Things within the NFL playoffs haven’t changed much despite the fact that in 2020 more teams were allowed into the playoffs, but generally everything looks the same. Check here to see how the playoffs work for this new NFL season in the United States
There are no big changes in the playoffs, recent changes were made in 2020. Everything is arranged for the National Football League qualifiers 2021-22 will start in January 2022. The good news is that the NFL now allows 14 teams to play in the playoffs.
The 2020 was different for the NFL and not just because of the coronavirus, but because the NFL decided to expand the playoffs to 14 teams. Previously, only 12 teams were allowed, the modification of the added format 3 jokers for each conference.
The NFL is divided into two conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference, and within each of the conferences there are four divisions. The divisions are called East, North, South, West.
2021-22 NFL playoff format: division winners
Each conference has 16 teams divided into four divisions who take the name of the conference to distinguish themselves: AFC East, AFC North, AFC South and AFC West. It is the same with the NFC, each division from East to West bears the initials of the conference.
Each division within the conferences is made up of four teams who compete to win the division with the best record. A clear example of an AFC East winner in 2020 was the Buffalo Bills at 13-3-0.
The two division winners of each conference with the best record do not have to play in the Wildcard Round, they get a special pass called BYE and move on to the next round (divisional round) to play against the winners of the wild round.
A clear example was in 2020 when the Chiefs won the AFC West with 14-2-0 (best AFC record) and automatically entered the divisional round. The division winners are numbered 1 to 4 and are known as Seed No. 1, 2, 3 and 4.
2021-22 NFL Playoff Format: Wildcard Round
The joker trick is a bit more complex but easy to understand even for people who don’t know anything about American football. Each conference offers 3 special passes called Wildcards where three teams have the opportunity to advance to the Division Round (if they manage to win), the Conference Title Game and the Super Bowl. They are also known as No. 5, 6 and 7 seeds.
The teams that play in the wildcard round are those with the three best records (after division winners) at the end of the regular season. In 2020, the three NFC teams that reached the playoffs thanks to the wildcard were:
NFC South – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-5-0 (Saints won the division)
NFC North – Chicago Bears 8-8-0 (Packers won the division)
NFC West – Los Angeles Rams 10-6-0 (Seahawks won division)
The matches of the teams in the the wildcard round will be against the teams that won the divisions and had the best records after the two teams that received the bye for the division round.
Game 1: Winner of the # 2 division against the # 7 wildcard team (Bear)
Game 2: Winner of the # 3 division against the # 6 wildcard team (Rams)
Game 3: Winner of the # 4 division against the # 5 Wildcard team (Bucs)
2021-22 NFL Playoff Format: Divisional Round
This round is the big filter of the playoffs, only the best teams from each division and conference face off in four or five matches that will define the final games for conference title games. The format of the division round is as follows:
Game 1: The BYE NFC team with the best division record against the winner of the NFC Wildcard round.
Game 2: AFC team with the best division record against the winner of the AFC Wildcard round.
Game 3: BYE AFC team with the best division record against the winner of the AFC Wildcard round.
Game 4: NFC team with the best division record against the winner of the NFC Wildcard round.
2021-22 NFL playoff format: conference title
There is not much to say about this part of the playoffs since to reach this part of the playoffs the four best teams must win in the division round, the previous recording does not matter here and there is no Bye available. In 2020, the Chiefs won the AFC against the Bills and the Buccaneers won the NFC against the Packers.
2021-22 NFL Playoff Format: Super Bowl
This is the last phase of the playoffs, only the winners of the conference titles can play in the final ring match of the Super Bowl. After the conference title matches, both teams will have several days off before playing the Super Bowl.
Here’s what the Playoffs looked like in the 2020 season where the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl against the Chiefs.
|The week||Dated||Winner / tie||Loser / tie||pts||pts|
|Generic character||2021-01-09||Bison tickets||Indianapolis Colts||27||24|
|Generic character||2021-01-09||The Los Angeles Rams||@||Seattle Seahawks||30||20|
|Generic character||2021-01-09||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||@||Washington football team||31||23|
|Generic character||2021-01-10||Cleveland browns||@||Pittsburgh Steelers||48||37|
|Generic character||2021-01-10||Saints of New Orleans||Chicago Bear||21||9|
|Generic character||2021-01-10||Baltimore Ravens||@||Tennessee Titans||20||13|
|Division||2021-01-16||Green Bay Packers||The Los Angeles Rams||32||18|
|Division||2021-01-16||Bison tickets||Baltimore Ravens||17||3|
|Division||2021-01-17||Kansas City Chiefs||Cleveland browns||22||17|
|Division||2021-01-17||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||@||Saints of New Orleans||30||20|
|ConfConf||2021-01-24||Kansas City Chiefs||Bison tickets||38||24|
|ConfConf||2021-01-24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||@||Green Bay Packers||31||26|
|Super Bowl||2021-02-07||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||NOT||Kansas City Chiefs||31||9|
2021-22 NFL Playoff Photo: Conference Standings for Upcoming Playoffs (updated Dec 23)
From now on, this section will show the status of each team on the way to the nfl playoffs, all the information on the victories, the losses and the seven teams of each conference which will be in the playoffs in January 2022.
|Kansas City Chiefs (1)||ten||4||0||Champion of the West|
|New England Patriots (2)||9||5||0||Eastern champion||one-on-one record|
|Tennessee Titans (3)||9||5||0||Southern Champion|
|Cincinnati Bengals (4)||8||6||0||Champion of the North||one-on-one record|
|Indianapolis Colts (5)||8||6||0||Wildcard character # 1||conference win percentage|
|Los Angeles Chargers (6)||8||6||0||Wild Card # 2||conference win percentage|
|Bison Tickets (7)||8||6||0||Wild Card # 3||percentage of wins in common games|
|Las Vegas Adventurers||seven||seven||0||one-on-one record|
|Miami dolphins||seven||seven||0||conference win percentage|
|Cleveland browns||seven||seven||0||one-on-one record|
|New York Jets||3||11||0||one-on-one record|
|Green Bay Packers (1)||11||3||0||Champion of the North|
|Dallas Cowboys (2)||ten||4||0||Eastern champion||conference win percentage|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3)||ten||4||0||Southern Champion||force of victory|
|Arizona Cardinals (4)||ten||4||0||Champion of the West||division win percentage|
|Los Angeles Rams (5)||ten||4||0||Wildcard character # 1|
|San Francisco 49ers (6)||8||6||0||Wild Card # 2|
|Minnesota Vikings (7)||seven||seven||0||Wild Card # 3||percentage of wins in common games|
|Philadelphia Eagles||seven||seven||0||one-on-one record|
|Saints of New Orleans||seven||seven||0|
|Washington football team||6||8||0||one-on-one record|
|Carolina Panthers||5||9||0||conference win percentage|
|New York Giants||4||ten||0||conference win percentage|
** Data provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com