NFL Playoff Schedule 2023: Bracket Dates and Updated AFC, NFC Scenarios
Ahead of the final week of the NFL regular season, there are still numerous unanswered questions about the postseason picture in both the AFC and NFC.
In the AFC, the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars will face off with the AFC South title on the line, while other teams such as the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers push for a postseason berth.
In the NFC, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers control their destiny, while the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions also have a chance to at a wild-card spot with a win and help elsewhere.
Here's an updated look at the playoff schedule, bracket updates and scenarios for the AFC and NFC.
Saturday, Jan. 14
Games at 4:35 p.m. ET and 8:15 p.m. ET
Sunday, Jan. 15
Games at 1:05 p.m. ET, 4:40 p.m. ET and 8:15 p.m. ET
Monday, Jan. 16
Game at 8:15 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 21
Game times TBD
Sunday, Jan. 22
Game times TBD
Sunday, Jan. 29
AFC Championship at 3:05 p.m. ET
NFC Championship at 6:40 p.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 12
Game at 6:30 p.m. ET
AFC Scenarios for Week 18
The AFC is almost locked in, but there is some uncertainty between Buffalo and Cincinnati after their game Monday night was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field.
He was later transported to the hospital and remains in critical condition, and there has been no word on if the game will be replayed.
Five teams in the AFC (Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers) have already earned playoff berths, meaning there are two up for grabs.
If the season ended today, the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots would be in, but the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans are on the bubble entering the final week of the season.
The AFC South title and the conference's No. 4 seed remains up for grabs with the Titans and Jaguars set to square off on Saturday. The Jags will take the division with a win or tie, while the Titans need to win.
The Jags could also secure a wild-card place in defeat if the Dolphins, Patriots and Steelers all lose.
Miami can clinch a postseason berth with either a win plus a Patriots loss, but the Patriots will qualify with a win or losses by the Dolphins, Steelers and Titans. The Steelers would clinch with a win and losses by the Pats and Dolphins.
NFC Scenarios for Week 18
The New York Giants are back.
Led by Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley on the field and new head coach Brian Daboll on the sidelines, the Big Blue is in the postseason for the first time since 2016.
They sealed it with a a 38-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Now that the Giants are in, this is the first time since 2007 that there are three teams from the NFC East in the playoffs.
New York will play the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday.
On the line for Philly is the chance to clinch the NFC East division title. They can meet that goal if they beat the Giants or Dallas loses to the Washington Commanders, while a win will also secure the NFC's No. 1 seed.
Conversely, San Francisco can land the No. 1 seed if Philly loses and the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals. If the Eagles and 49ers both lose and Dallas wins, the No. 1 seed and first-round bye stays in Texas. The Cowboys will also win the NFC East with a win and an Eagles loss.
After Russell Wilson left the Seattle Seahawks for the Denver Broncos, no one expected Seattle to thrive. But now, if they can beat the L.A. Rams and the Green Bay Packers lose, they're in the postseason.
Then there's the game of the week between the Packers and Detroit Lions. If Green Bay wins, it's in the playoffs. Detroit will need to beat the Packers and root for the Seahawks to lose in order to make the postseason.