NFL Playoff Bracket 2022: AFC, NFC TV Schedule and Super Bowl Picks

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2022

NFL Playoff Bracket 2022: AFC, NFC TV Schedule and Super Bowl Picks

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    Evan Vucci/Associated Press

    The NFL playoffs are set, with a few surprise teams joining the favorites and making for an intriguing field in which anything can happen.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers all had a flair for the dramatic Sunday, waiting until the last possible moment to secure their postseason berths. What chance do those teams have when they square off with division-winning squads?

    Can Big Ben recapture the magic of a decade ago and fuel the Steelers to an upset win over Patrick Mahomes and the two-time reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs? Can Derek Carr go score-for-score with a dynamic offense in Cincinnati Bengals, run by young quarterback Joe Burrow and fueled by rookie phenom Ja'Marr Chase?

    Maybe, but that's why they play the games.

    The schedule for the Wild Card Round is set, and we know who will play when and on what network.

    But who will meet in the year's biggest game, with childhood dreams and league immortality on the line?

NFC Playoff TV Schedule

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    NFC Playoffs

    Sunday, January 16

    Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Fox, 1 p.m.)

    San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (CBS, 4:30 p.m.)


    Monday, January 17

    Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.)

AFC Playoff TV Schedule

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    AFC Playoffs

    Saturday, January 15

    Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (NBC, 4:30 p.m.)

    New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (CBS, 8:15 p.m.)


    Sunday, January 16

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (NBC, 8:15 p.m.)

Super Bowl LVI Prediction

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    Lon Horwedel/Associated Press

    We could to scour the playoff field to find an underdog candidate who could go on a run and disrupt everything we thought we knew about the postseason, to try to make an argument for the Cincinnati Bengals as AFC champions or the San Francisco 49ers to recapture the magic of two seasons ago en route to another Super Bowl appearance.

    It's just not going to happen.

    This season, there have been two teams that have been head and shoulders above the others in their respective conferences, and February 13 in Los Angeles, they will play for the Lombardi Trophy.

    Earlier in the regular season, fans and analysts suggested the Kansas City Chiefs were finished following some ugly losses and questionable defensive play. The team, as great champions do, fought through the adversity and went on a run, winning nine-of-10 and securing the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

    Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce et al. have been here before. They have appeared in three straight AFC Championship Games and two consecutive Super Bowls. They are the class of their conference, among the best big-game teams in the sport and should be the favorites to emerge as the AFC's Super Bowl LVI representative.

    In the NFC, the Green Bay Packers have been the best and most consistent team in the league this season. Behind nearly flawless play from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a vastly improved defense riding a turnover rate of plus-13 into the postseason, they have smothered the opposition and have done so with a consistency that other teams in the conference simply have not.

    Prognosticators have predicted a Packers-Chiefs Super Bowl for two straight years, but this season, they finally get it in what will be a classic shootout between two elite signal-callers.

    Rodgers and Mahomes will light up the scoreboard while players like Kelce, Hill, Davante Adams and Aaron Jones shine. In the end, though, it will be the latter quarterback's penchant for turning over the ball that does in Kansas City and allows the Packers to win the championship that has eluded them since the 2010 season.


    Prediction: Packers over Chiefs.