In the simplest terms, the club with the better regular season record (their win-loss percentage) receives home field advantage (I want to say this has been the case since 1975). Which means that a wild-card team will never play at home in the first or second round of the playoffs because they always face a higher ranked team. For that matter, it is unlikely they will host any playoff game, unless the fifth and sixth seeded teams (the two wild-card teams) were to end up playing each other for the conference championship.
Here is a lot more information from NFL.com dealing with tiebreakers (used to determine home field at the end of the season). It might look a little overwhelming, but most of the rules are never needed (as you'll read, technically a coin toss could decide venue, but that's pretty unlikely). Enjoy.
Well, its not the team with the better record that plays at home on wildcard weekend, but the team that won their division. A #4 seed will have home field advantage over a wildcard 5 seed, even if the 5 seed had a better record, as happened in the wildcard game between the patriots and jaguars during wildcard weekend 2006, for the 2005 season.
The term "wild card round" is somewhat of a misnomer. In the first round of the playoffs, there are two divisional champions and two wild card teams. The highest-seeded division champion hosts the lowest-seeded wild card team, and the other division winner hosts the other wild card team.
The winners of these games go on to play two more division winners -- the top two seeds in each conference, who earned a "bye" and got to skip to the second round of the playoffs. Once again, the highest seeded division winner plays the lowest remaining seed.
Through the 2008 season, the NFL record for most consecutive playoff games lost is 6 and is held by 7 teams. 3 of the 7 teams' losing streak are current.Current 6 game playoff losing streaks -1) Detroit Lions - 1991 NFC Conference Championship, 1993 NFC Wildcard, 1994 NFC Wildcard, 1995 NFC Wildcard, 1997 NFC Wildcard, 1999 NFC Wildcard2) Dallas Cowboys - 1996 NFC Division, 1998 NFC Wildcard, 1999 NFC Wildcard, 2003 NFC Wildcard, 2006 NFC WIldcard, 2007 NFC Division3) Kansas City Chiefs - 1993 AFC Conference Championship, 1994 AFC Wildcard, 1995 AFC Division, 1997 AFC Division, 2003 AFC Division, 2006 AFC WildcardHistoric 6 game playoff losing streaks -1) Cleveland Browns - 1969 NFL Conference Championship, 1971 AFC Division, 1982 AFC Division, 1980 AFC Division, 1982 AFC Wildcard, 1985 AFC Division2) New York Giants - 1939 NFL Championship, 1941 NFL Championship, 1943 NFL Division, 1944 NFL Championship, 1946 NFL Championship, 1950 NFL Division3) Minnesota Vikings - 1988 NFC Division, 1989 NFC Division, 1992 NFC Wildcard, 1993 NFC Wildcard, 1994 NFC Wildcard, 1996 NFC Wildcard4) Seattle Seahawks - 1984 AFC Division, 1987 AFC Wildcard, 1988 AFC Division, 1999 AFC Wildcard, 2003 NFC Wildcard, 2004 NFC Wildcard
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