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National Football League

The National Football League (NFL), formed in 1920,as the American Professional Football Association. The APFA adopted the name of the National Football League in 1922. The NFL is the largest and most popular professional American football league in the world. It consists of thirty-two teams from American cities.

At the end of each season, the winners of the playoffs meet in the Super Bowl.

Table of contents

Current NFL Franchises

American Football Conference

East Division:

North Division:

South Division:

West Division:

National Football Conference

East Division:

North Division:

South Division:

West Division:

Playoffs At the end of each season, in each conference, the four division winners and the two "wild-card" teams (the teams with one of the two best records who did not also win a division) meet in elimination rounds. The two division winners with the best records receive a bye in the first round. The conference champions then play each other in the Super Bowl.

Other Leagues of American Football

Premerger Championships (1920-1969) From 1920 to 1932, the NFL champion was the team with the best record during the season. This was tricky to sort out, as teams played anywhere from eight to twenty games in a season. In 1932, Chicago and Portsmouth were tied and played a grudge match of sorts, Chicago winning 9-0. The game proved so popular that the league reorganized to make it a permanent feature.

Between 1933 and 1966, the NFL decided its champion through a single postseason playoff game. During this period, the NFL was divided into two groupings, sometimes referred to as divisions and sometimes called conferences. The first place team in each of the two groupings at the end of the regular season played a title game to determine the championship. If there was a tie for first place, an extra playoff game was played in order to determine which team would play the title game. At various times during this period, the two groupings were called Eastern Division and Western Division ( 1933-1949); American Conference and National Conference(1950-1952); Eastern Conference and Western Conference(1953-1966).

After expansion in 1967, the NFL split the Eastern Conference into the Capitol and Century Divisions and the Western Conference into Coastal and Central Divisions, and the playoff schedule was expanded from a single game between two teams to a four team tournament, with the four divisional champions participating. The NFL champion played the AFL champion in Super Bowls I through IV.

After 1970, the AFL and NFL fully merged and underwent a realignment. Six divisions were allocated among two conferences, and after this time the Super Bowl champion was also the NFL champion. See Super Bowl for a complete list of Super Bowl winners.

In 2002, the National Football League realigned again, this time into eight divisions of four teams each. The realignment was to accommodate a 32nd team.

 
APFA-NFL Standings Champions
Year Team Wins-Losses-Ties
1920Akron Pros8-0-3
1921Chicago Staleys9-1-1
1922Canton Bulldogs10-0-2
1923Canton Bulldogs11-0-1
1924Cleveland Bulldogs7-1-1
1925Chicago Cardinals11-2-1
1926Frankford Yellow Jackets14-1-2
1927New York Giants11-1-1
1928Providence Steam Roller8-1-2
1929Green Bay Packers12-0-1
1930Green Bay Packers10-3-1
1931Green Bay Packers12-2-0
1932Chicago Bears7-1-6

Championship Games

Commissioners and Presidents of the NFL

  • 1920-21......Jim Thorpe, President
  • 1921-39......Joseph Carr, President
  • 1939-41......Carl Storck, President
  • 1941-46......Elmer Layden, Commissioner
  • 1946-59......Bert Bell, Commissioner
  • 1959-60......Austin Gunsel,interm President following death of Bell
  • 1960-89......Pete Rozelle, Commissioner
  • 1989- .......Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner

League Offices

  • 1920-21......Canton, OH
  • 1921-41......Columbus, OH
  • 1941-46......Chicago, IL
  • 1946-60......Philadelphia, PA
  • 1960- .......New York, NY

See Defunct NFL teams External Links:



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