The National Football league (NFL), is the largest professional football league in the US. It has 32 teams from two conferences fighting it out for the right to be called the NFL champions. The NFL is divided into two conferences, namely the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC). Each conference has 16 teams who are further divided into four divisions.
American Football Conference (AFC)
AFC East Division
New England Patriots
Established in the year 1960, the New England Patriots became a part of the NFL after the AFL-NFL joined forces in 1970. In the past they were known as the “Boston Patriots” during their time in the NFL, but took on their current name of “New England Patriots” from 1971.
The Patriots play their home games at the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts. The team is third in the list of all time Super Bowl appearances with 7 of them. Before the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick in the year 2000, there weren’t any achievements to speak off for the club except the two conference championships won in 1985 and 1996.
After the arrival of Bill Belichick they managed to win 3 super bowls out of a possible four between 2001 and 2005. Under his guidance “the pats” have managed the most wins by any NFL team in a decade (121 wins).
They also managed to appear in the playoffs a total of 22 times in their entire history and in the last six years in a row, making the Patriots one of the top favourites of the present.
Apart from 3 Super Bowl wins, the Patriots have also won seven conference championships with the most recent being in 2011.
Their home stadium is the Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
The Dolphins have won 2 Super Bowl titles (1972, 1973) from a total of 5 finals appearance. The team has also managed to win 5 conference championships, last of which came in 1984.
They have qualified for the playoff’s a total of 22 times with the last appearance coming in 2008.
They also have two AFL titles to their name. The Buffalo Bills were unlucky enough to not win a single Super Bowl title after making it to the Super Bowl in four consecutive seasons.
Buffalo Bills play their home matches at the Ralph Wilson Stadium in New York. Apart from the four conference championships and two league championships won, the Bills have also managed 17 playoff appearances.
The Buffalo Bills currently have the record of the longest play-off drought having not qualified for the post season since 1999. Ouch!
New York Jets
They were one of the originals of the AFL but started playing in the NFL from 1970 after the AFL-NFL merger. The team plays their home matches at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and they share their ground with the New York Giants.
Nicknamed “Gang Green” the Jets have managed 14 play-off appearances. They went on to win the Super Bowl when they first qualified for the play-offs in 1968, and it remains the only Super Bowl title they have won till date.
AFC North Division
They have managed 28 play-off appearances with the most recent being in 2014. They have also managed to win 8 AFC championships which is the most by any team, and have also won the Super Bowl 6 times which is again the most for a single club.
Steelers play their home matches in the Heinz field at North shore. They are tied with Dallas cowboys for the most Super Bowl Finals appearance ever (8 times).
Founded in the year 1966, The Bengals were one of the original members of the AFL before moving on to play in the NFL after the AFL-NFL merger of 1970. They play their home matches at the Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
They don’t have a Super Bowl Championship to their name yet, but have won two conference championships in 1981 and 1988. Both of these times they met San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl and lost. They have 13 playoff appearances to their credit with the most recent being in 2014.
In their 19 year history the Ravens have managed 10 play-off appearances. They have won the AFC North Conference two times and on both occasions they won the Super Bowl (2000, 2012).
They have qualified for the last six playoffs without fail which makes the Ravens a hot pick at the bookies.
Cleveland Browns was established in the year 1945 and initially was a member of the “All America Football Conference” (AAFC) which started in 1946. The Browns were a part of the AAFC for four years and during that time they won all four league championships.
They joined the NFL after the 1949 season and in their inaugural year they went on to win the NFL championship. They repeated the feat three more times in their History in 1954, 1955 and 1964 seasons after which they never won the Superbowl.
They have 11 conference championships to their credit and 28 play-off appearances the last of which came in 2002.
AFC South Division
Established in 1953 the Indianapolis Colts were formerly known as the “Baltimore Colts” .The name change took place as the franchise was shifted from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984. They play their home matches at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana.
The team has 27 playoff appearances to their credit with the most recent being in 2014. They won the NFL championship three times before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
The pinnacle of their success are the two Super Bowl titles they have won in 1970 and 2006. But one big reason to keep an eye on the Colts is their qualifications to 12 out of the last 13 playoffs.
Established in 2002, the Houston Texans became a part of the NFL as an expansion team because Houston’s previous franchise, the Houston Oilers, relocated to Tennessee were they are now called the “Tennessee Titans”.
They don’t have a Super Bowl or conference championship to their name yet, but have made two playoff appearances in the short history, once in 2011 and the second in 2012. They play their home games at the NRG stadium located in Houston, Texas.
They don’t have a Superbowl or a Conference championship to their name but have won two AFC central divisions (Defunct division) championship. They have also managed to qualify for the playoffs a total of six times with the last appearance coming in 2007.
Previously known as the Houston Oilers from 1960 to 1996, they change their name to “Tennessee Oilers” after the team was shifted from Houston to Tennessee. They again changed their name to the current name of “Tennessee Titans” in 1999.
During their time in the AFL the titans have managed to win two AFL championships in 1960 and 1961. Their success in the NFL has been limited to not winning the Super Bowl title, but they do have one conference championship win to their name having won it in 1999.
They also have 21 playoff appearances to their name with the last one coming in 2008.
AFC West Division
Established in 1960, the Broncos were initially a part of the AFL and joined the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL-NFL merger. The Broncos play their home matches at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Colorado.
The initial years in the AFL and in the NFL were a struggle for the Broncos having not won a championship or even qualifying for the playoff but their luck started changing from 1977 when they made their first playoff appearance, after which they have had 20 more playoff appearances to their credit.
The Broncos also have won 7 conference championships and 2 Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998 to their credit.
Kansas City Chiefs
They were initially a part of the AFL before joining the NFL in 1970 after the merger. All the success that Kansas City Chiefs have to their name came before 1970. They had won the AFL championship three times in 1962, 1966 and 1969 and also became the second ever AFL – NFL champion in 1969.
Since 1970 they haven’t won or even appeared in a Super Bowl, but have managed 17 playoff appearances overall with the most recent in 2013.
San Diego Chargers
Established in 1960, the San Diego Chargers were a part of the AFL at first before joining the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. They were known as the Los Angeles Chargers for the first season but the name was changed to San Diego Chargers in 1961 after the franchise relocated to San Diego.
The San Diego Chargers play their home matches at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. “The Bolts”, as they are nicknamed have managed to win one AFL championship in 1963 and one AFC conference championship in 1994.
They don’t have a Super Bowl title to their credit yet, but have managed to qualify for the playoffs on 18 different occasions.
Established in 1960, the raiders were a part of the AFL initially after which the joined the NFL in 1970 as a part of the merger. Nicknamed “Raider nation” or simply “Raiders”, the Oakland Raiders play their home matches at the Oco Coliseum Stadium in California.
The initial years were a struggle for the raiders but after the appointment of Al Davis in 1963 the team saw considerable success. They reached their first playoffs in 1967 and went on to win their first AFL title that year.
The Raiders have been three time Superbowl champions winning the 1976, 1980 and 1983 championships. They also have five conference championships to their name, the last of which came in 2002. Since 2002 it’s been a struggle for the raiders having not qualified for a single playoff since then.
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