What is a bye week in the NFL? How many teams get a bye in the 2022 playoffs?
We take a look at the 'bye week' in the NFL and just why they exist, as well as how they function for teams in the post season.
In a sport as fiercely competitive and even dangerous as American Football, rest and recuperation are extremely important and that's why there are bye weeks.
The Bye Week explained
In the NFL each team has a scheduled week in or near to the middle of the season - generally speaking between Week 6 and 14 - where they do not play a game. The week is referred to as a bye week. The bye week allows for the extra weeks of the season without the extra pay for the players. In addition it also affords teams a much needed break where they can heal and recover, which as one can imagine goes a long way towards helping the players refuel for the remainder of the season. In terms of the scheduling of bye weeks for teams, the league normally tries to limit the number of times a team that played the week before has to face a team coming off it's bye week.
Do teams get bye weeks in the playoffs?
When it comes to the NFL post season, the No. 1 seed in each of the conferences gets a bye week for the first round - the Wild Card round - of the playoffs. They also get to enjoy home field advantage for the entirety of the playoffs, which is to say all the way to Super Bowl should they make it there. The importance of this week can't be overstated in that not only does it allow for the same kind of opportunity - as mentioned before - to recover, but it also gives the seeded teams an opportunity to both view who their opponents will be and plan for them as well.
For more from the NFL
How many teams get a bye week in the playoffs?
Under the NFL's new post season format, there are two teams that receive a bye week for the first round of the playoffs. They are of course the No. 1 seeded teams from the AFC and NFC conferences respectively. In this year's playoffs that's the Green Bay Packers of the NFC as they have already clinched the title, while the Tennessee Titans are on the verge of doing so heading into the 18th and final week of the NFL regular season. Should the Titans beat the Houston Texans on Sunday, they can enjoy their bye week and home advantage for the rest of the post season.