Post Week 10 Tiebreakers

As Fooch points out here, there's not really a point in discussing tiebreakers anymore as it relates to the 49ers because of their unique record amongst playoff teams. As such, this will be my last tiebreakers post of the season, barring another tied game from a playoff contender.

The only tiebreaking needed in the division this week involve the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks. The Cardinals are on the wrongest end possible of a 4-way tie with Dallas, New Orleans and Detroit. The Hawks still own their tiebreaker over the Minnesota Vikings.

For anyone who doesn't know, the first four tiebreakers are:

  1. Head-to-head
  2. Division record
  3. Common record
  4. Conference record

For the purposes of this post, I'll be focusing on two through four by breaking down the schedules of all the NFC West teams into blocks based on division and conference.


San Francisco: 6 - 2 - 1

Seattle: 6 - 4 (-1 game)

Arizona: 4 - 5 (-2.5)

St. Louis: 3 - 5 - 1 (-3)

Due to the nature of tie games, Seattle has only gained a half-game on San Francisco. Both the Cardinals and the Rams stay right where they are in relation to the current division leader.


San Francisco: 2 - 0 - 1, v.SEA(W), @ARI(W), v.STL, @STL, @SEA, v.ARI

St. Louis: 2 - 0 - 1, v.SEA(W), v.ARI(W), @SF, @ARI, v.SF, @SEA

(-1.5) Arizona: 1 - 2, v.SEA(W), @STL, v.SF, v.STL, @SEA, @SF

(-2.5) Seattle: 0 - 3, @ARI, @STL, @SF, v.ARI, v.SF, v.STL

It was the general assumption that after Sunday's game the 49ers and Rams would no longer be tied for the best division record. Boy was I wrong. Next game they play will be the first week of December. Arizona will have a chance at the Rams the week before that so no matter what there will be a single leader in division record. Unless the Rams/Cardinals game ends in a tie. I might have to do something drastic if that's the case.


San Francisco: 2 - 1, @GB(W), v.DET(W), @MIN, v.CHI

Seattle: 2 - 1, v.GB(W), @DET, v.MIN(W), @CHI

Arizona: 0 - 2, @MIN, @GB, v.DET, v.CHI

St. Louis: 0 - 3, @DET, @CHI, v.GB, v.MIN

The next NFC North action happens this Monday when the Bears go to Candlestick. Will either team have their starting quarterback? That's very up-in-the-air at the moment. The concussion procedures are time-consuming and Cutler is a girl so I'm going to assume Chicago will be fielding Jason Campbell. However, I'd prefer to have Alex's efficient self up against that ball-hawking Chicago D.


San Francisco: 2 - 0, @NYJ(W), v.BUF(W), v.MIA, @NE

Seattle: 2 - 0, v.NE(W), v.NYJ(W), @MIA, @BUF

Arizona: 2 - 1, @NE(W), v.MIA(W), v.BUF, @NYJ

St. Louis: 0 - 2, @MIA, v.NE, v.NYJ, @BUF

The Seahawks have officially caught up to the Niners in the AFC East standings. Miami will be the next division game for each of the two teams. This week sees the Rams traveling to the Meadowlands to try and continue the NFC West's division sweep of the Jets and stop themselves from getting swept by the AFC.


San Francisco: 6 - 1 - 1

Seattle: 4 - 4 (-2.5)

Arizona: 3 - 5 (-3.5)

St. Louis: 2 - 5 - 1 (-4)

It feels weird every time I have to type that third number in the records. I don't like it. It's not right. Seattle gained a half-game based on their win over the Jets and the Niners' tie with the St. Louis. A two and a half game deficit is hard to make up in the NFL without a little help so Niners fans shouldn't worry too much about losing the advantage in this tiebreaker.


Seattle: 2 - 0, v.DAL(W), @CAR(W)

Arizona: 1 - 0, v.PHI(W), @ATL

St. Louis: 1 - 0, v.WAS(W), @TB

San Francisco: 0 - 1, v.NYG, @NO

This week Arizona travels to Atlanta to lose another game. Last season, Skelton won games. This season, Kolb wins games. There's no indication that Kolb will be back Sunday so let's go ahead and put this down as a loss. Who knows, calling it a loss this early might trick Arizona into doing us a favor and winning. I won't mind the Cards going 2-0 in non-common conference games as long as they continue what the Saints started and knock the Falcons down another notch while they're at it.


San Francisco: 4 - 2 - 1

St. Louis: 3 - 3 - 1 (-1)

Seattle: 4 - 4 (-1)

Arizona: 2 - 4 (-2)

Aside from the extra numbers at the end of the top two records, not a thing has changed in this category. San Francisco and Arizona are both playing conference games this week and personally I'm looking for NFC West wins in both those games. Both would help the 49ers in their quest for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Of the top four playoff seeds, San Francisco was the only team to not lose Sunday. New Orleans is still as dangerous as ever and defeated the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears got handled by the better team. It wasn't a blowout but it wasn't as close as the score shows either. Eli continued looking very ordinary while the Bengals and Dalton pretended to be elite. I was high on the Bengals before the season started and I'm glad I don't have to eat too much crow quite yet. A win would have put the Niners in the number 2 spot edging the Bears based on the common games tiebreaker. Alas, that was not to be. Instead, we get to see a playoff picture that looks exactly the same as last week. You have to drop down to the 9th seed to see a team that wasn't in the picture before. Congratulations Dallas and New Orleans. You still suck. So all that stuff I wrote about the postseason teams changing every week looks pretty foolish now. Why do all the things that are the opposite of what I write come true?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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