NFL play-offs: Kick-off times, favourites and BBC coverage of the road to Super Bowl 58

  • Published20 January
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NFL: Lamar Jackson stars as Ravens see off Texans to reach Conference Championships

By Ben CollinsBBC Sport

NFL play-offs

Dates: 13-28 January 2024

BBC coverage: Live text coverage of every match on the BBC Sport website and app, and live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and BBC Sounds every Sunday, with Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens on 28 January (from 19:45 GMT)

Much of the NFL's pre-season hype surrounded the New York Jets after their blockbuster trade for Aaron Rodgers.

Bringing in the four-time Most Valuable Player was supposed to finally get the Jets back into Super Bowl contention.

The narrative changed minutes into their season opener as, on just his fourth snap as the Jets quarterback, Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon.

A glimmer of hope remained but that had drifted away by December and the NFL's longest active play-off drought has stretched to 13 years.

With record seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady having retired last February, this is the first post-season since 2008 that will feature neither Brady nor Rodgers.

But there will be plenty of stars on show, with former MVPs Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson among those battling it out for a chance to shine on the Las Vegas Strip, where Super Bowl 58 will be played on 11 February.

How do the NFL play-offs work?

NFL play-off seedings

AFC Conference

NFC Conference

1. Baltimore Ravens

1. San Francisco 49ers

2. Buffalo Bills OUT

2. Dallas Cowboys OUT

3. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Detroit Lions

4. Houston Texans OUT

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers OUT

5. Cleveland Browns OUT

5. Philadelphia Eagles OUT

6. Miami Dolphins OUT

6. Los Angeles Rams OUT

7. Pittsburgh Steelers OUT

7. Green Bay Packers OUT

A total of 14 teams progress to the NFL play-offs, seven from each Conference, in which 12 knockout games are played over three weekends to decide who will reach the Super Bowl.

Teams from each Conference are kept apart until the Super Bowl and, in each round, the highest seed remaining plays at home to the lowest seed.

The top seed in each Conference earns a bye for the first round, known as wildcard weekend, when six games are played featuring seeds two to seven.

The winners then join the top seeds in the divisional round, and the four winners there meet in the Conference Championships -effectively the Super Bowl semi-finals – as the two winners earn the right to represent their Conference in the big game.

This year it promises to be some show as it will be the first Super Bowl to be played in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, completed in 2020 for the Raiders' relocation to 'Sin City'.

Results from wildcard weekend

  • Cleveland Browns 14-45 Houston Texans

  • Miami Dolphins 7-26 Kansas City Chiefs

  • Green Bay Packers 48-32 Dallas Cowboys

  • Los Angeles Rams 23-24 Detroit Lions

  • Pittsburgh Steelers 17-31 Buffalo Bills

  • Philadelphia Eagles 9-32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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NFL: Christian McCaffrey stars as 49ers edge Packers

Divisional round results

  • Houston Texans 10-34 Baltimore Ravens

  • Green Bay Packers 21-24 San Francisco 49ers

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-31 Detroit Lions

  • Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 Buffalo Bills

Conference Championship games

Sunday, 28 January (away teams first)

  • Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens (20:00 GMT)

  • Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers (23:30 GMT)

You can follow live text coverage of every game on the BBC website this weekend.

Who are the favourites to win the Super Bowl?

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NFL play-offs: Kansas City Chiefs beat Buffalo Bills – highlights

The Baltimore Ravens had the NFL's best record in the regular season (13-4) and quarterback Lamar Jackson, 27, looks set to win the season MVP award for a second time.

But despite Baltimore's commanding wins over the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins in December, the 49ers have been favourites to win Super Bowl 58 since late November because of their star-studded roster.

The Kansas City Chiefs, who beat Philadelphia in a Super Bowl epic last season, were 11-6 and have the opportunity to cement their dynasty with a third NFL title in five years.

  • NFL play-off schedule & BBC coverage plans

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What to look out for this weekend

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NFL play-offs: Detroit Lions beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers – highlights

Two MVP-winning quarterbacks will go head-to-head as Baltimore's Lamar Jackson faces Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes.

Jackson claimed just the second play-off win of his career in the divisional round and now aims to reach his first Super Bowl, while Mahomes hopes to reach his fourth in five years.

Brock Purdy continues to prove his doubters wrong and could reach the Super Bowl in his first full season as San Francisco's starting quarterback – less then two years after being the last player selected in the NFL draft.

The Detroit Lions are playing in the NFC Championship for just the second time and are one of just four teams never to play in a Super Bowl.

Related Topics

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