Originally Posted by Vine
Not so sure about that. Looking at the NFL standings, it does seem possible that Indy could slip from the #5 seed to the #6 seed with a loss. If Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh next week, an Indy loss to Houston would result in 10-6 records for both Indy and Cincinnati.
Now, checking the tiebreaking procedures, to break a tie between two non-divisional teams for a seed goes as follows:
1)Head to head- Not applicable as Indy did not play Cincinnati.
2)Won-loss-tied % in conference games. Cincy win puts them at 7-5. Indy loss to Houston drops them to 7-5. Go to tiebreaker #3.
3)Won-loss-tied % in common opponents- minimum 4 teams. Not applicable, as there are not 4 common opponents between Cincy and Indy. Go to tiebreaker #4.
4)Strength of Victory. I am assuming this is season PF minues season PA to equal point differential. Cincy is +35, Indy is -42.
So, it does appear that Indy could be playing to hold onto their #5 seed with a loss potentially resulting in a #6 seed. This is also assuming that Baltimore wins the AFC North. Baltimore is currently up 17-7 over the NYGiants. If the Giants make a comeback, I will go through the tiebreaking procedures to see if Baltimore can potentially slip behind Indy to a #4 seed.
Nice research. They'll be basically playing to choose their opponent. They could just give their starters a rest and take their bye now, but if they fear New England that badly they could play to avoid them and take on the AFC North winner instead.