The first round of the NFL playoffs is called the Wild Card Round. Six teams from each conference make the playoffs. Four are the division winners, and two are wild card teams. The division leaders are seeded #1-#4, and the wild card teams are seeded #5 and #6. Teams are seeded based upon their regular season record. The Wild Card Round is composed of the two wild card teams and the #3 and #4 seeds from both conferences. The #1 and #2 divisional leaders for each conference do not compete in this round and automatically advance to the next Divisional Round. The #6 wild card team plays the #3 division leader and the #4 seeded divisional leader plays the #5 wild card team. The division champions have home-field advantage.
The NFL has never seen two wild card teams face off in the Super Bowl, but there have been multiple instances where one wild card team has advanced to the Championship. There have been six wild card teams to win the Super Bowl, and there have been four others who lost. The term “wild card” was coined by the media in the mid-1970s; therefore, there have been other teams that would now be known as wild card teams that have advanced prior to that.
By: Erin Irish