The NFL boasts a history of more than 100 years and very few sports leagues can claim to have such a rich background heritage. It all started in 1920 when the American Professional Football Association was born, which came became known as the NFL two years later. Representatives from four states- Akron, Canton, Cleveland, and Dayton were at the forefront of creating this APFA in order to improve the quality of football in the country. The early years of inclusion In 1933, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants in the league’s inaugural championship game treats featured Black players prior to 1946, the NFL’s official integration. In the 1958 championship game, Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in sudden death in what became known as the greatest game ever played. 45 million people tuned in, starting an explosion in viewership for future decades. Birth of the SUPER BOWL: The NFL merged with the American Football League in 1966 with the true champions playing each other in the first AFL-NFL championship game, which later became known as “Super Bowl I”. In 1969, Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt named the championship game “The Super Bowl” after watching his kids play with Super Bowl toys. That year, The Jets were the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl by defeating the Colts 16 -7. In 1970, Monday Night Football debuted on prime-time TV, further raising the league’s profile. The 72’ Dolphins became the first and still the only team in the Super Bowl era to finish undefeated. They beat the Redskins (now known as Washington Commanders) in Super Bowl VII to finish season 17 and all. The 70s and further: Rise of Dynasties In 1978, newly introduced rules made defending the pass more difficult. And Steelers capitalized on winning the next two Super Bowls, giving them four in six seasons, cementing the 1970s dynasty. Dwight Clark made the catch to take the 49ers to the 1982 Super Bowl, sparking their 80s dynasty in the era of the pass-heavy West Coast offense. The Cowboys were next in the 90s winning Super Bowls in 93’,94, and 96’. The 2000s and present: The ‘Tom Brady’ Era After the attacks of 9/11 devastated America, many people found a resemblance to normalcy in the 2001 NFL season. That year a Week 2 injury to Drew Bledsoe of the Patriots allowed little-known secondary quarterback Tom Brady to take the NFL stage. That year Brady and the Patriots won the Super Bowl, bringing the patriots on the first of six Super Bowls over an 18-season stretch. They entered the 100th season (2019) as defending champions and Brady was the consensus choice as the greatest player ever. NFL and its international plans In 2007, the NFL played its first game in London, starting a series of international games that now see four games a year played in the UK and one in Mexico. Further taking the initiative to a new high, the 2022 season saw a total of 5 international games played in the international schedule, with Germany as a host for that extra game. Two of the NFL’s founding franchises, the Chicago Bears, originally the Decatur Staleys, and the Arizona Cardinals, originally the Chicago Cardinals, are still part of the NFL in its more than 102 seasons history. 20 NFL teams have one of the first 53 Super Bowls. During the season, NFL games are played three days a week and shown on TV networks and streaming services around the globe. The league structure and revenue sharing amongst all teams has kept the NFL the most popular sports league in the US for several decades and is poised to remain so for many more years. FORMAT NFL Scores There are a few different ways to score in American football and its prima league. Two are common, one happens on occasion and one is extremely rare. Touchdown: The most common way of scoring is a touchdown, which is worth six points. This happens when the offense has positioned the ball and successfully reaches the other team's end zone. Usually either by running it in or by catching a pass while in the end zone. (Endzone = area at each end of the field into which the ball must be carried or passed and caught to score a touchdown) After scoring a touchdown, a team gets a free play called a try, which consists of two options. Either trying to kick an extra point or go for a two-point conversion. A point after touchdown, which is usually just called an extra point, will involve kicking the ball between the uprights and will result in one point, if successful. The other option that the teams have, rather than trying to kick an extra point, is a two-point conversion or going for two. In this case, the teams have to score another touchdown to get their two points. Field Goal: The second most common way to score is the field goal, which is worth three points. This involves kicking the ball through the uprights from wherever the offense is on the field at the time. This can be attempted at any point in time and distance, unlike the extra point try. Safety: Safety is when a team gets tackled in their own end zone, which is not the one they're trying to score. Regarded as the defensive team’s type of score, it is worth two points. One-point safety or conversion safety: the rarest one. Only when the offense is tackled in their own end zone while attempting an extra point or two-point conversion may there be a 1 point safety. NFL Regular Season Schedule Since 1978, the NFL has increased its season from a 14-game schedule to a 16-game schedule, a change that has lasted for more than 40 years. The season currently consists of 17 games according to the new collective bargaining agreement between the League and the Players Union. The regular season of play continues to begin in September but now lasts from September through January. All 32 teams in the league will now play 17 games apiece while also having a rest day, or what is known as a "Bye" week. The 272 games are spaced out over a period of 18 weeks. Play in Tournament Since each team can't play the rest of the 31 teams in one season like other professional sports, the NFL has made amends in their scheduling. Any particular team will play six games against their divisional opponents, one home and one away. Next up, the team will play four games against a different division within the same conference, having two home and two away games. Then there are another four games against a different division, but out of conference, same as two home and two away. Next, two games are scheduled against teams from the two remaining divisions in the same conference. The matchups are determined by the division rankings from the previous season. The 17th game is scheduled under the same concept of matching divisional rankings from the previous season, but within the same division instead. The schedule rotates every year, ensuring that every team will play each of the 31 teams at least once in a four-year period. The only problem with the current 17-game schedule is that before when it was 16 games, each NFL team would have eight home games and eight away. Now that has become off balance to where one season an NFL team will have more away games than home. This schedule agreement will continue until 2030. NFL Playoffs The teams with the best records in each division at the conclusion of the regular season, together with the two teams with the next-best records (the wild card teams), qualify for the postseason or playoffs. The Super Bowl, the biggest yearly American sporting event in the world, features the winners of each conference. The final game of the playoffs (Super Bowl) is played on the Second Sunday of February. The NFL Championship game for the 2022 season or Super Bowl LVII 2023 is scheduled to take place on 12th February 2023. NFL Draft NFL teams select the nation's top college athletes every year. They must first take a series of physical and mental exams combined to demonstrate their abilities. They do this in an effort to win over important personnel on each NFL team and raise their chances of being selected by a team during the three-day NFL draft. During the draft, each of the 32 teams receives at least one draft pick in each of the seven rounds. The order of draft selection is determined by the reverse order of finish from the previous season in order to keep the league as competitive as possible. The team with the worst record picks first in each round, with the Super Bowl Champion picking last. Teams can trade these picks with each other for future picks or players in order to improve their draft position. Each team has a time limit to make their draft pick. Every year, in the offseason, generally around April or May, the NFL Draft takes place. NFL Teams 32 teams make up the NFL, which is organized into two conferences with 16 teams each. These two conferences, National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC), have their own four divisions containing four teams each. These two conferences were the original football leagues (American Football League and NFL) before their merger in 1970, and are now recognized as separate conferences. Each team may have a maximum of 55 players on its roster during the regular season, but only 48 of those players may be active (available to play) on game days. Following are the 32 teams currently part of the NFL and the previous names they had in the brackets: ► Arizona Cardinals (Previously known as Card-Pitt) ► Atlanta Falcons ► Baltimore Ravens (Previously known as Baltimore Browns) ► Buffalo Bills ► Carolina Panthers ► Chicago Bears (Previously known as Decatur Staleys/ Chicago Staleys) ► Cincinnati Bengals ► Cleveland Browns ► Dallas Cowboys ► Denver Broncos ► Detroit Lions (Previously known as Portsmouth Spartans) ► Green Bay Packers ► Houston Texans (Previously known as Houston Oilers) ► Indianapolis Colts (Previously known as Baltimore Colts) ► Jacksonville Jaguars ► Kansas City Chiefs ► Las Vegas Raiders ► Los Angeles Chargers ► Los Angeles Rams ► Miami Dolphins ► Minnesota Vikings ► New England Patriots ► New Orleans Saints ► New York Giants ► New York Jets (Previously known as New York Titans) ► Philadelphia Eagles (Previously known as Steagles) ► Pittsburgh Steelers (Previously known as Pittsburgh Pirates) ► San Francisco 49ers ► Seattle Seahawks ► Tampa Bay Buccaneers ► Tennessee Titans (Previously known as Tennessee Oilers) ► Washington Commanders (Previously known as Washington Redskins) FAQs What does the NFL stand for? The NFL stands as the abbreviation for “National Football League”, a professional American football league based in the USA. When does the NFL season usually start? The regular NFL season mostly starts around September and stretches till January. The Playoffs are played in the months of January and February. Where is the NFL based? The NFL’s headquarters are based in New York City. Who is the commissioner of the NFL? Roger Goodell has been the NFL commissioner since 2006. How many teams are there in the NFL? There are 32 teams in total in the NFL, divided across two conferences. How many games does an NFL season have? A regular season of the NFL comprises over 272 games, with each team getting to play 17 games at least. How long is an NFL Game? The NFL game is 60 minutes long, consisting of four ‘quarters’ of 15 minutes each. The game also has an additional halftime of 13 minutes long. Which team has won the most Super Bowl Championship? The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are the two teams who have won the most Super Bowls. They have won six championships each. Which player has the most Super Bowl rings? Tom Brady has the most Super Bowl rings in the league’s history. The famed quarterback won the Super Bowl in the years- 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021. Brady was at the center of the New England Patriots' six Super Bowls winning dynasty. His latest Super Bowl win came with Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the age of 43, making him the oldest Super Bowl-winning quarterback.