NFL playoff schedule 2022: Bracket, Super Bowl LVI winner, scores for AFC, NFC games

NFL: AUG 21 Preseason - Bills at Bears
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Only one team stands after Super Bowl LVI: the Los Angeles Rams are this year’s Super Bowl winner after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals. Check out the full NFL playoff schedule and completed bracket for 2022 below as well as scores for every AFC and NFC playoff game, recaps and more.

2022 NFL Playoff Bracket

2022 NFL Playoff Schedule

Super Bowl LVI

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams

READ MORE: Super Bowl MVP Voting Needs To Be Overhauled

2022 NFL Playoff Scores and Results

Championship Round

AFC Championship Game: (4) Cincinnati Bengals at (2) Kansas City Chiefs

NFC Championship Game: (6) San Francisco 49ers at (4) Los Angeles Rams

Related: 2022 NFL Draft order: Bills, Titans, Bucs, Packers get their spots

Divisional Round

Saturday, January 22

(4) Cincinnati Bengals at (1) Tennessee Titans

(6) San Francisco 49ers at (1) Green Bay Packers

Related: PFT: Is that it for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay?

Sunday, January 23

(4) Los Angeles Rams at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Related: Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL

(3) Buffalo Bills at (2) Kansas City Chiefs

Super Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, January 15

(5) Las Vegas Raiders at (4) Cincinnati Bengals

(6) New England Patriots at (3) Buffalo Bills

Sunday, January 16

(7) Philadelphia Eagles at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(6) San Francisco 49ers at (3) Dallas Cowboys

READ MORE: Final play for Cowboys was failure of coaching and execution

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers at (2) Kansas City Chiefs

Monday, January 17

(5) Arizona Cardinals at (4) Los Angeles Rams

Check back after each game for final scores and follow ProFootballTalk for more on the 2022 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, recaps, news, rumors and more.

Kyle Shanahan: Trent Williams in motion is scary to watch, I can’t believe it’s legal

NFL: JAN 16 NFC Wild Card - 49ers at Cowboys
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When the 49ers added a new wrinkle to their offense by putting offensive tackle Trent Williams in motion, coach Kyle Shanahan believed he had stumbled upon something that would instill fear into opposing defenses.

“He’s probably the best guy you could imagine ever doing it. I can’t believe it’s legal. It’s scary even for me to even watch,” Shanahan said of Williams in motion. “I thought it was one of the cooler plays I’ve seen, just because of who was on it.”

Shanahan said there’s nothing unique about the play itself, it’s just that it’s highly unusual to have the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Williams in motion. Shanahan said the motion was something the 49ers previously had fullback Kyle Juszcyk run, then they decided to try other players in that position and finally gave Williams a chance to do it after he had mentioned he’d love an opportunity to line up in the offensive backfield.

“We just look at it as the same play we’ve been doing for 10 years, and just, what’s one more thing we can add to it,” Shanahan said. “It used to only be Juice, then we added the tight ends, then we added running backs, then we added receivers. Trent mentioned it to me a long time ago, kind of halfway joking.”

There’s no joking about it now, it’s a formation that has become a staple of the 49ers’ offense.

NFL divisional round games average 37.1 million viewers, up 21 percent from last year

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All four games of the NFL divisional round drew huge viewership, even by the already high standards of NFL games.

The four divisional round games over the weekend averaged 37.1 million viewers, a 21 percent increase from last year.

The Saturday night 49ers-Packers game drew 36.9 million viewers, up 41 percent from last year’s Saturday night game. The Sunday night Bills Chiefs game drew 42.7 million viewers, up 20 percent from last year. The Saturday afternoon Bengals-Titans game drew 30.8 million viewers, up 16 percent from last year. And the Sunday afternoon Rams-Buccaneers game drew 38.1 million viewers, up 11 percent from last year.

Viewership for the wild card round of the playoffs was also up from last year, and the NFL is continuing to put distance between itself and everything else on American television.

Chiefs favored by 7 over Bengals, Rams favored by 3 over 49ers

Kansas City Chiefs v Cincinnati Bengals
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The Bengals beat the Chiefs in Week 17 and the 49ers beat the Rams in Week 18, but the Bengals and 49ers will be underdogs for the upcoming conference championship rematches.

The Chiefs are favored by seven points over the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, and the Rams are favored by three points over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

The higher-seeded team has been favored in all 12 playoff games this year, so it’s no surprise that the 2-seed Chiefs are favored over the 4-seed Bengals, and that the 4-seed Rams are favored over the 6-seed 49ers.

So far in the 2022 NFL postseason the favored and higher-seeded teams are 6-4 straight up and 6-4 against the spread.

Deebo Samuel says he’s fine despite limping off the field after picking up big first down

NFC Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers
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San Francisco receiver/running back Deebo Samuel made one of the biggest plays of the game on Saturday night when he ran for nine yards on third-and-7 with a minute left, setting up the game-winning field goal. But after that play, he appeared to be injured.

The good news is, Samuel indicated just moments after limping off the field that he felt fine.

“My ankle got twisted up and I got scared there for a minute, but I’ll be all right,” Samuel said on NFL Network after the game.

Samuel was seen walking around after the game without a limp, and he did not appear to seek any medical treatment. So from all indications, the 49ers’ top offensive playmaker will be good to go in the NFC Championship Game.

Tom Brady: We should all approach this week as nothing but football

NFL: JAN 16 NFC Wild Card - Eagles at Buccaneers
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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady isn’t thinking about anything but preparing for the Rams this week, and he doesn’t want his teammates thinking about anything else, either.

Brady said today that this is not a time for any distractions, of any kind.

“I don’t do anything extra this week,” Brady said. “I just want to do football. That’s all I want to do, prepare and get ready. That’s how we should all approach it. This isn’t the time for the trips to the movie theaters. This is the time to lock in on football. This is all we have, three days left and then we’ve got to earn more. Look at it like that, everything, you can put off until the end of the year, and we hope the end of the year isn’t Sunday. But you have to earn it.”

Brady’s teams have won 35 postseason games in his career, and he’s all-in on winning No. 36 on Sunday.

Buccaneers begin their title defense with destruction of Eagles

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Buccaneers’ title defense is off to a great start.

The Bucs put a beating on the Eagles today in Philadelphia, jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looking back on the way to one of the most one-sided victories of Tom Brady‘s impressive playoff career.

The 31-15 final score didn’t do justice to what a one-sided game it was.

Brady threw two touchdown passes and was in complete control of the offense. Brady got his passes off so quickly that he barely seemed to notice that All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs left the game with an ankle injury, and in the end he had thrown two touchdown passes (the 84th and 85th of his postseason career) and won, incredibly, the 35th postseason game of his Hall of Fame career.

The Eagles couldn’t do anything on offense. Jalen Hurts has talent and may some day prove to be a capable playoff quarterback, but today he just didn’t have it, struggling to find anyone downfield and generally wilting in the face of the Bucs’ defense. Hurts also didn’t get much help from his teammates in an ugly game all-around. By the time the Eagles finally got on the board, it was only after they had fallen behind 31-0 in the fourth quarter.

The Buccaneers will be at home again next weekend, facing the Cowboys, Rams or Cardinals, and they’ll be favored to win and reach their second consecutive NFC Championship Game. But the Bucs’ goals go further than just that. They’re aiming to win their second consecutive Super Bowl, and after the way they played today, it won’t be easy to bet against them.

PFT’s NFL wild card 2022 picks

NFL: DEC 26 Steelers at Chiefs
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A close race became a rout. Sort of.

After chipping away at MDS’s lead and taking a one-game margin into Week 18, a 5-0 sweep in our disagreements blew things wide open.

I finished with a 12-4 week and a full-season record of 177-94-1. MDS went 172-99-1.

Here are our picks for super wild-card weekend. He disagree on three of the games. All picks appear below.

Raiders (+5.5) at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Raiders stamped their ticket to the playoffs in one of the games of the year, and by winning instead of settling for a tie, they got to play the Bengals instead of the Chiefs. That gives them a somewhat better chance of winning, but either way, I think the much fresher Bengals should win.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 30, Raiders 20.

Florio’s take: The last time the Raiders played into overtime and home and went across the country on a short week, they stunned the Steelers. But these aren’t the Steelers. The Bengals, desperate to end a 31-year streak of postseason futility, are loaded with players who don’t care about the past. Led by Joe Burrow, they’re ready to show what they can do now, and what they plan to do moving forward.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 31, Raiders 17.

Patriots (+4) at Bills

MDS’s take: The last time the Patriots went to Buffalo, they threw only three passes on their way to an improbable win. I can’t see this game unfolding like that. The Bills’ defense will be better prepared for the Patriots’ offense, and Josh Allen will have a better game as well.

MDS’s pick: Bills 28, Patriots 17.

Florio’s take: Bill Belichick is the master of coming up with a game plan that takes away what the opponent’s offense does best. But does he have the players to execute it? And will the Bills, faced with the reality of a long-time nemesis trying to spoil a playoff party, be able to rise to the occasion? Belichick has successfully embraced moments like this longer than Josh Allen has been alive.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 20, Bills 19.

Eagles (+8.5) at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: I see the Eagles running the ball a lot and trying to play keep-away from Tom Brady. That will result in a close game, but ultimately a Buccaneers victory.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take: The Bucs are getting back enough healthy players to advance. Whether they can advance again is an issue for next week.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Eagles 17.

49ers (+3) at Cowboys

MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the upset, as I have a hunch that Jimmy Garoppolo is going to look pretty good with another week for his thumb to heal. And yet in the end I think Dak Prescott makes one more big play in the fourth quarter.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, 49ers 28.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys wanted to avoid the Cardinals. Congratulations? The 49ers have the right combination of talent and coaching to get it done, as long as Jimmy G doesn’t cook their goose.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 28, Cowboys 27.

Steelers (+12.5) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: This will be Ben Roethlisberger‘s last game, and I think it will be an ugly one for the Steelers, who just don’t have the personnel to keep up with the Chiefs.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 33, Steelers 14.

Florio’s take: This one is setting up to be another memorable night for the Steelers, and a forgettable one for the Chiefs. All reason and common sense suggests a Kansas City win. But with Mike Tomlin coaching and Ben Roethlisberger entering his final postseason run — and the Steelers embracing a natural and authentic nothing-to-lose vibe, they can do the unthinkable if they can deliver an early uppercut to a flatfooted favorite with players who, no matter what they hear from the coaching staff, will approach this one like the easy win that it should be. It won’t be.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 27, Chiefs 24.

Cardinals (+4) at Rams

MDS’s take: Both of these teams have faded down the stretch, but someone has to win, and I trust the Rams more than the Cardinals. Arizona, after such a promising start, will be one-and-done.

MDS’s pick: Rams 20, Cardinals 13.

Florio’s take: Both teams have had lapses. Both teams will have lapses. The Rams will have fewer against a Cardinals team that started hot and faded badly. While it remains to be seen whether Matthew Stafford can take the show on the road to a place like Green Bay or Tampa, the Rams have enough to get a chance to win on the road, wherever the road may take them.

Florio’s pick: Rams 30, Cardinals 24.

Tom Brady continues to re-write the NFL postseason record book in 2022

Super Bowl LV
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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady already owns some of the most significant NFL postseason records, and he’ll add to those records when the Bucs host the Eagles on Sunday.

Here are a few of the postseason records that Brady owns, and some notes on how far everyone else in the league is from equaling Brady’s records:

Games played: Brady will appear in his 46th career postseason game on Sunday. His former kicker Adam Vinatieri is in second place all time, having appeared in 32 career postseason games. Another former Brady kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, is tied with Jerry Rice for third with 29 games.

Games started: Brady has started all of his postseason games, so he’ll extend that record to 46 as well. Kickers aren’t considered starters, so Rice is next with 29 starts.

Games as winning quarterback: Brady has 34 postseason wins. Joe Montana is second with 16. In third place, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway and Peyton Manning are in a three-way tie with 14 postseason wins, and Ben Roethlisberger can also earn his 14th career postseason win if the Steelers beat the Chiefs on Sunday.

Passes thrown: Brady has thrown 1,764 passes in the postseason. Peyton Manning, with 1,027 postseason passes, is the only other quarterback to throw more than 1,000.

Passes completed: Brady has completed 1,106 passes in the playoffs. Peyton Manning completed 649, and no one else even has 500 career completions in the postseason.

Passing yards: Brady is the all-time leader with 12,449 career postseason passing yards. Peyton Manning is second with 7,339, followed by Brett Favre with 5,885.

Passing touchdowns: Brady has 73 career postseason touchdown passes. Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers are tied for second with 45.

Brady will keep adding to his records on Sunday, and maybe for quite a few postseason games after that.

Kyle Shanahan says today’s players don’t know about the 49ers-Cowboys rivalry

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The Cowboys and 49ers will meet for the eighth time in postseason history on Sunday, but most of the players in the game probably don’t know that.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan, whose father was on the 49ers’ coaching staff when they played the Cowboys in three consecutive NFC Championship Games in the 1990s, says his current players don’t know about those games. And they also don’t know about “The Catch,” when Dwight Clark’s touchdown sent the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 1981 season. And they certainly don’t know that the Cowboys beat the 49ers in each of the first two NFC Championship Games, in 1970 and 1971.

Not at all,” Shanahan said when asked if today’s players know that history, via “I wish I could say yes, but I mean, some of these players were born in the 2000s.”

Shanahan said the three great NFC Championship Games in the 1990s were a major part of his formative years.

“That was a part of my childhood that was just such cool football, because everyone knew those three NFC Championships, those three years, those were the Super Bowl,” Shanahan said.

The 42-year-old Shanahan said the generational disconnect with today’s players goes beyond football.

“Every day in the quarterback room I ask them questions from Wedding Crashers and stuff, and they don’t know what that is sometimes. You’d be very surprised at the difference in some of this stuff.”

Perhaps Sunday’s game can provide another great moment in NFL playoff history, that a future generation of players can know nothing about.

Buffalo weather forecast for Patriots-Bills has single-digit temperatures, chance of snow

New England Patriots Vs. Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium
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The first time the Patriots and Bills met in Buffalo this season, the weather played a huge part in the result of the game, with the Patriots throwing the ball only three times in windy conditions and winning with a run-heavy game plan. When the Patriots and Bills meet again in Buffalo on Saturday night, the weather may also be a factor.

The National Weather Service currently calls for a 30 percent chance of snow on Saturday in Buffalo, with a high temperature near 14 degrees and a low around 5.

The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET in Buffalo, and it should be a bitterly cold night. There’s no indication of winds anywhere near as strong as in the previous game, however, and so passing and kicking likely won’t be affected to the same extent.

In the Bills-Patriots rematch in New England two weeks after that windy night, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones played one of his worst games of the season. So the Patriots may prefer a run-heavy game plan against the Bills, whether the weather forces it on them or not.

Nine teams that haven’t clinched playoff berths yet can clinch by winning out

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
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With two weeks left in the season, nine teams that haven’t already clinched playoff berths control their playoff destiny.

Those teams are the Bills, Colts, Titans, Patriots, Bengals, Dolphins, Raiders, 49ers and Eagles. Those nine teams haven’t clinched yet, but know they are in the playoffs if they win their last two games.

All nine of those teams can’t win out, because some of them play each other: The Dolphins play the Titans this week and the Patriots next week, and the Raiders and Colts play this week.

Six teams have already clinched playoff berths: The Chiefs have won the AFC West, the Packers have won the NFC North, the Cowboys have won the NFC East, the Buccaneers have won the NFC South and the Cardinals and Rams have both clinched at least a wild card.

All four AFC North teams remain in contention to win division with two weeks to go

NFL: DEC 26 Ravens at Bengals
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With the NFL season coming to a close, four divisions have been clinched and three divisions are essentially two-team races. And then there’s the AFC North.

The AFC North is the only division in which no team has been mathematically eliminated.

The 9-6 Bengals are the clear favorites, with a one-game lead over the 8-7 Ravens, a 1.5-game lead over the 7-7-1 Steelers and a two-game lead over the 7-8 Browns. But nothing has been determined yet.

The Bengals clinch the division if they win one of their two remaining games, either next week against the Chiefs or the following week against the Browns. The Bengals could even win the division if they lose both games, if they get some help elsewhere.

The Ravens, however, still have a path to the division title. If the Ravens win their last two (against the Rams next week and then against the Steelers in their finale) while the Bengals lose their last two, then the Ravens win the AFC North.

The Steelers would have to win both their remaining games (against the Browns next week and the Ravens in the finale) to have a shot at the AFC North title, but if they do win both and the Bengals’ lose both their remaining games, the Steelers would win the AFC North.

And the Browns would win the AFC North if they win their final two (against the Steelers and Bengals) and the Bengals and Ravens both lose next week.

The simplest explanation of the AFC North race is that if the Bengals win one more game, they win the division. But if the Bengals lose out, things get very interesting.

Tyler Huntley lands on COVID-19 reserve

Green Bay Packers v Baltimore Ravens
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A day after Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley missed practice due to illness, that illness has become a COVID-19 diagnosis. According to NFL Media, he has been placed on the COVID reserve list.

This means that Josh Johnson will get the start for the Ravens, if Lamar Jackson can’t play due to an ankle injury. He’s currently listed as questionable.

Johnson, who has eight starts in a season that dates back to 2009 (and includes stints in the AAF and XFL) got extended duty for the Jets earlier this year, after Mike White suffered an injury during a Thursday night game against the Colts. Johnson completed 27 of 41 passes for 317 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.

The Ravens face the Bengals in a critical battle of 8-6 teams. The absence of Huntley and likely inability of Jackson to play will make it easier for Cincinnati to complete the sweep and essentially knock the Ravens out of contention for the AFC North crown.

Both Christmas games have major playoff implications

Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals
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The NFL got lucky with the scheduling of its two Christmas games, as both games (Browns-Packers at 4:30 p.m. ET and Colts-Cardinals at 7:15) have major playoff implications.

The 11-3 Packers are currently in the lead to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which comes with a bye week and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. If the Packers win all three of their remaining games they’ll be the No. 1 seed, but a loss to the Browns today would significantly hinder their chances and make the race for the top spot wide open over the final three weeks of the season.

The 7-7 Browns are currently on the outside looking in to the AFC playoff picture, but with an upset today in Green Bay, they would suddenly have a clear path to the playoffs, with games remaining against the division rival Steelers and Bengals. A loss today doesn’t eliminate the Browns from playoff contention, but it does make them extreme long shots.

The 10-4 Cardinals are locked in a tough battle with the Rams for the NFC West title. A win today would keep the Cardinals as the favorites in their division, as they own the division record tiebreaker over the Rams. But a loss today would drop the Cardinals behind the Rams in the division and make Arizona more likely to have to start the playoffs on the road as a wild card.

The 8-6 Colts need a win in Arizona today to stay alive in the AFC South race; if the Colts lose the Titans clinch the division. And with a win today the Colts would stay in first place in the wild card race and make Indianapolis almost certain to make the playoffs.