Last December 31 2017, National Football League (NFL) regular season came to the end. This is league is considered the best of this sport in the whole word. Even though playoff seeds were already decided, in some other cases, teams had to wait until last moment to know if the earned the rights to reach pot-season, which starts this Saturday January 6.
NFL is divided in two conferences, National and American. This two conferences have four divisions each, and there are two ways to get to the postseason. The first option is to win divisional title, which is earned by the best-record team in each division. The second way is to be fifth or sixth conference seed.
Thus, the league has, per conference, six playoffs berths: four champions and two wild cards. First and second place from each conference wait a week for wild card game winners.
These games are decided this way: the best-record team faces the worst record, and so on. Furtheremore, seed number three will face number sex and four will play against five. For example: Jacksonville Jaguars, third American Conference seed, will face Buffalo Bills, last wild card from the same conference. That’s why Kansas City Chiefs will face Tennessee Titans.
On the other side, National League, New Orleans Saints will play against Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Rams against Atlanta Falcons.
This Saturday, playoffs will start with Wild card games. This round will start on January the 6 when Kansas City, American East Champions, hosts the game in Arrowhead Stadium against Tennessee Titans, which get their playoffs berth by becoming second place in their division.
Chiefs are favorite to win the game, by a +8.5 points difference. The second and last game for Saturday will start at 19:15 (east time) when Los Angeles Rams, National East Champions, play against Atlanta Falcons, that played the last Super Bowl against New England Patriots. Again, home team is favorite, but difference is shorter, +6.5 points.
Wild cards-round comes to the end on Sunday. First game on that day will be played at 12:05, when American South Champions, Jacksonville Jaguars, play in home against Buffalo Bills, one of two American Conference wild card.
It is important to remember that Jacksonville was the best defense in the whole league; besides, Buffalo had to wait until Baltimore Ravens were defeated by Cincinnati Bengals to clinch their playoff berth. Jaguars are favorite by +8.5 points.
Last match will face National South Champions, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. Both teams belong to National South Division, represented with them and Atlanta in the playoffs. For this last match, Saints are favorites by 7 points.
Next weekend, January the 13 and 14, Divisional Games will be played, when Wild Card game winners face first and second seed from each Conference. For American, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are waiting.
Moreover, National Conference, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are doing the same. After this round, last step before Super Bowl has to be disputed in Conference Games, when the Divisional Game’s winners face each other.
LatinAmerican Post | Jesus Koyoc
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza