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Streak Game GFL. Börsenspiel GFL. Experten-Rallye GFL. Börsenspiel Europa. The only time such a scheduling conflict has occurred was during Wild Card weekend in , when only 10 teams qualified for the postseason and there were only two wild-card games.
Instead of playing both Wild Card games on the same day, as was the case when the team system was used from to , the Jets hosted their game Saturday, December 28, before the Giants hosted their game on Sunday, December Often, teams will finish a season with identical records.
It becomes necessary, therefore, to devise means to break these ties , either to determine which teams will qualify for the playoffs, or to determine seeding in the playoff tournament.
The rules below are applied in order until the tie is broken. If three teams are tied for one playoff spot and the third team is eliminated at any step, the tie breaker reverts to step one for the remaining two teams.
If multiple playoff spots are at stake, the rules are applied in order until the first team qualifies, then the process is started again for the remaining teams.
The tie-breaking rules have changed over the years, with the most recent changes being made in to accommodate the league's realignment into eight four-team divisions; record vs.
The current tiebreakers are as follows, with coin tosses used if all of the criteria fail: . The NFL introduced overtime for any divisional tiebreak games beginning in , and for championship games beginning in The first postseason game to be played under these rules was the NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants the so-called "Greatest Game Ever Played" , decided by a one-yard touchdown run by Colt fullback Alan Ameche after eight minutes and fifteen seconds of extra time.
In March , the NFL amended its rules for postseason overtime, with the rule being extended into the regular season in March If a team scores a touchdown, or if the defense scores a safety on its first possession, it is declared the winner.
If it scores a field goal on its first possession, however, it then kicks off to the opposing team, which has an opportunity to score; if the score is tied again after that possession, true sudden death rules apply and whoever scores next will win.
Since postseason games cannot end in a tie, unlike the preseason or regular season, additional overtime periods are played as necessary until a winner is determined.
Furthermore, all clock rules apply as if a game had started over. Therefore, if the first overtime period ends with the score still tied, the teams switch ends of the field prior to the second overtime.
If a game was still tied with two minutes to go in the second overtime, there would be a two-minute warning but not during the first overtime period as in the regular season.
And if it were still tied at the end of the second overtime, there would be a kickoff to start a third overtime period. The longest NFL game played to date is 82 minutes, 40 seconds: Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian made the walk-off yard field goal after of the second overtime to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs , 27—24, in an AFC playoff game on December 25, From the league's founding in until , there was no scheduled championship game.
From —, the championship was awarded to a team by a vote of team owners at the annual owners' meeting. From —, the team having the best winning percentage was awarded the championship the de facto standard owners had been using anyway.
As each team played a different number of games, simply counting wins and losses would have been insufficient. There was a head-to-head tiebreaker, which also was weighted toward the end of the season: for two teams that played each other twice, each winning once, the team winning the second game was determined to be the champion the criteria used to decide the title.
In , the Chicago Bears 6—1—6 and the Portsmouth Spartans 6—1—4 were tied at the end of the season with the identical winning percentage of.
An additional game was therefore needed to determine a champion. It was agreed that the game would be played in Chicago at Wrigley Field , but severe winter weather and fear of a low turnout forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium.
The game was played under modified rules on a shortened yard dirt field, and the Bears won with a final score of 9—0.
The loss gave the Spartans a final winning percentage of. While there is no consensus that this game was a real "championship" game or even a playoff game , it generated considerable interest and led to the creation of the official NFL Championship Game in Given the interest of the impromptu "championship game", and the desire of the league to create a more equitable means of determining a champion, the league divided into two conferences beginning in The winners of each conference the first place teams in the conferences met in the NFL Championship Game after the season.
There was no tie-breaker system in place; any ties in the final standings of either conference resulted in a playoff game being played in , , , two games in , and one each in , , , and Since the venue and date of the championship game were often not known until the last game of the season had been played, these playoff games sometimes resulted in delaying the end of the season by one week.
The playoff structure used from to was considered inequitable by some because of the number of times it failed to match the teams with the two best records in the championship game, as only the conference winners would qualify for playoff contention.
Four times between and in , , , and the team with the second-best win-loss record did not qualify for the playoffs while the team with the best record in the other conference, but only the third-best in the league, would advance to the championship game.
For the NFL season , the NFL expanded to 16 teams, and split its two conferences into two divisions each, with four teams in each division.
The four division champions would advance to the NFL playoffs, and to remain on schedule, a tie-breaker system was introduced.
The first round of playoffs determined the conference's champion and its representative in the NFL Championship Game, played the following week.
Thus, was the first season there was a scheduled playoff tournament to determine the teams to play for the NFL Championship.
During the three years —69 that this playoff structure was in effect, there was one use of the tie-breaker system.
The Colts came into the last game of the season undefeated, but were beaten by the Rams. This event figured into the decision in to include a wild-card team in the playoff tournament after the AFL—NFL merger.
During the s, a third-place playoff game was played in Miami , called the Playoff Bowl. It was contested in early January following the — 69 seasons.
Though official playoff games at the time they were played, the NFL now officially classifies these ten games and statistics as exhibitions, not as playoff games.
There was no tie-breaker system in place, so ties atop the Eastern Division final standings in and Western Division in necessitated playoff games to determine each division's representative in the championship.
For the season, a first round was added whereby each division winner played the second-place team from the other division. In its last year , the AAFC would merge its two conferences when one of its teams folded, and use a four-team playoff system.
In , the aforementioned issue of playoff inequity came into play when the San Francisco 49ers would miss the playoffs with a 12—2 record; they were in the same conference as the 14—0 Cleveland Browns , who would go on to win the Western Conference and then the AAFC's championship game against the 7—7 Buffalo Bills AAFC.
The success of the rival league would eventually lead to a full merger of the two leagues. When the leagues merged in , the new NFL with 26 teams reorganized into two conferences of three divisions each.
From the season to the season, four teams from each conference for a total of eight teams qualified for the playoffs each year.
These four teams included the three division champions, and a fourth wild-card team. Originally, the home teams in the playoffs were decided based on a yearly rotation.
The league did not institute a seeding system for the playoffs until , where the surviving clubs with the higher seeds were made the home teams for each playoff round.
However, two teams from the same division could not meet prior to the conference championship game. Following an expansion of the regular season from 14 to 16 games in , the league added one more wild-card team for each conference.
In a format similar to what the MLB currently uses, the two wild-card teams played the week before the division winners. The winner of this game played the top seeded division winner as was done from — The league continued to prohibit intra-divisional games in the divisional playoffs, but allowed such contests in the wild-card round.
During the strike-shortened season , only nine regular season games were played, and a modified playoff format was instituted.
Divisional play was ignored there were some cases where division rivals had both games wiped out by the strike, although each division ultimately sent at least one team to the playoffs , and the top eight teams from each conference based on W-L-T record were advanced to the playoffs.
As a result, this became the first time that teams with losing records qualified for the playoffs: the 4—5 Cleveland Browns and the 4—5 Detroit Lions.
Several times between —89, the two wild-card games had to be played on different days. Normally they both would be held on Sunday.
In and , the games were split between Saturday and Monday because Sunday was Christmas, and the NFL had avoided playing on that day at the time.
In , both games were played in the Pacific Time Zone , so they had to be played on Saturday and Sunday to accommodate for time differences.
In , both the New York Giants and Jets hosted wild-card games. As they have shared a home stadium since , the games had to be played on different days.
For the season , a third wild-card team for each conference was added, expanding the playoffs to the current twelve teams. The lowest-seeded division winner was then "demoted" to the wild-card weekend.
Also, the restrictions on intra-divisional games during the divisional playoffs were removed. The season became the first time that playoff games were played in prime time.
The format continued until the expansion and reorganization into eight divisions. In this format from , as explained above , the four division winners and two wild cards are seeded 1—6, with the top two seeds receiving byes, and the highest seed in each round guaranteed to play the lowest seed.
Seedings also determine the home-field advantage. The scheduled expansion of the playoffs to 14 teams in will see a return of the third wild-card team, while only the top seed receives a bye.
There are some limitations that had existed in the former team playoff system. Since being a division winner is a guaranteed playoff berth, it is possible that a team that wins a "weak" division either barely has a winning season or may even have a losing season.
At the same time, since a division winner is always seeded higher than a wild card, these teams might play against wild card teams who had superior records in the regular season.
Home field advantage does not guarantee success, however; during the —16 season , every road team won their respective playoff game, the first such occurrence in NFL history.
This issue has become more prevalent since the aforementioned realignment. There are four notable examples in which a division winner with a.
As a result of this seeding issue, calls have been made to modify the playoff format even further. One proposal has been to expand the playoffs to 14 teams.
Proponents of expansion note the increased revenue that could be gained from an additional two playoff games. They also note that the team playoff system was implemented when the league only had 28 teams, four fewer than today.
The opposition to such a move notes that an expansion of the playoffs would "water down" the field by giving access to lower-caliber teams.
Opponents to expansion further point to the NBA playoffs and the NHL playoffs where more than half of the teams qualify for the postseason, and there is often a decreased emphasis on regular season performance as a result.
In October , NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced plans to revisit the idea to expand the playoffs to 14 teams, with the increased revenue gained from the two additional postseason games being used to offset plans to shorten the preseason.
The team playoff proposal remained tabled until December , when no team in the NFC South could finish better than. However, by February , the Washington Post reported that support among team owners had eroded, and league leaders expressed reluctance to make a change until the end of the season.
After the playoffs saw two wild-card teams with better records Jacksonville Jaguars and eventual Super Bowl XLII champions New York Giants go on the road to defeat division winners Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers , respectively during wild-card weekend, the NFL explored another proposal to change the playoffs so that the team with the better record would host the game, even if that meant a division winner went on the road.
The NFL's Competition Committee withdrew the request later that offseason,  with Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay mentioning that they wanted the idea to simply get a discussion going.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was a strong opponent of the rule change, believing that "if you win a division, it's good for your fans to know you will have a home game.
Just before the —11 Saints-Seahawks playoff game, McKay wanted to revisit the previous proposal to reseed teams during wild-card weekend.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from National Football League playoffs. See also: Overtime sports.
Further information: National Football League championships. Further information: List of NFL champions.
Main article: American Football League playoffs. This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. The reason given is: Section needs cleaning up, with scheduled expansion to 14 teams.
Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. March As such, the Ravens are considered to have begun play in while the current Cleveland Browns are considered to have joined the NFL in , were inactive from —98, and resumed play as a new team in Retrieved March 31,