NFL Playoffs 2018-19
January can be a confusing time for NFL fans. Should they be happy that only the best teams of the season will be playing for the next month? Or should they be sad because there are only a handful of NFL games left in the season? Either way, some of the best football of the year is always played in January and February.
The playoff picture typically takes shape late in the NFL regular season, with the bracket guaranteed to be set after the final week of the regular season wraps up on December 31.
How do I get NFL Playoff Tickets?
Like the regular season, the majority of NFL Playoff tickets are sold to the home team's season ticket holders (with the Super Bowl being an exception). This has traditionally made things a bit more challenging for fans who want to witness the excitement of playoff football, but do not hold season tickets. The secondary ticket market is often the best place to turn in this case as it provides fans with an opportunity to purchase seats.
How Much do NFL Playoffs Tickets Cost?
On average, an NFL playoff game ticket costs about $270. That said, prices can vary based on a number of factors, including the teams playing, location of the game, the playoff round, and even the weather. Tickets for the AFC and NFC Championship games, for example, will likely cost more than those for the Wild Card round. In 2018, tickets to Wild Card round games resold for $164 on average. Divisional round tickets resold for an average of $253, and Conference Championship tickets resold for $736.
History of the NFL Playoffs
The format of the NFL Playoffs has undergone many changes over the years. There hasn’t always been a Wild Card round or a Divisional one followed by the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. From 1933 to 1966, the playoffs consisted of only the NFL Championship Game played between the two division winners.
Prior to 1933, the league champion was the team with the best record at the end of the season. But in 1932, there was a tie atop the rankings so an additional game was played. The following year a championship game between the winner of the two divisions was added—and the NFL Playoffs were born.
The Super Bowl was added to the mix in 1966; a game between the champions of the two professional football leagues, the NFL and the AFL. Teams were not divided into four divisions until 1967 which gave birth to the Divisional round.
The NFL format as we now know it did not begin to take shape until the merger in 1970. At that point, the playoffs expanded to eight teams, the six division winners (three per conference) and a wild card team (team with the best record that didn’t win a division) from each conference.
It was at that time the league started having the Divisional round followed by the Conference Championship games, and the Super Bowl.
From 1970-74 home field advantage rotated among the division winners. It wasn’t until 1975 that the league instituted a seeding system (based on record). But teams from the same division could not meet before the conference championships which meant there were times the No. 1 seed played the No. 3 rather than the No. 4.
The format changed once again in 1978 when the schedule increased from 14 to 16 games. Another wild card team was added to each conference bringing the total number of playoff teams to ten. Thus, the Wild Card round was created and the basis of the current format established (Wild Card, Division, Conference Championship, and Super Bowl).
The 10-team playoff system remained in place until 1990 when a third wild card team in each conference was added. The division winner with the worst record played in the Wild Card round. The NFL finally ditched the rule against division opponents meeting in the early rounds as well.
The current system was established in 2002 when the league expanded to 32 teams. Each conference was reorganized into four divisions of four teams. Division winners earned a spot along with two wild cards per conference with the two lowest seeded division winners playing the wild card teams in the first round.