When the 2021 NFL playoffs begin, it will look significantly different than a typical postseason for NFC and AFC teams. Each conference will have an extra playoff team creating a total of 14 NFL squads making the postseason as the league voted to expand. The additional teams mean only one NFC and AFC team will have a bye as the No. 2 seeds will now play on Wild Card weekend.
Home-field advantage will also look remarkably different as teams will have few, if any, fans in the stands for the playoffs. Higher seeds will have the advantage of not having to travel, but there will not be hostile environments for the road teams to combat.
All signs point to Tom Brady making his NFC playoff debut and keeping his own personal postseason streak alive after the Buccaneers’ decisive win over the Vikings. The Vikings were the best remaining team on the Bucs’ schedule, and Tampa Bay will be favored in their remaining regular-season games. Minnesota had the worst-case scenario happen as they not only lost, but Arizona cruised to victory over the Giants.
The eyes of the AFC are on the Bills and Steelers as two of the top teams in the conference square off on Sunday Night Football. Pittsburgh looks a little more vulnerable after having their undefeated season ended by Washington in Week 13. The Bills appear to be peaking at the right time as Josh Allen has been one of the top quarterbacks this season.
Kansas City will be rooting for Buffalo to widen their lead over Pittsburgh for the first-round bye. The Chiefs locked up the AFC West division title with their win over the Dolphins.
Here is a look at the NFL playoff picture in the NFC and AFC. Teams with an asterisk have already clinched a playoff berth. We will be updating the standings throughout Week 14 as games are completed.
NFC Playoff Standings
Teams with an asterisk have already clinched a playoff spot. Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today.
NFC Playoff Matchups
Here are the current NFC playoff matchups if the postseason started today. The top seed gets a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
No. 7 Arizona Cardinals vs. No. 2 New Orleans Saints
No. 6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. No. 3 L.A. Rams
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks vs. No. 4 Washington Football Team
Bye: No. 1 Green Bay Packers
NFC Wild Card Standings
Thanks to playoff expansion, the top three teams in the Wild Card standings will claim a postseason spot. Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today.
AFC Playoff Standings
Teams with an asterisk have already clinched a playoff spot. Teams in bold would make the postseason if the playoffs started today. The top seed gets a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
AFC Playoff Matchups
Here is a look at the current AFC playoff matchups.
No. 7 Miami Dolphins vs. No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers
No. 6 Indianapolis Colts vs. No. 3 Buffalo Bills
No. 5 Cleveland Browns vs. No. 4 Tennessee Titans
Bye: No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Standings
The top three teams in the Wild Card standings will claim a playoff spot. Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today.