NFL Playoff Schedule 2020-21: NFC & AFC Dates, Times

NFC AFC Playoff Standings

Getty The Seahawks and Buccaneers are both on track to make the NFL playoffs in the NC.

The NFL playoffs start on Saturday, January 9, 2021, but the question is what NFC and AFC teams will play on Wild Card Weekend. This year, NFL fans get a little more football with each conference adding an additional playoff team to bring the total to 14 postseason squads. Every team is eying a chance to win a Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl LV on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. on CBS.

There is still plenty of football left to be played before we know what teams will have a chance to add to their trophy case, but we already have the NFL playoff dates. The specific matchups have yet to be cemented and will not be known until the Week 17 games have been completed on January 3.

The good news is the NFL is on track to complete the regular season on time barring a late setback. This is quite the accomplishment given the ongoing pandemic.


There Will Not Be an NFL Playoff Bubble

There had been some speculation that the NFL would construct some form of an NFL playoff bubble, potentially at a few neutral sites. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the league informed teams that there will not be a playoff bubble.

“This decision is based upon an analysis of the frequency of positive cases in the league compared to the risk of significant spread among players and staff gathered for an extensive period of time at one hotel,” the memo sent out to teams stated, per NFL.com.


The No. 1 Seeds Will Be the Only Teams With a First-Round Bye

The value of the No. 1 seed will arguably be as important as it has evern been as the playoff expansion means the No. 2 seeds will play on Wild Card Weekend. The No. 1 seed in each conference will be the only teams with a first-round bye, a move away from the traditional format of the top two teams earning a week off as the postseason starts.

While the top seeds are still valuable, there will not be the same home-field advantage with each venue hosting limited to no fans. These higher seeds still have the advantage of playing a team with a lesser record along with not having to travel for their postseason matchup. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians admitted that the main goal for each team is just to make the NFL playoffs given the unique circumstances.

“Just getting in the dance,” Arians explained, per Pro Football Talk. “This year especially, with no fans, the home-field advantage is really going to be out the window. It’s just going to be lining up and playing in empty stadiums. What has been a big, big part of the playoffs in the past is home-field advantage [but] I don’t think it’s going to be an advantage this year. It’s just a matter of getting in.”

Here is a look at what we know so far about the NFL playoff schedule, per FBSSchedules.com.


NFL Wild Card Weekend Schedule

DATE MATCHUP TIME(ET)/TV CHANNEL
Sat., Jan. 9, 2021 AFC-NFC Wild Card Teams 1:05 p.m. TBD
Sat., Jan. 9, 2021 AFC-NFC Wild Card Teams 4:40 p.m. TBD
Sat., Jan. 9, 2021 AFC-NFC Wild Card Teams 8:15 p.m. TBD
Sun., Jan. 10, 2021 AFC-NFC Wild Card Teams 1:05 p.m. TBD
Sun., Jan. 10, 2021 AFC-NFC Wild Card Teams 4:40 p.m. CBS
Sun., Jan. 10, 2021 AFC-NFC Wild Card Teams 8:15 p.m. NBC

NFL Playoff Divisional Round: AFC-NFC Matchups

DATE MATCHUP TIME(ET)/TV CHANNEL
Sat., Jan. 16, 2021 AFC-NFC TBD TBD
Sat., Jan. 16, 2021 AFC-NFC TBD TBD
Sun., Jan. 17, 2021 AFC-NFC TBD TBD
Sun., Jan. 17, 2021 AFC-NFC TBD TBD

NFC-AFC Championship Games

DATE MATCHUP TIME(ET)/TV CHANNEL
Sun., Jan. 24, 2021 NFC Championship Game 3:05 p.m. FOX
Sun., Jan. 24, 2021 AFC Championship Game 6:40 p.m. CBS

Super Bowl 2021: Date, Time & TV Channel

DATE MATCHUP TIME(ET)/TV CHANNEL
Sun., Feb. 7, 2021 TBD 6:30 p.m. CBS

NFL Playoff Teams 2021

Here is a list of the NFL teams that have clinched a postseason berth as of Week 15.

TEAMS
Kansas City Chiefs
Pittsburgh Steelers
Buffalo Bills
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
Seattle Seahawks

READ NEXT: NFL Playoff Picture 2020-21: NFC & AFC Standings for Week 15


Read More
,