2022 Playoff Preview


The NFL playoffs begin with Super Wild Card Weekend presented by Verizon (January 14-16), which for the second-consecutive year will conclude with a Monday night game. 

The NFL Super Wild Card Weekend schedule: 

Saturday, January 14
NFCSeattle at San Francisco4:30 PM ETFOX, FOX Deportes
AFCLos Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville8:15 PM ETNBC, Peacock, Universo

Sunday, January 15
AFCMiami at Buffalo1:00 PM ETCBS, Paramount+
NFCNew York Giants at Minnesota4:30 PM ETFOX, FOX Deportes
AFCBaltimore at Cincinnati8:15 PM ETNBC, Peacock, Telemundo

Monday, January 16
NFCDallas at Tampa Bay8:15 PM ETESPN/ABC, ESPN2-Manningcast, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes

The NFL expanded the playoffs in 2020 for the first time since 1990, adding a third Wild Card team in each conference and in the process creating “Super Wild Card Weekend.” With the addition of a Monday night game last year, Super Wild Card Weekend will now have two Wild Card games on Saturday (4:30 PM and 8:15 PM ET), three on Sunday (1:00 PM, 4:30 PM, and 8:15 PM ET), and one on Monday (8:15 PM ET).

On Saturday, the Seattle Seahawks play at the San Francisco 49ers (FOX, FOX Deportes, 4:30 PM ET) and the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Jacksonville Jaguars (NBC, Peacock, Universo, 8:15 PM ET).

Super Wild Card Weekend continues Sunday as the Miami Dolphins visit the Buffalo Bills (CBS, Paramount+, 1:00 PM ET), the Minnesota Vikings welcome the New York Giants (FOX, FOX Deportes, 4:30 PM ET) and the Baltimore Ravens travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals (NBC, Peacock, Telemundo, 8:15 PM ET).

Super Wild Card Weekend concludes with the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night(ESPN/ABC, ESPN2-Manningcast, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, 8:15 PM ET). 



Since 1990 – a streak of 33 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

The teams since 1990 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify: 

19907 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
19915 (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
19926 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco)
19935 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
19945 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego Chargers)
19954 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
19965 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)        
19975 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
19985 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
19997 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis Rams, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
20006 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia)
20016 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
20025 (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
20038 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis Rams, Seattle)
20045 (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego Chargers)
20057 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
20067 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego Chargers)
20076 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
20087 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
20096 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
20105 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
20116 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
20124 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
20135 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego Chargers)
20145 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
20154 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)
20166 (Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders)
20178 (Buffalo, Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tennessee)
20187 (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle)
20195 (Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco, Tennessee)
20207 (Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington)
20217 (Arizona, Cincinnati, Dallas, Las Vegas, New England, Philadelphia, San Francisco)
20227 (Baltimore, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami, Minnesota, New York Giants, Seattle)

Two teams won division titles – Jacksonville (AFC South) and Minnesota (NFC North) – after missing the playoffs last season. At least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 19 of the past 20 years.

Jacksonville completed the “worst-to-first” turnaround, winning the AFC South the season after finishing in last place. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 18 of the past 20 seasons.

The divisions with new champions in 2022: 

2022JacksonvillePhiladelphiaMinnesotaSan Francisco
2021TennesseeDallasGreen BayLos Angeles Rams

In the 21 seasons since realignment in 2002, 30 of the 32 NFL teams have won a division title at least once. 

How the 2022 playoff teams have fared in the 21 seasons since realignment in 2002 (2022 division winners in bold/italics): 

Kansas City912
L.A. Chargers58
San Francisco57
Tampa Bay56
N.Y. Giants38

Six of this season’s 14 playoff teams have won at least one Super Bowl since 2000, capturing nine of the past 21 Vince Lombardi Trophies. Those teams are the Buccaneers (XXXVII, LV), Giants (XLII, XLVI), Ravens (XXXV, XLVII), Chiefs (LIV), Eagles (LII) and Seahawks (XLVIII).

XXXV2000Baltimore Ravens*
XXXVI2001New England Patriots
XXXVII2002Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
XXXVIII2003New England Patriots
XXXIX2004New England Patriots
XL2005Pittsburgh Steelers
XLI2006Indianapolis Colts
XLII2007New York Giants*
XLIII2008Pittsburgh Steelers
XLIV2009New Orleans Saints
XLV2010Green Bay Packers
XLVI2011New York Giants*
XLVII2012Baltimore Ravens*
XLVIII2013Seattle Seahawks*
XLIX2014New England Patriots
502015Denver Broncos
LI2016New England Patriots
LII2017Philadelphia Eagles*
LIII2018New England Patriots
LIV2019Kansas City Chiefs*
LV2020Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
LVI2021Los Angeles Rams
*In 2022 postseason

The San Francisco 49ers (.607) and Baltimore Ravens (.593) have the second- and third-highest postseason winning percentages in NFL history, while the Cowboys (35 wins) and 49ers (34) are two of the five teams with at least 30 postseason victories all-time.        

The 14 playoff teams and their postseason records: 

San Francisco 49ers3422.607
Baltimore Ravens1611.593
Dallas Cowboys3529.547
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1110.524
Jacksonville Jaguars77.500
New York Giants2425.490
Philadelphia Eagles2324.489
Miami Dolphins2021.488
Seattle Seahawks1718.486
Buffalo Bills1719.472
Kansas City Chiefs1721.447
Minnesota Vikings2130.412
Los Angeles Chargers1218.400
Cincinnati Bengals815.348


The 2022 postseason is filled with young stars on the rise and veterans at the top of their game at the quarterback position.

Ten teams can start a quarterback who is under the age of 28 – Baltimore (TYLER HUNTLEY, 24 or LAMAR JACKSON, 26), Buffalo (JOSH ALLEN, 26), Cincinnati (JOE BURROW, 26), Jacksonville (TREVOR LAWRENCE, 23), Kansas City (PATRICK MAHOMES, 27), the Los Angeles Chargers (JUSTIN HERBERT, 24), Miami (TUA TAGOVAILOA, 24 or SKYLAR THOMPSON, 25), the New York Giants (DANIEL JONES, 25), Philadelphia (JALEN HURTS, 24) and San Francisco (BROCK PURDY, 23). The most quarterbacks under the age of 28 to start at least one game in a single postseason is eight (2012 and 2020).

Two quarterbacks have won at least one Super Bowl title and have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player: 

  • Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY, who has a league-record seven Super Bowl titles (including leading the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl LV title in 2020), set the NFL single-season record for completions (490) in 2022 and added 4,694 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes as the Buccaneers earned consecutive NFC South division titles for the first time in franchise history. Brady is the postseason’s all-time leader in games played (47), passing yards (13,049) and touchdown passes (86) and has been named Super Bowl MVP five times, more than any player in league history.
  • Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES led the NFL with 5,250 passing yards and 41 touchdown passes this season to help the Chiefs earn their seventh consecutive AFC West division title and fifth since he became the starting quarterback in 2018. In 11 career postseason starts, he has 3,381 passing yards (307.4 per game) with 33 touchdowns (28 passing, five rushing) against seven interceptions for a 105.7 rating and has led the Chiefs to four consecutive AFC Championship games with two Super Bowl appearances in the past four seasons. During the 2019 season, Mahomes became the youngest quarterback to win Super Bowl MVP honors as Kansas City earned the Super Bowl LIV title.

Six quarterbacks can make at least their second career postseason appearance:

  • Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN, who led Buffalo to its third-consecutive AFC East division title, recorded 4,283 passing yards with 42 touchdowns (35 passing, seven rushing) this season and became the first quarterback in NFL history with three career seasons of at least 35 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns. In his first six playoff starts, he has totaled 1,718 passing yards (286.3 per game) with 14 touchdowns against one interception for a 106.6 rating, the highest passer rating in postseason history among quarterbacks who have started at least five games. He also has 371 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and one receiving touchdown in his playoff career. Allen has 176 career combined passing and rushing touchdowns (138 passing, 38 rushing) in the regular season since entering the NFL in 2018, the most by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history.
  • Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW recorded 4,475 passing yards with 40 touchdowns (35 passing, five rushing) and a 100.8 rating this season and led the Bengals to a second-consecutive AFC North division title. Last season, Cincinnati became the fifth team to appear in a Super Bowl after finishing in last place in its division the season prior and Burrow became the first quarterback selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft to start a Super Bowl within his first two seasons. In four career postseason starts, Burrow has 1,105 passing yards (276.3 per game) with five touchdown passes and a 97.3 rating.
  • Minnesota quarterback KIRK COUSINS is set to appear in his fifth-career playoff game, fourth as a starting quarterback, after leading the Vikings to their first NFC North division title since 2018. In three career postseason starts, he has four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) with a 91.0 rating. This season, Cousins passed for 4,547 yards and 29 touchdowns and became the fifth player ever to record at least 25 touchdown passes in at least eight consecutive seasons.
  • Philadelphia quarterback JALEN HURTS is slated to make his second postseason start after leading the Eagles to their first division title since 2019. He passed for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdowns and added 760 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, becoming the third quarterback ever with at least 3,500 passing yards, 20 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns in a season. In his first postseason start last season, he totaled 297 yards (258 passing, 39 rushing) with one touchdown pass.
  • Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT makes his fourth trip to the postseason after leading Dallas to back-to-back playoff berths. In four career postseason starts, he has nine touchdowns (six passing, three rushing), including three consecutive games with both a touchdown pass and a rushing touchdown. Prescott passed for 2,860 yards and 23 touchdowns in 12 starts this season as the Cowboys ranked third in scoring offense (27.5 points per game), including recording 24-or-more points in 10 of Prescott’s 12 starts.
  • Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON could make his fifth-career postseason start on Super Wild Card Weekend. In his postseason career, he has registered 1,267 combined passing and rushing yards (316.8 per game) with four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) and is responsible for two of the six 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback in postseason history. Quarterback TYLER HUNTLEY could also make his first-career playoff start.

As many as seven quarterbacks can make their first-career postseason start on Super Wild Card Weekend. The most quarterbacks to make their first career postseason start in a single postseason is seven (1999).

  • Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT makes his postseason debut after leading the Chargers to their first postseason berth since 2018. He recorded 4,739 passing yards with 25 touchdown passes this season and became the first player in NFL history with at least 4,500 passing yards in two of his first three career seasons. Herbert also joined Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING as the only players in NFL history with at least 25 touchdown passes in each of their first three seasons.
  • New York Giants quarterback DANIEL JONES can make his first career postseason start after leading the Giants to their first postseason berth since 2016. He registered career bests in passing yards (3,205), passer rating (92.5), rushing yards (708) and rushing touchdowns (seven) in 2022 and added 15 touchdown passes in 16 starts this season.
  • Jacksonville quarterback TREVOR LAWRENCE became the sixth quarterback since 2000 to be selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft and reach the postseason in one of his first two career seasons after leading the Jaguars to their first AFC South division title since 2017. He set career highs this season in passing yards (4,113), touchdown passes (25) and passer rating (95.2) and over the final 10 weeks of the season (Weeks 9-18), led all AFC quarterbacks in passer rating (104.6).
  • San Francisco rookie quarterback BROCK PURDY is expected to start after helping the 49ers earn their first NFC West division title since 2019. He became the third rookie quarterback ever to win each of his first five career starts, joining BEN ROETHLISBERGER (won first 13 starts in 2004) and MIKE KRUCZEK (first six in 1968) and is one of two rookies in NFL history (JUSTIN HERBERT) with at least two touchdown passes in six consecutive games. Purdy can become the first rookie quarterback selected in the seventh round or later or that was undrafted to start a postseason game in the common-draft era.
  • Seattle quarterback GENO SMITH is expected to make his first playoff start and is looking to become the first quarterback since 2000 (RICH GANNON) to win his first postseason start at least 10 years into his NFL career. He recorded a career-high and franchise-record 4,282 passing yards with 30 touchdown passes and a 100.9 rating this season.
  • Miami quarterback TUA TAGOVAILOA can make his first career postseason start after helping the Dolphins reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016. He recorded career highs in passing yards (3,548) and touchdown passes (25) this season and led the NFL with a 105.5 passer rating, becoming the second-youngest qualified player ever to lead the league in passer rating, behind Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO, who was 23 years old in 1984. TEDDY BRIDGEWATER can also make his second-career postseason start while rookie SKYLAR THOMPSON can make his postseason debut on Super Wild Card Weekend. Thompson can join Purdy as the only rookie quarterbacks selected in the seventh round or later or that was undrafted to start a postseason game in the common-draft era.


(Single postseason)

Eli Manning, New York Giants20111061631,21991
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams2021981401,18893
Kurt WarnerHOF, Arizona2008921351,147113
Joe Flacco, Baltimore2012731261,140110
Tom Brady, New England2016931421,13773
John RigginsHOF, Washington19821366104 
Terrell DavisHOF, Denver19971125818 
Terrell DavisHOF, Denver1998784683 
Marcus AllenHOF, Los Angeles Raiders1983584664 
Eddie George, Tennessee19991084493 
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona2008305467 
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams2021334786 
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants2011284444 
Jerry RiceHOF, San Francisco1988214096 
Steve Smith, Carolina2003184043 
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams2021334786 
Travis Kelce, Kansas City2020313603 
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona2008305467 
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants2011284444 
Demaryius Thomas, Denver2013283063 
Terrell DavisHOF, Denver1997880 
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona2008707 
Larry CsonkaHOF, Miami1973660 
Franco HarrisHOF, Pittsburgh1974660 
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams2021606 
Sony Michel, New England2018660 
Jerry RiceHOF, San Francisco1988606 
John RigginsHOF, Washington1983660 
Gerald Riggs, Washington1991660 
Emmitt SmithHOF, Dallas1995660 
Ricky Watters, San Francisco1993660 
Damien Williams, Kansas City2019642