How many Wild Card teams are there in the NFL playoffs?

Yes, a number of NFL fans may not be aware of how many Wild Card teams enter the playoffs.
Wild Card Playoffs
Wild Card Playoffs / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The number of Wild Card teams in the NFL playoffs has actually changed in recent years.

For those of you die-hard NFL fans out there, you probably already know the answer to this question.

For others, especially those either new to professional football or barely paid attention to the matter before, read on.

The NFL playoffs are what every team across the league plays for. Typically kicking off in January after the regular season winds to a close, teams that make the playoffs are eligible to compete in a "win or go home" tournament to reach the Super Bowl, which features the winners from the two conferences, the AFC and NFC.

Believe it or not, rules governing the number of teams making the NFL playoffs have changed a lot over the years, including recent changes that took place during the 2020 season.

Part of the changes that year included seven teams per conference that made the postseason, up from the previous number of six per conference. This helped keep at least one more team's fanbase engaged, as their team would end up playing at least one more weekend beyond the regular season.

It also meant one more game per conference during Wild Card weekend, which means increased revenue for the league and all those who financially benefit.

OK, so, how many Wild Card teams are there in the NFL playoffs now?

NFL playoffs currently have 6 Wild Card teams, 3 in each conference

In 2020, the league and players union agreed to have an additional Wild Card team added to each conference for the postseason.

Read more: What are the new NFL rules for the upcoming 2023 season?

This brought the number of Wild Card teams up from two to three, meaning the number of teams per conference making the playoffs was seven, 14 in total across all of the NFL.

The top four teams are the division winners with the conference's best team securing the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye during Wild Card weekend. Previously, before the addition of a third Wild Card team, the first two seeds would get bye weeks over the opening round of the postseason.

Now, it's just that No. 1 seed only. The No. 2 seed will host the third and final Wild Card team, while the No. 3 seed will host the second Wild Card team. The No. 4 seed hosts the No. 5 seed, or the first Wild Card team with the best record (or tiebreaker) over the remaining non-division winners.

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