January 11, 2022

When do the 2022 NFL playoffs start? Calendar, date format for joker games

The NFL playoffs will be a little different for the second year in a row. The 2022 playoffs are set to start at a later date than usual due to the extension of the regular season, and Wild-Card Weekend will now feature six games played over three days.

Seven teams from each conference advance to the playoffs. The NFC and AFC seeded No. 1 has a first-round pass and automatically reaches the division round. This leaves 12 teams in total playing in the wildcard round.

The 2022 NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, Jan.15 with one game scheduled for 4:35 p.m. EST and another at 8:15 p.m. EST. There will be three games scheduled for Sunday January 16. These contests begin at 1:05 p.m. EST, 4:40 p.m. EST and 8:15 p.m. EST.

A “Monday Night Football” match will conclude the Wild-Card weekend for the first time. A playoff first round game is scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m. EST on Monday, January 17 on ESPN and ABC.

The timeslot for each playoff game will be determined when the final playoff image is set.

The league has extended its schedule from 16 regular season games to 17 games for the 2021 season, which will run over 18 weeks. A third wild-card team in each conference was introduced during the 2020 season, expanding the total field of the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams. Previously, the top two teams from each conference got a second-round playoff pass.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl last season, despite playing in the wildcard round and never hosting a playoff game during their championship run.

Ezekiel Elliott # 21 of the Dallas Cowboys faces the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium on October 19, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images


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