NFL playoffs: Seahawks are in field after Lions stun Packers – Austin Daily Herald

NFL playoffs: Seahawks are in field after Lions stun Packers – Austin Daily Herald

NFL Playoffs: Seahawks are on the field after Lions stun Packers

Published at 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 9, 2023

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​(8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

NFL Week 18 saved its best drama for the final game of the weekend.

The Detroit Lions — eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday when the Seahawks swept the Rams — put their disappointment behind them and played the role of spoiler, rallying to beat Green Bay 20-16 on Sunday night. The win denied quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers a spot in the postseason.

Instead of Green Bay, it’s the Seahawks who will be the No. 1 seed. 7 in NFC. They will travel to face division rival San Francisco in next weekend’s wild-card round.

The rest of next weekend’s schedule is also set: In the AFC, it will be the Miami Dolphins at the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Ravens at the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Chargers at the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings will host the New York Giants and the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Bucs will host the Dallas Cowboys.

The Lions’ upset win capped a weekend that saw the Dolphins return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The surprising Jaguars also return to the postseason for the second time since 2007.

Seven of the 14 teams that qualified for the playoffs did not make the field last season, including the Seahawks, Ravens, Jaguars, Chargers, Dolphins, Vikings and Giants.

Among those headed home: the New England Patriots and six-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Belichick, eliminated after a loss to the Bills.

The Lions didn’t have much to play for against the Packers other than pride, but that was enough. They were eliminated from playoff contention when Seattle’s Jason Myers hit a 32-yard field goal to beat the Los Angeles Rams 19–16 in overtime.

The No. 1 overall seed in the AFC was claimed by Kansas City with a 31-13 victory over Las Vegas on Saturday. First place in the NFC went to Philadelphia, which defeated the New York Giants 22-16 on Sunday.

The AFC bracket could still be affected by the cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game after Hamlin’s injury. The Bengals avoided a homecoming coin flip after beating the Ravens 27-16, but there could still be a neutral-site AFC Championship game on the field if the Bills line up against the Chiefs.

Here’s a look at some other developments as the postseason approaches:

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC

This is the third consecutive year of the current NFL playoff format, which features the top seven teams from both the AFC and NFC.

The four division winners in both conferences automatically get the top four teams, regardless of record, and then the top three teams with the best record that did not win their division are the wild-card selections. That’s why it’s fairly common for a wild-card selection to have a better — but worse — playoff record than a team that finished as the division winner.

The No. 1 team in each conference gets a second-round bye — that’s the Chiefs and Eagles — while the No. 2 waits for number 7, no. 3 waits for number 6 and no. 4 hosts No. 5 during wild – card weekend.

The NFL has a reseeding policy after each playoff round. This means that regardless of how the group started, the lower seeded team will always travel to the higher seeded team.

There are four rounds until the playoffs: The wild-card round is next weekend, the divisional round is Jan. 21-22, the conference championship games are Jan. 29 and the Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 12 in Glendale. , Arizona.

It’s been an eventful week for players and fans, who watched in horror Monday night as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and had to be given CPR before being taken off the field in an ambulance. Days later, the same players and fans have watched with joy as Hamlin recovers.

That made it much easier to focus on Week 18 and now the playoffs.

The Bills-Bengals game had major AFC playoff implications, so the cancellation of the game due to Hamlin’s injury could force some changes depending on the playoff results.

The AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site if the Chiefs and Bills reach that point.

Buffalo’s 35-23 win over New England on Sunday coupled with Kansas City’s 31-13 win in Las Vegas on Saturday means the Chiefs No. 1 (14-3) can’t wait for the conference title game against the Bills (13-3). ) because the teams played an unequal number of matches.

NFL owners passed a resolution Friday that implemented new rules for this postseason in response to the cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game.

In fairly straightforward playoff drama, the Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans 20-16 on Saturday night to win the AFC South for the first time in five seasons. The Titans needed a win to advance to the postseason.

The Dolphins and third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson beat the Jets 11-6, snapping a five-game losing streak. Miami then had to wait a few minutes for Buffalo to finish off New England to make the Dolphins’ playoff appearance official.

“We’re In” appeared on the video board at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Pittsburgh Steelers almost found a way to sneak into the postseason, but they just couldn’t. They did their part by outscoring the Browns 28-14, but needed the Patriots and Dolphins to lose.

The Patriots obliged. Dolphins don’t.

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