When Does the NFL Season End?

Wondering when the NFL season will end? Check out our blog post to find out!


The National Football League (NFL) regular season begins on the weekend following the Labor Day holiday (the first Monday in September). After 16 weeks, it culminates with the championship game, commonly referred to as the Super Bowl.

The NFL playoffs follow a single-elimination format and are contested by six teams from each conference: the four division winners and two “wild card” teams. These two teams are selected by virtue of having the two best won-lost-tied records among all the playoff teams in their conference that did not win their division. The four division winners are seeded 1–4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, with the highest winning team being seeded 1 and so on. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, meaning there is no re-seeding.

The first round of the playoffs, or Wild Card weekend, consists of four match-ups featuring these six teams:

AFC: No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 seed; No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed NFC: No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 seed; No. 4 seed vs. No…

The Regular Season

The NFL regular season typically ends the first week of January. However, the exact date can vary depending on the year. In 2020, the regular season will end on January 3rd. The NFL playoffs will then begin on January 9th.

The Preseason

The National Football League (NFL) preseason is the period each year during which NFL teams play several not-for-the-record exhibition games before the regular season begins.
The preseason gives new players, especially rookies, an opportunity to show their skills and hopefully impress coaches enough to make the final roster. Many starters also play limited minutes in order to stay healthy and avoid injury before the games start to count.

The length of the preseason has varied throughout NFL history, but it currently consists of four games per team. The preseason games are generally played during August, with training camps opening in late July.

The Regular Season

The regular season is the time when NFL teams play each other to decide who will go on to the playoffs. The regular season starts in September and ends in December. During this time, each team plays 16 games. 8 of these games are against teams in their own division. The other 8 games are against teams in other divisions in their conference.

The Playoffs

After the regular season ends, the NFL playoffs begin. The playoffs are a tournament that consists of six teams from each conference: the four division winners and two wild card teams. The wild card teams are the two best non-division-winning teams in each conference. The playoffs are single elimination, meaning if a team loses, they are out of the tournament.

The playoffs start with the wild card round. In this round, the AFC and NFC wild card teams play each other. The two winners advance to the divisional round, where they play the first place team from their respective divisions. The two winners of those games advance to their respective conference championship games.

Finally, the AFC and NFC championship games are played to determine who goes to the Super Bowl. The winner of the Super Bowl is crowned the NFL champion for that season.

The Super Bowl

The Pro Bowl

The annual Pro Bowl is the NFL’s all-star game. Held the week before the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl features the league’s best players.


The NFL regular season typically ends on the first Sunday in January, which is also when the playoffs begin. The Super Bowl is usually played on the first Sunday in February.

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