NFL To Extend Wild Card Weekend To Monday Night
That National Football League announced on Friday morning that, starting this season, Wild Card Weekend (the opening weekend of the annual NFL Playoffs) will conclude on a Monday night.
Instead of three Wild Card games on both Saturday and Sunday (which was the case last season), there will be two games on Saturday, three on Sunday, and one on Monday night (January 17th) at 8:15pm.
The NFL expanded their playoff structure for the first time since 1990 when they went from 12 playoff teams to 14 (seven in each conference) last season.
The Divisional round of the playoffs will be played on the weekend of January 22nd-23rd. With the Conference Championship games on Sunday, January 30th. Super Bowl LVI (56 for you non-Romans) will be on February 13th at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
This is the third time the NFL has expanded the league's playoffs since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. From 1970-77, only four teams per conference (three divisional winners and one wild card team) qualified for the playoffs. In 1978, the league went from a 14-game regular season schedule to a 16-game schedule. In conjunction with that, the league expanded to 10 playoff teams (three division winners and two wild-card teams per conference), with a wild-card game in each conference.
Then in 1990, the league expanded 12 teams with three wild-card teams with the three division winners. And finally, in conjunction with the league's new collective bargaining agreement, the league decided to add a seventh playoff team in each conference for the 2020 season (four divisional winners and three wild-card teams). Under the current system, only the top seed (the team with the best record in each conference) gets a bye into the Divisional round.