NFL playoffs

The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Currently, seven teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs. A tie-breaking procedure exists if required. The tournament culminates in the Super Bowl: the league's championship game in which two teams, one from each conference, play each other to become champion of the NFL.

NFL playoffs
Current season, competition or edition:
2022–23 NFL playoffs
SportAmerican football
Founded1933
No. of teams14
Most recent
champion(s)
Los Angeles Rams
(2nd title)
Most titlesGreen Bay Packers
(13 titles)[upper-alpha 1]
TV partner(s)United States:
CBS
Fox
NBC
ESPN (ABC, ESPN2)
NFL Network
Telemundo Deportes
International: Broadcasters

NFL postseason history can be traced to the first NFL Championship Game in 1933, though in the early years, qualification for the game was based solely on regular-season records. From 1933 to 1966, the NFL postseason generally only consisted of the NFL Championship Game, which pitted the league's two division winners against each other (pending any one-game playoff matches that needed to be held to break ties in the division standings). In 1967, the playoffs were expanded to four teams (division winners). When the league completed its merger with the American Football League (AFL) in 1970, the playoffs were expanded to eight teams, which increased to ten in 1978, twelve in 1990, and fourteen in 2020.

Among the four major professional sports leagues in the United States, the NFL postseason is the only one to use a single-elimination tournament in all of its rounds. Major League Baseball (MLB) has traditionally used "best-of" series formats, though its Wild Card postseason round, initiated in 2012, was a single game until 2022, when it was replaced with a best-of-three series. Both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) continue to use "best-of" series formats.


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