American Football Play off Positions
This is an article compiled by FootballTerms about American football play off positions updated latest and most complete
The image above – updated as of Wednesday, December 21 (after Week 15) – displays the current NFL Playoff bracket and will be updated after each week of the 2022-23 NFL regular season. Keep in mind, there is a lot of football left to play, since we are only through three weeks, and there are a lot of tiebreakers to consider in putting together a playoff picture this early.
You’ll find much more NFL playoff information on this page below, including teams who have clinched playoff berths and teams who have been eliminated from playoff contention—these will be updated when we have teams to fill either category, likely around Week 13 or so. The only thing we don’t have here are NFL playoff odds. You can jump to a specific section using the links below:
NFL Playoff Picture
The top American football teams from the AFC will make the playoffs. The early 2022-23 NFL playoff picture shows a few new teams entering the fold. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Chargers would be teams to get in who did not make it last year.
The top seven seeds in the NFC will make the playoffs. The NFC has four of the seven teams from last year’s playoffs back in playoff position right now: Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and San Francisco 49ers. The Minnesota Vikings, Washington Commanders, and New York Giants are the new faces at the moment.
Current Wildcard Matchups
If the regular season were to end today, the wildcard matchups would be as seen above. The Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles would get first-round byes in their respective conferences as the #1 seeds.
Teams Who Have Clinched a Playoff Spot
The Philadelphia Eagles became the first team to clinch a playoff berth in the 2022 NFL season. The Eagles win over the Giants in Week 14 moved their record to 12-1, officially clinching them a trip to the postseason.
The second team to clinch a playoff spot was also from the NFC, as the San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West title with a win over the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football of Week 15. The Niners did become the first team to clinch their division title, though. Philadelphia clinched a playoff spot but not the division in Week 14.
The Vikings became the second team to clinch their division title, as they wrapped up the NFC North with the largest comeback in the NFL history over the Colts in Week 15.
The Bills became the first team in the AFC to clinch a playoff berth after their Week 15 win over the Dolphins on Saturday. The Chiefs joined them after their win over the Texans on Sunday of Week 15.
Playoff Clinching Scenarios
When we get to Week 17, I will list out the clinching scenarios for all teams left in the hunt. For now, you are just seeing the playoff-clinching scenarios for teams who can punch their ticket in Week 16.
Remaining Schedules for Teams in Playoff Hunt
Once we have a more clear NFL playoff picture, we will know which teams are in the hunt, and will update their remaining schedules here.
Teams Eliminated from Playoff Contention
The Texans and Bears are the first two teams eliminated from playoff contention. Both teams were mathematically eliminated after Week 13 losses.
The Broncos joined them after their Week 14 loss to the Chiefs. Denver being on this list at all, let alone this early in the season, is quite a surprise based on the off-season hype they were receiving after adding Russell Wilson.
How Many Teams Make the NFL Playoffs?
Starting in the 2020 NFL season (2021 NFL Playoffs), seven teams from each conference get into the NFL playoffs. This makes a total of 14 teams in the playoffs.
Prior to this, only six teams from each conference made the playoffs and 12 total. The format change starting in the 2020-21 NFL season was made to add two more teams to the postseason, one in each conference.
How Many Teams Get a First-Round Bye in the NFL Playoffs?
The change to the NFL playoff format ahead of the 2020-21 NFL season also saw an adjustment to the number of teams who get a first-round bye. With seven teams from each conference making the playoffs, only one team—the top seed—from each conference gets a bye through the wildcard round.
Prior to the change, the top two seeds in each conference would get a bye through the wildcard round. With only one team from each conference getting a first-round bye, the NFL added another wildcard game to each conference, totaling six wildcard games now instead of four.
How Do the NFL Playoffs Work?
As mentioned above, seven teams from each conference (the AFC and NFC) make the NFL playoffs. Each team who makes the playoffs are seeded from 1-7 in their respective conference. The two conferences do not mix or meet until the Super Bowl.
The top four seeds in each conference are given to the teams who win their division. These four division winners are ordered 1-4 based on their records. The final three spots—seeds 5 to 7—in each conference are called “wildcard spots”. These are given to the three non-division winners who have the best records in their conference.
The NFL playoffs begin with the Wildcard Round. The top seed in each conference gets a bye through this round, leaving three games to be played in each conference. The matchups are as follows: 7-seed vs 2-seed, 6-seed vs 3-seed, and 5-seed vs 4-seed.
The NFL playoffs are not a traditional bracket, where teams move through to a fixed spot. The second round of the NFL playoffs is called the Divisional Round. The 1-seed in each conference, who was given a bye through the Wildcard Round, will get matched up with the worst remaining team in their respective conference.
If the 7-seed were to upset the 2-seed, they would have to play the 1-seed in the Divisional Round. After setting the best-vs-worst matchup, the remaining two teams in each conference (second-best and second-worst seeds remaining) will battle it out in the other Divisional Round matchup.
After the Divisional Round comes the Conference Championships, where there are only two teams remaining in each conference. These two teams will play for the right to go to the Super Bowl and play the conference champion from the other side.