What We Learned From Wildcard Weekend & A Little Lesson on the Playoff System

Before we get into my sarcastic and funny assessment of the 4-wildcard games this weekend, we’re going to go to school.

This school is a lot more fun and enlightening than usual however because we’re learning about the NFL’s playoff system! For those who are already familiar,  bear with me. For those who don’t,  enjoy and be enlightened!

We’ve already had 1 round of the playoffs, but we’re going to rewind a bit to how it’s all decided.

The NFL has 2 conferences – The AFC and the NFC. In each of these 2 conferences, there are 4 different divisions. In each of these divisions, there are 4 teams. With me so far? I’m gonna pretend you said yes.

4 teams x 4 divisions x 2 conferences = 32 teams

Each team in each division plays each other at least twice in the season. At the end of the season, the team with the best record in the division wins their division. Then they “seed” or rank the divisional winners 1 to 4.

Now, seed 1 gets a first round bye (meaning they don’t play the first round of the playoffs) and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Seed 2 also gets a first round bye. Before I talk about seeds 3 and 4, we’re gonna talk about wild cards. The wild card teams are the 2 teams in each conference with the best record in the non-divisional winners and they are seeded 5 and 6. So each conference sends 6 teams to the playoffs.

In the wild card weekend seed 3 plays seed 6 and seed 4 plays seed 5. The winners of those games play seeds 1 and 2. Seed 1 will play seed 4, 5, or 6 while seed 2 plays seed 3, 4, or 5. Here is an example from this year:


Seed 1 Denver Broncos

Seed 2 NE Patriots

Seed 3 Cincinnati Bengals

Seed 4 Indianapolis Colts

Seed 5 KC Chiefs

Seed 6 SD Chargers



Seed 1 Seattle Seahawks

Seed 2 Carolina Panthers

Seed 3 Philadelphia Eagles

Seed 4 GB Packers

Seed 5 SF 49ers

Seed 6 NO Saints

So if we go back and look at seed 3 playing seed 6 and seed 4 playing seed 5, you can tell exactly who played who this weekend. It will work this way every year. The next round of the playoffs after the wild card round is called the division round. If a team wins in the division round, they make it to the conference championships. The winners of the NFC and AFC championships will play each other in the Super Bowl.

Not too complicated right? So there you have my spiel on the playoffs and how it all works. Hopefully I didn’t confuse you with my rambling! Now onto my sarcasm. . .

What We Learned from Wildcard Weekend

If I pick a team to win or want them to win, they will assuredly lose. I’m calling myself the playoff killer. Hopefully that doesn’t apply to my Pats. . .

Andy Dalton looks like Scut Farkus.

If Andy Dalton isn’t careful, they’re gonna start calling him the playoff killer. Dude doesn’t do well in the postseason.

The Saints proved they can win on the road.

The Chiefs proved that it is possible to blow a 28-point lead and subsequently lose the game to an Amish Caveman!

The Packers learned that in order to block a kick you have to actually touch the ball.

The Packers also learned that if you don’t contain Kaepernick he will run all over and destroy your postseason hopes.

The Eagles learned that if you don’t have a big enough lead then he who has the ball last wins.

The Bengals (and everybody else) underestimated the Chargers.

I miss Woodhead.

Next year, the Eagles will be very relevant in not only their division, but also their conference.

Vick will find himself unemployed very soon. Any backup is better than him as your backup.

So there you have it! I’m really looking forward to the games this weekend. They’re going to be EPIC!!

Here is the TV schedule for the divisional round: IND @ NE 8:15 ET on CBS 1/11, SD @ DEN 4:40 ET on CBS 1/12, NO @ SEA 4:35 ET on Fox 1/11, and SF @ CAR 1:05 ET on Fox 1/12.

Enjoy the games and come back next week for my hilarious ( I can dream right?) assessment on the divisional round.

Questions? Comments? Trash Talk? Tweet me @PatsFanGirl12 I welcome all conversations in 148 characters or less.

6 Comments on What We Learned From Wildcard Weekend & A Little Lesson on the Playoff System

  1. Tony Wilburn // January 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm // Reply

    One of the best explanations of the playoffs I have ever heard or seen.


    • Thank you Tony! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. My goal is to give people fun stuff to read while also helping them enjoy the game and I think part of enjoying the game is knowing what the heck is going on. Thanks again!


  2. Quite honestly, football lingo kind of freaks me out. When I watch a football game, I feel super dumb. After reading your posts, I’m starting to feel more comfortable in the game day party setting. Keep ’em coming!

    • I’m so glad to hear that Gabrielle! That’s exactly why I do this, I used to be there too and I’m happy I can help others learn and love the game!

  3. Pete O'Brien // January 7, 2014 at 3:03 am // Reply

    Did you forget your predictions? Or am I blind?

    • I didn’t forget predictions, I really don’t like to do them. I leave the predictions to the “experts”. Thanks for reading!

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