How many teams get a bye in the 2023 NFL playoffs?

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How many teams get a bye in the 2023 NFL playoffs? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The NFL playoffs are in sight and the Lombardi Trophy is on the line.

Super Bowl LVII is quickly approaching and 14 of the 32 teams in the league will have the chance to attempt to make their way to the national showdown, but first – the playoffs.

Despite a bit of ambiguity this week – which led to the verdict that the Bills-Bengals Week 17 game won’t  continue, as well as the toss up between potential neutral AFC Championship game sites – the playoff format will go on as normal.

Seven teams will compete in each conference, the AFC and the NFC, starting on Saturday, Jan. 14 throughout various rounds all on trek to the Super Bowl. First, we have wild card weekend, then divisional weekend and then finally, the conference championships. 

Before we get into the heat of things, let’s take a look at the playoff format and how many NFL teams will receive a bye:

What is the NFL playoff format for 2023?

The postseason consists of three rounds leading up to the final game, the Super Bowl, which features a showdown between the winner of the NFC and the winner of the AFC.

The first round is wild card weekend. This round will feature six games, three for the AFC and three for the NFC. Twelve teams will compete. This round is slated to run from Jan. 14-16.

Next we have the divisional round. Slated for Jan. 21-22, the round will feature four games – two per conference – and include eight teams (six winners from wild card weekend and two teams that received a bye).

After that, we have the conference championships. Each conference will have one game played between their top two teams (so, four total), and the fixtures will take place on Jan. 29.

And finally, Feb. 12 marks the Super Bowl, which features the top team from each conference as they fight for the Lombardi Trophy.

How many NFL teams get a bye in the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

A total of 14 teams compete in the playoffs, which means there are seven teams from each conference.

Each first-round seed will receive an automatic bye into the divisional round, while the other six teams will compete in the wild card round. 

In the wild card round, the No. 2 seed hosts the No. 7 seed, the No. 3 hosts No. 6 and the No. 4 hosts No. 5. 

Which teams will receive an automatic bye into the divisional round?

Though we will not know which teams will receive the bye until the conclusion of Week 18, here’s what we know so far based on the conference standings:

In the AFC, the East-winning Buffalo Bills (12-3) and West-winning Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) still have a shot at the No. 1 seed and automatic bye.

In the NFC, the East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (13-3), West-winning San Francisco 49ers (12-4) and Dallas Cowboys (12-4) can still earn the top seed and automatic bye.