Could two NFL teams purposely have a draw to make the playoffs?
With one game to play for all NFL teams, the playoff portrait is pretty well finalized with the exception of a few spots for teams still in the race.
In the National, the 49ers and the Saints will have to decide for the last available place on the road to the Super Bowl. In the American, it’s a bit more complicated.
Four teams can still have access to two places in the playoffs: the Colts, the Raiders, the Chargers and the Steelers (with slim chances).
The Colts have the best position as they automatically qualify with a win over the Jaguars on Saturday (best time to get this opponent).
The Raiders and Chargers face each other on Sunday and the winner will be the playoffs.
BUT… there is an alternate scenario that could give us quite a game.
A draw = a triumph
Here’s something totally bonkers: If the Colts lose to the Jaguars Sunday, the Raiders and Chargers would both get in with a tie. Literally, there would be no motivation for either team to do anything other than kneel it out 15 times each.
– Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) January 3, 2022
If the Jaguars cause a surprise and knock down the Colts on Saturday, the Chargers and Raiders would be in for a tough spot. The winning team would be playoffs and the other would be eliminated.
Except that a draw would give both teams a better record than the Colts and we would talk about an elimination for Indy instead of one of the two formations on the field.
So, we throw the question: could the two teams decide not to really play the game by aiming for a 0-0 draw to enter the playoffs?
There is nothing in the rule book against this, however sportsmanship would not be respected at all and fans in the stadium would hate the idea of being cheated out of an expensive game when they would watch two teams exchange punts without impact.
What do you think?
On the one hand, we would like to see this to force the NFL to adjust its playoff scenarios and to memes on social media. But on the other hand, what kind of message are you sending to fans by doing that?
In short, all the pressure is on the Colts to avoid this catastrophic scenario.