Sunday, January 9, 2022

NFL Updates Tiebreaking Web Page After Nearly 2 Years

After nearly 2 years of posting incorrect information on its tiebreakers web page at

11-year-old Ryan Youngerman and his dad, Brian, contacted the NFL and 5 days later, the correct page was posted by the league. The Youngermans are from Mount Joy, Lancaster County, in Pennsylvania.

The NFL changed its tiebreaking process in March of 2020, but only made an update to the web page on January 5th, 2022, 5 days after the Youngermans contacted the NFL. Dad and son had been looking over the NFL tiebreakers and realized the information referred to "Two Wild-Cards" and "The second Wild-Card" even though the NFL has had three Wild-Cards since announcing new playoff rules in March of 2020. There were no references on the NFL's site to the "third Wild-Card".  6th-grader Ryan found that the posted NFL draft procedure was also wrong in multiple places since it depends on the number of playoff and non-playoff teams.

The NFL's page still stated that "Clubs not participating in the playoffs shall select in the first through 20th positions in reverse-standings order." However, Ryan knew that the new playoff format meant that the reference should have been "first through 18th positions".

The newly posted tiebreaking procedures indicate the correct process for selecting all three Wild-Cards and the draft order.

Ryan and his dad are NFL fans who are planning on visiting all 32 NFL stadia. They have attended games at 8 NFL stadia in the past 3 seasons.

The elder Youngerman, who has long reported on tiebreaking procedures in his hobbyist Sports Bar weekly sports newsletter, had also written in 2002 about incorrect Wild-Card information posted by the NFL when it failed to update its site when the league expanded to 32 teams. At that time, the NFL switched from three Wild-Card teams back to two Wild-Cards. The wrong information was posted for over a year until the NFL updated its web site.

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