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The winners of each conference the first place teams in the conferences met in the NFL Championship Game after the season. There was no tie-breaker system in place; any ties in the final standings of either conference resulted in a playoff game being played in , , , two games in , and one each in , , , and Since the venue and date of the championship game were often not known until the last game of the season had been played, these playoff games sometimes resulted in delaying the end of the season by one week.
The playoff structure used from to was considered inequitable by some because of the number of times it failed to match the teams with the two best records in the championship game, as only the conference winners would qualify for playoff contention.
Four times between and in , , , and the team with the second-best win-loss record did not qualify for the playoffs while the team with the best record in the other conference, but only the third-best in the league, would advance to the championship game.
For the NFL season , the NFL expanded to 16 teams, and split its two conferences into two divisions each, with four teams in each division.
The four division champions would advance to the NFL playoffs, and to remain on schedule, a tie-breaker system was introduced.
The first round of playoffs determined the conference's champion and its representative in the NFL Championship Game, played the following week.
Thus, was the first season there was a scheduled playoff tournament to determine the teams to play for the NFL Championship. During the three years —69 that this playoff structure was in effect, there was one use of the tie-breaker system.
The Colts came into the last game of the season undefeated, but were beaten by the Rams. This event figured into the decision in to include a wild-card team in the playoff tournament after the AFL—NFL merger.
During the s, a third-place playoff game was played in Miami , called the Playoff Bowl. It was contested in early January following the — 69 seasons.
Though official playoff games at the time they were played, the NFL now officially classifies these ten games and statistics as exhibitions, not as playoff games.
There was no tie-breaker system in place, so ties atop the Eastern Division final standings in and Western Division in necessitated playoff games to determine each division's representative in the championship.
For the season, a first round was added whereby each division winner played the second-place team from the other division.
In its last year , the AAFC would merge its two conferences when one of its teams folded, and use a four-team playoff system. In , the aforementioned issue of playoff inequity came into play when the San Francisco 49ers would miss the playoffs with a 12—2 record; they were in the same conference as the 14—0 Cleveland Browns , who would go on to win the Western Conference and then the AAFC's championship game against the 7—7 Buffalo Bills AAFC.
The success of the rival league would eventually lead to a full merger of the two leagues. When the leagues merged in , the new NFL with 26 teams reorganized into two conferences of three divisions each.
From the season to the season, four teams from each conference for a total of eight teams qualified for the playoffs each year.
These four teams included the three division champions, and a fourth wild-card team. Originally, the home teams in the playoffs were decided based on a yearly rotation.
The league did not institute a seeding system for the playoffs until , where the surviving clubs with the higher seeds were made the home teams for each playoff round.
However, two teams from the same division could not meet prior to the conference championship game. Following an expansion of the regular season from 14 to 16 games in the season , the league added one more wild-card team for each conference.
The two wild-card teams played the week before the division winners. The winner of this game played the top seeded division winner as was done from — The league continued to prohibit intra-divisional games in the divisional playoffs, but allowed such contests in the wild-card round.
During the strike-shortened season , only nine regular season games were played, and a modified playoff format was instituted. Divisional play was ignored there were some cases where division rivals had both games wiped out by the strike, although each division ultimately sent at least one team to the playoffs , and the top eight teams from each conference based on W-L-T record were advanced to the playoffs.
As a result, this became the first time that teams with losing records qualified for the playoffs: Several times between —89, the two wild-card games had to be played on different days.
Normally they both would be held on Sunday. In and , the games were split between Saturday and Monday because Sunday was Christmas, and the NFL had avoided playing on that day at the time.
In , both games were played in the Pacific Time Zone , so they had to be played on Saturday and Sunday to accommodate for time differences.
In , both the New York Giants and Jets hosted wild-card games. As they have shared a home stadium since , the games had to be played on different days.
For the season , a third wild-card team for each conference was added, expanding the playoffs to the current twelve teams. The lowest-seeded division winner was then "demoted" to the wild-card weekend.
Also, the restrictions on intra-divisional games during the divisional playoffs were removed. The season became the first time that playoff games were played in prime time.
The format continued until the expansion and reorganization into eight divisions. In this current format, as explained above , the 4 division winners and 2 wild cards are seeded 1—6, with the top 2 seeds receiving byes, and the highest seed in each round guaranteed to play the lowest seed.
Also, seeds determine the home-field advantage. There are some limitations that exist in the current team playoff system.
Since being a division winner is a guaranteed playoff berth, there have been many cases in which a team that wins a "weak" division either barely has a winning record or has a.
At the same time, since a division winner is seeded higher than the wild cards, non-division winners may end up playing a road game during Wild Card Weekend against a team with an inferior record, or may end up outright missing the playoffs.
And going on the road during the first postseason round does not guarantee success: This issue has become more prevalent since the aforementioned realignment.
There are three notable examples in which a division winner with a. As a result of this seeding issue, frequent calls have been made to modify the playoff format even further.
One proposal has been to expand the playoffs to 14 teams. Proponents of expansion note the increased revenue that could be gained from an additional two playoff games.
They also note that the team playoff system was implemented when the league only had 28 teams and six divisions of 4 to 5 teams each.
The opposition to such a move notes that an expansion of the playoffs would "water down" the field by giving access to lower-caliber teams.
Opponents to expansion further point to the NBA playoffs and the NHL playoffs where more than half of the teams qualify for the postseason, and there is often a decreased emphasis on regular season performance as a result.
After the playoffs saw two wild-card teams with better records Jacksonville Jaguars and eventual Super Bowl XLII champions New York Giants go on the road to defeat division winners Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers , respectively during wild-card weekend, the NFL explored another proposal to change the playoffs so that the team with the better record would host the game, even if that meant a division winner went on the road.
The NFL's Competition Committee withdrew the request later that offseason,  with Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay mentioning that they wanted the idea to simply get a discussion going.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was a strong opponent of the rule change, believing that "if you win a division, it's good for your fans to know you will have a home game.
Just before the —11 Seahawks-Saints playoff game, McKay wanted to revisit the previous proposal to reseed teams during wild-card weekend.
In October , NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced plans to revisit the idea to expand the playoffs to 14 teams, with the increased revenue gained from the two additional postseason games being used to offset plans to shorten the preseason.
The team playoff proposal remained tabled until December , when no team in the NFC South could finish better than. One proposed club system includes giving first-round byes for the teams with the best record in each conference, two division champions in each conference receiving home games, and the remaining eight teams would be seeded by win-loss record.
It is likely that movement won't be made on expanding either the playoffs or the regular season until at least , when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
Correct as of —18 NFL playoffs. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. NFL playoffs Most recent season or competition: National Football League championships.
NFL playoff game, List of NFL champions. American Football League playoffs. As such, the Ravens are considered to have begun play in while the current Cleveland Browns are considered to have been founded in , were inactive from —98, and resumed play as a new team in Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Retrieved January 30, Archived from the original on Archived from the original on July 19, Retrieved January 8, Retrieved January 11, League should revisit playoff seeding system".
Retrieved February 20, They were going to happen, and then … nothing". Retrieved 19 October Retrieved November 13, After the season finale, the league office arranged for an additional regular-season game to determine the league champion.
National Football League Retrieved from " https: With Big Ben back, the Steelers' championship window is wide open Terrell: Steelers were boom-or-bust on fourth down in divisional loss to Jaguars News: Calais Campbell randomly suggested a score in interview last week News: Jaguars troll Steelers for looking ahead to Patriots Terrell: Le'Veon Bell wants to stay in Pittsburgh, but 'circumstances' might stand in way News: Roethlisberger looking forward to playing next season NFC divisional round.
Nick Foles completed 77 percent of his passes, and the Eagles defense had a stellar performance which including stopping the Falcons on a fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line to seal the game.
Philadelphia also overcame two lost fumbles, while Atlanta didn't have a turnover. Falcons' red-zone woes finally catch up to them as season ends McManus: Eagles' defense knew exactly what was coming on final play versus Falcons News: Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, players dance in celebration after playoff win McClure: Falcons stand by offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian Video: Eagles pull out gutsy win in Philly Video: Riddick is not a fan of Julio Jones' production News: Jones on 4th-and-goal play: Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for a yard touchdown as time expired to give the Vikings the win.
The Vikings had led the Saints at halftime, but New Orleans scored three straight touchdowns. Inside the play that saved the Vikings' season -- and crushed the Saints O'Connor: Magic in Minneapolis -- Keenum, Vikings get moment they've waited for Cronin: Saints' incredible comeback season ends with stunning heartbreak News: How players, celebrities reacted to Vikings' game-winner Video: Payton not blaming Williams for missed tackle Video: Vikings' Griffen -- 'It's unbelievable' Video: Initial reactions to Diggs' dramatic TD.
The Chiefs raced out to a halftime lead, but Marcus Mariota and the Titans stormed back with 19 unanswered points as the Kansas City offense stalled.
Derrick Henry rushed for yards and a touchdown in the win. Andy Reid may not be right coach for Chiefs after latest playoff collapse Wolfe: Titans can no longer be lukewarm on Mike Mularkey Graziano: Alex Smith, Andy Reid, and the questions ahead Wolfe: Mariota, Henry fuel comeback, first Titans playoff win since Teicher: Chiefs add a sad chapter to already dismal playoff history Video: The Monday Night Countdown crew breaks down the game.
Neither quarterback had efficient passing days, but Blake Bortles had a touchdown pass, ran for 88 yards and committed no turnovers, while Tyrod Taylor had an interception and couldn't get the Bills in the end zone in the loss.
Bills defy expectations by ending playoff drought DiRocco: Where will Tyrod Taylor play in ? Playoff loss to Jaguars should end Tyrod Taylor era in Buffalo.
Two early turnovers put the Rams in a hole, kicker Matt Bryant hit four field goals, and the Falcons' defense stifled Los Angeles when it mattered.
Julio Jones had nine catches for 94 yards and a touchdown, and Atlanta didn't turn over the ball. Sean McVay sees 'a good foundation we can build on' Sando: Falcons can soar against Carson Wentz-less Eagles in divisional round Gonzalez: Rams' turnaround comes up short, but their future looks bright Gonzalez: Rams' resurgent season ends early with loss to Falcons McClure: Falcons look up to challenge of being road warriors in Super Bowl quest Video: Jeff Saturday says the Falcons' commitment to the run helped them beat the Rams Video: After losing to the Falcons , Aaron Donald has a positive outlook on the Rams' season.
The Saints didn't get their ground game going, but Drew Brees torched the Carolina secondary for almost yards and two touchdowns.
Cam Newton had a big game, too, but the Panthers' defense didn't hold up in New Orleans. Panthers set for many changes in offseason, starting with new owner O'Connor: With season over, Panthers officially up for sale Triplett: Brees, Cam Jordan make sure Saints don't squander long-awaited playoff return Newton: Lack of playmakers, inability to beat Saints will define Panthers' season.
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Ben Roethlisberger has Steelers playing like team possessed 8h Jeremy Fowler.Meine Miami Dolphins - gestrandet in Foxboro ran. Ursprünglich wurde das Heimrecht in den Playoffs auf Basis einer jährlichen Rotation vergeben. In dieser Runde empfangen der Divisionssieger mit Nr. Hat wieder gut lachen und ist zurück an alter Wirkungsstätte: Die vier Division-Champions sind in den Conference-Playoffs gesetzt. Bitte überprüfen Sie Ihre Eingaben. Daher ist es möglich, dass ein Divisionssieger Heimrecht gegen ein Wildcard-Team, das ein besseres Sieg-Verhältnis hat, hat. Die Halbzeit-Show ist fast genauso wichtig wie der sportliche Teil des Abends. Die Divisionssieger mit Nr. Und damit auch der dritte beim Fantasy Manager.