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NFL: Playoffs: All You Need to Know

The 18-week regular NFL season is over and we now know which 14 teams will be in the playoffs, fighting it out for a place at Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, 13th February at SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles.

This is the second year that the post-season has featured this many teams so there is a lot for gridiron fans to get their heads around, so here is your guide to the NFL playoffs.

How the NFL playoffs work?

The 32 NFL teams are divided into eight divisions, four in the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC), and each division winner qualifies for the playoffs.

The four winners are then ranked from first to fourth in relation to their regular-season record and are seeded for the playoffs as such, with the first seeds given a bye into the second round of the playoffs.

This year, the AFC number-one seeds are the AFC South winners, the Tennessee Titans, while the NFC number-one seeds are the NFC North winners, the Green Bay Packers.

The three teams from each conference with the best regular-season record who did not win their division also qualify for the playoffs and the bottom six ranked entrants will play in the wildcard round, with the highest-ranked team playing at home.

So, the second-seeded team will host the seventh-seeded team, the third-seeded team will host the sixth-seeded team and the fourth-seeded team will host the fifth-seeded team.

The winners of those three games will progress to the divisional round, where the lowest-seeded team will travel to the number one seeds while the highest ranked team of the remaining two will play at home.

So it is feasible that the number one seeds could face the number four seeds, or they could face anyone down to the number-seven seeds, depending on who comes out on top of the wildcard rounds.

Consequently, it is not a straight bracket like the one used for the NCAA March Madness basketball competition and nor is it an FA Cup-style draw either.

The two winning teams in the divisional rounds will then face off in the two Conference Championship matches, with the winners of those games heading to the Super Bowl.

When do the NFL playoffs start?

The wildcard matches will take place between Saturday 15th January and Monday 17th January.

The divisional round will be on Saturday 22nd January and Sunday 23rd January, while the Conference Championships will be on Sunday 30th January.

Super Bowl LVI will be on Sunday 13th February, where Dr Dre, Snoop Doog, Eminem, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar will be performing the half-time show.

The wildcard round, divisional round and Conference Championships will all be televised in the UK on Sky Sports NFL, while the channel will share Super Bowl coverage with the BBC. You can also follow the play-off action via our Sports Live Streaming platform.

Who made the NFL playoffs?

The seven teams in the AFC playoffs are: Tennessee Titans (seeded one), Kansas City Chiefs (2), Buffalo Bills (3), Cincinnati Bengals (4), Las Vegas Raiders (5), New England Patriots (6) and Pittsburgh Steelers (7).

The seven teams in the NFC playoffs are: Green Bay Packers (seeded one), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2), Dallas Cowboys (3), Los Angeles Rams (4), Arizona Cardinals (5), San Francisco 49ers (6) and Philadelphia Eagles (7).

What happened in last year's NFL playoffs?

The AFC playoffs went to form as the number one seeds, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the second-seeded BUffalo Bills 38-24 in the Conference Championship.

However, it was a different story in the NFC, where fifth seeds, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had to do it the hard way, winning three away matches at fourth seeds Washington (31-23), second seeds the New Orleans Saints (30-20) and then first seeds Green Bay (31-26).

The Buccaneers, under the guidance of veteran quarterback Tom Brady, then became the first team to win the Super Bowl at their home stadium, when they beat the Chiefs 31-9 at Raymond James Stadium.

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