Football slang and acronyms can be confusing, one term that often has football fans asking questions is “PCT”.
PCT in football means percentage and it stands for a team’s winning percentage. A teams PCT is what determines where a football team ranks in the standings.
Unlike other sports where points are earned via wins and ties throughout the season, the majority of football leagues go off of a team’s winning percentage.
To calculate winning PCT in football a team will divide the number of games they won by the number of games they played.
For example, say a team went 12-4 in a sixteen-game season. That means they won 12 of 16 games twelve divided by sixteen equals 0.75. This means that the team will have a PCT of 0.75 or seventy-five per cent.
How Do Ties Effect PCT In Football?
One factor that many fans do not know about is how ties are going to affect the standings in football.
When a team ties in NFL football it is counted as half a win and half a loss. This may seem insignificant but it plays a large role in a team’s winning percentage.
Ties are quite rare in football but they can have a huge effect on the standings.
For example, let’s say a team goes 11-4-1, in a football season this means eleven wins, four losses and a tie.
Their winning percentage would be calculated by taking their wins and losses and adding a half into each category for the tie.
11.5 wins over 16 games means that the team had a winning percentage of 0.718 or 71.8%. As you can see compared to our previous example in which a team went 12-4 the one tie would be the difference maker between the two teams winning percentage.
Additionally, if two teams had the same number of wins and one team had a tie the team with the tie would have the higher winning percentage due to the half win.
What Tiebreakers Come After Winning Percentage
Now that you understand what PCT means in football statistics you may be wondering what happens if two teams have the same winning percentage come the end of the season.
Since ties are so rare in the NFL it is quite common for teams to finish the regular season with an identical winning percentage.
When this happens the NFL needs to use tiebreakers to determine which team finished in front of the other based on their regular-season records.
Head To Head
The first tiebreaker that comes after winning percentage is head-to-head matchups. If these teams are not in the same division they will have only played each other one time at most.
Whoever won this matchup between the two teams would finish higher in the standings. When two teams are in the same division they will have played each other twice. If one team wins both matchups they will win the tiebreaker.
Say the two teams each won one matchup they will go to the next tiebreaker. If the teams did not play each other throughout the regular season then they will also proceed to the next tiebreaker.
Best Divisional Record
If a team has remained tied through the head-to-head tiebreaker they will then compare divisional records. Every team plays each team in their division twice meaning there will be a total of six divisional games each season.
Whichever team has the better record when playing divisional teams will finish higher in the standings.
After the divisional record, there are several more tiebreaker scenarios that ultimately end in a coin flip. Though as of today no team has reached the coin flip portion of the tiebreakers and likely never will.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on understanding PCT in football.
Remember PCT in football stands for winning percentage. Winning percentage breaks down a team’s wins, losses, and ties into a number which can be measured up against other teams.
Whichever team has the highest winning percentage will be ranked at the top of the standings.
It is also important to remember that when talking about winning percentage in football ties count as a half a win and half a loss. Ties must be added to the win and loss totals to determine the teams winning percentage.
If you enjoyed this guide to understanding PCT in football please so our guide to pa and pf in football.