Patriots

Patriots playoff scenarios: Sunday night’s Raiders-Chargers game will determine New England’s opponent

Rick Osentoski
The NFL playoffs start with the wild-card weekend.


The Patriots’ playoff opponent will come down to the winner of Sunday night’s Chargers-Raiders game.

If the Raiders win, the Patriots will drop the AFC’s sixth seed and travel to Buffalo to face the No. 3 Bills, who beat the Jets on Sunday.

If the Chargers win, the Patriots will be the No. 5 seed and travel to Cincinnati to face the No. 4 Bengals, who lost to the Browns on Sunday without starting quarterback Joe Burrow.

If the Chargers and Raiders tie, the Patriots will remain the fifth seed and play the Bengals. The Chargers are a 3.5-point favorite.

Here’s a rundown of the NFL playoff schedule as we know it right now, plus key dates for the rest of the postseason.

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AFC playoff picture

Clinched playoff berth: Titans, Chiefs, Bengals, Bills, Patriots

Still in the hunt: Chargers, Raiders, Steelers

AFC wild-card weekend

No. 1 seed: Titans (bye)

No. 2 Chiefs vs. No. 7: Date and time TBD

No. 3 Bills vs. No. 6: Date and time TBD

No. 4 Bengals vs. No. 5: Date and time TBD

Game times: Saturday at 4:35 p.m. or 8:15 p.m.; Sunday at 1:05 p.m., 4:40 p.m., or 8:15 p.m.; and Monday at 8:15 p.m.

NFC playoffs

NFC wild-card weekend

No. 1 seed: Packers(bye)

No. 7 Eagles at No. 2 Buccaneers: Date and time TBD

No. 6 49ers at No. 3 Cowboys: Date and time TBD

No. 5 Cardinals at No. 4 Rams: Date and time TBD

Game times: Saturday at 4:35 p.m. or 8:15 p.m.; Sunday at 1:05 p.m., 4:40 p.m., or 8:15 p.m.; and Monday at 8:15 p.m.

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2022 NFL playoffs schedule

Divisional rounds

AFC Divisional Round: Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23, date and network TBD

NFC Divisional Round: Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23, date and network TBD

Conference championships

AFC Championship Game: Sunday, Jan. 30 (3:05 p.m., CBS)

NFC Championship Game: Sunday, Jan. 30 (6:40 p.m., Fox)

Super Bowl LVI

Sunday, Feb. 13 (6:30 p.m., NBC)

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