third in points scored and first in points allowed, its combined ranking is "4." Team A then wins the tiebreaker. If two teams are tied for a position, both teams are awarded the ranking as if they held it solely. For example, if Team A and Team B are tied for first in points scored, each team is assigned a ranking of "1" in that category, and if Team C is third, its ranking will still be "3."
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising