Understanding The Structure Of The NFL

If you are new to the game of football it’s easy to get confused by the terminology. Between all the different divisions and conferences it can be tough to keep up. That’s why this article is on hand to break down everything you need to know the structure of the NFL.

This article answers questions such as. The number of teams in the league, how the teams are broken up into different divisions, and what it means if a team is in your division.

How Many Teams, Conferences And Divsions Are In The NFL?

The NFL has a total of 32 teams, these teams are split evenly into two conferences. This means there are sixteen teams in each conference.

The two conferences in football are the AFC and the NFC. If you are wondering what does AFC and NFC stand for the answer is American Football Conference and National Football Conference.

Inside each of these conferences there are four divisions. Each division is made up of four teams. This breaks the sixteen teams in each conference into four evenly sized divisions.

How Do Conferences And Divisions Effect The Game?

Now that we know how the NFL is broken down let’s explain how this is going to effect the game of football for these teams.

Inter Divisional Play

One aspect of that will change depending on which division a team is in, is the teams you will play. In the NFL season there are a total of seventeen games. Six of these games will be played against you divisional opponents.

Each year you will play each team in your division twice. Once at a home in your stadium and once away at theirs.

Superbowl Matchup

Another factor that affected by conferences is the Superbowl matchup. The NFL works by separating the two conferences in the playoffs. This means that the teams in each conference must fight it out between one another to see who reaches the Superbowl.

One team will represent the AFC in the superbowl and the other will represent the NFC. There is no way for two AFC or NFC teams to be in a superbowl against one another.

Essentially, to go to the superbowl you must be the best team in your conference.

Playoff Bye

Additionally, playoff byes are another factor that has to do with the structure of the NFL. In each conference, the team with the best regular-season record is able to skip the first round of the playoffs.

It is important to know that the bye goes to the top team in each conference and not the top two teams in the league. The only way to get this bye is to have the best record in your conference.

The bye week is a very important part of a playoff push as it reduces the games you need to win from four down to three. This makes a noticeable change in your odds to win the superbowl.

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