TO BREAK A TIE FOR THE WILD-CARD TEAM
If it is necessary to break ties to determine the two Wild-Card clubs from each conference, the following steps will be taken:
If the tied clubs are from the same division, apply division tie breaker.
If the tied clubs are from different divisions, apply the following steps:
1) Head-to-head, if applicable.
2) Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
3) Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
4) Strength of victory.
5) Strength of schedule.
6) Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
7) Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
8) Best net points in conference games.
9) Best net points in all games.
10) Best net touchdowns in all games.
11) Coin toss.
Anyone know? Can you imagine if a team missed the playoffs because of a coin toss!
Since that system was installed, the deepest tiebreaker I know of was the 2006 tiebreaker involving 4 teams for the last wild card spot. Two teams dropped out due to conference record, and the Giants won the tiebreaker over Green Bay due to strength of victory.
Before 2002, I know of a few instances involving the point differential tiebreaker. One of them was in the '70s when Dallas won the division and the Redskins got only a wild card because of point differential. In 1999, the Panthers had to blow out the Saints to knock another team out and keep their hopes alive. They won big, but in a later game they were knocked out by a Dallas win.
Giants beat the Packers on strength of Victory tie-breaker in 2006. That is the deepest the tie breakers have gone going back to 2000.