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|Playoff Bracket Format|
Below is a quick explanation of how the Playoff system works, but please read our How do the NFL Playoffs Work article for a complete understanding of the system and check out When do the NFL Playoffs Start to get the playoff dates in advance.
The NFL playoffs work a little different than the NBA Playoff Bracket or the March Madness Tournament Bracket. The first round runs as you would think, the 1 and 2 seeds get byes, the 4th seed plays the 5th seed and the 3rd seed plays the 6th seed. But the second round is rearranged so that the number 1 seed plays the lowest remaining seed left in the tournament(in their conference). So if the number 6 seed beats the number 3 seed in the first round the 6th seed would go to the upper bracket and play the number 1 seed and the winner of the 4 seed vs. 5 seed would go to the bottom bracket and play the number 2 seed. But if the number 3 seed beats the number 6 seed in the first round then the number 3 seed would play the number 2 seed in the second round and the winner of the 4 seed vs. 5 seed would play the number 1 seed in the second round. The 3rd and 4th rounds run as you would think, the winners of the Divisional Playoffs go on to play each other in the Conference Championship. The winners of each Conference Championship game then go on to play in the Super Bowl.