NFL Playoff Bracket 2022: Updated Postseason Picture, Divisional-Round Scenarios

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2022

NFL Playoff Bracket 2022: Updated Postseason Picture, Divisional-Round Scenarios

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    The NFL's Super Wild Card Weekend was both super and a little wild. The blowout-heavy affair lasted three days and featured only one upset. It also featured an inadvertent whistle, some poor situational awareness by the Dallas Cowboys and the complete collapse of the Arizona Cardinals.

    The result is a divisional round chock-full of intriguing matchups. The top four seeds in the AFC are still in play, while three of the top four remain in the NFC.

    Here, you'll find a look at the updated playoff pictures in the AFC and the NFC, the remaining 2021-22 playoff schedule and the latest Super Bowl odds.

Playoff Schedule

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    Jeff Dean/Associated Press

    Divisional Round

    Saturday, January 22

    4:30 p.m. ET: Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans on CBS, Paramount+

    8:15 p.m. ET: San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers on Fox

             

    Sunday, January 23

    3 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers on NBC, Peacock

    6:30 p.m. ET: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs on CBS, Paramount+

             

    Championship Weekend

    Sunday, January 30

    3 p.m. ET: AFC on CBS, Paramount+

    6:30 p.m. ET: NFC on Fox, Fox Sports app

              

    Super Bowl LVI

    Sunday, February 13

    6:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock

AFC Playoff Picture, Scenarios

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    Joshua Bessex/Associated Press

    1. Tennessee Titans 12-5

    2. Kansas City Chiefs 12-5

    3. Buffalo Bills 11-6

    4. Cincinnati Bengals 10-7

          

    All three AFC favorites advanced through Super Wild Card Weekend. This means that the fourth-seeded Cincinnati Bengals are done hosting playoff games for the year. Even if the Bengals get past the top-seeded Tennessee Titans, they'll visit the winner of the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills showdown.

    The Bengals can advance, though, and can't be counted out simply for being new to the playoff party. Let's not forget that Cincinnati handled the Titans 31-20 a year ago. With Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase rolling, the Bengals match up extremely well with Tennessee's 25th-ranked pass defense.

    A lot in this game will hinge on Derrick Henry's return for the Titans. The Bengals are good but not great against the run, ranking 13th in yards per carry allowed.

    "It's going to be a big week of practice for us to continue to get Derrick back out there and get him acclimated to running the football and to seeing blocking schemes and seeing where guys are and to see where the cuts are," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said, per Ben Arthur of the Tennessean.

    What's great for football fans is that whoever emerges from the Titans-Bengals tilt will face one of the league's best young signal-callers. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen each threw five touchdown passes in the wild-card round, and their duel this Sunday could be one for the ages.

    The Bills and Chiefs faced off in last year's AFC title game, with Kansas City advancing to the Super Bowl. However, Buffalo won this year's regular-season matchup 38-20.

    Can Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Co. get past Buffalo's top-ranked defense? Can the Titans ride Derrick Henry to victory for the first time since Week 8? There's a lot to be answered in the AFC this weekend, but one thing is for sure: Whichever combination of teams gets in, the AFC Championship Game is going to be a good one.

NFC Playoff Picture, Scenarios

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    Lon Horwedel/Associated Press

    1. Green Bay Packers 13-4

    2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-4

    4. Los Angeles Rams 12-5

    6. San Francisco 49ers 10-7

          

    The San Francisco 49ers were the only wild-card team to emerge victoriously this past weekend. Their reward is a date with the top-seeded Green Bay Packers in Lambeau. While it's a daunting matchup, it's one the 49ers are capable of winning if things go their way.

    The 49ers rode the running game and a stingy defense in their 23-17 win over Dallas. They can take the same approach to Green Bay and potentially give the Packers fits. Remember, when these two teams met in Week 3—albeit in San Francisco—the 49ers lost by only two points.

    A big key to this game will be the health of San Francisco's defense. Pass-rusher Nick Bosa (concussion) and linebacker Fred Warner (ankle) both left the Dallas game and did not return.

    It's hard to bet against Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and the Packers at home, though, so there's a good chance that we'll see Green Bay for at least two more games.

    Sunday's game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams is arguably a more compelling matchup. Sean McVay will try to work his magic against Tampa's fifth-ranked scoring defense. If he can get the offense rolling, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Co. have every chance to outscore Tom Brady.

    The Bucs, though, will have home-field advantage and are fresh off a dominant win against the Philadelphia Eagles. L.A. won the regular-season matchup 34-24, but that was in Los Angeles and back in Week 3.

    If the Bucs survive Los Angeles, we could see another Brady-Rodgers showdown in the NFC title game—the same matchup we saw a year ago. We might also see Stafford make his first trip to the NFC Championship Game.

    Though he's been in the league since 2009, Stafford notched his first-ever postseason win on Monday.

Updated Super Bowl Odds

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Green Bay Packers 7-2

    Kansas City Chiefs 19-5

    Buffalo Bills 5-1

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-2

    Los Angeles Rams 15-2

    Tennessee Titans 17-2

    San Francisco 49ers 10-1

    Cincinnati Bengals 15-1

           

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook


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