How do the 2022 NFL playoffs work?

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
The playoffs are getting closer in the NFL season

As we enter Week 12 of the NFL season, playoff scenarios and brackets are being updated and discussed each week. The conclusion of the season is getting increasingly closer and so are expectations.

Some teams look set to make the playoffs, such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Minnesota Vikings. Some others, though, are fighting for a chance each week with every successive game being more important than the other.

It is also worth noting that since 2020, the NFL playoff format has changed.


Instead of 12 teams making the playoffs, 14 do now. Seven teams from each conference (the AFC and NFC) make the NFL playoffs and are seeded one through seven.

The top four seeds are given to the division winners in each conference. Seeds five through seven are for wildcards, which are the three remaining teams with the best records in the conference. Both number one seed teams get byes in the first round.

The second seed team plays the seventh seed in the first-round. The third seed team plays the sixth seed and the fourth seed plays the fifth seed.


From there, the divisional round will have the number one seed team play the lowest remaining seed and the remaining two teams in each conference (second-best and second-worst seeds remaining) face each other.

After that, conference championships are held between the two remaining teams to win a shot at advancing to the Super Bowl.

The NFL playoff picture today

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers

Now that it's mid-way through the regular season, each week, the NFL playoff picture will be updated as teams win and lose.

ICYMI Here are the impacts of yesterday's game on the playoff picture--> NFL Playoff Picture: Week 12 updates after Thanksgiving games… via @thephinsider

As of right now, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles are the number one seeds in their respective divisions. If they remain so, they would have byes.

If the present situation remains intact in the AFC, the Buffalo Bills would host the New York Jets, the Tennessee Titans would host the Cincinnati Bengals. Also, the Baltimore Ravens would host the Miami Dolphins.

In the NFC, according to the present standings, the Minnesota Vikings would host the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers would host the New York Giants. Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers would host the Dallas Cowboys.

There are still seven weeks left of the regular season and anything can happen from now until then. The playoff picture could look completely different come January when it's time for the playoffs to begin.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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