TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION (source: nfl.com) 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. etc. If the Pats beat the Jets on Monday Night (November 8th), it would certainly put them in the driver's seat. In order to prevent a massive 8 gagillion page report on possibilities, let's just take a pretty likely scenario: The Pats and Jets both go 5-1 vs. the AFC East. Contrary to popular belief, the next tiebreaker does NOT go to the conference record. The tiebreaker would then move to their record in common games. We've already covered the division in this scenario, and the Pats would stand at 10-2, while the Jets would be 9-3. The reason we assume the Pats win is because, if the Jets win, the Pats would have an extremely brutal time winning the division at that point, even moreso than the Jets. Taking out the AFC East opponents, the Pats and Jets have the following common opponents: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Green Bay, Detroit, and Minnesota. You can eliminate Cincinnati, Detroit, and Minnesota because those were wins from both teams. Jets losses to common opponents (2): Baltimore, Green Bay Jets upcoming games vs. common opponents: @ Pittsburgh, @ Chicago Pats losses to common opponents (1): Cleveland Pats upcoming games vs. common opponents: @ Chicago, Green Bay By this standard, a loss by the Jets would put the Patriots in the driver's seat more than most people think. The Jets would absolutely need to beat both Chicago and Pittsburgh on the road and hope the Patriots lose another game and even then they might not win a tiebreaker. The Patriots would have to lose to either Miami or Buffalo to give the Jets any real shot. If the Patriots beat the Jets and then lose to Chicago OR Green Bay, and the Jets beat the Pittsburgh and Green Bay, this race would come down to whichever team is able to run up the score on a bad team late in the season, as their strength of victory is pretty even right now.