How the NFL Playoffs Work

Pro Talk

Yesterday marked the last day of the NFL’s regular season. That means we are officially in the post season! It also means that the playoff picture for the NFL is set and just in case you’re a little confused as to how it all works, the following should help you out.

The NFL is broken down like this:

There are 2 conferences, known as the AFC and NFC. Then there are 4 divisions in each conference, each division containing 4 teams. The AFC has the following divisions: AFC East, AFC West, AFC North, and AFC South. The NFC has: NFC East, NFC West, NFC North, and NFC South.

The winner of each division gets into the playoffs and then the two teams with the best record out of non-division winners get into the playoffs as well, these teams are called wild cards. That brings the total of teams in the playoffs to 12. 6 come from the NFC and 6 come from the AFC.

The teams that get into the playoffs are then ranked or seeded in order from best record to worst record. The two teams in each conference with the best records are 1st and 2nd seed, while the other 2 divisional winners are 3rd and 4th seed. The Wild Cards are seeded 5th and 6th. 1st seed doesn’t have to play in the first round of the playoffs and they get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 2nd seed also doesn’t have to play in the first round of the playoffs and they get home field advantage for their first playoff matchup.

The first round of the playoffs is known as the Wild Card Round. Both the NFC and AFC have a Wild Card Round. In the Wild Card Round the #6 seed plays the #3 seed and the #5 seed plays the #4 seed.

The next round of the playoffs is called the Divisional Round. Just like the Wild Card Round, both the NFC and AFC have a Divisional Round. The lowest winning seed that survived the Wild Card Round plays the 1st seed and the team with the highest winning seed that survived the Wild Card Round plays the 2nd seed.

The final round of the playoffs is the Conference Championships. The 2 teams that survived the Divisional round play for the AFC and NFC championships.

The winners of the Conference Championships games play in the Super Bowl. The AFC Champion and the NFC Champion compete to become the best team in the NFL. This year Super Bowl 50 is being played in Santa Clara, California on February 7th

Check back tomorrow so you can read my NFL playoff summary (you know you want to!)

Questions? Comments? Tweet me @PatsFanGirl12

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