As we approach the halfway point of the season, we have a good sense of who will be making the NFL playoffs. While we have a basic idea of what teams will be making it, we know for certain the teams that won’t be making it. The NFL playoffs will be looking different this year as NFL Ownership approved a new playoff bracket back in March of 2020. With Week 8 on the helm, the games start to become more meaningful.
New NFL Playoffs Seeding
In the past, the NFL granted 6 teams from each conference to make the NFL playoffs. The top two teams in both conferences would receive a bye week. On Wild Card weekend, the 3 seed would host the 6 seed and the 4 seed would host the 5 seed. In the Divisional Round, the 1 seed would then host the lowest seed remaining. The 2 seed would host the highest seed remaining.
This year, things will look different. The owners voted on adding an additional Wild Card spot to each conference with just one team receiving a bye week. So, now on Wild Card weekend, we will have each conference play 3 games. The 2 seed will host the 7 seed. The 3 seed will host the 6 seed. The 4 seed will host the 5. In the divisional round, the 1 seed will host the lowest remaining seed. The 2 (if they win) will host the second highest seed remaining. The 3 seed (if they win) will host the highest seed remaining.
With only 1 team receiving a bye week in each conference, the competitive nature spikes and each game gets added meaning to it during the regular season.
Who Will Make the NFL Playoffs?
As the standings currently sit, here are the divisional leaders around the league.
|AFC East – Buffalo Bills (5-2)||NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1)|
|AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0)||NFC North – Green Bay Packers (5-1)|
|AFC South – Tennessee Titans (5-1)||NFC South – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2)|
|AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)||NFC West – Seattle Seahawks (5-1)|
The Wild Card teams in each conference are as follows.
AFC: Ravens, Browns, Colts.
NFC: Bears, Cardinals, Rams.
Each conference has certain teams on the outside looking. But, each conference also has a couple teams that we know will not be making he playoffs. In the AFC, we expect the Jets, Jaguars, Bengals and Texans to not be involved in the playoff race. Over in the NFC, we expect the Falcons, Vikings, Giants and Football Team to not be involved in the playoff race. Although, you never know about the Giants or Football Team as the NFC East is open for nearly anyone to win.
My Playoffs Predictions
As we approach the third quarter of the NFL regular season, below you will find my predictions for who I will think make the playoffs.
|1. Baltimore Ravens (14-2)||1. Seattle Seahawks (13-3)|
|2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)||2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4)|
|3. Tennessee Titans (12-4)||3. Green Bay Packers (12-4)|
|4. Buffalo Bills (11-5)||4. Philadelphia Eagles (6-8-1)|
|5. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)||5. New Orleans Saints (11-5)|
|6. Las Vegas Raiders (9-7)||6. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)|
|7. Miami Dolphins (9-7)||7. Los Angeles Rams (10-6)|
Tua Tagovailoa will lead the Dolphins to the NFL Playoffs. 3 teams in the NFC West will make the playoffs. The bye week matters more this year as it is only granted to 1 team. While COVID has taken fans out of the equation, home field advantage still can help teams as it prevents far traveling.