How Do You Fill Out an NFL Playoff Bracket?

A National Football League playoff bracket consists of 12 slots for six teams from each conference, and teams are placed in their appropriate position based on the seeding that they received from their regular season record. Teams with the best records receive the highest seeding number.

The initial position of each playoff team is set automatically from the results of the regular season games and any applicable tie-breaking rules that have been applied. The subsequent slots for future playoff rounds can be filled in from the results of the games or ahead of time in the form of projections on the teams you believe are going to win each game. This is commonly done in office pools where participants are betting that they can predict who the final championship team will be.

Each conference has six playoff teams ranked from one to six. The first round is the wild card round where the teams ranked number one and two get a bye and do not have to play so they are automatically moved forward in the bracket to the second round. The number three ranked team plays the number six ranked team, and number four plays number five. From the winners of these games the lowest-ranked remaining team plays the number one seed, and the other plays the number two in the divisional round. The winners of those two games play each other for the right to go to the Super Bowl, which is the final slot in the bracket.