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AFC East tiebreakers

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Zeus, Dec 11, 2009.

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  1. Zeus

    Zeus PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    After 12 games, the Dolphins have a slight advantage over the Patriots. The jets, with two losses against Miami and four division losses, cannot win any tiebreakers against either Miami or NE.

    Regarding Patriots-Miami tiebreakers -

    For a three way tie involving the Patriots, Dolphins and jets, Miami wins with better head-to-head record.

    A two way tie is a lot more complicated. As describe below, the Patriots cannot win (but can tie) based on either division record or common opponent record against the Dolphins.

    If NE beats Buffalo, both Miami and NE finish 4-2 in the division. A loss against the Bills would put NE in serious jeopardy; if Miami runs the table, they win.

    The next tiebreaker is record against common opponents. Patriots and Miami have common opponents for 14 of the 16 games. In addition to the AFC East, both teams played every team in the AFC South and NFC South. The remaining two opponents are:

    Patriots - Denver (loss), Baltimore (win)
    Miami - San Diego (loss), Pittsburgh (Jan. 3)

    In a tie where Miami has beaten the Steelers, both teams will have gone 1-1 against the non-common opponents, so they would have identical records against common opponents. Next tiebreaker ...

    For the tie scenario involving a loss to the Steelers, Miami wins the tiebreaker - they would have one less win against non-common opponents and therefore one more win against common opponents.

    Next up is conference record, where NE has the advantage - Miami has five losses, NE has four. This means that NE can lose to Carolina and still win the division by sweeping the remaining AFC games as long as Miami and the jets do not BOTH run the table resulting in a 3 way tie at 10-6. Another conference loss by NE opens the door even wider for the Dolphins.

    The next tiebreaker - "strength of victory" - is pretty much impossible project at this point with one-quarter of the season remaining. The Dolphins six wins have come against teams with an aggregate .402 winning percentage while NE's seven wins have come against teams with a .357 winning precentage. The remaining opponents have .479 (Dolphins) and .438 (Patriots) winning percentages. This suggests Miami has a slight advantage but lots could change here as the weeks go on.

    The big picture is that NE controls their destiny. Ranking the remaining games in order of importance, Buffalo is the biggest. If there's another loss for NE, we'd better hope it's against the Panthers this week.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  2. 102 Pat

    102 Pat Rookie

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    Thanks for the info, is it a possible scenario that if the Pats win this week and next week, and the Dolphins lose back to back that the Pats would clinch the East?

    The Steelers loss last night could be huge for us in the sense that they might be playing for pride that Jan 3rd game and hopefully will beat Miami. I really hope things don't come down to the last game of the regular season though...
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  3. Brono

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    Great analysis. Thank you!
  4. Zeus

    Zeus PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That would give NE nine wins and Miami eight losses so the Dolphins would be eliminated. Would still need at least one jets loss for NE to clinch.
  5. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks. My takeaway is that we can't rely on the tiebreakers, but have to take care of business and win out.

    Given how the season has evolved, winning out is no gimme.

    Carolina. We should win. But, so should the Steelers have won last night!

    At Bills. I hate Division games, especially Away, especially in December, especially when we're playing a team for whom beating us would make the offseason a whole lot easier. But Buffalo is in so much transition that I gotta believe we can beat them.

    Jaguars. At least it's at home. Don't know if anyone's noticed it yet, but they'll be playing on ten days rests after a Thursday night game against the Colts. It's also not at all unlikely that they and the Ravens will be 8--6 and battling for the last Wildcard slot in week 16. We haven't beaten a team with a winning record all season. Let's hope for a little help from the snow, sleet and ice gods.

    Texans. Too far ahead to tell, but they shouldn't have anything to play for on the last day of the Season. Still doesn't mean they won't be dangerous if playing for pride. And, not to jinx it, but we've already lost one game this season on the same field we won one of the SB's this decade.
  6. Brono

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    This is a nice scenario. The Pats win their next two, the Fish lose their next two, and the Jets lose at least one of their next two. The Pats clinch the division with (at least) 9 wins and have an opportunity to rest some injured vets before the playoffs.

    Likely? No, but clinching early and resting some hurting players would do a lot to improve the Pats' chances in the playoffs, IMMHO.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2009
  7. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Playoffs start now. We've had enough "wake up calls" and "tough losses". If we lose any of these games you can confidently say we don't deserve to play in January. You're not going to win @ Indy or San Diego if you can't beat teams like Jacksonville and Buffalo anyways.

    The only exception I see is if we win the next 2 and Miami loses 2 which allows us to rest people the last couple weeks. I don't think that would happen either knowing BB. But at least the guys like Neal, Taylor, Moss, and other guys that have been banged up could get weeks off in that scenario.
  8. Horace's Ivories

    Horace's Ivories PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    i would like the pats to win the east with a 9-7 record to make up for the 11-5 playoff miss of last year..
  9. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    The one scenario where Bill actually HAS rested some starters in game 16 (at least for a significant portion of a game) is when a playoff spot is guaranteed and seeding is also locked in so that the Patriots are NOT a top 2 seed and thus have no time off. The resting of a few selected starters has never been as complete as some other teams do where the QB, top RB, top WR, and top pass rushers play only one series, for example (like Indy has done).

    Famously Bill doesn't rest anyone when they have a first round bye, figuring the extra week is rest enough, apparently, but I recall some second half heavy-subbing in years where a #3-#6 seed was in the bag.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  10. 102 Pat

    102 Pat Rookie

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    I really see the Jest losing to Tampa on sunday...seems like a trap game for them. Heck, I even took Tampa as one of the teams on my Pro-Line ticket.
  11. Carpentier

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    The Patriots always seem to lose the tie breaker. Lets hope there win out.
  12. PatriotsInGA

    PatriotsInGA Rookie

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    Great analysis! But none of this matters if the Pats can win out. If they do then they clinch the east
  13. bostonia3333

    bostonia3333 Rookie

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    Thanks for the info, we may need some tiebreaker help because we have a very tough 4 games ahead. Winning out is something most analysts say is going to happen, but all 4 of those teams can pass on the Pats and WILL. I am not too nervous about Carolina, but the other 3 games are no gimmes. Houston, Jags, and Buffalo are decent teams. At Buffalo might be another dud game with weather likely an issue. At Houston could be a 400 yd passing day for the Texans. At least the Jags game is at home.
  14. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    Good analysis, thanks for sharing.

    The big game to me is the Bills game. Its a division game. Losing that would give the most important tie breaker to the Phins.
  15. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Rookie

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    Bottom line.. Lets just win out... Hope Miami loses another game, Im not worried about the jets... yet...

    After watching Miami and the Jets play on our bye week, who would have thought we were talking tie breakers in Dec..
  16. Ryan

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    If the Pats can win 3 of the last 4, they'll win the division outright if you ask me. I can't really see the Dolphins winning 5 straight to end the season and I'm not really concerned with the Jets.
  17. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    Quite a contrast with our other local championship winning teams. If I am following the papers correctly, the Celtics have already clinched the Atlantic Division, and for 2010 the Sox have already lost the East to the Yankees.
  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice breakdown, I didn't realize that about the head-to-head and the three-way tie scenario. Odd that the Pats could split with Miami, yet at the same time lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with them.

    The tiebreakers can be kind of goofy sometimes. Last year it came down to games against the Chargers and Cardinals; the team that beats San Diego but loses to Arizona wins, and the team that beats Arizona but loses to San Diego is out.

    The strangest tiebreaker I can ever remember was about 30 years ago in the NHL. It came down to the last game of the season, and the tiebreaker was going to be goals scored. So in a game between the Rangers and Canadiens one of the teams ended up playing most of the game with no goalie in an attempt to score more goals and win that tiebreaker.

    As I recall there used to be a tiebreaker that the NFL stopped using because in some cases it resulted in benefitting a team that lost; there was a case where a team moved up in the seeding by losing at the end of the season.
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