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NFL

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

NFL LogoThe National Football League (NFL), also referred to as Gridiron outside of the United States, is the preeminent North American football competition.

The NFL is one of four major professional sports leagues in North America – along with the NBA, MLB and NHL, and was launched as a professional competition in 1920.

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The NFL competition consists of 32 teams divided into the National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC). Both conferences consist of four divisions of four teams each.

Contested annually across the American autumn-winter season, the NFL regular season sees each team play 16 games and enjoy one bye across a total of 17 weeks.

Teams are ranked within their divisions, with the top team in each division qualifying for the the NFL playoffs, alongside the two next best teams in each conference – known as wildcards.

At the end of the playoffs, the two conference winners compete in the grand final – known as the Super Bowl.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

Until 1970 professional American football consisted of two leagues; the American Football League (AFL), and National Football League (NFL) until they were merged through a deal brokered in 1966.

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The NFL has the highest average attendance of any domestic sporting competition, averaging well over 60,000 attendees per match.

The Super Bowl, the culmination of the NFL season, is one of the most watched sporting events worldwide. The most recent Super Bowl was won by the New England Patriots over the Los Angeles Rams.

The Pittsburgh Steelers remain the most successful franchise since the AFL and NFL merged, winning six Super Bowls since 1966. Morten Andersen, of Denmark, holds the record for the most NFL games played (382) as well as the record for most points of all time (2,544), Morten competed in the NFL from 1982-2007, an astonishing record.

NFL teams

National Football Conference

Team Location Super Bowl wins (last title)
North Division
Chicago Bears Chicago, Illinois 1 (1985)
Detroit Lions Detroit, Michigan 0
Green Bay Packers Green Bay, Wisconsin 4 (2010)
Minnesota Vikings Minneapolis, Minnesota 0
East Division
Dallas Cowboys Dallas, Texas 5 (1995)
New York Giants New York, New York 4 (2011)
Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 (2017)
Washington Redskins Washington, D.C. 3 (1991)
South Division
Atlanta Falcons Atlanta, Georgia 0
Carolina Panthers Charlotte, North Carolina 0
New Orleans Saints New Orleans, Louisiana 1 (2009)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa, Florida 1 (2002)
West Division
Arizona Cardinals Phoenix, Arizona 0
Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles, California 1 (1999)
San Francisco 49ers San Francisco, California 5 (1994)
Seattle Seahawks Seattle, Washington 1 (2013)

American Football Conference

Team Location Super Bowl wins (last title)
North Division
Baltimore Ravens Baltimore, Maryland 2 (2012)
Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati, Ohio 0
Cleveland Browns Cleveland, Ohio 0
Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 6 (2008)
East Division
Buffalo Bills Buffalo, New York 0
Miami Dolphins Miami, Florida 2 (1973)
New England Patriots Boston, Massachussetts 6 (2018)
New York Jets New York, New York 1 (1968)
South Division
Houston Texans Houston, Texas 0
Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis, Indiana 2 (2006)
Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville, Florida 0
Tennessee Titans Nashville, Tennessee 0
West Division
Denver Broncos Denver, Colorado 3 (2015)
Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City, Missouri 1 (1969)
Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles, California 0
Oakland Raiders Oakland, California 3 (1983)

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