And just like that, the NFL regular season is over. The NFL Playoff Picture is set – 12 teams are in, and the rest are out (sorry, Cowboys fans). For many teams, it came down to that final game on Sunday (lookin’ at you, Eagles and Titans!) while others were simply vying for a bye round or home-field advantage (we see you, Chiefs!). Here’s a breakdown of the 2020 NFL Playoff Picture, what the final seeds look like, the full schedule, and where you can buy tickets to all the games!
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AFC Teams in the Playoffs
Number 1: Baltimore Ravens
For the past few weeks, this is what we expected. On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens pulled off a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers while resting QB Lamar Jackson. The scariest looking team in the NFL will have themselves a first-round bye in addition to home-field advantage in the playoffs. The Ravens’ final record of 14-2 is the best in franchise history, and in case you missed it, Jackson gifted his offensive line Rolexes for Christmas. Look for this team to go deep deep.
Number 2: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs’ victory over the Chargers on Sunday combined with the Patriots’ shocking loss to the Dolphins landed Kansas City in the number-two spot. And that first-round bye is not a bad thing to have, nor is a Divisional Round game at Arrowhead. While the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes haven’t been as explosive as last year, as the sports guys have said, Mahomes on an average day is still better than most QBs in the league. The Chiefs may also have the best chance of beating the Ravens of any team on this list… if it comes to that.
Number 3: New England Patriots
Oops. Well, this is a different look for the Patriots – they aren’t used to playing in the Wild Card round. They still won the AFC East Division though so they’ll maintain home-field advantage when they host the Titans on January 4th. This final weekend of regular season football didn’t go as expected for the Patriots, but hey, they’re still in the playoffs, and obviously, you can never count Brady and Bellichick out!
Number 4: Houston Texans
The Texans are hoping that key player Will Fuller will be healthy for the playoffs, but apparently it’s too early to tell for the influential wide receiver. They’ve done their best to rest QB Deshaun Watson, even if it meant losing to the Tennessee Titans in the final game of the regular season. The Texans will need to have all their ducks in a row, including their increasingly poor defense, when they host the Buffalo Bills in Houston on January 4th.
Number 5: Buffalo Bills
This has been a solid season for the Bills, despite failing to snatch the division away from the Patriots last week. They rested a bunch of players in a loss to the New York Jets this weekend so they should be healthy when they head to Houston. Quarterback Josh Allen is much improved and the Bills defense can win games almost on its own. Expect their rowdy fans to travel well!
Number 6: Tennessee Titans
It was touch and go for the Titans in these final weeks as quarterback Ryan Tannehill really came into his own and then managed to squeeze this team into the playoffs. With a win against the Texans in Week 17, they became the last AFC team to clinch a spot, spoiling the Steelers’ postseason hopes. But now they’re in the unenviable position of playing an angry Patriots team in Foxborough.
NFC Teams in the Playoffs
Number 1: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers defeated the Seahawks last night for the NFC West Division title and the top spot in the playoffs. Wins over both Seattle and the Green Bay Packers in the regular season helped them nab this bye and home-field advantage. With a record of 13-3, they head into the postseason with some impressive wins and mostly quality losses, nearly beating the Ravens and going into overtime with the Seahawks the first time they met. The 49ers may have some injuries to get over, particularly on defense, but they’ve got time. Now they wait.
Number 2: Green Bay Packers
With a final win over the Lions, the Packers secured the other first-round bye in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers is playing well, but he isn’t carrying the team and his stats aren’t all that impressive. Still, going 13-3 is pretty impressive and they’re coming off five wins in a row. And it doesn’t hurt that Rodgers and his guys will get to rest up and play at Lambeau on the 12th.
Number 3: New Orleans Saints
Feels like the Saints should have one of the top two seeds, doesn’t it? Well, with a record of 13-3, they still won the NFC South, but their loss to the 49ers this season (and the 49ers’ win on Sunday) didn’t help their cause. Don’t feel too bad for them though, because they’ll get to host the Vikings down in that always-intimidating Superdome in New Orleans on January 5th. Never forget that the Saints are deep enough to win games without the legend that is Drew Brees. But if Brees and the rest of the team can stay healthy, the Saints could go far.
Number 4: Philadelphia Eagles
With a win over the Cowboys and the Giants in the last two weeks of regular season play, the Eagles have managed to win the NFC East, “fly” into the playoffs, and get a home game in the process! Now they’ll get to meet the Seahawks in Philadelphia. Seattle has already beaten the Eagles this season in a 17-9 matchup. The biggest problem for the Eagles here is the plethora of injuries they face going into the postseason. Most folks expect their run to be short-lived.
Number 5: Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks’ loss to the 49ers on Sunday (despite the fun addition of Marshawn Lynch to the game) means that this 12-4 team will have to hit the road and head to Philly. With quarterback Russell Wilson playing at an MVP level, as he has most of the regular season, we expect them to win. They’re coming off two losses, as well as the loss of left tackle Duane Brown and linebacker Mychal Kendricks, but hey, Wilson is known for his postseason saves!
Number 6: Minnesota Vikings
After locking down this spot in Week 16, the Vikings managed to rest a lot of key players during their weekend loss to the Chicago Bears. Kirk Cousins has been playing well and running back Dalvin Cook might even return by January 5th. Going to New Orleans to play the Saints will be brutal, but at least they’ll be healthy. (They’ll need to be.)
NFL Playoff Schedule
|Wild Card Games|
|No. 5 Buffalo Bills @ No. 4 Houston Texans||Saturday, January 4th @ 4:35 PM||Shop Tickets!|
|No. 6 Tennessee Titans @ No. 3 New England Patriots||Saturday, January 4th @ 8:12 PM||Shop Tickets!|
|No. 6 Minnesota Vikings @ No. 3 New Orleans Saints||Sunday, January 5th @ 1:05 PM||Shop Tickets!|
|No. 5 Seattle Seahawks @ No. 4 Philadelphia Eagles||Sunday, January 5th @ 4:50 PM||Shop Tickets!|
|TBD @ No. 1 San Francisco 49ers||Saturday, January 11th @ 4:35 PM||Shop Tickets!|
|TBD @ No. 1 Baltimore Ravens||Saturday, January 11th @ 8:15 PM||Shop Tickets!|
|TBD @ No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs||Sunday, January 12th @ 3:05||Shop Tickets!|
|TBD @ No. 2 Green Bay Packers||Sunday, January 12th @ 6:40||Shop Tickets!|
|AFC Championship||Sunday, January 19th @ 3:05 PM||Shop Tickets!|
|NFC Championship||Sunday, January 19th @ 6:40 PM||Shop Tickets!|