NFL Playoff Schedule And Scenarios For The Divisional Round

A look at the brackets after the Seattle Seahawks amazing upset win over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday. After Green Bay's road win over Philadelphia, the Seahawks are on their way to Chicago to play the second seeded Bears in a rematch from earlier this season

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NFL Playoff Schedule: AFC, NFC Brackets And Times For Divisional Round

The NFL wildcard round is over and the NFL playoff schedule is set for next weekend. The bracket finally came together on Sunday afternoon with the win over the in the final NFC matchup. Four teams survived, moving on to face the four teams on a bye this weekend: Atlanta, Chicago, New England and Pittsburgh.

Here is the full bracket, including the schedule and location’s for next weekend’s NFL divisional round action.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on CBS.
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on CBS.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Saturday at 5 p.m. on FOX.
Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field in Chicago, Sunday at 10 a.m. on FOX.

The Seattle Seahawks received the best possible outcome, traveling to Chicago again to face a team they beat earlier in the season. A Green Bay win also keeps open the possibility the Seahawks could host the NFC Championship at Qwest Field, should both the Packers and Seahawks win.

Bring on the Bears, the Seahawks are heading to the Windy City. Stay tuned to our StoryStream for the latest on the NFL playoff schedule and brackets.


NFL Playoff Schedules: AFC Playoff Bracket, Game Times Set For Next Weekend

The Baltimore Ravens took care of business in Kansas City on Sunday, easily dispatching the Chiefs to move on to the next round with a 30-7 win. For the AFC, the first round of the NFL playoffs is over and the bracket is set, with the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens living to play another day. Those two join the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round, set to take place next Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s how the AFC is shaping up after this weekend’s game.

No. 1 New England Patriots vs. No. 6 New York Jets at Gillette Field in Foxborough, Mass. The game will take place at 1:30 p.m. local time, next Sunday on CBS.

No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. No. 5 Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Once again, CBS will have the broadcast, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time.

Both road teams walked away with a win in the first round, with the Jets dropping the Indianapolis Colts behind a last-second field goal on Sunday night and the Ravens using strong defense to stymie the Chiefs. Both teams hit the road again, traveling face two well-rested teams in the AFC divisional round.

The rest of the schedule, including television information, days and times, will be released after the NFC finishes its first round on Sunday afternoon. With the AFC done, all that’s left is a final NFC game to determine the brackets. If the Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles, the Seattle Seahawks head to Chicago to face the Bears next Sunday. If the Eagles win, Seattle heads to Atlanta to face the Falcons next Saturday.

Stay with our StoryStream today for the latest on the NFL playoff brackets and schedules leading up to next weekend’s divisional rounds.


NFL Playoff Schedules: AFC Playoff Bracket After New York Jets Win

Saturday’s NFL playoff action is over and the NFL playoff brackets are beginning to shift into place. The NFC is halfway done, with the Seattle Seahawks through to the next round. On Saturday, the AFC finished its first game, with the New York Jets traveling to Indianapolis and using a last second field goal to drop the Colts.

Here’s a look at the AFC playoff bracket after Saturday.

New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs/Baltimore Ravens

The Patriots will host the Jets after New York knocked-off Indy. The winner of Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Chiefs will travel to Pittsburgh to battle the Steelers next weekend, as well. Much more simple than the NFC bracket is thus far.

New England is the No. 1 seed and holds home-field advantage throughout the playoffs while Pittsburgh is the No. 2 seed. Simple enough to understand? Why yes it is.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates as the NFL playoff brackets come into focus throughout Sunday leading up to the release of next weekend’s playoff schedule.


2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: First And Second Round Dates, Times, TV Information

We already know the dates and times of the first round matchups in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, but we now have the full 2011 NFL Playoff schedule, giving us a look at both the first and second round matchups and television information for each. The Seattle Seahawks, should they beat the St. Louis Rams on Sunday night, would play on Sat. Jan. 8 to open the playoffs at 1:30 p.m. on NBC.

Here’s the full schedule for the NFC Playoffs.

Sat., Jan. 8
Seattle Seahawks/St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints (1:30 p.m., NBC)

Sun. Jan. 9
Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1:30 p.m. on Fox)

Sat., Jan. 15
Atlanta Falcons vs. lowest-seeded winner in NFC (Seahawks, Rams, Packers or Saints)

Sun., Jan. 16
Chicago Bears vs. highest-seeded winner in NFC (Seahawks, Rams, Saints or Eagles)

The full schedule, including the AFC matchups, can be found here. We’ll know the full playoff bracket in the next few hours as soon as the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams determine the final playoff spot as they battle for the NFC West crown at Qwest Field.


2011 NFL Playoff Schedule Set: TV Times And Information

The 2011 NFL Playoff schedule is set, even though we’re still waiting to find out the winner of the NFC West. NBC will handle the Saturday games while Fox will take its customary NFC game on Sunday. CBS will, as usual, handle the other Sunday playoff game between members of the AFC. As we said earlier, the seeding and matchups for the wildcard round are already determined, with the winner of tonight’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams taking the No. 4 seed.

Here are the TV times and information for the 2011 NFL Playoffs.

Saturday, Jan. 8
Seattle Seahawks/St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints at 1:30 p.m. on NBC.
Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets at 5:20 p.m. on NBC.

Sunday, Jan. 9
Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 10 a.m. on CBS.
Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:30 p.m. on Fox.

The Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers all have byes.

Last order of business today is the NFC West, with the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams set to kick off in just under an hour.


NFC Playoff Picture: 2011 NFL Playoff Schedule Nearly Set With NFC West Left

Finally, with one game left in the NFL regular season, the NFL Playoff picture is clear. The late games solved the remaining playoff spot up for grabs in the NFC, with just one spot, belonging to the NFC West, left to be settled. The Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams will hit the field to battle for the last playoff position in the NFC on primetime, tonight at Qwest Field on NBC.

Here’s what happened in the afternoon games today. The 2011 NFL Playoff schedule, as we know it right now, is also below. The full schedule will be released later tonight after the matchups are all set and the TV information is decided. The playoffs begin Saturday, Jan. 6.

NFC Wildcard: The one playoff spot that remained up in the air, with three teams fighting for it, was settled. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an outside shot at the last wildcard berth, but needed losses by the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants in the afternoon games. They didn’t get it. The Green Bay Packers sealed their win over the Chicago Bears with a late interception and knocked both the Giants and Buccaneers out of the playoffs.

NFC Seeding
No. 1: Atlanta Falcons
No. 2: Chicago Bears
No. 3: Philadelphia Eagles
No. 4: Seattle Seahawks/St. Louis Rams
No. 5: New Orleans Saints
No. 6: Green Bay Packers

Sat Jan. 8/Sun. Jan 9: Seattle Seahawks/St.Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
Sat. Jan. 8/Sun. Jan 9: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers
Byes: Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears

For the full NFL Playoff picture, including how the AFC shook out, head here.


NFL Playoff Picture: NFC Playoff Scenarios After Early Games

The early games are over and we finally have some clarity in the NFL Playoff picture. One NFC division race — the NFC South — has been decided while another team held up their end of the bargain in the race for the wildcard. In the late games, we have two pivotal matchups with playoff implications leading up to the “main event” tonight when the Seattle Seahawks battle the St. Louis Rams for the NFC West crown.

The playoff picture looks like this after the 10 a.m. game:

NFC West: Up for grabs tonight. The winner of the Seahawks-Rams game takes the NFC West crown and No. 4 seed in the NFC.

NFC South: With an easy win over the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons took the NFC South crown. As an added bonus, the Falcons locked-up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first round bye as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

NFC East: The Eagles already clinched the division and are resting their starters this week. Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and Desean Jackson are all inactive today as the Eagles can just cruise into the playoffs.

NFC North: The Chicago Bears already locked the division up and will take the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The Bears are guaranteed a first round bye in the playoffs.

NFC Wildcard: The New Orleans Saints took the top wildcard spot in the NFC today. If Green Bay beats the Bears this afternoon, they’ll take the second wildcard. If Green Bay loses and the New York Giants win, the Giants get the second wildcard berth. If both lose, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take home the second wildcard berth. The Bucs took care of business this morning, defeating the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay just became the world’s biggest Chicago and Washington fans.

The winner of tonight’s NFC West showdown will face the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs.


NFL Playoff Scenarios: NFC Playoff Picture Simple Entering Week 17

There are two playoff spots up for grabs in the NFC as we enter the week 17 action. At this point in the season, the NFL playoff picture is near crystal clear, such is the case in the NFC. The final wildcard spot is up in the air, down to the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final week. In division races, only the NFC West remains up in the air.

How will everything shake-out in the final week of the season? Let’s take a look at the playoff scenarios.

NFC West: The Seattle Seahawks take the NFC West crown with a win over the St. Louis Rams at home on Sunday night. If the Rams win, they take home the title and the home playoff game that goes with it. A one-game mini-playoff for all the marbles in week 17? Count me in.

NFC Wildcard: This one is relatively simple, as well. If the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears, they get the final playoff spot in the NFC. If the Packers lose and the slumping New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins, the Giants take the final playoff space. Finally, if both the Giants and Packers lose and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win, the Bucs are in. Got all that? Good.

We’re just hours away from the Seahawks game for the playoffs tonight, so sit back and enjoy all the last minute scrambling for the playoffs throughout the day. At 5:20 tonight on NBC, the Seahawks and Rams hit the field for the NFC West title at Qwest Field.

Stay tuned to our StoryStream throughout the day for the latest in the NFL Playoff picture.


NFL Playoffs: NFC Tiebreaker Scenarios Through Week 16

With plenty of NFC playoff races heading toward close finishes, the NFL playoff tiebreakers are of the utmost importance. At its core, NFL playoff berths are simple: The best record is in. In a division like the NFC West, though, we’re staring down a two-way tie that may have to be broken when the dust of the regular season settles.

Here’s how the tiebreakers work:
1. Head-to-head.
2. Best win/loss record within the division.
3. Best win/loss in common games.
4. Best win/loss in games against conference opponents.
5. Strength of victory.
6. Strength of schedule.
7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
9. Best net points in common games.
10. Best net points in all games.
11. Best net touchdowns in all games.

In the unlikely event a team is still tied after all 11 tiebreakers, it goes to a coin toss. Longshot would be the best way to describe a situation like this.

In the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks own the tiebreaker if they beat the St. Louis Rams in week 17. The Seahawks and Rams split the season series and the Seahawks would win by virtue of the best record within the division.

For the NFC Wildcard, the New Orleans Saints or Atlanta Falcons are in the driver’s seat for the top wildcard spot, depending on which team wins the NFC North. For the second wildcard spot, it gets a bit more complicated.

The Green Bay Packers get the second spot with:
A win
A loss coupled with losses by the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The New York Giants get the second spot with:
A win and a Green Bay loss.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers gets the second spot with:
A win and losses by Green Bay and New York.

Complicated? You bet. Three teams are all vying for the second NFC wildcard spot in a race that may not be decided until the Giants leave the field next Sunday. In the NFC, the Western division and second wildcard spot are hotly contested and come down to week 17 games for all the marbles.


NFL Playoffs: NFC West Winner Likely Gets New Orleans In First Round

If the season ended right now, the winner of the NFC West would get the top-ranked NFC wild card team of the playoffs. The NFC West champion is assured of a record at or below .500, and would easily be the lowest-seeded division winner. Even with a worse record than the wild card team they will face, either St. Louis or Seattle will host a playoff game in the first round.

Who will they face? After Sunday’s action, the Seahawks or Rams are still in line to face the New Orleans Saints in the first round. The Saints, at 10-4, are two games clear of the next best wild card team and have the top wild card spot all but locked up. Only a huge collapse, in the form of two straight losses, would drop the Saints out of playoff contention.

Another scenario that could come to pass puts the Atlanta Falcons into the playoffs as the top NFC wild card team. The Falcons have already clinched a playoff berth, but could fall out of the NFC North lead with back-to-back losses to finish the season coupled with two New Orleans wins. In that scenario, it’s the Falcons that would take-on the Seahawks or Rams.

Both Atlanta and New Orleans have had their way with the Seahawks and Rams in the regular season. The Saints beat the Seahawks and Rams at the Superdome while the Falcons won road games at Seattle and St. Louis. Atlanta and New Orleans are also guaranteed more than 10 wins in the 2010 season, putting them head-and-shoulders above their potential first-round opponents.

While the NFC West will get a playoff berth, no matter how bad the division has been in 2010, and a home playoff game, the road is a difficult one once the division champion makes the playoffs.


NFL Playoffs: NFC Playoff Picture Through Sunday

With one week to go, the NFL playoff picture is coming into focus, with only a few spots up for grabs. In week 17, plenty of seeding implications remain in the balance, with at least one division in the NFC, the NFC West, up for grabs in the final week of play. The Seattle Seahawks playoff hopes are alive and well, with only the St. Louis Rams standing in the way of a division title and playoff berth.

Here’s how it stands after Sunday’s action. The Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles still have games with playoff implications to be played on Sunday and Monday.

NFC East: The Philadelphia Eagles have clinched the division and are now playing for seeding. The New York Giants continue to skid, this time losing to the Green Bay Packers. As it stands now, the Giants would take the last wildcard spot.

NFC North: The Chicago Bears have clinched the division and are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC. If it holds, the Bears get a first-round bye and home field in the NFC semifinals. The Green Bay and need a win or a Giants loss next week to steal the wildcard spot from the Giants.

NFC South: This one is still up for grabs with New Orleans and Atlanta playing on Monday. The Falcons have clinched a playoff spot and the Saints, at 10 wins, hold the inside track to the top NFC wildcard berth.

NFC West: No teams are in the hunt for the wildcard. It’s simple for the NFC West: If the Seahawks beat the Rams in week 17, they get the playoff spot. If the Rams win, the playoffs belong to them.


NFL Playoff Picture: NFC West Comes Down To Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

It all comes down to one game for the NFC West. Whether the Seattle Seahawks win or lose today in Tampa Bay, the week 17 match-up between the Seahawks and St. Louis Rams will be for the NFC West crown. With as bad as the NFC West has been this year, anything can still happen, but the Seahawks have to like their chances at home in front of a rowdy Qwest Field crowd.

We arrived at this point this morning after the St. Louis Rams took care of business at home, dropping the visiting San Francisco 49ers. In a close game, the Rams strung together a late spurt to hold off the Niners, 25-17. The win eliminates San Francisco from playoff contention and gives the Rams a fighting chance, though the Seahawks would take the NFC West with a win next week after the tiebreakers.

The St. Louis win was the best possible outcome for the Seahawks in week 16. It allows Seattle to control their own destiny, needing only a home win to secure the division title and the home playoff game that comes with it. A San Francisco win would’ve mean the Seahawks would’ve, in all likelihood, had to win out to make the playoffs.

Finally we have some clarity in the NFC West playoff picture. One game to go; one game for the playoff spot. Get ready for a huge week 17 game, and playoff-like atmosphere, at Qwest Field.


NFL Playoff Picture: Rooting Guide For Seattle Seahawks Fans

Sunday is a pivotal day for the Seattle Seahawks playoff hopes. With the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams hitting the field in a morning showdown, the Seahawks will have a clear picture of what they need to do by the time they hit the field in the late game. Where do the Seahawks’ rooting interests lie as the playoff picture comes into focus on Sunday? The answer is more simple than you’d think.

There’s a 50/50 chance the Seahawks’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be meaningless by the time the two teams hit the field on Sunday. Should the Rams beat the 49ers, the Week 17 matchup between the Rams and Seahawks at Qwest Field would be for the NFC West crown and the playoff spot that goes with it. A Rams win over the 49ers renders the result of the Seahawks game moot and allows the Seahawks to control their own destiny in the final week of the season.

Simply put: root for the Rams. Should the 49ers win, the Seahawks would likely have to win out to make the playoffs. San Francisco battles the hapless Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 in a game the Niners should be clear favorites. If the Seahawks win only one of the next two games, with San Francisco winning both, the two teams would finish the season tied in the standings, with the 49ers holding the tiebreaker with five conference wins.

The best case scenario, and best hope for the Seahawks to make the playoffs, is a Rams win on Sunday and a Seahawks win over the Rams at Qwest Field in what will, essentially, be a one-game playoff with the NFC West title on the line. As good as rookie quarterback Sam Bradford has been, I’ll take the Seahawks’ odds at a raucous Qwest Field with the playoffs on the line.


NFL Playoff Picture: How The Tiebreakers Work

Since the NFC West playoff picture is a huge muddled mess, it benefits one to have an understanding of the tiebreakers and how they’re applied as it relates to the division race. As it stands now, the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams sit atop the NFC West with a one-game lead on the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams and Niners play each other next week, in what serves as an elimination game. How will some of the playoff scenarios shakeout out should two teams be tied at the end of the regular season?

1. Head-to-head. Each team in the division plays the others twice, so if one side swept the series, the tiebreakers end and that team takes the playoff spot.
2. Best win/loss record within the division. Again, each NFC West team has a total of six games against division opponents, so we see who has the better record. If we’re still tied here…
3. Best win/loss in common games. For example, The Seahawks and Rams played all the division games plus common games against Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver and Kansas City.
4. Best win/loss in games against conference opponents. How did each team do against the NFC? If we’ve gotten this far, the tiebreakers are getting a bit ridiculous.

And who holds which tiebreaker? Should the Rams beat the 49ers in week 16, if the Seahawks win the next week, at home against the Rams, the Seahawks would take the playoff spot by virtue of a better division record. The Rams and Seahawks split the season series, but the Seahawks would be 4-2 against NFC West opponents, while the Rams would be 3-3.

If the 49ers beat the Rams in week 16 and Cardinals in week 17, coupled with a Seahawks loss to Tampa Bay and win over St. Louis, then the Seahawks have a problem. San Francisco would, surprisingly, hold a 5-1 record over division opponents, giving the Niners the tiebreaker and playoff record, despite finishing at 7-9 and tied with the Seahawks.


NFL Playoff Picture: Sizing Up The NFC Wildcard

All three NFC West teams still in playoff contention — Seattle, St. Louis and San Francisco — can only get in by winning the division. However, the NFC wildcard scenarios will have an impact on the NFC West as whoever makes the playoffs out of the division is assured the No. 4 seed and a date with the highest-seeded wildcard team.

As it stands right now, the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants hold the NFC wildcard berths. The Saints currently home a one-game lead for the No. 1 wildcard spot over the Giants. The Saints and Giants both demolished the Seattle Seahawks this year, with New Orleans beating Seattle at home and the Giants dropping the Hawks at Qwest Field.

Here’s how it could shake out.

New Orleans gets the No. 5 seed as the top wildcard:
Saints win one of their last two games OR Saints win remaining two games.

New Orleans gets the No. 6 seed as the second wildcard:
Giants win final two games AND Saints drop last two games.

New York gets the No. 5 seed as the top wildcard:
Giants win out and Saints drop both remaining games.

New York gets the No. 6 seed as second wildcard:
Giants beat Packers and lose to Washington in week 17.
Green Bay loses to NE, Giants lose to Green Bay in week 16 and beat Washington in week 17.

Green Bay gets into the wildcard:
Win over New England tonight, win over the Giants in week 16, loss to Chicago in week 17.
Lose to NE tonight, win final two games, including a week 16 game over the Giants.

Long story short, it’s looking highly likely the winner of the NFC West will face New Orleans in the first round of the playoffs. The good news? Whichever team walks away with the NFC West crown will host a playoff game in the first round, despite having a worse record, maybe as bad as four games worse, than the wildcard team. Expect to hear plenty of complaints and call for rule changes as a result.

Four teams are fighting for the NFC wildcard, though either Chicago or Green Bay will take the NFC North crown and playoff berth that goes along with it. That leaves either New Orleans, New York or Chicago/Green Bay for the wildcard, with the Saints and Giants in control as it stands now.

Good luck, NFC West.

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