NFC East becomes first division since 1997 to have three teams make Divisional Round

The San Francisco 49ers find themselves surrounded by NFC East teams in the Divisional Round of the 2022 playoffs.

The NFC East was the best division in football for the balance of the regular season, and they showed it during the first round of the postseason.

With the Philadelphia Eagles sporting the No. 1 seed, the New York Giants besting the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys blasting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFC (B)East will have three teams in the Divisional Round of the 2022 playoffs.

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It marks the first time since NFL realignment in 2002 that three teams from the same division made the divisional round.

Not since 1997 in the old NFC Central had three teams from the same division made it this far into the playoffs. That season the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all made the Divisional Round (the NFC Central had four teams in the postseason, with the Bucs beating the Lions in the Wild Card Round).

From the 1970 NFL-AFL merger until 2002, the league was split into six divisions. However, after the NFL added the Houston Texans, there have been eight divisions with four teams.

The NFC East finished the season with a 43-23-2 record, five more wins than any other division in 2022 (AFC North, 38 wins). With the Eagles and Giants squaring off Saturday night, the NFC East is guaranteed to have at least one representative in Championship Weekend. A win by the Cowboys over the Niners on Sunday night would leave an all-NFC East conference championship.

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