If you need a Patriots fix, don’t forget that Patriots.com has PFW Radio on today from Noon to 1:00 PM.
For more on the Patriots being the 7th team in the playoffs last year, I got an email this morning from someone who checked with the NFL and the Elias Sports Bureau, which confirmed that the Patriots would NOT have been that 7th team. The confusion for Ron Borges, and ESPN.com, (Check the caption under the Tom Brady picture) apparently stems from an NFL press release that described the proposal to add playoff teams for next season which was being discussed during the Owners meetings. The release stated that the Patriots and Saints would’ve made the playoffs under the proposal being considered. Tells you something about the NFL tiebreaking rules when even their own PR guys can’t figure them out.
Here’s how it works, according to the rules.
Five teams with 9-7 records. (Jets, Dolphins, Pats, Browns, Broncos)
Ties are first broken within the division. Jets & Patriots win tiebreaks over Dolphins, eliminating them.
We move onto the Wild Card Tiebreaker between the Pats, Browns and Broncos. The first tie break is head to head record, but only if all teams have faced each other. They haven’t. Second tie breaker is conference record.
Browns win tiebreaker. You might now think that the Pats win over the Broncos as well. That is NOT the case. Check out this rule:
“Only one club advances to the playoffs in any tie-breaking step. Remaining tied clubs revert to the first step of the applicable division or Wild-Card tie breakers. As an example, if two clubs remain tied in any tie-breaker step after all other clubs have been eliminated, the procedure reverts to step one of the two-club format to determine the winner. When one club wins the tie breaker, all other clubs revert to step 1 of the applicable two-club or three-club format.”
So now, the Patriots and Broncos start the Wild Card tie breakers all over again. The first one is head to head matchups. The Broncos beat the Patriots during the season, so they win that tiebreaker and eliminate the Pats.
Bob Ryan was on ESPN radio this morning to talk about the NCAAs. One of the topics they discussed was Boston College not making the tournament. Ryan feels last year BC got a break by getting into the NCAAs, and maybe that stuck in the head of someone on the committee.