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Old 12-19-2017, 10:30 AM   #1
grandy   grandy is online now
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How the Lions make the playoffs: Tiebreakers

Atlanta's win last night made things a bit more difficult, but here are all the potential tiebreaking scenarios involving the Lions at 10-6.

With Atlanta's win last night, Detroit needs to win out to have a chance (9-7 was still on the table prior to last night, but this is no longer the case).

Every 10-6 scenario with the Lions assume they win out, which means they will have the following additions to their current record:

8-4 conference record
2-0 vs Green Bay (for common opponent scenarios)

For all scenarios below, I'm not including the potential for ties in order to simplify things.

Current Records
LA Rams 10-4
New Orleans 10-4
Carolina 10-4
Atlanta 9-5
Seattle 8-6
Dallas 8-6

Important Games Between Potential Playoff Teams
Week 16
Atlanta @ New Orleans
Seattle @ Dallas (10-6 ties are impossible between these two)

Week 17
Carolina @ Atlanta


There are 512 potential outcomes (excluding ties) involving these teams (assumes Detroit finishes 10-6)
The Lions get the 5th seed in 16 scenarios (3.1%)
The Lions get the 6th seed in 224 scenarios (43.8%)
This gives the Lions 240 potential scenarios where they make the playoffs (46.9%)
Disclaimer: These are simple coin flip scenarios and don't take into account actual chances for two teams in any game

If any tiebreaks are missing, it's likely because it's impossible (excluding ties). However, if I missed one that's possible let me know.


Two-way Tiebreaks

LA Rams
Tiebreak: Conference record
LA would finish with a 7-5 conference record

Winner: Detroit


Seattle
Tiebreak: Common games
Seattle would finish with a 8-4 conference record, tiebreak goes to common games. Common opponents are Arizona, Green Bay, NY Giants, and Atlanta. Detroit finishes 4-1 and Seattle finishes 3-2

Winner: Detroit


New Orleans
Tiebreak: Head-to-head
New Orleans beat the Lions in week 6

Winner: New Orleans


Carolina
Tiebreak: Head-to-head
Carolina beat the Lions in week 5

Winner: Carolina


Atlanta
Tiebreak: Head-to-head
Atlanta beat the Lions in week 3

Winner: Atlanta


Dallas
Tiebreak: Common games
Dallas would finish with a 8-4 conference record, tiebreak goes to common games. Common opponents are Arizona, Green Bay, NY Giants, and Atlanta. Detroit finishes 4-1 and Dallas is already locked in at 3-2

Winner: Detroit



Three-way Tiebreaks

LA Rams/New Orleans (6th seed)
How they tie: New Orleans and LA lose out, Seattle wins out, Atlanta wins out, Carolina beats Tampa Bay
Tiebreak: Conference record
Both LA and New Orleans would finish 7-5

Winner: Detroit


LA Rams/Carolina (6th seed)
How they tie: Carolina and LA lose out, Seattle wins out, Atlanta wins out, New Orleans beats Tampa Bay
Tiebreak: Conference record
LA finishes 7-5 and Carolina finishes 6-6

Winner: Detroit


LA Rams/Atlanta (6th seed)
How they tie: LA loses out, Atlanta splits, Seattle wins out, Carolina or New Orleans beat Tampa Bay
Tiebreak: Conference record
Atlanta finishes 9-3 and LA finishes 7-5

Winner: Atlanta


LA Rams/Dallas
Impossible, Dallas winning out involves a Seattle loss, LA wins the West


New Orleans/Carolina (both WC spots)
How they tie: New Orleans and Carolina both lose out (Atlanta adds two wins and wins the division), Seattle and Dallas both lose one game
Tiebreak: Division head-to-head
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by New Orleans due to head-to-head record
See New Orleans tiebreak for remaining two-way

Since this is a two WC spot scenario, remaining tiebreak is between Detroit and Carolina, see Carolina tiebreak.

Winners
New Orleans - 5th seed
Carolina - 6th seed


New Orleans/Atlanta (both WC spots)
How they tie: New Orleans loses out, Atlanta loses to Carolina, Seattle and Dallas both lose one game
Tiebreak: Division head-to-head
Elimination: New Orleans
New Orleans is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to head-to-head record
See Atlanta tiebreak for remaining two-way

Remaining tiebreak is between Detroit and New Orleans, see New Orleans tiebreak.

Winners
Atlanta - 5th seed
New Orleans - 6th seed


New Orleans/Seattle (6th seed)
How they tie: New Orleans loses out, Seattle wins out, LA Rams win at least one game, Atlanta wins out, Carolina beats Tampa Bay
Tiebreak: Conference record
Elimination: New Orleans
Seattle finishes 8-4 and New Orleans is eliminated with a 7-5 record
See Seattle tiebreak for remaining two-way

Winner: Detroit


New Orleans/Dallas (6th seed)
How they tie: New Orleans loses out, Dallas wins out, Atlanta wins out, Carolina beats Tampa Bay
Tiebreak: Conference record
Elimination: New Orleans
Dallas finishes 8-4 and New Orleans is eliminated with a 7-5 record
See Dallas tiebreak for remaining two-way

Winner: Detroit


Carolina/Atlanta (two WC spots)
How they tie: Carolina loses out, Atlanta loses to New Orleans, Seattle and Dallas both lose one game
Tiebreak: Divisional record
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to division record, 4-2 over 2-4
See Atlanta tiebreak for remaining two-way

Winner: Atlanta


Carolina/Seattle (6th seed)
How they tie: Carolina loses out, Seattle wins out, LA wins at least one game, Atlanta beats New Orleans, New Orleans beats Tampa Bay
Tiebreak: Conference record
Elimination: Carolina
Seattle finishes 8-4 and Carolina is eliminated with a 6-6 record
See Seattle tiebreak for remaining two-way

Winner: Detroit


Carolina/Dallas (6th seed)
How they tie: Carolina loses out, Dallas wins out, Atlanta beats New Orleans, New Orleans beats Tampa Bay
Tiebreak: Conference record
Elimination: Carolina
Dallas finishes 8-4 and Carolina is eliminated with a 6-6 record
See Dallas tiebreak for remaining two-way

Winner: Detroit


Atlanta/Seattle (6th seed)
How they tie: Atlanta splits, New Orleans and Carolina beat Tampa Bay, Seattle wins out, LA wins at least one game
Tiebreak: Head-to-head sweep
Atlanta beat Seattle in week 11 and Detroit in week 3

Winner: Atlanta


Atlanta/Dallas (6th seed)
How they tie: Atlanta splits, New Orleans and Carolina beat Tampa Bay, Dallas wins out, LA wins at least one game
Tiebreak: Head-to-head sweep
Atlanta beat Dallas in week 10 and Detroit in week 3

Winner: Atlanta


Four-way Tiebreaks

LA Rams/New Orleans/Carolina (two WC spots)
How they tie: LA Rams lose out, Seattle wins out (wins the West), New Orleans and Carolina both lose out (Atlanta wins the South)
Tiebreak: Divisional head-to-head
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by New Orleans due to head-to-head record
See LA Rams/New Orleans tiebreak for remaining three-way

Detroit wins the 5th seed. Remaining tie is between New Orleans and LA Rams (Carolina eliminated again), LA beat New Orleans in week 12 and thus wins the head-to-head tiebreak

Winners
Detroit - 5th seed
LA Rams - 6th seed


LA Rams/New Orleans/Atlanta (two WC spots)
How they tie: LA Rams lose out, Seattle wins out (wins the West), New Orleans loses out, Atlanta loses to Carolina
Tiebreak: Divisional head-to-head
Elimination: New Orleans
New Orleans is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to head-to-head record
See LA Rams/Atlanta tiebreak for remaining three-way

Atlanta wins the 5th seed. See LA Rams/New Orleans tiebreak for remaining three-way for 6th seed

Winners
Atlanta - 5th seed
Detroit - 6th seed


LA Rams/Carolina/Atlanta (two WC spots)
How they tie: LA Rams lose out, Seattle wins out (wins the West), Carolina loses out, Atlanta loses to New Orleans
Tiebreak: Divisional record
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to division record, 4-2 over 2-4
See LA Rams/Atlanta tiebreak for remaining three-way

Atlanta wins the 5th seed. See LA Rams/Carolina tiebreak for remaining three-way for 6th seed

Winners
Atlanta - 5th seed
Detroit - 6th seed


Seattle/New Orleans/Carolina (two WC spots)
How they tie: Seattle wins out, LA Rams win at least one game, New Orleans and Carolina both lose out (Atlanta wins the South)
Tiebreak: Divisional head-to-head
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by New Orleans due to head-to-head record
See New Orleans/Seattle tiebreak for remaining three-way

Detroit wins the 5th seed. Remaining tie is between New Orleans and Seattle (Carolina eliminated again), Seattle wins conference record tiebreak 8-4 over 7-5

Winners
Detroit - 5th seed
Seattle - 6th seed


Seattle/Carolina/Atlanta (two WC spots)
How they tie: Seattle wins out, LA Rams win at least one game, Carolina loses out, Atlanta loses to New Orleans
Tiebreak: Divisional record
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to division record, 4-2 over 2-4
See Seattle/Atlanta tiebreak for remaining three-way

Atlanta wins the 5th seed. See Carolina/Seattle tiebreak for remaining three-way for 6th seed

Winners
Atlanta - 5th seed
Detroit - 6th seed


Seattle/New Orleans/Atlanta (two WC spots)
How they tie: Seattle wins out, LA Rams win at least one game, New Orleans loses out, Atlanta loses to Carolina
Tiebreak: Divisional head-to-head
Elimination: New Orleans
New Orleans is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to head-to-head record
See Atlanta/Seattle tiebreak for remaining three-way

Atlanta wins the 5th seed. See New Orleans/Seattle tiebreak for remaining three-way for 6th seed

Winners
Atlanta - 5th seed
Detroit - 6th seed


New Orleans/Carolina/Dallas (two WC spots)
How they tie: Dallas wins out (LA wins the West), New Orleans and Carolina both lose out (Atlanta wins the South)
Tiebreak: Divisional head-to-head
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by New Orleans due to head-to-head record
See New Orleans/Dallas tiebreak for remaining three-way

Detroit wins the 5th seed. Remaining tie is between New Orleans and Dallas (Carolina eliminated again), Dallas wins conference record tiebreak 8-4 over 7-5

Winners
Detroit - 5th seed
Dallas - 6th seed


New Orleans/Atlanta/Dallas (two WC spots)
How they tie: Dallas wins out (LA wins the West), New Orleans loses out, Atlanta loses to Carolina
Tiebreak: Divisional head-to-head
Elimination: New Orleans
New Orleans is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to head-to-head record
See Atlanta/Dallas tiebreak for remaining three-way

Atlanta wins the 5th seed. See New Orleans/Dallas tiebreak for remaining three-way for 6th seed

Winners
Atlanta - 5th seed
Detroit - 6th seed


Carolina/Atlanta/Dallas (two WC spots)
How they tie: Dallas wins out (LA wins the West), Carolina loses out, Atlanta loses to New Orleans
Tiebreak: Divisional record
Elimination: Carolina
Carolina is initially eliminated by Atlanta due to division record, 4-2 over 2-4
See Atlanta/Dallas tiebreak for remaining three-way

Atlanta wins the 5th seed. See Carolina/Dallas tiebreak for remaining three-way for 6th seed

Winners
Atlanta - 5th seed
Detroit - 6th seed



There are no ties with more than four teams, any finishes with five or more 10-6 teams will include division title winners, thus reverting to four-way ties or lower for WC spots



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Last edited by grandy; 12-19-2017 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 12-19-2017, 11:03 AM   #2
tomdalton22   tomdalton22 is online now
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holy crap! Did that take you all morning to do?
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Old 12-19-2017, 11:12 AM   #3
grandy   grandy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomdalton22 View Post
holy crap! Did that take you all morning to do?
Bits and pieces over the last few days, it was a fun little project.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #4
tinselwolverine   tinselwolverine is online now
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You do know a person can see all that stuff on television, right?
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:10 PM   #5
Mitchrapp   Mitchrapp is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinselwolverine View Post
You do know a person can see all that stuff on television, right?
Where?
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:11 PM   #6
LKP   LKP is offline
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I see a lot of Detroit making the playoffs in all these scenarios
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:13 PM   #7
tinselwolverine   tinselwolverine is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchrapp View Post
Where?
On live game presentations and then on sports talk shows about the NFL on which playoff scenarios are discussed.

Happens every season.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:13 PM   #8
tomdalton22   tomdalton22 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKP View Post
I see a lot of Detroit making the playoffs in all these scenarios
but most of those scenarios are highly unlikely.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:16 PM   #9
Mitchrapp   Mitchrapp is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinselwolverine View Post
On live game presentations and then on sports talk shows about the NFL on which playoff scenarios are discussed.

Happens every season.
I don't have any locals and despise ESPN so my options are limited. Plus it's Tuesday.
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Trying to sneak a pitch past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak a sunrise past a Rooster -- Joe Adcock

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The NFL can kiss my ass!!
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:18 PM   #10
LKP   LKP is offline
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Originally Posted by tomdalton22 View Post
but most of those scenarios are highly unlikely.
They are not highly unlikely.

It's likely for Carolina or Atlanta to lose out (one of them at least) while Dallas/Seattle win out. Especially since Car/Atl and Dal/Sea play each other given them one guaranteed loss or win for one team.

Lions need to take care of business next two weeks and make the playoffs
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