What are the divisions in nfl

what are the divisions in nfl

National Football League

NFL Division Standings - Regular Season. Division; Conference; AFC. AFC East W L T PCT GB PF PA Home Away Conf Div STRK; Buffalo Bills - z: Bills - z: 3: See the latest NFL teams' news, highlights, analysis, schedules, stats, scores and fantasy updates. Get the best NFL football team coverage at FOX Sports.

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Sep 03,  · 3) NFC South. No one can beat this division in the category of All-Pro-caliber QBs 35 or older. Saints signal-caller Drew Brees (41 years old) enters what will likely be his final NFL season. Today, the National Football League (NFL) is divided into two conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). Each conference consists of 16 teams and is divided into four divisions — East, West, North, and South — of four teams each.

The NFL is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues , the highest professional level of American football in the world. Following the conclusion of the regular season, seven teams from each conference four division winners and three wild card teams advance to the playoffs , a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl , which is usually held on the second Sunday in February and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

The league is headquartered in New York City. After initially determining champions through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was implemented in that culminated with the NFL Championship Game until Following an agreement to merge the NFL with the rival American Football League AFL , the Super Bowl was first held in to determine a champion between the best teams from the two leagues and has remained as the final game of each NFL season since the merger was completed in The Massillon Tigers from Massillon, Ohio was also at the September 17 meeting, but did not field a team in Although the league did not maintain official standings for its inaugural season and teams played schedules that included non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their 8—0—3 8 wins, 0 losses, and 3 ties record.

Paul Ideals 48—0 at Douglas Park. In , the season ended with the Chicago Bears 6—1—6 and the Portsmouth Spartans 6—1—4 tied for first in the league standings. This method had been used since the league's creation in , but no situation had been encountered where two teams were tied for first.

The league quickly determined that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to decide the league's champion. The teams were originally scheduled to play the playoff game, officially a regular-season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and extreme cold forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium , which did not have a regulation-size football field.

Playing with altered rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9—0 and thus won the championship. Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, beginning in , to split into two divisions with a championship game to be played between the division champions. The de facto ban was rescinded in , following public pressure and coinciding with the removal of a similar ban in Major League Baseball. The NFL was always the largest professional football league in the United States; it nevertheless faced numerous rival professional leagues through the s and s.

With Canadian football being a different football code than the American game, the CFL established a niche market in Canada and still survives as an independent league. The upstart AFL began to challenge the established NFL in popularity, gaining lucrative television contracts and engaging in a bidding war with the NFL for free agents and draft picks. The two leagues announced a merger on June 8, , to take full effect in In the meantime, the leagues would hold a common draft and championship game.

Today, the NFL is the most popular sports league in North America; much of its growth is attributed to former Commissioner Pete Rozelle , who led the league from to Overall annual attendance increased from 3 million at the beginning of his tenure to 17 million by the end of his tenure, and million global viewers watched 's Super Bowl XXIII. From to , the NFL did not have a set number of games for teams to play, instead setting a minimum.

The league mandated a game regular season for each team beginning in , later shortening this to 11 games in and 10 games in , mainly due to World War II. After the war ended, the number of games returned to 11 games in and to 12 in The NFL went to a game schedule in , which it retained until switching to the current game schedule in If two teams tied for the conference lead, they would meet in a one-game playoff to determine the conference champion.

In , the NFL expanded from 15 teams to 16 teams. Instead of just evening out the conferences by adding the expansion New Orleans Saints to the seven-member Western Conference, the NFL realigned the conferences and split each into two four-team divisions.

The four division champions would meet in the NFL playoffs , a two-round playoff. Effectively a third-place game , pitting the two conference runners-up against each other, the league considers Playoff Bowls to have been exhibitions rather than playoff games.

The league discontinued the Playoff Bowl in due to its perception as a game for losers. The expanded league, now with twenty-six teams, [27] would also feature an expanded eight-team playoff, the participants being the three division champions from each conference as well as one 'wild card' team the team with the best win percentage from each conference. In , the league added a second wild card team from each conference, bringing the total number of playoff teams to ten, and a further two wild card teams were added in to bring the total to twelve.

When the NFL expanded to 32 teams in , the league realigned, changing the division structure from three divisions in each conference to four divisions in each conference.

As each division champion gets a playoff bid, the number of wild card teams from each conference dropped from three to two. At the corporate level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association made up of and financed by its 32 member teams.

The NFL gave up the tax-exempt status in following public criticism; in a letter to the club owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell labeled it a "distraction", saying "the effects of the tax-exempt status of the league office have been mischaracterized repeatedly in recent years Every dollar of income generated through television rights fees, licensing agreements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other means is earned by the 32 clubs and is taxable there. This will remain the case even when the league office and Management Council file returns as taxable entities and the change in filing status will make no material difference to our business.

The league has three defined officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has one defined officer, the president, which is essentially an honorary position with few powers and mostly ceremonial duties, including awarding the conference championship trophy. The commissioner is elected by the affirmative vote of two-thirds or 18 whichever is greater of the members of the league, while the president of each conference is elected by an affirmative vote of three-fourths or 10 of the conference members.

He is the "principal executive officer " [46] of the NFL and also has authority in hiring league employees, negotiating television contracts, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or employed individuals of an NFL club if they have violated league bylaws or committed "conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football".

In extreme cases, the commissioner can offer recommendations to the NFL's Executive Committee up to and including the "cancellation or forfeiture" [46] of a club's franchise or any other action, he deems necessary. The commissioner can also issue sanctions up to and including a lifetime ban from the league if an individual connected to the NFL has bet on games or failed to notify the league of conspiracies or plans to bet on or fix games.

The league distributes such revenue equally among teams, regardless of performance. Most NFL teams' financial statements are secret. According to economist Richard D. Wolff , the NFL's revenue model is in contravention of the typical corporate structure.

By redistributing profits to all teams the NFL is ensuring that one team will not dominate the league through excessive earnings. The NFL consists of 32 clubs divided into two conferences of 16 teams in each.

Each conference is divided into four divisions of four clubs in each. During the regular season, each team is allowed a maximum of 55 players on its roster; only 48 of these may be active eligible to play on game days. Each NFL club is granted a franchise, the league's authorization for the team to operate in its home city. This franchise covers 'Home Territory' the 75 miles surrounding the city limits, or, if the team is within miles of another league city, half the distance between the two cities and 'Home Marketing Area' Home Territory plus the rest of the state the club operates in, as well as the area the team operates its training camp in for the duration of the camp.

Each NFL member has the exclusive right to host professional football games inside its Home Territory and the exclusive right to advertise, promote, and host events in its Home Marketing Area. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, mostly relating to teams with close proximity to each other: teams that operate in the same city e. New York City and Los Angeles or the same state e. The 32 teams are organized into eight geographic divisions of four teams each. These divisions are further organized into two conferences, the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.

The two-conference structure has its origins in a time when major American professional football was organized into two independent leagues, the National Football League and its younger rival, the American Football League. The leagues merged in the late s , adopting the older league's name and reorganizing slightly to ensure the same number of teams in both conferences. The NFL season format consists of a three-week preseason , an eighteen-week regular season each team plays 17 games , and a fourteen-team single-elimination playoff culminating in the Super Bowl, the league's championship game.

NFC teams must play at least two of these at home in odd numbered years and AFC teams must play at least two at home in even numbered years. However, the teams involved in the Hall of Fame game, as well as any team that played in an American Bowl game, play four preseason games. Currently, the fourteen opponents each team faces over the game regular season schedule are set using a pre-determined formula: [73] The league runs an eighteen-week, game regular season. Since , the season has begun the week after Labor Day the first Monday in September and concluded the week after New Year.

Most NFL games are played on Sundays, with a Monday night game typically held at least once a week and Thursday night games occurring on most weeks as well. Because high school and college teams typically play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL cannot hold games on those days until the Friday before the third Saturday in December.

While Saturday games late in the season are common, the league rarely holds Friday games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in NFL regular season matchups are determined according to a scheduling formula. Within a division, all four teams play fourteen out of their seventeen games against common opponents — two games home and away are played against the other three teams in the division, while one game is held against all the members of a division from the NFC and a division from the AFC as determined by a rotating cycle three years for the conference the team is in, and four years in the conference they are not in.

Two of the other games are intraconference games, determined by the standings of the previous year — for example, if a team finishes first in its division, it will play two other first-place teams in its conference, while a team that finishes last would play two other last-place teams in the conference.

The final game is an inter-conference based on a rotating cycle and determined by previous season's standings. Although a team's home and away opponents are known by the end of the previous year's regular season, the exact dates and times for NFL games are not determined until much later because the league has to account for, among other things, the Major League Baseball postseason and local events that could pose a scheduling conflict with NFL games.

During the season, over , potential schedules were created by computers, 5, of which were considered "playable schedules" and were reviewed by the NFL's scheduling team.

After arriving at what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, nearly 50 more potential schedules were developed to try to ensure that the chosen schedule would be the best possible one. Following the conclusion of the regular season, the NFL Playoffs, a fourteen-team single-elimination tournament, is then held. Seven teams are selected from each conference: the winners of each of the four divisions as well as three wild card teams the three remaining teams with the best overall record, with tiebreakers in the event of two teams having the same record.

These teams are seeded according to overall record and tiebreakers, with the division champions always ranking higher than any of the wild card teams. The winners of the Wild Card round advance to the Divisional Round, which matches the lower seeded team against the first seed and the two remaining teams against each other.

The winners of those games then compete in the Conference Championships, with the higher remaining seed hosting the lower remaining seed. Since , the Pro Bowl has been held the week before the Super Bowl ; in previous years, the game was held the week following the Super Bowl, but in an effort to boost ratings, the game was moved to the week before.

The Pro Bowl is not considered as competitive as a regular-season game because the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the players. The National Football League has used three different trophies to honor its champion over its existence. The trophy, the appearance of which is only known by its description as a "silver loving cup", was intended to be a traveling trophy and not to become permanent until a team had won at least three titles.

The league awarded it to the Akron Pros, champions of the inaugural season; however, the trophy was discontinued and its current whereabouts are unknown. The trophy's namesake, Ed Thorp, was a referee in the league and a friend to many early league owners; upon his death in , the league created the trophy to honor him.

In addition to the main trophy, which would be in the possession of the current league champion, the league issued a smaller replica trophy to each champion, who would maintain permanent control over it. Unlike the previous trophies, a new Vince Lombardi Trophy is issued to each year's champion, who maintains permanent control of it.

The winning team chooses the company that makes the rings; each ring design varies, with the NFL mandating certain ring specifications which have a degree of room for deviation , in addition to requiring the Super Bowl logo be on at least one side of the ring.

The conference champions receive trophies for their achievement. Players on the winning team also receive a conference championship ring. Collectively, these contracts cover every regular season and postseason game. These afternoon games are not carried on all affiliates, as multiple games are being played at once; each network affiliate is assigned one game per time slot, according to a complicated set of rules.

The league also provides RedZone , an omnibus telecast that cuts to the most relevant plays in each game, live as they happen. In addition to the regional games, the league also has packages of telecasts, mostly in prime time, that are carried nationwide.

In addition, 10 of the Thursday night games will be streamed live on Amazon Prime.

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