The NFL playoffs are upon us! If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering which teams are in and which ones are out.
The NFL Playoffs: What You Need to Know
The NFL playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the National Football League’s (NFL) regular season to determine the NFL champion. Six teams from each of the league’s two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season records, and a additional team from each conference is awarded a playoff berth as the winner of the conference’s Wild Card round.
The four divisional winners host the Wild Card teams in the opening round of the playoffs, dubbed the Wild Card weekend. Thedivisional winners then advance to meet in their respective conference’s championship game, the AFC Championship for the American Football Conference (AFC) and NFC Championship for the National Football League Conference (NFC). The winners of those games host the AFC and NFC Championship games, respectively.
The AFC and NFC champions advance to meet in the Super Bowl, which is traditionally held on the first Sunday in February and is considered professional football’s biggest annual event.
The NFL Playoffs: How They Work
The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the end of the regular season to determine the champion of the league. The postseason tournament began in 1933, when the NFL split into two divisions, the Eastern and Western. The divisional winners met in a championship game to determine the NFL champion. In 1966, the NFL expanded to four divisions (the Eastern, Central, Western, and Coastal), and added two wild card teams to the playoffs. The tournament then became a six-team affair, with four division winners and two wild card teams.
In 1978, the league expanded again, this time to 28 teams and added a second wild card team to each conference, for a total of eight teams in the playoffs. The tournament then became an eight-team affair, with four division winners and four wild card teams. The current playoff format was adopted in 1990 when the league expanded to 32 teams; it added one more wild card team to each conference, for a total of ten teams in the playoffs. The current playoff format consists of four rounds: Wild Card weekend (the first weekend of January), Divisional playoffs (the second weekend of January), Conference championships (the third weekend of January), and Super Bowl Sunday (the fourth weekend of January).
NFL Teams That are in The Playoffs
The NFL Playoffs are upon us, and there are a few teams that stand out as the teams to watch. The New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Philadelphia Eagles are all team that have had strong regular seasons and look poised to make a run at the Super Bowl.
- The Patriots are led by quarterback Tom Brady, who is considered by many to be the best quarterback in NFL history. The Patriots have a strong defense as well, led by linebacker Dont’a Hightower. The Patriots are looking to win their second consecutive Super Bowl, and their sixth in franchise history.
- The Steelers are led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and they will be a tough team to beat in the playoffs.
- The Eagles are led by quarterback Carson Wentz, who is having an MVP-caliber season. The Eagles also have a strong defense, led by defensive end Brandon Graham. The Eagles are looking to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
The NFL Playoffs are sure to be exciting, and these three teams will be ones to watch.
The NFL Playoffs: The Schedule
The NFL Playoffs are here and there is a lot on the line! Here is a look at the schedule for the conference championships.
In the AFC, the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs will take on the second-seeded Buffalo Bills. The game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:05 PM ET on Sunday, January 24. The game will be televised on CBS.
In the NFC, the top-seeded Green Bay Packers will take on the second-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game will be played at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:40 PM ET on Sunday, January 24. The game will be televised on FOX.
The winners of these games will advance to Super Bowl 55, which is scheduled to be played on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The NFL Playoffs: The Format
The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the end of the regular season to determine the NFL champion. From 1967 to 1969, four teams from each of the two conferences (AFC and NFC) qualified for the playoffs. In 1970, the AFL and NFL merged, creating a 16-team league and four divisional winners qualified for the playoffs each year. Two additional wild card teams from each conference were added in 1975. The current system, which has been in place since 2002, seeds 1-6 based on regular season record for each conference, with division winners guaranteed a top-4 seed and two wild card spots per conference. The four divisional winners then compete in their respective conference championships to determine who will advance to Super Bowl Sunday.
In the current playoff format, there are 12 teams that qualify: six from the NFC and six from the AFC. The four divisional winners are seeded 1-4 based on their regular season record, with the highest seed receiving home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The other two spots in each conference go to the two wild card teams with the best records regardless of divisional affiliation. Inversely, these are usually but not always the two clubs left out of playoff contention with the next best overall records among all non-division champions. Wild card teams can only meet other wild card teams in the opening round—they cannot play a team from their own division.
The first round of NFL playoffs is known as “Wild Card Weekend.” It features four Wild Card games played over Saturday and Sunday on consecutive weekends in January. There are four different match-ups that can happen during Wild Card Weekend:
1) #5 vs #6
2) #3 vs #4
3) #4 vs #5
4) #6 vs #3