Does the NFL Reseed in the Playoffs?

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A Wild Card logo is shown on the field at AT&T Stadium is shown during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
BetMGM @BETMGM Jan 10, 2023, 8:30 PM

The NFL added a seventh playoff team to each conference in 2020, ending an 18-year run for the six-team format that began in 2002.

Each of the seven teams are seeded before the playoffs begin.

Does the NFL Reseed in the Playoffs?

Teams are reseeded after the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs to ensure the highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed.

For example, when the sixth-seeded San Francisco 49ers beat the third-seeded Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round of the 2021-22 playoffs, the 49ers visited – and beat – the top-seeded Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round.

If the seventh-seeded Philadelphia Eagles had defeated the second-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC’s other Wild Card game, the Packers would’ve hosted the Eagles instead of the 49ers.

How Does NFL Playoff Seeding Work?

The top four seeds in each conference are reserved for division winners while the bottom three seeds are reserved for Wild Card teams, i.e., the three non-division winners with the best records.

If a Wild Card team has a better record than a division winner, the Wild Card team doesn’t jump into a top-four seed, a different type of pre-postseason reseeding the NFL has reportedly never seriously considered.

If multiple teams are tied for a seed via their record, the NFL’s tiebreaking procedures are followed.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.