How many teams make the NFL playoffs? Updated standings for 2020 expanded playoff bracket

NFL

How many teams make the NFL playoffs? Updated standings for 2020 expanded playoff bracket

NFL-playoffs-122919-Getty-FTR

(Getty Images/SN Illustration)

https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/9d/e3/nfl-playoffs-122919-getty-ftr_1tft8oks9i2qi1ml9yapsrt8gz.jpg?t=1445216543&w=500&quality=80

The NFL expanded its playoff field for the 2020 season, and that just means more teams in the hunt in the season’s final weeks.

In the past, 12 teams have advanced to the NFL postseason, but for the first time in 2020, it’ll be 14 teams making the field to contend for the Super Bowl. It’s a move that adds two games to the overall postseason slate, along with two markets that otherwise would’ve had their season ended. In the end, it amounts to more money for the National Football League.

An extra playoff spot in each conference presents hope for more fan bases as December carries on. The Patriots still have hope. So too do the Cardinals and 49ers. And it’ll mean one less team feels hard done by missing out in favor of an underwhelming NFC East champion.

Here’s what you need to know about the NFL’s expanded postseason for 2020, along with how teams are positioned currently in the field.

MORE: NFL’s expanded playoffs, explained

How many teams make the NFL playoffs in 2020?

The 2020 NFL playoffs will feature 14 teams overall, seven from the AFC and seven from the NFC. That’s a new expansion for the 2020 season that means each conference gets three wild-card teams in addition to the four division winners.

The NFL expanded the playoffs prior to 2020 from the most recent format of six teams in each conference. The larger field doesn’t mean any difference in the number of postseason rounds, but it does affect the number of byes. Instead of the top-two seeds in each conference getting a first-round bye, now only the top seed in each conference moves straight to the divisional round.

The expansion meant that the NFL would have two additional franchises in the postseason, along with two additional games to be played. Adding extra anything to the NFL schedule equals more money to the league.

The NFL did approve a contingency plan earlier this year to expand the playoffs to 16 teams if COVID-19 prevents the chance to play a meaningful game (which would likely mean not even in a created Week 18). So it’s an unlikely outcome, but one to be aware of if the coronavirus hits the NFL extra hard as the holidays approach.

NFL playoff bracket 2020

Here’s a look at the latest NFL playoffs matchups for 2020 if the regular season ended after Week 13:

AFC

1. Kansas City Chiefs (bye) 2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 7. Indianapolis Colts 3. Buffalo Bills vs. 6. Miami Dolphins 4. Tennessee Titans vs. 5. Cleveland Browns

NFC

1. New Orleans Saints (bye) 2. Green Bay Packers vs. 7. Minnesota Vikings 3. Los Angeles Rams vs. 6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4. New York Giants vs. 5. Seattle Seahawks

NFL playoff picture 2020

    AFC standings
Seed Team Record Clinched 1. Kansas City Chiefs 11-1 Playoff berth 2. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-1 N/a 3. Buffalo Bills 9-3 N/a 4. Tennessee Titans 8-4 N/a 5. Cleveland Browns 9-3 N/a 6. Miami Dolphins 8-4 N/a 7. Indianapolis Colts 8-4 N/a

In the hunt: Raiders (7-5), Ravens (7-5), Patriots (6-7)

    NFC standings
Seed Team Record Clinched 1. New Orleans Saints 10-2 Playoff berth 2. Green Bay Packers 9-3 N/a 3. Los Angeles Rams 9-4 N/a 4. New York Giants 5-7 N/a 5. Seattle Seahawks 8-4 N/a 6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-5 N/a 7. Minnesota Vikings 6-6 N/a

In the hunt: Cardinals (6-6), Bears (5-7), 49ers (5-7), Washington (5-7), Lions (5-7)

NFL tiebreakers for playoffs

The NFL’s tiebreaker system is far from simple, so hope you can follow along.

To break a tie within a division between two teams:

Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.Strength of victory.Strength of schedule.Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.Best net points in common games.Best net points in all games.Best net touchdowns in all games.Coin toss

To break a tie within a division between three or more teams:

Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games among the clubs).Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.Strength of victory.Strength of schedule.Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.Best net points in common games.Best net points in all games.Best net touchdowns in all games.Coin toss

To break a tie in the wild card between two clubs:

Head-to-head, if applicable.Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.Strength of victory.Strength of schedule.Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.Best net points in conference games.Best net points in all games.Best net touchdowns in all games.Coin toss.

To break a tie in the wild card between three or more clubs:

Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two Wild-Card participants.Head-to-head sweep. (Applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others.)Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.Strength of victory.Strength of schedule.Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.Best net points in conference games.Best net points in all games.Best net touchdowns in all games.Coin toss