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The NFL lists the following Tiebreaking Procedures to break ties within a division:

  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.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in common games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. Coin toss

How is "strength of victory" determined?

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I'd guess the number of points for versus points against, but it's just a guess. – SocioMatt Oct 9 '12 at 16:23
@SocioMatt That is what I thought at first, but I think that is what "net points" means in 10 and 11. – Andrew Clark Oct 9 '12 at 16:24
Good call. That's probably right. – SocioMatt Oct 9 '12 at 16:26
up vote 8 down vote accepted

According to this article from, strength of victory is the composite record of the teams that the team in question has defeated:

Using strength of schedule (the composite record of all opponents) and strength of victory (the composite record of teams defeated), New England was in the middle of the pack among the 12 teams that made the playoffs in the NFL. has a similar definition:

Definition: A part of the NFL's tiebreaking proceedure, strength of victory is figured by calculating the combined winning percentage of the opponents a team has beaten.

Examples: If two teams end with identical records, combine the records of the opponents in each of the team's wins and calculate the total winning percentage. The team whose opponents have the higher winning percentage wins the tiebreaker.

For example, if team A has two victories (one with a 8-8 record and another with a 0-16 record), its strength of victory is 0.250. If team B has also two wins (over opponents that are 8-8 and 12-4), then its strength of victory is 0.625.

share|improve this answer
Beat me to it. Nice job. – SocioMatt Oct 9 '12 at 16:30
Ahh that makes sense, so it is similar to strength of schedule except that it only looks at teams from wins instead of all games. Thanks. – Andrew Clark Oct 9 '12 at 16:33

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