2020 nfl playoffs bracket

2020 nfl playoffs bracket DEFAULT

NFL playoff bracket: AFC, NFC and Super Bowl schedule, seeding, TV times, dates and locations

Feb 7,
  • ESPN staff

The NFL playoffs are over, and Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl LV champs. The defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Here is how the AFC and NFC brackets shook out, from wild-card weekend through Super Bowl LV:

See more NFL playoffs content

Super Bowl LV

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Kansas City Chiefs 9

Conference championships

NFC

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Green Bay Packers 26


AFC

Kansas City Chiefs 38, Buffalo Bills 24

Divisional round

NFC

Green Bay Packers 32, Los Angeles Rams 18

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, New Orleans Saints 20


AFC

Buffalo Bills 17, Baltimore Ravens 3

Kansas City Chiefs 22, Cleveland Browns 17

Wild-card weekend results

AFC

Bye for Kansas City Chiefs (, AFC No. 1).

Buffalo Bills 27, Indianapolis Colts 24

Baltimore Ravens 20, Tennessee Titans 13

Cleveland Browns 48, Pittsburgh Steelers 37


NFC

Bye for Green Bay Packers (, NFC No. 1)

Los Angeles Rams 30, Seattle Seahawks 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Washington Football Team 23

New Orleans Saints 21, Chicago Bears 9

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Sours: https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id//nfl-playoff-bracket-afc-nfc-super-bowl-schedule-seeding-tv-s-dates-locations

NFL playoff bracket Full schedule, TV channels, scores for AFC & NFC games

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The NFL playoff bracket for has taken its final shape.

The NFC East champion Washington Football Team claimed the NFC's No. 4 seed and will host the Buccaneers in the wild-card round. The Chiefs and Packers got each conference's lone bye. The Dolphins, Cardinals and Cowboys had costly Week 17 losses. And the Bills and Rams showed they can win even without their best players on the field. 

Beginning Jan. 9, the NFL will show off its expanded team playoff bracket (up from the usual 12 for the first time this season). Out of those 14, 12 will play in the first round thanks to a necessarily altered bye structure to wind up with the same number of playoff rounds. Additional teams mean two additional games, putting a trio of games on both Saturday and Sunday in wild card weekend.

Below is all you need to know about the NFL playoff bracket in , including a complete postseason schedule, TV channels for all the playoff games and scores/results as they come.

MORE: SN predicts the entire NFL playoff bracket

NFL playoff bracket

Here's a look at the complete NFL playoff bracket for

AFC

1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 2. Buffalo Bills

1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 6. Cleveland Browns
2. Buffalo Bills vs. 5. Baltimore Ravens

1. Kansas City Chiefs (bye)
2. Buffalo Bills vs. 7. Indianapolis Colts
3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 6. Cleveland Browns
4. Tennessee Titans vs. 5. Baltimore Ravens

NFC

1. Green Bay Packers vs. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1. Green Bay Packers vs. 6. Los Angeles Rams
2. New Orleans Saints vs. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1. Green Bay Packers (bye)
2. New Orleans Saints vs. 7. Chicago Bears
3. Seattle Seahawks vs. 6. Los Angeles Rams
4. Washington Football Team vs. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

MORE: NFL's expanded playoff bracket, explained

NFL playoff schedule

Below is the full NFL playoff schedule for , complete with TV channels and live stream links.

Wild-card round

Saturday, Jan. 9

Results
Bills 27, Colts 24
Rams 30, Seahawks 20
Buccaneers 31, Washington 23

Sunday, Jan. 10

Results
Ravens 20, Titans 13
Saints 21, Bears 9
Browns 48, Steelers 37

Divisional round

Saturday, Jan. 16

Matchup
Packers 32, Rams 18
Bills 17, Ravens 3

Sunday, Jan. 17

Matchup
Chiefs 22, Browns 17
Buccaneers 30, Saints 20

Conference championships

Sunday, Jan. 24

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
Buccaneers 31, Packers 26
Bills at Chiefs p.m. ETCBSfuboTV

Super Bowl 55

Sunday, Feb. 7

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
AFC champion vs. NFC champion p.m. ETCBSfuboTV

TV channels, live streams for NFL playoff games

Beginning with the wild-card round, NFL playoff games each week will be shown nationally on NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN. CBS has exclusive broadcast rights for the AFC championship game, while Fox showed the NFC championship. CBS is the home to Super Bowl

In Canada, you can live stream on DAZN, which offers a free trial.

Details of national and local television coverage for each playoff game are included in the tables below.

MORE: Live stream NFL playoff games on fuboTV (7-day free trial)

Wild-card round

Saturday, Jan. 9

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
Colts at Bills p.m. ETCBSCBS All Access, fuboTV
Rams at Seahawks p.m. ETFoxFox Sports Go, fuboTV
Buccaneers at Washington p.m. ETNBCNBC Sports App, fuboTV

Sunday, Jan. 10

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
Ravens at Titans p.m. ETESPN/ABCESPN App, fuboTV
Bears at Saints p.m. ETCBS/Nickelodeon/Amazon PrimeCBS All Access, Amazon Prime Video, fuboTV
Browns at Steelers p.m. ETNBCNBC Sports App, fuboTV

Saturday, Jan. 16

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
Rams at Packers p.m. ETFoxfuboTV
Ravens at Bills p.m. ETNBCfuboTV

Sunday, Jan. 17

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
Browns at Chiefs p.m. ETCBSfuboTV
Buccaneers at Saints p.m. ETFoxfuboTV

Conference championships

Sunday, Jan. 24

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
Buccaneers at Packers p.m. ETFoxfuboTV
Bills at Chiefs p.m. ETCBSfuboTV

Super Bowl 55

Sunday, Feb. 7

MatchupStart timeTV channelLive stream
Buccaneers at Chiefs p.m. ETCBSfuboTV

When do the NFL playoffs end ?

  • Start date: Saturday, Jan. 9
  • End date: Sunday, Feb. 7

The NFL playoffs last about a month, starting with the wild card round, then the divisional round and conference championships before culminating in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Tampa, Florida. 

As is often the case, there's a week off between the conference title games and the Super Bowl. Normally, the Pro Bowl is played in that gap, although there isn't a physical Pro Bowl game being played in  

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Kingsbury on Hopkins: &#;We wanted him to stay off the field, but he&#;d just run on&#;

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NFL Playoff Schedule Bracket Dates and Updated AFC, NFC Scenarios

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

1. Kansas City Chiefs (; clinched AFC West)

2. Buffalo Bills (; clinched AFC East)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (; clinched AFC North)

4. Tennessee Titans (; AFC South leader)

5. Miami Dolphins ()

6. Baltimore Ravens ()

7. Cleveland Browns ()

On the bubble: Indianapolis Colts ()

(Seeding based on current standings)

There are so many clinching scenarios in the AFC, it would make even Doctor Strange's head hurt. 

The Chiefs locked up the No. 1 seed on Sunday when they narrowly defeated the Atlanta Falcons , thanks to a late missed field goal by Younghoe Koo.

Thanks to their sweep of the New England Patriots on Monday night, the Bills remain in position to lock down the No. 2 seed. If they can defeat the Dolphins in Week 17, it will be theirs; even though the Steelers, who clinched the AFC North, have the same record, the Bills own the head-to-head tiebreaker. 

The AFC South remains up for grabs, and whoever wins it will slot into the No. 4 seed. The Titans can do that on Sunday if they beat the Houston Texans or if the Jaguars beat the Colts. The Colts, meanwhile, can clinch the division if they win and the Titans lose. 

Things get a bit more complicated in the AFC wild-card race. Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Tennessee are all contenders. 

The Dolphins need a win or the Ravens, Browns or Colts to lose. 

The Ravens need a win or the Browns or Colts to lose. 

The Browns need a win or a Colts loss. 

The Colts need a win and the Titans, Dolphins, Browns or Colts to lose. 

And finally, the Titans need a win or a Colts loss or a Dolphins loss. 

Got all that? 

Sours: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/nfl-playoff-schedulebracket-dates-and-updated-afc-nfc-scenarios
2019 Playoffs NFL Mini Movie: From the Titans Improbable Run to Mahomes Magic!

–21 NFL playoffs

Playoff tournament for the NFL season

The –21 NFL playoffs was the playoff tournament for the season. It began on January 9, and concluded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers becoming champions by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It is the only time a team has played the Super Bowl in their home field, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached the title game after winning three playoff games on the road.

The league expanded its playoff system from a team to a team tournament, adding a third wild card team for each conference for the first time since the season, and only awarding each conference's division winner with the best record a first round bye. The Wild Card round was thus extended from two to three games per day.[1]

The playoffs were played during the COVID pandemic in the United States, and each game's attendance was limited due to local health restrictions (See also NFL season §&#;COVID restrictions). Had a serious outbreak occurred during the regular season, the league had contingency plans to delay the postseason, eliminate the bye week before the Super Bowl and postpone the game itself to as late as February [2][3] NFL owners also approved an additional alternative plan to implement a team playoff format, with no teams getting a bye, if "meaningful" regular season games were canceled because of the virus.[4]

The Cleveland Browns and eventual Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had not made it to the playoffs since and , respectively, and thus held the two longest playoff appearance droughts in the league at the time, both qualified for the postseason in , giving the New York Jets, who had not appeared since , the longest active playoff appearance drought. Conversely, the New England Patriots missed the postseason for the first time since , ending the longest playoff appearance streak in NFL history.

For the first time since –18, no games went to overtime.

Participants[edit]

Further information: NFL playoffs §&#;Current playoff system

Within each conference, the four division winners and the three wild card teams (the top three non-division winners with the best overall regular season records) qualified for the playoffs. The four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, and the wild card teams are seeded 5 through 7. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, and there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the second-seeded division winner hosts the seventh seed wild card, the third seed hosts the sixth seed, and the fourth seed hosts the fifth seed. The 1 seed from each conference then receives a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round (seed 4, 5, 6, or 7), while the other surviving teams play each other, with the higher seeded team hosting. The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games then meet in the respective AFC and NFCConference Championships, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference.

Bracket[edit]

Schedule[edit]

In the event of a COVID outbreak, the league stated playoff games or entire postseason rounds could be postponed, the bye week after the Conference Championships could be eliminated, and the Super Bowl could be moved up to three weeks later to February None of these contingency plans were necessary.

Away teamScoreHome TeamDateKickoff[5]
(ET / UTC–5)
TV[6][7][8]
Wild Card playoffs
Indianapolis Colts24–27Buffalo BillsJanuary 9, &#;p.m.CBS
Los Angeles Rams30–20Seattle SeahawksJanuary 9, &#;p.m.Fox
Tampa Bay Buccaneers31–23Washington Football TeamJanuary 9, &#;p.m.NBC
Baltimore Ravens20–13Tennessee TitansJanuary 10, &#;p.m.ABC/ESPN/Freeform
Chicago Bears9–21New Orleans SaintsJanuary 10, &#;p.m.CBS/Nick/Prime Video
Cleveland Browns48–37Pittsburgh SteelersJanuary 10, &#;p.m.NBC/Peacock
Divisional playoffs
Los Angeles Rams18–32Green Bay PackersJanuary 16, &#;p.m.Fox
Baltimore Ravens3–17Buffalo BillsJanuary 16, &#;p.m.NBC
Cleveland Browns17–22Kansas City ChiefsJanuary 17, &#;p.m.CBS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers30–20New Orleans SaintsJanuary 17, &#;p.m.Fox
Conference Championships
Tampa Bay Buccaneers31–26Green Bay PackersJanuary 24, &#;p.m.Fox
Buffalo Bills24–38Kansas City ChiefsJanuary 24, &#;p.m.CBS
Super Bowl LV
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Kansas City Chiefs9–31Tampa Bay BuccaneersFebruary 7, &#;p.m.CBS

Wild Card playoffs[edit]

Saturday, January 9, [edit]

AFC: Buffalo Bills 27, Indianapolis Colts 24[edit]

Game information

First quarter

Second quarter

  • IND – Jonathan Taylor 1-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick), Colts 10–7. Drive: 9 plays, 65 yards,
  • BUF – Josh Allen 5-yard run (Tyler Bass kick), Bills 14– Drive: 10 plays, 96 yards,

Third quarter

  • BUF – Tyler Bass yard field goal, Bills 17– Drive: 9 plays, 44 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • BUF – Stefon Diggs yard pass from Josh Allen (Tyler Bass kick), Bills 24– Drive: 9 plays, 77 yards,
  • IND – Zach Pascal 9-yard pass from Philip Rivers (run failed), Bills 24– Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards,
  • BUF – Tyler Bass yard field goal, Bills 27– Drive: 7 plays, 39 yards,
  • IND – Jack Doyle yard pass from Philip Rivers (Philip Rivers–Jack Doyle pass), Bills 27– Drive: 5 plays, 76 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

  • IND – Jonathan Taylor – 21 rushes, 78 yards, TD
  • BUF – Josh Allen – 11 rushes, 54 yards, TD

Top receivers

Buffalo built up a 24–10 second half lead and held off an Indianapolis fourth quarter rally to earn their first playoff win since the season.[10]

In the first quarter, Colts quarterback Philip Rivers' completions to T. Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr. for gains for 23 and 22 yards set up the first score on a yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship.[11] Buffalo responded with an 8-play, yard drive, featuring a yard completion from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs. Allen finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dawson Knox, giving the Bills a 7–3 lead with less than 2 minutes left in the quarter.

On a second quarter drive, Rivers completed a yard pass to Pittman, while running back Jonathan Taylor caught a 6-yard pass and rushed four times for 17 yards, the last carry a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Colts up 10–7. Then after a punt, Indianapolis drove to a first and goal from the Bills 4-yard line; after a 2-yard pass and a 1-yard run, Taylor was tackled for a 3-yard loss by Tre'Davious White and Taron Johnson. Deciding to attempt a fourth-down conversion, Indianapolis turned the ball over as Rivers' pass to Pittman Jr. was incomplete.[12] Taking the ball back with left in the half, Allen completed passes to Gabriel Davis for gains of 37 and 19 yards, while also picking up 16 yards on a scramble as he led the team 96 yards in 10 plays to score on a 5-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left before halftime, giving Buffalo a 14–10 lead.

Buffalo took the second half kickoff and drove 44 yards in 9 plays, with Allen completing two passes to Cole Beasley for 23 yards and a yard pass to Diggs. Tyler Bass finished the possession with a yard field goal,[11] that increased the team's lead to 17– Indianapolis responded with a drive to the Bills' yard line, only to have Blankenship miss a yard field goal attempt.[11] Buffalo then drove 77 yards in 9 plays to go up 24–10 on Allen's yard touchdown completion to Diggs, with left.

On the second play of the Colts' next possession, Nyheim Hines took off for a yard run, and then Taylor rushed for 20 yards. The Colts were on the move and did not stop until Rivers finished the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Zach Pascal,[11] making the score 24– After a Bills penalty moved the ball to the 1-yard line on the extra point attempt, the Colts decided to try a 2-point conversion. Linebacker Matt Milano broke up the play by getting through the line and dropping Taylor for a 1-yard loss. Buffalo then responded with a pair of yard receptions by Diggs and Beasley that set up Bass' yard field goal,[11] increasing the Bills' lead to 27–16 with just over 8 minutes left. Faced with 3rd and 7 on their ensuing drive, the Colts fooled Buffalo's defense with a draw play, in which Hines took a delayed handoff and ran 33 yards to the Bills' yard line. On the next play, Rivers completed a yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack Doyle; Rivers threw the ball to Doyle again on a 2-point conversion, making the score 27–

Buffalo took the ball back and drove to the Colts' yard line, but Colts defensive end Denico Autry sacked Allen and forced a fumble.[12] Bills offensive tackle Daryl Williams recovered the ball, but the team lost 18 yards and ended up having to punt with left, giving the Colts a chance to drive for a winning or tying score. The Colts proceeded to drive to the Buffalo yard line, converting two fourth downs along the way. On the second one, Pascal made a diving catch for 17 yards on fourth and 10, then appeared to fumble the ball as he got up, which Buffalo recovered. However, officials ruled him down by contact after making the catch, and this was upheld by replay review.[13] Still, Buffalo's defense managed to hang on after this, forcing a 1-yard loss and three straight incompletions, and ultimately ran out the clock to win the game.

Allen finished the game for for yards and two touchdowns, while also leading the Bills in rushing with 11 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown. Diggs caught 6 passes for yards and a touchdown. Rivers was for for yards and two touchdowns – in what would transpire to be his final NFL game prior to retirement.[14] Taylor was the top rusher for the game with 21 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown, while Hines had 75 yards on 6 rushes and Pittman caught 5 passes for 90 yards. Colts linebacker Darius Leonard had 9 solo tackles and 3 assists. The Bills won despite being outgained in total yards to

NFC: Los Angeles Rams 30, Seattle Seahawks 20[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • LAR – Matt Gay yard field goal, Rams 3–0. Drive: 12 plays, 58 yards,

Second quarter

  • SEA – Jason Myers yard field goal, Tied 3–3. Drive: 5 plays, 19 yards,
  • LAR – Matt Gay yard field goal, Rams 6–3. Drive: 6 plays, 54 yards,
  • LAR – Darious Williams yard interception return (Matt Gay kick), Rams 13–3.
  • SEA – DK Metcalf yard pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kick), Rams 13– Drive: 5 plays, 74 yards,
  • LAR – Cam Akers 5-yard run (Matt Gay kick), Rams 20– Drive: 5 plays, 75 yards,

Third quarter

  • SEA – Jason Myers yard field goal, Rams 20– Drive: 4 plays, 7 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • LAR – Matt Gay yard field goal, Rams 23– Drive: 9 plays, 52 yards,
  • LAR – Robert Woods yard pass from Jared Goff (Matt Gay kick), Rams 30– Drive: 4 plays, 36 yards,
  • SEA – DK Metcalf yard pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kick), Rams 30– Drive: 8 plays, 76 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff came into this game as a backup to John Wolford – due to a broken thumb on his throwing hand suffered in week 16[16] – but a neck injury suffered by Wolford on the Rams' second possession resulted in Goff returning to the starting lineup.[17] Though Goff completed less than half his passes, he led the Rams to victory, with running back Cam Akers accumulating scrimmage yards.[18]

Wolford was knocked out of the game on the Rams' second possession,[17] but only after completing a pair of passes to Cooper Kupp for gains of 15 and 13 yards that set up Matt Gay's yard field goal, giving the team a 3–0 lead. In the second quarter, Michael Dickson's yard punt pinned the Rams back on their own 5-yard line. Following a three-and-out, Johnny Hekker's yard punt gave Seattle good field position on their own yard line, where they proceeded to drive 19 yards and tie the game on a yard field goal by Jason Myers. Los Angeles struck back with Goff's yard completion to Kupp setting up Gay's second field goal, a yard kick. Then they increased their lead to 13–3 when Darious Williams intercepted a pass from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.[19] Wilson quickly recovered, leading the team 79 yards in five plays and scoring on a yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf.[20] On Los Angeles' next possession, Akers had a yard reception and a yard carry before taking the ball into the end zone on a 5-yard run,[20] giving the Rams a 20–10 lead with 2 minutes left in the half.

Seattle cornerback D. J. Reed returned the second half kickoff 58 yards to Los Angeles' yard line, setting up a yard field goal by Myers that cut the score to 20– After six consecutive drives resulted in punts, Goff's yard completion to Robert Woods started up a 9-play, yard drive that ended on a yard field goal from Gay, giving the Rams a 23–13 lead with remaining. Then after a punt from each team, Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam forced a fumble from Reed on a punt return, which Micah Kiser recovered for Los Angeles on the Seahawks' yard line, where the Rams went on to a 30–13 lead on Goff's yard touchdown pass to Woods.[20] Wilson responded with a yard scramble and a yard completion to Freddie Swain before throwing a yard touchdown completion to Metcalf,[20] with left.

Goff was 9-for for yards and a touchdown,[17] while defensive tackle Aaron Donald had two sacks, despite having to leave the game with a rib injury.[17] Wilson was held to for for yards,[20] with two touchdowns – both to Metcalf, who had five receptions for 96 yards – and an interception, as well as 50 yards on 4 carries; linebacker Bobby Wagner had 11 solo tackles, 5 assists, and 1 sack.

This was the second meeting between the Rams and Seahawks. The Rams had also won the previous meeting on the road in the Wild Card Round.[21]

[edit]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team – Game summary

1234Total
Buccaneers9901331
Washington079723

at FedExField, Landover, Maryland

Game information

First quarter

  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Buccaneers 3–0. Drive: 9 plays, 70 yards,
  • TB – Antonio Brown yard pass from Tom Brady (kick blocked), Buccaneers 9–0. Drive: 6 plays, 58 yards,

Second quarter

  • WAS – J. D. McKissic 2-yard run (Dustin Hopkins kick), Buccaneers 9–7. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards,
  • TB – Chris Godwin yard pass from Tom Brady (run failed), Buccaneers 15–7. Drive: 5 plays, 61 yards,
  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Buccaneers 18–7. Drive: 10 plays, 82 yards,

Third quarter

  • WAS – Dustin Hopkins yard field goal, Buccaneers 18– Drive: 7 plays, 52 yards,
  • WAS – Taylor Heinicke 8-yard run (pass failed), Buccaneers 18– Drive: 7 plays, 61 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Buccaneers 21– Drive: 9 plays, 55 yards,
  • TB – Leonard Fournette 3-yard run (Ryan Succop kick), Buccaneers 28– Drive: 7 plays, 69 yards,
  • WAS – Steven Sims yard pass from Taylor Heinicke (Dustin Hopkins kick), Buccaneers 28– Drive: 11 plays, 75 yards,
  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Buccaneers 31– Drive: 7 plays, 58 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

  • TB – Leonard Fournette – 19 rushes, 93 yards, TD
  • WAS – Taylor Heinicke – 6 rushes, 46 yards, TD

Top receivers

Tampa Bay racked up yards of offense, 3 sacks, and forced 2 turnovers as they earned their first postseason victory since winning Super Bowl XXXVII.[23]

Tom Brady lined up to take a snap during the game

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady completed a yard pass to Mike Evans and a yard throw to Chris Godwin as he led the team to a yard Ryan Succop field goal on the game's opening drive.[24] Then after a punt from each team, Tampa Bay cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted a pass from Taylor Heinicke,[24] on the Buccaneers' yard line. Tampa Bay then drove 58 yards in six plays to score on Brady's yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown,[23] giving the team a 9–0 lead after Succop's extra point was blocked by Jeremy Reaves. But Heinicke started the next drive with completions to Logan Thomas and Terry McLaurin for gains of 24 and 18 yards,[24] respectively, before J. D. McKissic finished it off with a 2-yard touchdown run,[24] making the score 9–7 with left in the half. Dustin Hopkins' short kickoff gave the Buccaneers a first down on their own yard line. On the next play, Brown took a pitch on an end-around and ran for a yard gain. Three plays later, Brady threw a yard touchdown pass to Godwin,[25] giving the Buccaneers a 15–7 lead after their two point conversion attempt failed. Then after a punt, Brady completed 3-of-5 passes for 65 yards on an yard drive that ended with Succop's yard field goal,[24] giving Tampa Bay an 18–7 lead at halftime.

Washington cut their deficit to 18–10 with the opening drive of the third quarter, converting Heinicke's yard completion to Thomas into a yard Hopkins field goal.[24] Later in the period, Washington defensive tackle Daron Payne forced a fumble from Ke'Shawn Vaughn that Jon Bostic recovered[25] for Washington on their yard line. Heinicke then completed a yard pass to Cam Sims and rushed for a yard gain before taking the ball into the end zone himself on an 8-yard touchdown run, cutting the deficit to 18–16 after an unsuccessful 2-point try.[24] Tampa Bay responded with a 9-play, yard drive, the longest a yard catch by tight end Cameron Brate. Succop finished it off with a yard field goal,[24] giving the Buccaneers a 21–16 lead with left. Following a Washington punt, Brady completed passes to Evans for gains of 20 and 19 yards, while Leonard Fournette rushed three times for 22 yards, the last carry a 3-yard touchdown run that put his team up 28–[24] On Washington's next drive, Heinicke completed 8-of passes for 71 yards and finishing the drive with an yard touchdown completion to Sims.[24] With the score now 28–23 and left, Brady completed passes of 35 yards to Evans and 16 yards to Godwin, setting up Succop's yard field goal with left. Washington then drove across midfield, but after two incompletions and an yard sack by Lavonte David,[25] Heinicke's 4th down pass was incomplete, enabling Tampa Bay to run out the rest of the game clock.

Brady completed for passes for yards and two touchdowns, Fournette rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown, while also catching 4 passes for 39 yards. Evans caught 6 passes for yards,[23] and David had 8 solo tackles and a sack. In his second NFL start, Heinicke completed for passes for yards with a touchdown and an interception,[23] and he was also Washington's leading rusher with 6 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown.[24][26] Sims had 7 receptions for yards, and Reaves blocked an extra point and had 9 solo tackles.

This was the third postseason meeting between Tampa Bay and Washington. The series was tied [27]

Sunday, January 10, [edit]

AFC: Baltimore Ravens 20, Tennessee Titans 13[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • TEN – A. J. Brown yard pass from Ryan Tannehill (Stephen Gostkowski kick), Titans 7–0. Drive: 10 plays, 70 yards,
  • TEN – Stephen Gostkowski yard field goal, Titans 10–0. Drive: 7 plays, 45 yards,

Second quarter

  • BAL – Justin Tucker yard field goal, Titans 10–3. Drive: 12 plays, 60 yards,
  • BAL – Lamar Jackson yard run (Justin Tucker kick), Tied 10– Drive: 7 plays, 82 yards,

Third quarter

  • BAL – J. K. Dobbins 4-yard run (Justin Tucker kick), Ravens 17– Drive: 10 plays, 77 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • TEN – Stephen Gostkowski yard field goal, Ravens 17– Drive: 7 plays, 51 yards,
  • BAL – Justin Tucker yard field goal, Ravens 20– Drive: 9 plays, 52 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

  • BAL – Lamar Jackson – 16 rushes, yards, TD
  • TEN – Derrick Henry – 18 rushes, 40 yards

Top receivers

In a game between the two teams with the most rushing yards during the season,[29] Baltimore came out on top, outgaining the Titans in total yards –, and holding them to just 51 yards on the ground. Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, the NFL's leading rusher in , was held to just 40 yards on 18 carries.[30][31]

Tennessee opened up the scoring on their second possession with a play, yard drive, featuring a yard completion from Ryan Tannehill to A. J. Brown, before Brown's yard touchdown catch made the score 7–0.[32] Then on Baltimore's next drive, Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass from Lamar Jackson on the Tennessee yard line. Tannehill went on to complete a yard pass to Anthony Firkser that set up Stephen Gostkowski's yard field goal giving the Titans a 10–0 first quarter lead.[31] Baltimore responded by moving the ball 65 yards in 12 plays, including a yard completion from Jackson to receiver Marquise Brown. Justin Tucker finished the drive with a yard field goal,[31] that made the score 10–3 five minutes into the second quarter. Then after a punt by the Titans, the Ravens tied the score at 10–10 with Jackson's yard touchdown run on a 3rd and 9.[31]

Baltimore took a 17–10 lead with their opening drive of the second half, with Jackson completing 4-of-4 passes for 30 yards and rushing four times for 34 yards, on the way to J. K. Dobbins' 4-yard touchdown run.[31] Following a pair of punts, a roughing the passer penalty against Baltimore defensive end Derek Wolfe turned A. J. Brown's yard reception into a yard gain. Tennessee went on to make the score 17–13 with Gostkowski's yard field goal,[31] on the last play of the third quarter. Baltimore responded with a drive to the Titans' yard line, but Tucker missed a yard field goal.[31] The Titans then drove to Baltimore's 40 yard line, but the drive stalled and they punted. The Ravens responded with another scoring drive as Jackson completed 3-of-3 passes for 30 yards and rushed for 14 yards, setting up a successful yard field goal for Tucker, giving the Ravens a 20–13 lead with left.[31]Marcus Peters ended Tennessee's next drive with an interception of Tannehill,[31] enabling the Ravens' offense to run out the clock with four running plays, including a yard run from Jackson.

Jackson completed for passes for yards with an interception,[31] and was the game's leading rusher with 16 carries for yards and a touchdown as he recorded his first playoff victory in his career.[31] Marquise Brown was the game's leading receiver with 7 catches for yards. Tannehill finished the day for for yards, a touchdown, and an interception; Tennessee linebacker Harold Landry had 8 tackles, 2 assists, and 2 sacks.

This was the fifth postseason meeting between the Ravens and Titans. The series was split with the road team winning all four games.[33]

NFC: New Orleans Saints 21, Chicago Bears 9[edit]

Game information

First quarter

Second quarter

  • CHI – Cairo Santos yard field goal, Saints 7–3. Drive: 6 plays, 6 yards,

Third quarter

  • NO – Latavius Murray 6-yard pass from Drew Brees (Wil Lutz kick), Saints 14–3. Drive: 12 plays, 85 yards,

Fourth quarter

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Although the Bears finished with an 8–8 record, they managed to make the playoffs after the Los Angeles Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals in the final week of the season. Even though the two teams finished with identical 8–8 records, the Bears advanced with a better record of common opponents over the Cardinals with key wins over the Rams, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, and New York Giants. The Bears were 3–2 while the Cardinals were 1–4.[35] As for the Saints, they finished 12–4, falling short of going 3 consecutive years of 13–3 records, but still making the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.[36] The game was the two teams' first meeting in the playoffs since the NFC Championship Game.[37]

New Orleans held Chicago to just yards and a single field goal until the closing seconds of the fourth quarter as they progressed to the Divisional round.[38]

In the first quarter, Saints receiver Deonte Harris returned a punt 7 yards to the New Orleans yard line, before he caught a yard pass as his team drove 50 yards on 8 plays to score on Drew Brees's yard touchdown throw to Michael Thomas.[38] Chicago seemed primed to respond, as Mitchell Trubisky completed a yard pass to Javon Wims,[39] on the Saints' yard line. On the next play, the Bears ran a trick play in which running back David Montgomery took the snap out of the wildcat formation and gave the ball to Cordarrelle Patterson, who then pitched the ball to Trubisky.[39] The play initially worked perfectly, as Trubisky threw the ball to a wide open Wims in the end zone, only to see him drop the pass.[38] This turned out to be crucial as the drive ended in a turnover on downs on the Saints' yard line. New Orleans then drove to the Bears' yard line, but Wil Lutz missed a yard field goal attempt. In the second quarter, Bears safety Tashaun Gipson forced a fumble from Taysom Hill that John Jenkins recovered for Chicago,[40] on the Saints' yard line. This led to Cairo Santos' yard field goal that made the score 7–3; the next four drives ended in punts, with no additional scoring to the half.[41]

After the Bears punted on the first drive of the third quarter, Brees completed 6-of-7 passes for 72 yards, the longest being a yard throw to Thomas. He finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown completion to running back Latavius Murray,[38] giving the Saints a 14–3 lead.[40] The Bears had to punt again after three plays, and Harris returned it 11 yards to New Orleans' yard line. From there, the Saints drove 64 yards in 15 plays to go up 21–3 on Alvin Kamara's 3-yard touchdown run with left.[40] Following another Bears punt, New Orleans drove all the way to the Chicago 1-yard line, but ended up turning the ball over on downs. In the final of the game, the Bears drove 99 yards in 11 plays and scored on the final play of the game, with Trubisky's yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham.

Brees completed for passes for yards and 2 touchdowns,[38] Kamara had 23 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown,[40] along with 2 receptions for 17 yards; Harris caught 7 passes for 83 yards and returned 3 punts for 22 yards. Trubisky finished the game for for yards and a touchdown.[38]

This was the first ever telecast of the NFL on Nickelodeon.

This was the third postseason meeting between the Bears and Saints. The Bears had won the previous two meetings, including the NFC Championship Game.[42]

AFC: Cleveland Browns 48, Pittsburgh Steelers 37[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • CLE – Karl Joseph fumble recovery in the end zone (Cody Parkey kick), Browns 7–0.
  • CLE – Jarvis Landry yard pass from Baker Mayfield (Cody Parkey kick), Browns 14–0. Drive: 3 plays, 46 yards,
  • CLE – Kareem Hunt yard run (Cody Parkey kick), Browns 21–0. Drive: 6 plays, 65 yards,
  • CLE – Kareem Hunt 8-yard run (Cody Parkey kick), Browns 28–0. Drive: 3 plays, 15 yards,

Second quarter

  • PIT – James Conner 1-yard run (Chris Boswell kick), Browns 28–7. Drive: 13 plays, 89 yards,
  • CLE – Austin Hooper 7-yard pass from Baker Mayfield (Cody Parkey kick), Browns 35–7. Drive: 9 plays, 64 yards,
  • PIT – Chris Boswell yard field goal, Browns 35– Drive: 5 plays, 37 yards,

Third quarter

  • PIT – Eric Ebron yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger (pass failed), Browns 35– Drive: 8 plays, 84 yards,
  • PIT – JuJu Smith-Schuster 5-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell kick), Browns 35– Drive: 12 plays, 68 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • CLE – Nick Chubb yard pass from Baker Mayfield (Cody Parkey kick), Browns 42– Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards,
  • PIT – Chase Claypool yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger (pass failed), Browns 42– Drive: 4 plays, 76 yards,
  • CLE – Cody Parkey yard field goal, Browns 45– Drive: 13 plays, 59 yards,
  • CLE – Cody Parkey yard field goal, Browns 48– Drive: 4 plays, 6 yards,
  • PIT – Chase Claypool 7-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Ben Roethlisberger–James Conner pass), Browns 48– Drive: 8 plays, 77 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Despite missing four players and five coaches – including head coach Kevin Stefanski[44] – due to positive COVID tests, Cleveland built up a 35–10 first half lead, forced five turnovers, and held on to earn their first playoff win since the season.[45] This was also the Browns' first playoff appearance since , their first road win against the Steelers since , and their first road playoff win since [46][47]

The Browns took a 7–0 lead on the first play from scrimmage when a high snap from Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey sailed over quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's head and went into the end zone, where safety Karl Joseph recovered the ball for a touchdown.[45] Then on Pittsburgh's next drive, cornerback M. J. Stewart intercepted a pass from Roethlisberger,[45] giving the Browns the ball on the Steelers' yard line. Two plays later, Baker Mayfield threw a short pass to Jarvis Landry in the middle of the field and he ran it 40 yards into the end zone to increase Cleveland's lead to 14–0.[45] Pittsburgh then had to punt after three plays, and the Browns drove 65 yards in 6 plays, the longest a yard run from Nick Chubb. Kareem Hunt finished the drive with an yard touchdown run,[45] to put the Browns up 21–0. Then, Roethlisberger threw another interception, this one to safety Sheldrick Redwine, who returned it 30 yards to the Steelers' yard line.[45] This set up Hunt's 8-yard touchdown run that gave the Browns a 28–0 first quarter lead[45] – tying an NFL playoff record for points in the first quarter.[46]

In the second quarter, Roethlisberger threw his third interception to defensive end Porter Gustin,[45] that gave the Browns the ball on their yard line, but the Steelers' defense was able to force a punt.[45] Pittsburgh then drove 89 yards in 13 plays, featuring a yard completion from Roethlisberger to receiver James Washington. Running back James Conner also made some crucial plays, converting a 4th and 1 on the Browns' 2-yard line with a 1-yard run, and then running the ball into the end zone on the next play to make the score 28–7. D'Ernest Johnson returned the resulting kickoff 33 yards to the Browns' yard line. Then, after Mayfield scrambled to convert a 3rd and 6, he completed a yard pass to Chubb to the Steelers' yard line. Three plays later, Mayfield finished the possession with a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Austin Hooper,[45] giving the Browns a 35–7 lead with 37 seconds left in the half. Still, Pittsburgh managed to respond, driving 32 yards in five plays to score on Chris Boswell's yard field goal,[45] for a halftime score of 35–

In the third quarter, the Browns punted on their opening drive, and Roethlisberger completed eight consecutive passes for 84 yards, the last a yard touchdown completion to tight end Eric Ebron, cutting the score to 35–16 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.[45] Following another Browns' punt, Roethlisberger completed passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster for gains of 15 and 27 yards as the team drove 68 yards in 12 plays. Faced with 4th and goal on the Browns' 5-yard line, Roethlisberger threw another pass to Smith-Schuster for a touchdown,[45] cutting their deficit to 35–

After a Browns punt, the Steelers drove to a 4th and 1 on their yard line in the closing seconds of the third quarter. From there, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin decided to let the play clock run down to zero in an attempt to draw the Browns offside, and then punt the ball on 4th and 6.[48] Tomlin later received criticism for declining to attempt a fourth down conversion.[49][50] Cleveland got the ball seconds into the fourth quarter, and increased their lead to 42–23, with Mayfield completing passes to Landry for gains of 17 and 14 yards before finishing the drive with a yard touchdown pass to Chubb. Roethlisberger completed four consecutive passes for 76 yards for the Steelers, the last a yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Chase Claypool.[45] This made the score 42–29 with left, following another failed 2-point try.[45] The Browns stepped up to cut off any chance of a comeback; Johnson returned the kickoff 30 yards to the Browns' yard line, sparking a play, yard drive that ended with Cody Parkey's yard field goal that put the team up 45– Then, linebacker Sione Takitaki recorded Cleveland's fourth interception of the day,[45] picking off a pass from Roethlisberger and returning it 23 yards to the Steelers' yard line. This led to another Parkey field goal that gave the Browns a 48–29 lead with left. Roethlisberger led the Steelers 77 yards in 8 plays, including his yard completion to Smith-Schuster on 4th and 10, on the way to his 7-yard touchdown pass to Claypool.[45] Then, his 2-point conversion pass to Connor made the score 48– The Browns recovered Pittsburgh's ensuing onside kick attempt and ran out the rest of the clock.

Mayfield finished his first career playoff game with for for yards and three touchdowns. Landry was his top target with 5 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Chubb was the top rusher of the day with 18 carries for 76 yards, while also catching 4 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Stewart had 9 tackles (1 for loss) and an interception. Roethlisberger completed of passes for yards and 4 touchdowns, with 4 interceptions. His 47 completions set an NFL record, his 68 passes set an NFL postseason record, and his yards was the second highest total in postseason history.[51] Smith-Schuster had 13 receptions for yards and a touchdown, while Diontae Johnson added 11 receptions for yards.

This was the third postseason meeting between the Steelers and Browns. The Steelers had won the previous two in the and seasons, which were the only playoff games the Browns had been in during that span.[52]

Divisional playoffs[edit]

Saturday, January 16, [edit]

NFC: Green Bay Packers 32, Los Angeles Rams 18[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • GB – Mason Crosby yard field goal, Packers 3–0. Drive: 12 plays, 63 yards,
  • LAR – Matt Gay yard field goal, Tied 3–3. Drive: 8 plays, 62 yards,

Second quarter

  • GB – Davante Adams 1-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), Packers 10–3. Drive: 14 plays, 84 yards,
  • GB – Aaron Rodgers 1-yard run (pass failed), Packers 16–3. 9 plays, 47 yards,
  • LAR – Van Jefferson 4-yard pass from Jared Goff (Matt Gay kick), Packers 16– Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards,
  • GB – Mason Crosby yard field goal, Packers 19– Drive: 5 plays, 54 yards,

Third quarter

  • GB – Aaron Jones 1-yard run (pass failed), Packers 25– Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards,
  • LAR – Cam Akers 7-yard run (Jared Goff–Cam Akers pass), Packers 25– Drive: 11 plays, 79 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • GB – Allen Lazard yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), Packers 32– Drive: 5 plays, 73 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Despite losing Pro Bowl offensive tackle David Bakhtiari to injury in practice prior to Week 17,[54] the Packers racked up yards and 32 points against a Rams defense that finished the season leading the NFL in fewest points and yards allowed.[55] The Rams were dealing with a myriad of injuries themselves, with leading receiver Cooper Kupp out with knee bursitis suffered in the closing seconds of their previous win,[56] starting quarterback Jared Goff playing with a surgically repaired thumb on his throwing hand just twelve days prior,[57] and two-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald severely hampered after tearing rib cartilage the previous week.[58]

The Packers scored on their first drive, with a play, yard possession that featured a yard completion from Aaron Rodgers to Equanimeous St. Brown; Mason Crosby's yard field goal gave the Packers a 3–0 lead.[59] The Rams responded as Goff's completions to Josh Reynolds and Robert Woods set up a yard field goal from Matt Gay to tie the game.[60] Green Bay then drove 84 yards in 14 plays to take a 10–3 lead on Davante Adams' 1-yard touchdown reception with left in the half.[61] The Rams then had to punt after three plays, and a yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against their receiver Nsimba Webster turned Tavon Austin's 8-yard return into a yard gain, giving the Packers a first down on the Rams' yard line. From there, Rodgers completed 5-of-5 passes for 44 yards, and he scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, giving Green Bay a 16–3 lead after a botched snap on the extra point attempt.[62] The Rams took the ball back with left in the half, and drove 75 yards in 9 plays, the longest a yard catch by Reynolds. Goff finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson, making the score 16–10 with 29 seconds left in the half.[62] Following the kickoff, Rodgers' completions to Adams and Robert Tonyan for gains of 21 and 33 yards enabled Crosby to kick a yard field goal as time expired in the half, making the score 19–[59]

On the first play of the third quarter, Packers running back Aaron Jones ran for a yard gain to the Rams' yard line. Three plays later, he scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, giving the Packers a 25–10 lead after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.[59] After a punt from each team, Goff completed 6-of-6 passes for 51 yards on an play, yard drive; Cam Akers finished the drive with a 7-yard run from the wildcat formation. On the ensuing 2-point conversion, Goff threw the ball to Jefferson, who then lateralled it to Akers before reaching the end zone,[59] making the score 25–18, with left in the quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, the Rams forced a punt, giving them a chance to drive for the tying touchdown; but Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark made a crucial sack on Goff that eventually forced the Rams to punt.[59] On the ensuing drive, the Rams forced an A. J. Dillon fumble in Green Bay territory, but the ball squirted right to Rodgers who was trailing the play. The Packers then converted a short third down, and two plays later put the game away with Rodgers' yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard.[59]

Rodgers completed 23 of 36 passes for yards and 2 touchdowns,[61] while adding a rushing touchdown as well. Jones had 14 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown, along with a yard catch and Lazard was the top receiver of the game with 4 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.[61] Goff completed 21 of 27 passes for yards and a touchdown,[61] while Akers was the Rams' top rusher of the game with 18 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown,[61] and also caught a pass for 6 yards.

This was the third postseason meeting between the Rams and Packers. The series was split [63]

AFC: Buffalo Bills 17, Baltimore Ravens 3[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • BUF – Tyler Bass yard field goal, Bills 3–0. Drive: 5 plays, 28 yards,

Second quarter

  • BAL – Justin Tucker yard field goal, Tied 3–3. Drive: 8 plays, 57 yards,

Third quarter

  • BUF – Stefon Diggs 3-yard pass from Josh Allen (Tyler Bass kick), Bills 10–3. Drive: 11 plays, 66 yards,
  • BUF – Taron Johnson yard interception return (Tyler Bass kick), Bills 17–3.

Fourth quarter

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

In a game largely controlled by defense,[65] Bills cornerback Taron Johnson's postseason record-tying yard interception return gave Buffalo a two-score lead that the Ravens could not overcome.[66] Windy conditions also played a major role in the game, with each team missing two field goal attempts and one punt went for just 23 yards.[67]

Baltimore took the opening kickoff and drove 46 yards to the Bills' yard line, but the drive ended there as Justin Tucker hit the uprights on a yard field goal attempt.[68] Both teams had to punt on their next drive, and Sam Koch's yard kick gave the Bills the ball on the Baltimore yard line. From there, they drove 17 yards to take a 3–0 lead on a yard field goal by rookie kicker Tyler Bass.[68] After a Ravens punt, Buffalo drove to the Baltimore yard line, but Bass missed a yard field goal kick with left in the half. Baltimore fared no better, as their next drive also ended in a missed field goal, this time with Tucker hitting the uprights again from 46 yards.[68] After three more punts, Baltimore finally managed to get on the board, converting a yard completion from Lamar Jackson to Marquise Brown into a yard field goal by Tucker on the last play of the half.[68]

Buffalo took the second half kickoff and drove 66 yards in 11 plays, the longest a yard completion from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs. On the last play, Allen's 3-yard touchdown pass to Diggs gave Buffalo a 10–3 lead.[69] Baltimore seemed primed to respond, as they moved the ball to a 2nd and goal from the Bills' 9-yard line with 58 seconds left in the third quarter. But on the next play, Johnson picked off a pass from Jackson in the end zone and returned it yards for a touchdown, increasing the Bills' lead to 17–3.[70] Jackson suffered a concussion on the next drive and had to leave the game, and was replaced at quarterback by Tyler Huntley.[71] Baltimore had two possessions in the fourth quarter, but each one ended in a turnover on downs with the second ending at the Buffalo yard-line.

Allen completed 23 of 37 passes for yards and a touchdown and Diggs had 8 receptions for yards and a touchdown. In addition to his interception, Johnson also had six tackles. Jackson completed 14/24 passes for yards and one interception, while also rushing for 42 yards.

Sunday, January 17, [edit]

AFC: Kansas City Chiefs 22, Cleveland Browns 17[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • KC – Patrick Mahomes 1-yard run (kick failed), Chiefs 6–0. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards,
  • CLE – Cody Parkey yard field goal, Chiefs 6–3. Drive: 12 plays, 47 yards,

Second quarter

  • KC – Travis Kelce yard pass from Patrick Mahomes (Harrison Butker kick), Chiefs 13–3. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards,
  • KC – Harrison Butker yard field goal, Chiefs 16–3. Drive: 13 plays, 53 yards,
  • KC – Harrison Butker yard field goal, Chiefs 19–3. Drive: 9 plays, 70 yards,

Third quarter

  • CLE – Jarvis Landry 4-yard pass from Baker Mayfield (Cody Parkey kick), Chiefs 19– Drive: 8 plays, 77 yards,
  • KC – Harrison Butker yard field goal, Chiefs 22– Drive: 11 plays, 60 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • CLE – Kareem Hunt 3-yard run (Cody Parkey kick), Chiefs 22– Drive: 18 plays, 75 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Kansas City built up a 19–3 first half lead and survived losing their starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the second half, in order to become the first AFC team to host three consecutive conference championship games.[73]

On the opening drive, Mahomes completed 4 of 4 passes for 41 yards, including a yard completion to Tyreek Hill, as the team drove 75 yards in 10 plays to score on his 1-yard touchdown run. Harrison Butker missed the extra point, keeping the score at 6–0.[74] Cleveland responded with a play, yard scoring drive, featuring a yard pass from Baker Mayfield to tight end David Njoku. Two key defensive plays by L'Jarius Sneed, a tackle for a 3-yard loss and an 8-yard sack on Mayfield, forced Cleveland to settle for Cody Parkey's yard field goal to make the score 6–3.[75] On the second play of the Chiefs' next drive, Mecole Hardman ran a shovel pass 42 yards to the Browns' yard line, and the team went on to take a 13–3 lead with Mahomes' yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce with left in the half. After forcing the Browns to punt, Kansas City drove back for more points; this time Mahomes completed 5 of 7 passes for 40 yards and rushed for 13 yards,[75] as he led the team to a 16–3 lead with Butker's yard field goal.[75] Cleveland responded with a drive to the Chiefs' yard line. On the next play, Mayfield threw a pass to Rashard Higgins; as he dived for the goal line, safety Daniel Sorensen hit him from the left side, knocking the ball loose and causing it to roll through the end zone for a touchback.[75] Many observers argued Sorensen should have been penalized for targeting Higgins with his helmet, including CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore.[76] Kansas City took the ball back with 30 seconds left, and managed to drive into scoring range with Mahomes completing passes to Hill for gains of 13 and 16 yards, as well as a yard pass to Kelce. On the last play of the quarter, Butker kicked a yard field goal,[75] giving the Chiefs a 19–3 halftime lead.

Early in the third quarter, Tyrann Mathieu intercepted a pass from Mayfield and returned it 17 yards to the Browns' yard line. Kansas City only gained four yards with their next three plays and Butker missed a yard field goal attempt.[75] Cleveland took over on their own yard line, and started off with a pair of runs from Nick Chubb for gains of 23 and 18 yards.[75] Then after a 2-yard run from Kareem Hunt, Mayfield's yard completion to Higgins gave the Browns a first down on the Chiefs' yard line. Three plays later, Mayfield finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry, cutting the deficit to 19–[75] Kansas City then drove to a 3rd and 1 on their yard line. On the next play, Mahomes tried to run for a first down, but was tackled short of the marker and was knocked out of the game and put into concussion protocol.[77] He was replaced by year veteran Chad Henne, making his postseason debut.[78] Now faced with 4th and 1, Henne pitched the ball to Darrel Williams, who ran around the left side for a yard gain. On the next play, Williams rushed 16 yards to the Browns' yard line. Cleveland's defense managed to stop the drive on their yard line, where Butker's yard field goal gave the Chiefs a 22–10 lead,[75] with left in the third quarter.

Cleveland took the ball back and mounted their longest drive of the season, moving the ball 75 yards in 18 plays on a possession that lasted and included two fourth down conversions. On 4th and 1 from their own yard line, Chubb ran 3 yards for a first down. Then on 4th and 3 from the Chiefs' yard line, tight end Austin Hooper made a diving catch through tight coverage by Bashaud Breeland for a 5-yard gain. Two plays later, Hunt scored on a 3-yard touchdown run,[75] making the score 22–17 with left. Kansas City then drove to the Browns' yard line. But after a penalty pushed them back to the yard line, Henne threw a deep pass to the end zone that was intercepted by safety Karl Joseph. On Cleveland's next drive, they moved into a 3rd and 11 situation on their own yard line. On the next play, Mayfield was forced to make a check-down pass to Hunt, who was tackled after picking up 2 yards. Now on 4th and 9, they punted the ball to Kansas City with left. The Chiefs then converted a 3rd and 4 with Henne's 5-yard pass to Williams. Then after a Myles Garrett sack brought up 3rd and 14, Henne scrambled for a yard gain, going down just inches short of a first down. Now faced with 4th and inches on their own yard line, Chiefs coach Andy Reid decided to attempt a conversion. The Chiefs came out in shotgun formation with no running backs in the backfield, leading commentator Tony Romo to assume they would simply try to draw the Browns offsides. Instead, Henne took the snap and threw the ball to Hill for a 5-yard game-clinching first down.[79]

Mahomes completed 21 of 30 passes for yards and a touchdown, Hill caught 8 passes for yards, while also rushing for 9 yards and Kelce had 8 receptions for yards and a touchdown. Starting in place of the injured Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Williams rushed for 78 yards and caught 4 passes for 16 yards. Mayfield completed 23 of 37 passes for yards with a touchdown and an interception.

NFC: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, New Orleans Saints 20[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • NO – Wil Lutz yard field goal, Saints 3–0. Drive: 6 plays, 16 yards,
  • NO – Wil Lutz yard field goal, Saints 6–0. Drive: 12 plays, 46 yards,

Second quarter

  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Saints 6–3. Drive: 15 plays, 67 yards,
  • TB – Mike Evans 3-yard pass from Tom Brady (Ryan Succop kick), Buccaneers 10–6. Drive: 1 play, 3 yards,
  • NO – Tre'Quan Smith yard pass from Jameis Winston (Wil Lutz kick), Saints 13– Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards,
  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Tied 13– Drive: 13 plays, 63 yards,

Third quarter

  • NO – Tre'Quan Smith yard pass from Drew Brees (Wil Lutz kick), Saints 20– Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards,
  • TB – Leonard Fournette 6-yard pass from Tom Brady (Ryan Succop kick), Tied 20– Drive: 5 plays, 40 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Buccaneers 23– Drive: 11 plays, 61 yards,
  • TB – Tom Brady 1-yard run (Ryan Succop kick), Buccaneers 30– Drive: 4 plays, 20 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Tampa Bay forced four turnovers which were converted into three touchdowns in a winning effort against a Saints team that had defeated them twice during the regular season. Buccaneers linebacker Devin White led the defensive effort with 10 tackles (1 for loss), 1 assist, a fumble recovery, and an interception.[80]

The Buccaneers had to punt on their opening drive, and Deonte Harris' yard return gave New Orleans a first down on the Tampa Bay yard line, setting up Wil Lutz's yard field goal to take a 3–0 lead.[81] The next time Tampa Bay punted, Harris returned it for a touchdown, ultimately negated by an illegal block penalty. Still, the team managed to drive 36 yards to a 6–0 lead on Lutz's yard kick.[81] The Buccaneers responded by moving the ball 65 yards in 15 plays to score on Ryan Succop's yard field goal,[81] with left in the half. On the Saints' next drive, Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted a pass from Drew Brees and returned it 36 yards to the New Orleans 3-yard line,[81] setting up Tom Brady's 3-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans that gave Tampa Bay a 10–6 lead.[81] New Orleans took the ball back and drove to their yard line. On the next play, running back Alvin Kamara took a snap out of the wildcat formation and gave the ball to receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who then pitched the ball to backup quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston then threw the ball to Tre'Quan Smith for a yard touchdown,[81] putting the Saints back in the lead at 13– Following a punt from each team, the Buccaneers drove 68 yards to tie the score 13–13 with Succop's yard field goal on the last play of the half.[81]

New Orleans opened the third quarter with a play, yard drive, with Kamara rushing 4 times for 32 yards and catching a pass for 7 yards. Brees finished the possession with a yard touchdown pass to Smith,[81] giving the Saints a 20–13 lead. The Saints defense then forced a punt, but on their next drive, Antoine Winfield Jr. forced a fumble from Jared Cook that White recovered and returned 18 yards to the Saints' yard line.[81] Brady started the ensuing possession with a yard pass to tight end Cameron Brate, and finished it with a 6-yard touchdown completion to running back Leonard Fournette, with the game now tied at 20–[81] After a Saints punt, Brady's completions to Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller for gains of 15 and 29 yards set up Succop's yard field goal,[81] giving Tampa Bay a 23–20 lead with left. White put an end to New Orleans' next drive, intercepting Brees and returning the ball 28 yards to the Saints' yard line. Three plays later, Brady scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak that increased the Buccaneers' lead to 30–20 with left.[81] Brees was picked off for a third time, this time by safety Mike Edwards,[81] ultimately securing Tampa Bay's victory.

Brady completed 18 of 33 passes for yards and two touchdowns,[81] and became the oldest player ever to score a postseason rushing touchdown,[82] as he advanced to his 14th conference championship game in 21 seasons.[80] In his final NFL game before retiring, Brees was held to completing 19 of 34 passes, for yards and a touchdown, while being intercepted three times.[81] Kamara was the top rusher of the game with 18 carries for 85 yards, while also catching 3 passes for 20 yards.

Conference Championships[edit]

As per an annual rotation used by the NFL since and made official in , the NFC Championship Game will be the first game played on January 24 at &#;p.m. EST, followed by the AFC Championship Game at &#;p.m. EST.

Sunday, January 24, [edit]

NFC: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Green Bay Packers 26[edit]

Game information

First quarter

Second quarter

  • GB – Marquez Valdes-Scantling yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), Tied 7–7. Drive: 7 plays, 90 yards,
  • TB – Leonard Fournette yard run (Ryan Succop kick), Buccaneers 14–7. Drive: 4 plays, 73 yards,
  • GB – Mason Crosby yard field goal, Buccaneers 14– Drive: 15 plays, 69 yards,
  • TB – Scotty Miller yard pass from Tom Brady (Ryan Succop kick), Buccaneers 21– Drive: 5 plays, 51 yards,

Third quarter

  • TB – Cameron Brate 8-yard pass from Tom Brady (Ryan Succop kick), Buccaneers 28– Drive: 1 play, 8 yards,
  • GB – Robert Tonyan 8-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), Buccaneers 28– Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards,
  • GB – Davante Adams 2-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (pass failed), Buccaneers 28– Drive: 13 plays, 68 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • TB – Ryan Succop yard field goal, Buccaneers 31– Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards,
  • GB – Mason Crosby yard field goal, Buccaneers 31– Drive: 9 plays, 58 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Despite giving up more yards and having more turnovers than Green Bay, Tampa Bay's 18 point lead early in the second half helped them weather a comeback by Green Bay, as Tampa Bay's defense held Green Bay to just 6 points off of 3 interceptions.[84]

Tampa Bay took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards on a drive that featured three third down conversions.[85] First, Tom Brady converted a 3rd and 4 with a yard pass to Mike Evans.[85] Then on 3rd and 9, he threw a yard completion to Chris Godwin.[85] Finally, Brady finished the possession with a yard touchdown pass to Evans on 3rd and 7, giving the Buccaneers a 7–0 lead.[85] Following a punt from each team, Green Bay tied the score at 7–7 on a yard drive in which Aaron Rodgers converted a 3rd and 15 with a yard pass to Allen Lazard before throwing a yard touchdown completion to Marquez Valdes-Scantling.[86] Tampa Bay took the ball back, and made another big 3rd down conversion with Brady's yard pass to Godwin on 3rd and 9.[87] On the next play, Leonard Fournette's yard touchdown run made the score 14–7 with left in the half. Green Bay responded by driving 69 yards in 15 plays to cut the score to 14–10 with Mason Crosby's yard field goal. Their defense then forced a punt, but on the Packers' next drive, Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted a pass from Rodgers on the Buccaneers' yard line with 28 seconds left in the half.[86] Tampa Bay then drove to a 4th and 4 on the Packers' yard line, managing to convert it with a 6-yard catch by Fournette. With eight seconds remaining, Tampa Bay decided against kicking a long field goal, and Brady threw a yard touchdown pass to Scotty Miller, ending the half with the Buccaneers ahead 21–[86] In the first half alone, Brady completed 13 of 22 passes for yards and two touchdowns.

Two plays into the third quarter, safety Jordan Whitehead forced a fumble from Packers running back Aaron Jones. Devin White recovered it for Tampa Bay and returned it 21 yards to the Green Bay 8-yard line.[86] On the next play, Tampa Bay fooled the Packers defense with a play-action pass, with Brady faking a backfield handoff before throwing the ball to tight end Cameron Brate for a touchdown and a 28–10 lead.[86] On Green Bay's next drive, Rodgers completed 5 of 6 passes for 68 yards and finishing the drive with an 8-yard touchdown throw to tight end Robert Tonyan, making the score 28–[86] Then safety Adrian Amos intercepted a pass from Brady on the Packers' yard line, sparking a play, yard drive that ended with Rodgers' 2-yard touchdown completion to Davante Adams with 24 seconds left in the quarter; receiver Equanimeous St. Brown dropped Rodgers' pass on a 2-point conversion attempt, and the score remained 28– Tampa Bay then drove to the Packers' yard line, only to lose the ball again when Brady threw an interception to cornerback Jaire Alexander. Green Bay could not get a first down and had to punt after Shaquil Barrett sacked Rodgers for a yard loss on 3rd and 5. Then Brady was picked off for the third time, throwing another interception to Alexander. Green Bay's next possession resulted in Rodgers again being sacked by Barrett and the team again going three-and-out. Tampa Bay took the ball back on their own yard line, and went on to drive 44 yards in 8 plays, the longest a yard gain on a screen pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski. On the last play, Ryan Succop's yard field goal gave the Buccaneers a 31–23 lead with left.[86]

Green Bay then drove to a first and goal from the Buccaneers' 8-yard line. After two incompletions, Rodgers appeared to have room to run toward the end zone, but he chose to throw the ball to a well covered Adams, which resulted in another incompletion. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur elected not to attempt a tying touchdown on 4th and goal from the 8-yard line with left; Crosby kicked a field goal that cut the Packers' deficit to 5 points, 31–[88] Tampa Bay went on to run out the rest of the clock with three first downs; they started the drive with a 9-yard pass from Brady to Evans as the clock ran down to the 2-minute warning. Green Bay deliberately committed an encroachment penalty, on 2nd and 1, giving the Buccaneers a first down. Two plays later on 3rd and 4, Brady's threw an incomplete pass, but the officials threw a late flag against defensive back Kevin King for pass interference while trying to cover Tyler Johnson, giving the Buccaneers another first down to clinch the game.[89] Tampa Bay finished the game with a run by Godwin on third and 5.

Brady completed 20 of 36 passes for yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in his 14th conference championship game (and first in the NFC) as he advanced to his 10th Super Bowl in 21 seasons.[86] Godwin was his top target with 5 receptions for yards. White had 9 tackles, 6 assists, and a fumble recovery. Barrett had 3 sacks, while linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul had 2 sacks.[86] Rodgers completed 33 of 48 passes for yards and 3 touchdowns, with one interception, as he lost his second consecutive conference championship game and fell to 1–4 overall in Conference title games over his 16 seasons, making him the first quarterback to have four consecutive losses in conference championship games.[86] Valdes-Scantling caught 4 passes for yards and a score. Nose tackle Kenny Clark had 6 tackles (1 for loss), 2 assists, and a sack. With the win, the Buccaneers reached their second Super Bowl in franchise history and became the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.[84]

On April 5, , during Rodgers' first episode of Jeopardy! as the guest host following the death of its longtime emcee Alex Trebek, the questionable fourth-quarter play was referenced in a player's Final Jeopardy! answer: "Who wanted to kick that field goal?" As the audience laughed at this, Rodgers remarked: "That's a great question. It should be correct, but unfortunately in this game today it's incorrect." However, the contestant (who had started the episode as the returning champion) entered $0 as his wager, and eventually finished in second place.[90]

This was the second postseason meeting between the Packers and Buccaneers. The Packers had defeated the Buccaneers in the Divisional Playoffs.[91]

AFC: Kansas City Chiefs 38, Buffalo Bills 24[edit]

Game information

First quarter

  • BUF – Tyler Bass yard field goal, Bills 3–0. Drive: 10 plays, 42 yards,
  • BUF – Dawson Knox 3-yard pass from Josh Allen (kick failed), Bills 9–0. Drive: 1 play, 3 yards,

Second quarter

  • KC – Mecole Hardman 3-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes (Harrison Butker kick), Bills 9–7. Drive: 14 plays, 80 yards,
  • KC – Darrel Williams 6-yard run (Harrison Butker kick), Chiefs 14–9. Drive: 5 plays, 82 yards,
  • KC – Clyde Edwards-Helaire 1-yard run (Harrison Butker kick), Chiefs 21–9. Drive: 9 plays, 77 yards,
  • BUF – Tyler Bass yard field goal, Chiefs 21– Drive: 12 plays, 73 yards,

Third quarter

  • KC – Harrison Butker yard field goal, Chiefs 24– Drive: 10 plays, 48 yards,
  • BUF – Tyler Bass yard field goal, Chiefs 24– Drive: 10 plays, 67 yards,
  • KC – Travis Kelce 1-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes (Harrison Butker kick), Chiefs 31– Drive: 4 plays, 75 yards,

Fourth quarter

  • KC – Travis Kelce 5-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes (Harrison Butker kick), Chiefs 38– Drive: 11 plays, 58 yards,
  • BUF – Isaiah McKenzie 6-yard pass from Josh Allen (pass failed), Chiefs 38– Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards,
  • BUF – Tyler Bass yard field goal, Chiefs 38– Drive: 5 plays, 16 yards,

Top passers

Top rushers

  • BUF – Josh Allen – 7 rushes, 88 yards
  • KC – Darrel Williams – 13 rushes, 52 yards, TD

Top receivers

Kansas City overcame an early 9–0 deficit with 38 points and total yards as they advanced to their second consecutive Super Bowl.[93]

Buffalo opened up the scoring with Tyler Bass' yard field goal,[94] at the end of a play, yard drive, and the Bills forced the Chiefs to go three-and-out. The Bills also had to punt on their next drive, but returner Mecole Hardman muffed the kick and Taiwan Jones recovered it for Buffalo on the Chiefs' 3-yard line. On the next play, Josh Allen threw a touchdown pass to tight end Dawson Knox, making the score 9–0 after Bass missed the extra point.[95] Kansas City advanced 80 yards on their next drive in which Patrick Mahomes completed 10 passes, one of them a 9-yard completion to running back Darrel Williams on 4th and 1. With left in the half, Mahomes' 3-yard touchdown completion to Hardman made the score 9–7. The next time Kansas City got the ball, Hardman's yard gain on an end-around run pre-empted a 6-yard touchdown run by Williams,[96] giving the Chiefs a 14–9 lead. Following another Bills punt, Mahomes completed passes to tight end Travis Kelce for gains of 11 and 17 yards, along with a yard completion to Tyreek Hill. Clyde Edwards-Helaire finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, increasing the team's lead to 21–9.[93] Buffalo took the ball back and drove 73 yards to the Chiefs' 2-yard line, featuring a yard reception by running back T. J. Yeldon. On 4th and goal with 14 seconds left, the Bills decided to settle for Bass' yard field goal and a 21–12 halftime score.[97]

Mahomes started the third quarter completing 7 of 8 passes for 50 yards on the way to a yard Harrison Butker field goal, bringing the Chiefs' lead up to 24– The Bills responded with a drive to the Chiefs' 8-yard line, with Allen completing passes of 23 yards to Cole Beasley and 17 yards to John Brown

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E2%80%_NFL_playoffs

Playoffs 2020 bracket nfl

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NFL PLAYOFF BRACKET nfl playoff bracket

also see -> How to Set Up a Football Pool


NFL Playoffs & Championship TV schedule

The new NFL playoffs expansion means more games to schedule -- beginning with the Wild card rounds beginning on Saturday, January As we wait for the complete NFL schedule to shape up, keep it here for official start times of wildcard games, divisional playoffs, and championship games leading up to Super Bowl Sunday on February

Saturday, January 15 - Wild-card round
Sunday, January 16 - Wild-card round

Saturday, January Divisional round
Sunday, January 23: Divisional round

Sunday, January 30
AFC Championship Game at PM ET on CBS
NFC Championship Game
at PM ET on FOX

Sunday, February Super Bowl LVI at PM on NBC


Sours: http://www.chiff.com/recreation/sports/NFL-brackets.htm
2019 Playoffs NFL Mini Movie: From the Titans Improbable Run to Mahomes Magic!

NFL playoff bracket, explained: How byes, seeding will work in expanded format

The NFL's expanded playoff bracket has been a topic of conversation all season, but with the playoffs finally around the corner, it's worth revisiting exactly how a team field works in the first year of its existence.

The league made the move from 12 teams qualifying to 14 for the season. A lot of the reasoning comes back to interest and money, but it also creates a different playoff picture than NFL fans may be used to. There's now a No. 7 seed to play for in each conference. There's only one bye instead of two on each side, too. It forces a recalibration of how late-season results are viewed.

Below, we've broken down the new bracket, both to explain how it works if you're unfamiliar or need a refreshers as well as to explain why it exists the way it does. For the first time, teams aren't necessarily playing hard for the No. 2 seed and the bye that used to come with it, so we've laid out the reasons for that, too. At the end of the day, two more teams will be in the playoffs this season than ever before, and that should just mean two more teams worth of fun (not counting the NFC East, because yuck).

MORE: SN predicts the entire NFL playoff bracket

How many teams make the NFL playoffs?

A total of 14 teams make the NFL playoffs following the regular season. That's broken down as seven teams from the NFC and seven teams from the AFC.

There's a total of 32 teams in the NFL, so that works out to percent of the teams advancing to play in the postseason. The seeding breaks down as the four division winners seeded Nos. by record with the next three best records filling in three wild card spots.

The team playoff field is an expansion for this season. Prior to , 12 teams made the postseason with six from each conference. The only way it's changed from a seeding standpoint is having a third wild card team added as the No. 7 seed.

NFL playoff bracket

Here you can see how the NFL has broken down the playoff bracket in its new team playoff field. Instead of two byes, just one team in each conference gets a first-round bye. Then the No. 2 seed plays No. 7, No. 3 plays No. 6 and No. 4 plays No. 5 on each side. The top seed faces the winner of the 4/5 game in the divisional round (if favorites win; otherwise, No. 1 plays worst remaining seed).

Despite the playoff expansion, the alteration of the bye total means that there's the same number of rounds (although two additional playoff games overall). The wild card round will feature 12 teams competing, up from the previous eight, with 12 being the same number as the total qualifiers in past postseasons. 

Here's a look at the latest NFL playoff bracket for , updated through Week

AFC

1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 6. Cleveland Browns
2. Buffalo Bills vs. 5. Baltimore Ravens

1. Kansas City Chiefs (bye)
2. Buffalo Bills vs. 7. Indianapolis Colts
3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 6. Cleveland Browns
4. Tennessee Titans vs. 5. Baltimore Ravens

NFC

1. Green Bay Packers vs. 6. Los Angeles Rams
2. New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1. Green Bay Packers (bye)
2. New Orleans Saints vs. 7. Chicago Bears
3. Seattle Seahawks vs. 6. Los Angeles Rams
4. Washington Football Team vs. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How many teams get a first-round bye?

A total of two NFL teams get first-round byes in this postseason, one from the AFC and one from the NFC. That's because of the expanded playoff field from six qualifiers to seven qualifiers in each conference. When six teams made it, two teams on each side got a bye, but that's no longer the case.

The reason for the altered bye total is to end up in the divisional round with four teams on each side. That way, it splits evenly from eight teams alive to four teams alive to two teams in the Super Bowl. To do that in a team bracket, you need 12 of the teams to play in the first round, because then you get six winners with the two teams on bye added in.

Why did the NFL expand the playoff field?

There's a lot of angles to come at this question, but they basically all come down to money.

An expanded playoff field means conceptually more teams are in the hunt during the final weeks of the regular season, meaning more fan bases are invested in results. That makes the second half of the regular season more intense for more teams/fanbases. 

Once you're in the playoffs, it also equals more attention because two extra fan groups are involved. Add in the alteration to the bye schedule that creates two more games in the first round, and it's obvious that even just a two-team increase in the postseason means a ton to the NFL's bottom line. 

Does the No. 2 seed have any benefit without a bye?

Now that the No. 2 seed in each conference doesn't get a bye, there's a lot less reason to play super hard to secure that spot. The main one is this: Two rounds of home-field advantage.

The No. 2 seed is guaranteed two rounds at home before potentially having to travel and play the No. 1 seed in the AFC championship. That of course requires a first-round win by the No. 2 seed to get that second home game.

The No. 3 seed is only guaranteed one home game, because if both Nos. 2 and 3 win in the first round, they'll face off at No. 2's home field in the second round. 

NFL playoff schedule

Wild-card round

Saturday, Jan. 9

MatchupStart timeTV channel
Colts at Bills p.m. ETCBS
Rams at Seahawks p.m. ETFox
Buccaneers at Washington p.m. ETNBC

Sunday, Jan. 10

MatchupStart timeTV channel
Ravens at Titans p.m. ETESPN/ABC
Bears at Saints p.m. ETCBS/Nickelodeon/Amazon Prime
Browns at Steelers p.m. ETNBC

Divisional round

Saturday, Jan. 16

MatchupStart timeTV channel
AFC divisional round (Ravens at Bills) p.m. ETNBC
NFC divisional Round (Rams at Packers) p.m. ETFox

Sunday, Jan. 17

MatchupStart timeTV channel
AFC divisional round (Browns at Chiefs) p.m. ETCBS
NFC divisional round (Bucs at Saints) p.m. ETFox

Conference championships

Sunday, Jan. 24

MatchupAway teamStart timeTV channel
NFC championship (at Packers)Bucs or Saints p.m. ETFox
AFC championshipTBD p.m. ETCBS

Super Bowl 55

Sunday, Feb. 7

MatchupStart timeTV channel
AFC champion vs. NFC champion p.m. ETCBS
Sours: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/nfl-playoff-bracket-format-explained/13sfyxbzm7rsz11gtf9t0r33ha

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