What are NFL Play-offs?
The NFL playoffs are single-elimination tournaments that are held immediately following the conclusion of the regular season. The competition brings about some 12 sides, half of which are drawn from each of the two conferences that constitute the entire tournament. The postseason tournament concludes with the Super Bowl, which is the championship game of the league.
How were teams selected to enter the 2019 NFL Playoffs?
As stated, a total of 12 teams made it for the 2019 NFL Playoffs. These teams made it into the playoff either as outright winners or as wild cards.
Outright winners simply mean that they competed well against their opponents and finished comfortably at the top. As such, there was absolutely no dispute as regards their suitability for advancements into the postseason level of the competition. Four teams from each conference of the tournament were selected to take part in the NFL postseason via this means.
The wild card teams did not have a clear win over their opponents. Their tournaments largely resulted in a tie. A way, often a trial-and-error method was subsequently made use of to break the tie. Two teams from each conference were selected to participate in the postseason tournament on this basis.
Which teams qualified for the 2019 NFL Playoffs?
The teams were drawn from the two conferences that constitute the NFL, as stated. They are further explained here under, printable playoff bracket 2019.
AFC (American Football Conference)
Kansas City Chiefs (West winner)
The 2018 season was the 49th appearance for the Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League tournament. They started out well with a resounding 5-0 thrashing of their opponents. By the 14th week, they had already earned their spot in the postseason playoff. They went on to clinch their third consecutive divisional title in week 17.
New England Patriots (East winner)
Just like the Kansas City Chiefs above, the New England Patriots also made their 49th appearance in the just concluded 2018 season. They had an upper hand in the said tournaments by virtue of being a two-time defending champion. Their performance was not so encouraging at the start. This is because they started out by losing to both the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars. They, however, made a comeback and finished second.
Houston Texans (South winner)
Despite a 3-0 start, the Houston Texans made an impressive comeback to win the South division title. Their mean resurgence was occasioned by the defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers to the New Orleans Saints. This shored up their standings after losing out to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16. They also went ahead to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 17.
Baltimore Ravens (North winner)
After grappling with a 4–5 record for the second year in a row, the Baltimore Ravens went on to score some 6-1 run. This resulted in a 10-6 finish on the season. A little known Lamar Jackson is credited with the resurgence that made the turnaround in Ravens’ fortunes. The team’s fate was sealed when it beat the Browns in Week 17, to finish tops in the division.
Los Angeles Chargers (wild card)
Los Angeles Chargers did not have a resounding win in the regular season. It finished with a paltry 12–4 record. This performance placed it at the American Football Conference’s 5th slot and made it to the playoffs on a wild-card consideration. They are due to face it off with the Baltimore Ravens in their first round of the postseason tournament.
Indianapolis Colts (wild card)
Much the same way as the Los Angeles Chargers, the Indianapolis Colts also made it to the playoffs via a wild card. They had a false start by receiving a beating from their opponents 1-5. They, however, went on to improve their fortunes by beating the Miami Dolphins 27-24. This, together with a 5-game winning streak, earned them a wild card slot in the postseason playoffs.
NFC (National Football Conference)
New Orleans Saints (South winner)
New Orleans campaign proper started in Week 11. They beat the Eagles and earned 9 winning streaks. This victory also guaranteed them a second winning season from 2010/2011. They, later on, defeated their Atlanta Falcons rivals by a whopping 31-17. Their victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16 sealed their feat by entitling them to a home-field advantage.
Los Angeles Rams (West winner)
Los Angeles Rams made an 81st appearance in the National Football League in 2018. Their campaigns intensified in Week 11 where they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs a resounding 54-51. They later proceeded to beat the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. Their lastly finished the season impressively by the awesome 13–3 record.
Chicago Bears (North winner)
The year ended 2018 marked Chicago Bears first winning season from 2012. It also doubles up as their first playoff appearance since 2010. They started taking lead in week 10. It is at this time that their scores began to shore up when they defeated the Detroit Lions. The week 12 saw them clinch the divisional leadership title by recording an eight win of the season.
Dallas Cowboys (East winner)
A win in week 16 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw to it that the Dallas Cowboys clinched their NFC East division title. They, later on, improved their 9-7 record from the past season by thrashing the New York Giants after a 3–5 false start. This outright win earned them a slot in the 2019 playoffs.
Seattle Seahawks (wild card)
Given that the Seattle Seahawks did not record a resounding victory over their competitors, they had to and indeed were selected on the basis of a wild card. Their performance was an improvement of the past 9-7 2017 record. They finished 10-6 but was not eligible for automatic qualification. It was their week 16 win over the Kansas Chiefs that earned them a spot at the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles (wild card)
The last team to qualify was the Philadelphia Eagles. It started out as the defending champions of the Super Bowl LII. The team thereafter opened the season on September 6. It beat the Atlanta Falcons 18–12. It did not sustain this first victory in the subsequent matches though. This is mainly attributed to the loss of some key players. It thus had to be picked via wild card to the playoffs.
When and where will the 2019 NFL Playoffs be held?
The 2018–19 NFL playoff wild card round will kick off on Saturday, January 5, 2019. They shall conclude with the Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, February 3, 2019 and will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.