“Upon further review” is a recurring segment in which This Given Sunday analyzes quirks and fascinating tidbits from the NFL’s history books.
Let’s bring you all the way back to…1999, when point differential was still a major tiebreaker when it came to deciding who made the NFL playoffs. The Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers were tied for the last playoff spot in the NFC, and net point differential in conference games was the tiebreaker that would decide the difference if the two finished 8-8.
Queue up the shootout(s).
Amazing to see plays that matter in three-score games in the fourth quarter, as was the case with that Mike McKenzie interception late against the Arizona Cardinals. I mean, look at these teams just chucking the ball up with massive leads, technically rubbing it in. It’s something that just doesn’t happen in this day and age, but the Packers won out.
Of course, none of it mattered, because the Cowboys won later on in the day to steal the final playoff spot from Green Bay. Still, it was a sight to see. And it’s something that we won’t likely ever see again in this league.
Because now, to get to point differential tiebreakers, you’d have to somehow draw even in the following categories:
1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
5. Strength of victory.
6. Strength of schedule.
Hat tip: DrewChambersDC on Reddit