So, Wild Card Weekend in the NFL is finished! The winners (survivors) move on to the next round. New England received a bye week due to their No. 1 seed.
The playoffs in any sport tend to be exciting. In hockey, there’s nothing like the Stanley Cup Finals. In baseball, the Word Series is king. In basketball, the NBA Finals are exciting.
The difference in the NFL? Every game is one-and-done instead of best-of-seven. That ratchets up the intensity.
Also, the regular season has much more importance as your record is vital to secure advantageous seeding and the all-important bye week.
For those unfamiliar with the NFL playoff system, here’s a quick rundown:
The NFL has two conferences, the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference, merged in 1970 between the old American Football League and the National Football League.
Each conference has four divisions and two wild card teams. Total: 12 out of 32 teams make the Tournament, as the Tuna (Coach Bill Parcells) would say. :)
Wild Card Weekend: 4 games, two from each conference. The 4 wild card teams play the 4 division winners while the other 4 division winners have a bye week. The top 2 teams from each division (best records) earn the bye week and the right to host the survivors at home the following week.
Divisional Weekend: Those well-rested 4 division winners host the winners of Wild Card Weekend at home. As in the previous week, the schedule tends to be an AFC and NFC game on Saturday and two more on Sunday. Saturday’s schedule tends to be 4:30 and 8:00 on Saturday and 1:00 and 4:30 on Sunday.
AFC and NFC Championship Game Weekend: The 4 winners from Divisional Weekend play 2 games for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Both games usually are scheduled on Sunday.
Two-week hiatus for the Super Bowl, which is scheduled for February 3rd in Glendale, Arizona.
Each game is one-and-done, so the intensity is always exciting! :) The Patriots clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs so they are in very good position.
Here we go! :)