When do the NFL playoffs start and what is the format?


The best time of the NFL season is almost upon us – the playoffs.

As the final few weeks of the 2022 regular season comes to a riveting finish, only 14 of the 32 teams will continue their runs for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LVII.

So far, the Philadelphia Eagles are leading the pack with the best record in the NFL and are among the six teams and counting that have clinched a playoff berth

With the postseason start date inching closer, here’s everything to know about the 2023 NFL playoffs:

When do the 2023 NFL playoffs start?

The 2023 NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023.

How many teams make the 2023 NFL playoffs? 

Seven teams from both the AFC and NFC qualify for the NFL playoffs, bringing the total to 14.

How do the NFL playoffs work in 2023?

With seven teams competing in each conference, here’s how the playoffs work:

Each first-round seed receives an automatic bye into the divisional round, and the remaining six teams compete in the wild card round. The No. 2 seed hosts the No. 7 seed, No. 3 hosts No. 6 and No. 4 hosts No. 5. 

The lowest seeds remaining would play the highest seeds remaining should there be an upset going into each corresponding round. For example, if the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds win their games, the No. 7 seed would play the No. 1 seed next. But if No. 6 won and No. 7 lost, No. 6 would then play No. 1 and so on and so forth.

Whichever two teams win in the divisional round would then face off in the conference championship for a spot in the Super Bowl against the opposing conference’s victor.

What is the schedule for the 2023 NFL playoffs?

Here’s how the schedule lines up in January heading into February’s Super Bowl LVII.

Wild card weekend:

  • Saturday, January 14
  • Sunday, January 15
  • Monday, January 16

Divisional weekend:

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Sunday, January 22

Conference championships:

  • Sunday, January 29

When is the Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl LVII is slated for Sunday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET. It occurs two weeks after the conference championships because the Pro Bowl is held in between on Sunday, Feb. 5.

Where is the Super Bowl 2023?

State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, is the location of Super Bowl LVII. The city last hosted Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

Unlike the last two Super Bowls that saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams win on home soil, the Cardinals have been eliminated from postseason contention and will not continue the trend.

What are the overtime rules for the 2023 NFL playoffs?

The big change of the 2023 NFL playoffs comes via overtime. Should a playoff game be tied at the end of four 15-minute quarters, it then heads to a 15-minute overtime period for a winner to be decided. Multiple periods would ensue should the game remain tied.

Previously, the team that scored a touchdown first would win right on the spot, even if the opposing team never got a chance to possess the ball. That has now changed, with the rules in 2023 allotting both teams at least one possession regardless of what happens on the first drive of overtime. 

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