How Many Wild Card Games Are There in the NFL?

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By Eric Wilson

If you’re a fan of the National Football League (NFL), you may have heard the term “wild card” thrown around during the playoffs. But what exactly does it mean, and how many wild card games are there in the NFL? Let’s dive into it.

What is a Wild Card?

In the NFL, wild card refers to a team that qualifies for the playoffs without winning their division. In each conference, four division winners and two wild card teams make it to the postseason. The wild card teams are usually seeded fifth and sixth based on their regular-season records.

How Many Wild Card Games Are There in the NFL?

Once the regular season ends, there are four wild card games played during Wild Card Weekend. Two games are played on Saturday and two games on Sunday, with one game in each conference.

Saturday Games

  • The first game features the fifth-seeded team visiting the fourth-seeded team in one conference.
  • The second game features the sixth-seeded team visiting the third-seeded team in that same conference.

Sunday Games

  • The first game features the fifth-seeded team visiting the fourth-seeded team in the other conference.

Why is it Called Wild Card Weekend?

The term “wild card” was first used in professional baseball to refer to a team that qualified for postseason play despite not winning their division. The term was later adopted by other sports leagues, including football.

The weekend of wild card games is called Wild Card Weekend because these games feature teams who qualified for postseason play despite not winning their respective divisions. These teams are considered “wild cards” because they weren’t expected to make it to the playoffs based on their regular-season records.

Conclusion

In summary, there are four wild card games played during Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. These games feature teams who qualified for the playoffs without winning their division, and they are usually seeded fifth or sixth based on their regular-season records. So, if you’re a fan of any of these teams, be sure to tune in during Wild Card Weekend for some exciting football action!