NFL Divisional Playoff Schedule Predictions

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles out of the pocket against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter of their NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles out of the pocket against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter of their NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium

The 2022 NFL playoffs start Saturday with six games on Wild-Card Weekend. Because the top seed in each conference has a bye and will play the lowest remaining seed in the second round, the divisional playoff schedule is still undetermined.

The Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans sit atop each side of the NFL playoff bracket and are guaranteed to play a second-round home game. If the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers win their wild-card games Sunday, they will also host games in the second round.

The two teams that met in last year’s Super Bowl are wildly expected to be victorious on Wild-Card Weekend. The Bucs are favored by 8.5 points over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs are one of the biggest first-round favorites in recent memory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The other first-round games aren’t as easy to predict. The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills will meet Saturday night after splitting their regular-season matchups. The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams are also scheduled for a wild-card matchup after they each beat each other once in the regular season.

The Dallas Cowboys are only favored by a field goal over the San Francisco 49ers. The Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals will clash after posting the exact same regular-season record. 

One aspect of the divisional playoff schedule does seem certain. Because the Cardinals and Rams face off Monday night, the winner of their matchup is expected to play on Sunday, not Saturday, in the second round. 

If all of the NFC favorites win, the Rams will visit Green Bay Sunday. The Cowboys and Buccaneers would meet in the divisional playoffs in that scenario.

The Titans will host the Bengals in the second round if every AFC favorite is victorious. That scenario would set up a matchup between the Chiefs and Bills.

If the Eagles pull off the upset, they lock in a visit to Green Bay in the second round. A win for the Steelers would guarantee a second-round matchup between Pittsburgh and Tennessee.

Here’s a prediction for the second-round schedule in the 2022 NFL playoffs. 

Saturday, Jan. 22

New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans 

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, Jan. 23

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs




Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / David Eulitt

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