What is an NFL Wild Card game?

Wild Card games are the first round of the NFL playoff, a single-elimination tournament which concludes with the final championship game of each season, the Super Bowl. The wild card games match the 5th and 6th seeded teams in each of the two NFL conferences. On “wild card weekend,” the 6th seed plays the 3rd seed and the 5th seed plays the 4th seed, with the higher seeds having home field advantage. The top two seeds have a bye this round and will host the winners of the wild card games the following week.

The term wild card was given to this first round by sports writers shortly after the NFL organized into the two three-division conferences in 1970. While other sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, have wild card games, the NFL was the first to use the term. For fans, it gives extra playoff spots to shoot for and another fun weekend for the NFL season.


What is the correct spelling of Wild Card in football?

The answer is – who knows!? We see it spelled wildcard, wild card and wild-card all over the internet. The official NFL website spells it Wild Card so let’s go with that!