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NFL playoff schedule 2021: Dates, times, TV channels for every round in AFC, NFC brackets

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NFL playoff schedule 2021: Dates, times, TV channels for every round in AFC, NFC brackets

The 2021 NFL playoffs lead to Super Bowl 55 in Tampa. 

A few reschedules, dozens of players ending up on the COVID-19 list and chaos largely averted made for a winding road during the 2020 season. That road leads to the playoffs starting in just a week.

With teams still jockeying for playoff berths, positioning and home-field advantage entering Week 17, the dust has settled and the field is now set.

MORE: Watch NFL playoff games live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

With the playoffs now expanded to 14 teams — an additional two squads entering the fray for the 2020 season — seven spots across the AFC and NFC were up for grabs in Week 17. The AFC South and the NFC East all came down to a final game.

The Chiefs clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, while the Saints, Packers and Seahawks all entered Sunday’s games with a chance to lock up that top seed in the NFC. 

With the field officially set, here’s what we have to look forward to this playoff season:

NFL playoff bracket 2021

(SN illustration)

Here’s a look at the complete NFL playoff bracket for 2021:

AFC

1. Kansas City Chiefs (bye)
2. Buffalo Bills vs. 7. Indianapolis Colts
3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 6. Cleveland Browns
4. Tennessee Titans vs. 5. Baltimore Ravens

NFC

1. Green Bay Packers (bye)
2. New Orleans Saints vs. 7. Chicago Bears
3. Seattle Seahawks vs. 6. Los Angeles Rams
4. Washington Football Team vs. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When do the NFL playoffs start 2021?

  • Start date: Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021

The first games of wild-card weekend will be played Saturday, Jan. 9. There will be six games across two days of play — what the NFL has dubbed “Super Wild Card Weekend.”

How to watch NFL playoff games on TV, live stream

  • TV networks: ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC
  • Live stream: ESPN+, CBS All Access, fuboTV, DAZN (Canada)

Folks with a cable connection will be able to catch NFL playoff games on ESPN, ABC, CBS or NBC. They can be live streamed online on those networks’ respective websites and apps.

NFL playoff games can also be streamed live online with a subscription to fuboTV (7-day free trial).

DAZN will be carrying NFL playoff games in Canada.

NFL playoff schedule 2021

Wild-card round

Saturday, Jan. 9

Matchup Start time TV channel Live stream
Colts at Bills 1:05 p.m. ET CBS CBS All Access, fuboTV
Rams at Seahawks 4:40 p.m. ET Fox Fox Sports Go, fuboTV
Buccaneers at Washington 8:15 p.m. ET NBC NBC Sports App, fuboTV

Sunday, Jan. 10

Matchup Start time TV channel Live stream
Ravens at Titans 1:05 p.m. ET ESPN/ABC ESPN App, fuboTV
Bears at Saints 4:40 p.m. ET CBS/Nickelodeon/Amazon Prime CBS All Access, Amazon Prime Video, fuboTV
Browns at Steelers 8:15 p.m. ET NBC NBC Sports App, fuboTV

Divisional round

Saturday, Jan. 16

Matchup Start time TV channel Live stream
AFC Divisional Round (TBD at TBD) TBD TBD fuboTV
NFC Divisional Round (TBD at TBD) TBD TBD fuboTV

Sunday, Jan. 17

Matchup Start time TV channel Live stream
AFC Divisional Round (TBD at TBD) TBD TBD fuboTV
NFC Divisional Round (TBD at TBD) TBD TBD fuboTV

Conference championships

Sunday, Jan. 24

Matchup Away team Start time TV channel Live stream
NFC vs. NFC NFC TBD 3:05 p.m. ET Fox fuboTV
AFC vs. AFC AFC TBD 6:40 p.m. ET CBS fuboTV

Super Bowl 55

Sunday, Feb. 7

Matchup Start time TV channel Live stream
AFC champion vs. NFC champion 6:30 p.m. ET CBS fuboTV

When is Super Bowl 55 in 2021?

  • Date: Sunday, Feb. 7
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

Super Bowl 55 stays in Florida in 2021, returning to Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “Ray Jay” has hosted two previous Super Bowls, in 2000 and 2008. 

Super Bowl 54 was played in Hard Rock Stadium, the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins.

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Warriors’ Draymond Green ejected for yelling at . . . a teammate?

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Warriors' Draymond Green ejected for yelling at . . . a teammate?

Warriors forward Draymond Green was on the receiving end of a horrible technical foul call Thursday night. To make matters worse, it was his second tech of the game, which meant he was ejected. 

Why was the call so bad? Because Green was yelling at a teammate, rookie James Wiseman, rather than an official or an opponent when he got T’d up.

Green was incredulous as he got the news during Golden State’s game against the Knicks.

Oddly, neither of the other two officials chose to confer with colleague John Butler and make sure the second-quarter technical was legitimate. They, too, had to have heard what Green was yelling inside the empty Chase Center.

MORE: Wiseman impresses Kerr with ‘Giannis play’

Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the game that one of those other officials, Ben Taylor, told him at halftime that Butler thought Green was yelling at him and not Wiseman.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was just happy to see Green gone.

“Draymond, we caught a break when he got thrown out,” he said postgame, per The Associated Press. New York won the game 119-104. 

The NBA can decide to rescind Green’s second technical once it gathers all the information about it. Based on the Warriors’ reactions and Taylor’s reported admission, expect that T to go away quickly on Friday. Too little, too late, but at least some justice will be done after Green was done wrong by the officials.

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NBA trade rumors: Cavaliers to send Kevin Porter Jr. to Rockets following outburst

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NBA trade rumors: Cavaliers to send Kevin Porter Jr. to Rockets following outburst

The Cavaliers have found a taker for Kevin Porter Jr.

Cleveland is trading the second-year wing player to the Rockets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported late Thursday. It will receive a protected second-round draft pick in return. The Associated Press reported the deal was pending NBA approval.

MORE: Cavs’ Sexton beats Nets’ Big 3 in double OT

The Cavs decided to move Porter after he threw a tantrum over the team giving his locker to newly acquired veteran Taurean Prince and moving him to another part of the locker room. The Athletic reported the Jan. 15 outburst included Porter throwing food and being “combative” during an argument with general manager Koby Altman.

Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Monday spoke of Porter as a soon-to-be-former member of the organization.

“We all want to see Kevin be successful,” Bickerstaff said, per The Athletic. “I still feel that way. So whatever it is that happens in the future for him, I hope nothing but the best for him. And it’s part of our responsibility as coaches to give everyone our all and try to make the best of every situation. I can say that we did that.”

Porter did not play for Cleveland this season because of unspecified personal issues. He was charged with weapon and drug offenses last November in Ohio following a car crash. Prosecutors later dropped the charges, ESPN reported. 

He played in 50 games (three starts) for the Cavs last season as a rookie, averaging 10.0 points and 3.2 rebounds. 

Houston will waive injured guard Chris Clemons to make room for Porter on the roster, Feigen reported.

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Blue Jays preparing to play home games in Florida if necessary, report says

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Blue Jays preparing to play home games in Florida if necessary, report says

The Blue Jays are making contingency plans in the event the Canadian government prevents them from playing home games in Toronto at the start of the 2021 MLB season because of COVID-19 concerns.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday that the club is looking at its spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla., as a possible alternate site and that the Jays and Dunedin officials have held preliminary discussions about holding regular-season games at TD Ballpark.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Jan. 12 that the Canada-U.S. border would remain closed to nonessential travel through at least Feb. 21, and on Jan. 16 Ontario extended emergency measures within the province through Feb. 19 as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase.

MORE: New stadium to replace Rogers Centre in Toronto, report says

“We would welcome the opportunity if they were to open their season here,” Vince Gizzi, Dunedin’s parks and recreation director, told the Times. “It would just be wonderful for our city, if they were restricted from going in and out of Canada, that they could play here.”

The Jays were forced to play their entire 60-game schedule last year in the U.S. after Canada prohibited them from playing at Rogers Centre amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The team played its home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y., the home of its Triple-A minor league affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, beginning in mid-August. The Bisons’ 2020 season had already been canceled, making the stadium available to the Jays full time. 

The Bisons are scheduled to resume playing there next spring, although the exact opening date is unclear because MLB is still deciding when to begin the 2021 minor league season.

Dunedin is also home to Toronto’s affiliate in the Single-A Florida State League, but the Times speculated that any scheduling conflicts could be resolved by having the minor league team play on one of the fields adjacent to the stadium inside the Jays’ complex. The parent club’s home opener is scheduled for April 8. 

MORE: Blue Jays’ free-agent moves assure AL East respectability

The Times noted that MLB and the MLB Players Association would have to approve moving games outside Toronto. 

The NBA’s Raptors are dealing with a similar prohibition. They’ve moved their home games this season to Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., home of the NHL’s Lightning. Dunedin is about 30 minutes west of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The Maple Leafs are playing their home games at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto but are not scheduled to leave Canada in the regular season. The NHL placed all seven of its Canadian teams in one division for the 2021 season and are having them play just each other, with games taking place entirely within Canada.

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