How Many Teams Make the NFL Playoffs

As the NFL season comes to a close, fans and teams alike eagerly await the start of the playoffs. The playoffs are where the best of the best compete for a chance at the ultimate prize: the Super Bowl championship. But how many teams make it to this coveted postseason? Understanding how many teams make it to the playoffs is crucial for both fans and players alike. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about how many teams make it to the NFL playoffs, who determines which teams get in, and what happens if two teams tie for a playoff spot. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into this exciting topic!

How the NFL Playoffs Work

The NFL playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the year for football fans. It’s a time when teams battle it out on the field, with only the best making it to the Super Bowl. But how do the playoffs work?

The NFL playoffs consist of 12 teams, six from each conference (AFC and NFC). The top four teams in each conference earn a bye week during the first round of the playoffs, while the remaining eight teams play in what is known as Wild Card Weekend. The winners of Wild Card Weekend move on to face the top-seeded teams in their respective conferences during Divisional Round weekend.

After Divisional Round weekend, only four teams remain – two from each conference. These four teams compete in Conference Championship weekend, where they battle it out for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. The winner of each conference championship game moves on to play in the Super Bowl, which is held on a Sunday in early February.

Overall, the NFL playoffs are an intense and exciting time for football fans everywhere. With only 12 teams making it to this stage, every game counts and every team fights hard to make it to the next round.

How Many Teams Make the Playoffs

When it comes to the NFL playoffs, one of the most important questions is how many teams make it to the postseason. The answer is relatively simple: 12 teams qualify for the playoffs each year. This includes six teams from both the AFC and NFC conferences.

The 12 playoff teams are determined based on their regular season records. The top four teams from each conference earn a first-round bye, while the remaining eight teams compete in wild-card games. From there, the winners advance to face the top-seeded teams in each conference.

It’s worth noting that this format has been in place since 1990, when the NFL expanded its playoff field from 10 to 12 teams. Prior to that, only five or six teams made it to the postseason each year. This change has made for more exciting and competitive playoffs, as well as giving more teams a chance to compete for a Super Bowl championship.

Who Determines the Playoff Teams?

The NFL playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the year for football fans. But have you ever wondered who determines which teams make it to the postseason? The answer is simple: the NFL uses a combination of rules and tiebreakers to determine the playoff teams.

First, each conference has four divisions, and the winner of each division automatically qualifies for the playoffs. The remaining two spots in each conference are given to the two wild card teams with the best records. In total, 12 teams make it to the playoffs – six from each conference.

But what happens if two or more teams have identical records? That’s where tiebreakers come into play. The NFL has a set of tiebreaking procedures that take into account head-to-head matchups, divisional record, conference record, and strength of schedule, among other factors.

Ultimately, it’s up to these rules and tiebreakers to determine which teams will be playing in January. And while there may be some controversy over which teams get in and which ones don’t, one thing is for sure – every team knows that they need to win as many games as possible if they want a shot at making it to the playoffs.

What Happens if Two Teams Tie for a Playoff Spot?

In the event that two teams have the same record and are competing for a playoff spot, the NFL has established tie-breaking procedures to determine which team will advance. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head record between the two teams. If one team has beaten the other, they will advance.

If the head-to-head record is tied or if more than two teams are involved in the tie, then a series of tiebreakers are used to determine which team(s) will advance. These tiebreakers include conference record, strength of victory (the combined winning percentage of all opponents a team has beaten), strength of schedule (the combined winning percentage of all opponents a team has faced), and net points in common games.

It’s important to note that these tiebreaking procedures can be complex and may require multiple steps to determine which team advances. However, they ensure that only the most deserving teams make it to the playoffs and have a chance at winning the Super Bowl.

Who Has the Most Wins in the NFL Playoffs?

When it comes to the NFL playoffs, there are certain teams that have a reputation for being successful in postseason play. These teams have consistently performed well and have racked up numerous wins over the years. So, who has the most wins in the NFL playoffs?

The answer is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers have won a total of 36 playoff games, which is more than any other team in NFL history. They also hold the record for most Super Bowl victories with six. The New England Patriots come in second with 37 playoff wins, but they are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for most Super Bowl appearances with eight each.

It’s important to note that playoff success can vary from year to year and that past performance does not guarantee future success. However, it’s clear that some teams have a knack for performing well when it matters most. As we head into another exciting NFL postseason, it will be interesting to see if any teams can add to their playoff win totals and cement their place in NFL history.


In conclusion, the NFL playoffs are an exciting time for football fans across the country. With 14 teams vying for a chance to compete in the Super Bowl, there is no shortage of drama and excitement. Understanding how the playoffs work, how many teams make it, and who determines those teams is crucial for any fan looking to follow their favorite team’s journey to the championship. While tiebreakers can sometimes complicate matters, ultimately, it comes down to which teams have earned their spot through hard work and determination throughout the regular season. So sit back, grab some snacks, and get ready for some thrilling playoff football!