What Is A Wildcard NFL? How NFL Playoffs Work

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The National Football League is one of the most extraordinary events in the United States since football is arguably the most popular sport. When following the games, you might not know how they are set if you are a newbie. 

You must have come across terms like wildcards or at large bids, and you didn’t know what they mean. 

You are in the right place; let us get a clear look into the football lingo to give you the answers you are looking for;

What is a Wildcard NFL?

A wildcard is a team that did not win all the division matches, but it has the next best record, so the team is moved up to participate in the playoffs. This addition has some advantages and disadvantages to the groups. 

An advantage is that the teams could get to the playoff if they have an excellent record, but they lost a game. A disadvantage is that a good team could have a bad game and lose the chance at playoffs because of the addition of wildcard teams.

How Do The NFL Playoffs Work?

The NFL playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the year for most football fans in the US and worldwide. 

You will enjoy watching the athletes play, but the whole experience will be much better if you understand how the playoffs work and the teams that come in.

To understand the playoff, you need a picture of how the NFL is structured. There are 32 teams in the National Football League, and they are divided into two conferences, The AFC and the NFC.

Each conference has sixteen teams, and they are divided into four divisions, North, South, East, and West. These numbers mean that each division has four teams, and that is where the action starts to get to the playoffs.

Let’s talk about the playoff now. Each conference presents six teams for the playoffs. These six teams consist of four winners from each of the four divisions and the two wildcard teams. 

Once the teams have been identified, they get seeded 1-6. The winners from each division take the first four numbers based on their records. It is possible to make it to the playoffs even if you don’t win in your division if you have the next best record.

The wildcards are placed in numbers 5 and 6, depending on their records. Getting a high position is essential since the teams with a higher seed will always play at home, and the lower one will be away.

The teams with the best records that get seeded 1 and 2 get a bye week. This means that they will not go into any matches for a given week while the other teams play. This leaves four teams in each conference. 

The games at playoffs are determined by who wins. The team seeded number 6 will play against number 3, and the team seeded 5 will play against number 4. The winners of these matches will play against the two teams at number 1 and 2.

The roster will always put the number 1 team against the worst seeded team in the playoffs, and the remaining team goes up against the 2nd seeded team. The victors in these games will move on to the championship in the Super Bowl. 

History Of The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is a yearly American football event, and it has been held on the 1st Sunday of February, starting in 2004. 

This is the final game of the NFL season, and millions of fans flood the Stadiums or watch it from home. 

How much information do you have about this extraordinary global sporting event? Let us take a trip into the past to see how the Super Bowl came to be the iconic event it is today;

Initially, there were two rival football leagues in the US, and they operated independently. In June 1966, the two leagues agreed to come together into one National Football League. 

This was a merge to make the sports competitions more streamlined, and it did. The new league did not begin until 1970.

The new league was split into two conferences, and the best teams from each team would have a match to decide the league’s overall champion.

For years, College football has been using “bowl” for the annual championship game. Since they were dealing with a super league, it made sense to call it a Super Bowl. 

On January 15th, 1967, Kansas City Chiefs went up against Green Bay Packers in a championship match that would later become Super Bowl 1. However, the name was launched officially in 1970 during Super Bowl IV, the new league’s first big championship game.

A few years later, the Super Bowl is the 3rd largest sporting gathering on the globe. This has also been good for business owners since Americans consume a large amount of food on this night.

Super Bowl 48 in 2014 was the most viewed American TV program in history, having over 112 million viewers from all over the globe. An audience of this size is an advertising fairytale for any brand. 

For this reason, a 30-second commercial cost $4 million in 2014. For half-time entertainment, the best artists have always been present to perform, such as Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, and Beyoncé.

In the Super Bowl LV, The Weekend provided half-time entertainment, and the crowd was nothing less than ecstatic. 

This is a sporting event that has made its mark, and it will continue to shake this planet to its core each year.

A History Of The NFL

The NFL is a big part of the American sports world, and any beginning football player wants to end up playing in the NFL. It seems fit that you understand where it came from and how it got to its current state. Here is a detailed and accurate history of the NFL;

In 1920, the American Professional Football Association was formed, and it became the NFL two years later. In 1933, the New York Bears lost to the Chicago Bears in the first championship game. 

In 1946, the NFL officially integrated black players into the league, although they had already featured in it before. In 1958, the Baltimore Colts won in sudden death against the New York, and over 45000000 people tuned in. 

This started an increase in viewership in the coming years, and the NFL merged with the American Football League in 1966. 

These two leagues played each other in the first AFL vs. NFL championship game, starting the Super Bowl.

In 1969, the Jets were the first AFL team to get a victory in the Super Bowl by beating the Colts. NFL introduced Monday night football in 1970. This show raised the league’s profile further and added to the popularity of football.

In 1978, some new rules were introduced, and they made defending the pass more difficult. The Steelers capitalized on this and won the next two Super Bowls, which cemented their 70s dynasty in the NFL.

The 49s then went to the 1982 Super Bowl and started their 80s dynasty and the pass-heavy, west coast offense. The Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1993, 1994, and 1996 making the 90s their dynasty.

2001 was a dark time for Americans due to the 9-11 attack, but the NFL brought up some spirits by bringing some normalcy through the super Bowl. 

This was the year Tom Brady finally took the NFL stage, and he would later be named the greatest player ever.

In 2007, the NFL played its first international game in London and started a series of international competitions. Currently, four games are played in the UK yearly and one in Mexico.  

Most of the NFL teams are outstanding and have won at least one of the already played Super Bowls.

During the season, NFL games are played three days a week and shown on almost every Sports TV and Streaming Network across the globe. 

The league’s structure and resource sharing among the teams has kept it the most popular sports league in the US, and all indications are that it will stay that way.


A wildcard is a team that makes it to the playoffs without winning their division matches because they had the next best record. 

This gives good teams that might have slipped up a chance to recover and make it to the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is an exciting sporting event, and it continues to grow popular over the years. In 2014, it made a historical record by getting 112 million views, making it the most viewed American TV program.

The NFL is the backbone of American football, and it is responsible for the successes of the league and the sport’s growth. 

The NFL has kept a constant and unbiased distribution of resources to all the teams, and for this, it has grown popular, and it continues to grow.

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