Tiebreakers after Week 8

Thanks for the plug in last week's playoff picture post, Fooch.

In a division like the NFC West where every division game is played close and no one is pulling out into a clear lead a la the Falcons or Texans, tiebreakers matter.

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

Arizona: 4 - 4 (-2 games)

Seattle: 4 - 4 (-2)

St. Louis: 3 - 5 (-3)

It's not the kind of early lead the Niners wanted but it's still nice having a two game lead halfway through the season and going into a bye week. Coming over the hump, Arizona and Seattle are still the only clear threats to San Francisco but the 49ers own head-to-head victories over both of them, at least until the next meetings. The final two weeks of the season could be very interesting times in the NFC West.


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

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

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

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

With last night's win, San Francisco is 2-0 in the division just like the Rams. Don't worry though because the Niners are still ahead of the only two teams that are close in the overall standings. Arizona and Seattle, sitting two games back from San Francisco overall, are also sitting several games back with their division records. A win against St. Louis after the bye will ensure that no team in the division can have the advantage over the Niners in the first tiebreaker and make sure every other team has to play catch-up in the second tiebreaker.


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

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

Arizona: 0 - 1, @MIN, @GB, v.DET, v.CHI

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

Detroit's late comeback knocks Seattle down to .500 and puts San Francisco as the sole owner of this tiebreaker. The Hawks will look to their 12th man for help against a Vikings squad with a long week of prep time and a need to get a W after an embarrassing loss to the Bucs. Arizona is heading to Lambeau next to put a stop to their four-game skid. They better hope Clay Matthews comes down with the mumps; Our pass rushers just want sacks but I'm pretty sure Clay Matthews collects bones.


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

Seattle: 1 - 0, v.NE(W), v.NYJ, @MIA, @BUF

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

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

They had a nice early-season run but last year's Rams squad is showing back up. Not only has Bradford been out of rhythm ever since Amendola got hurt, now their defense is regressing too. I didn't catch any of the game, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that London was more of a home game for New England than for the Rams. Well, it's not as if they can dig themselves into any deeper of an AFC East hole. Oh, they can lose to the Jets and Bills too? Look, if the Matts (Moore and Hasselbeck) can beat the Jets and, nevermind. The Rams are gonna get swept.


San Francisco: 6 - 1

Arizona: 3 - 4 (-3)

Seattle: 2 - 4 (-3.5)

St. Louis: 2 - 5 (-4)

The 49ers are so far ahead in this tiebreaker it's almost comical. Out of the 14 qualifying games, we're at the halfway mark and no other team in the NFC West looks like it is going to be able to significantly chew into San Francisco's lead.


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

Nothing new here until Arizona's Week 11 matchup with a Falcons team that could be 10-0. I find 9-1 to be more likely, but either way nobody will be giving the Cardinals a chance in this game. For the sake of tiebreakers, these games rarely matter so go NFC West.


San Francisco: 4 - 2

St. Louis: 3 - 3 (-1)

Seattle: 3 - 4 (-1.5)

Arizona: 2 - 3 (-1.5)

San Francisco continues to own the fourth tiebreaker. By win-loss ratio Arizona is technically last. Arizona also has the most games left to improve their conference record. Seattle has the least time to improve. Right now they have a distinct disadvantage is every single tiebreaker that's based on record. and provide an updated look at current playoff seeding. The 49ers are looking at a 4th seed losing the first tiebreaker to the Giants. No first-round bye but the #4 seed still comes with home-field advantage in the Wild Card round. There's some confusion about the 5th and 6th seeds between the two sites. They both agree that the Vikings and Packers are the wild card teams but they flip-flop the order. Double-checking ESPN's reasoning, the Vikings do have the advantage over Green Bay on the third tiebreaker so I'm not sure what is smoking. Arizona and Seattle sit at #7 and #8. They have a few games each against current playoff teams so they still have the opportunity to shake things up as the season continues.

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.