2009 playoff tiebreakers explained

More: Team-by-team playoff picture

Here's how the various tiebreakers will be or were decided:

Ravens beat Steelers (9-7)
• Division record: 3-3 to 2-4

Jets beat Ravens/Texans (9-7)
• Conference record: Jets/Ravens 7-5, Texans 6-6 (Broncos would have been 7-5)
• Common games: Jets 4-1, Ravens 1-4 (Broncos would have been 3-2)
Jets beat Bengals, Colts, Patriots, Raiders; lost to Patriots.
Ravens beat Raiders; lost to Bengals twice, Colts, Patriots.

Ravens beat Texans (9-7)
• Conference record: Jets 7-5, Texans 6-6
• Ravens would have won tie with Broncos based on head-to-head win.

Patriots beat Bengals (10-6)
• Conference record: Both teams 7-5
• Common games: Both teams 2-3
Patriots beat Jets, Ravens; lost to Broncos, Jets, Texans.
Bengals beat Ravens twice; lost to Broncos, Jets, Texans.
• Strength of victory: Patriots 72-88, Bengals 70-90

Cowboys beat Eagles (11-5)
• Head-to-head sweep

Packers beat Eagles (11-5)
• Common games: Packers 4-1, Eagles 3-2
Packers beat Bears twice, Cowboys, 49ers; lost to Buccaneers.
Eagles beat Bears, Buccaneers, 49ers; lost to Cowboys twice.