The final week of the NFL season has delivered on the hype.
Week 18 was filled with drama, with several games going to overtime and a number of stunning upsets shaking up the playoff field. The Colts needed only to beat the Jaguars to play for a Super Bowl, but were blown out on the road, opening the path for the Steelers, who beat the Ravens in overtime to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Patriots entered the week with a chance to win the AFC East, but were instead bested in the final game by the Dolphins.
Arizona also had a chance at claiming the NFC West title, but despite the Rams falling to the 49ers in overtime, the Cardinals lost to Seattle, keeping them in the wild card. Instead, the two NFC West foes will face off in a third matchup in the playoffs as No. 4 vs. No. 5 seeds.
There still remains the “Sunday Night Football” matchup to determine the final seeding in the AFC, but as things stand, here’s a look at how the playoff field is shaping up heading into the final game of the regular season. This post will be updated after the Chargers-Raiders’ game ends.
NFL playoff bracket 2022
- Tennessee Titans (bye)
- Kansas City Chiefs vs. 7. Pittsburgh Steelers OR Las Vegas Raiders
- Buffalo Bills vs. 6. Los Angeles Chargers OR Las Vegas Raiders
- Cincinnati Bengals vs. 5. New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers (bye)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. 7. Philadelphia Eagles
- Dallas Cowboys vs. 6. San Francisco 49ers
- Los Angeles Rams vs. 5. Arizona Cardinals
Who’s in the NFL playoffs 2022?
The NFL playoff field was largely locked up in the NFC heading into Sunday’s slate of games with only one spot open. In the AFC, there were two open playoff spots remaining, but coming into the weekend, the seeding of the AFC side was almost totally wide open.
Below is the NFL playoff field for 2022:
|2.||Kansas City Chiefs||12-5|
|5.||New England Patriots||10-7|
|6.||Los Angeles Chargers||9-7|
|7.||Las Vegas Raiders||9-7|
Eliminated: Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars
|1.||Green Bay Packers||13-4|
|2.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13-4|
|4.||Los Angeles Rams||12-5|
|6.||San Francisco 49ers||10-7|
Eliminated: New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, Detroit Lions
AFC playoff matchups
1. Tennessee Titans (first-round bye)
The Titans received a scare against the Texans on Sunday as Houston scored 25 unanswered points, but Tennessee held on for the 28-25 win to maintain its hold on the No. 1 spot in the AFC. Now, the Titans get to rest a week and have the return of Derrick Henry to look forward to after the first-round bye.
2. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 7. Las Vegas Raiders OR Pittsburgh Steelers
Despite a tumultuous season, the Raiders are currently in the playoff picture pending the “Sunday Night Football” outcome. If it stands, it would be only the second time they’ve reached the playoffs since losing the Super Bowl in 2002. However, the Chiefs have owned Las Vegas this season, winning both contests by a combined 89-23.
A loss by the Raiders against the Chargers would mean the Steelers play the Chiefs instead.
3. Buffalo Bills vs. 6. Los Angeles Chargers OR Las Vegas Raiders
Buffalo has allowed the fewest passing yards this season and has been one of the league’s top overall defenses. The Chargers, led by Justin Herbert at quarterback, have the fourth-most passing yards in the league and have scored the seventh-most points this season.
A win by the Raiders would mean Las Vegas is headed to Buffalo while the Chargers are eliminated.
4. Cincinnati Bengals vs. 5. New England Patriots
The Bengals are in the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The Patriots are back for the first time since 2019. Bill Belichick has led New England’s defense to allowing the third-fewest yards and fewest points among NFL teams, but he’ll have to contend with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and a high-scoring Bengals’ offense that scored the fifth-most points in the NFL this season.
NFC playoff matchups
1. Green Bay Packers (first-round bye)
The Packers locked up the No. 1 seed in Week 17 after they beat the Vikings to move to 13-3, leaving their Week 18 matchup against the Lions as a week for resting and tuning up in what was ultimately a losing effort. They’ll now wait to see who they face in the divisional round at Lambeau Field two weeks from now.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. 7. Philadelphia Eagles
The last time Tom Brady faced the Eagles in the playoffs, Nick Foles led Philadelphia to a miraculous 41-33 win against the Patriots for the first Super Bowl win in franchise history. Now with the Buccaneers, Brady will hope to lead Tampa Bay past Philadelphia and Jalen Hurts in the first round of the playoffs. No team rushed for more yards than Philadelphia in 2021, while the Buccaneers led the league in passing yards.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs. 6. San Francisco 49ers
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense dropped 51 points on the Eagles in the season finale as they ended the season as the league’s highest scoring team. But the 49ers are flying high after a dramatic overtime win against the Rams as Jimmy Garoppolo and San Francisco outscored Los Angeles 24-7 in the final two quarters and overtime.
4. Los Angeles Rams vs. 5. Arizona Cardinals
The Rams and Cardinals fought until the final week of the season to determine the NFC West champion, and it was the Rams that held on at the end. Arizona won the first meeting between the two teams, blowing out Los Angeles 37-20 in L.A. in Week 4, but the Rams avenged the loss with a 30-23 win in Glendale, Arizona, in Week 14.