The NFL has grown considerably over the past decade and it continues to stand out with its great teams and amazing matches. But a lot of people are still wondering just how many divisions are there and how many teams you can find in the NFL to begin with. This is quite an interesting question and we have the answers for it.
The number of NFL divisions
What’s important to keep in mind about the NFL is that it has 16 teams in 2 conferences, and then they are broken down into 4 different divisions. These are mostly focused on geographical locations. Simply put, you have the AFC and the NFC. Each of them has 4 divisions, more specifically East, North, South and West.
What that means is that the NFL actually has 8 divisions in total, 4 divisions for the NFC and 4 of them for the AFC. These conferences were designed during the 1970 merger with the AFL. At that time, the former ALF teams and the 3 NFL teams were added to the AFC. The other 13 NFL clubs were included in the NFC.
Does this system work?
Having multiple divisions might seem confusing, but the entire system was created with the idea to simplify how various teams are handled and managed. That’s why it’s become increasingly important over the years to make the system more comprehensive. Over the years, fans started learning the system and now it’s easier to understand even for newcomers.
Can any NFL team change divisions?
The short answer is no. And there’s a reason for that. These divisions are mostly focused on regional systems, so it doesn’t make sense to switch divisions as it won’t make any major difference. In fact, the last division realignment was back in 2002, and the reason was that Houston Texans entered as an expansion team. Will a re-alignment happen in the future? It’s hard to say, but this system has already been functioning this way for more than 2 decades without any major issues.
Is there a difference between conference and division in the NFL?
Yes, there are 2 NFL conferences, the NFC and the AFC, and each one of them comes with its own 4 divisions. Simply put, divisions are the regional part of a conference. Just like conferences, divisions were not changed at all, but that might change in the future.
Are divisions important in the NFL?
The NFL teams are playing divisional opponents 2 times every season, and the time that wins receives the division championship. Winning also secures them a playoff spot. That’s why the NFL divisions are extremely important, since the way you play and your results will influence the overall results that you can achieve as you go along.
Is it possible to win the division and not make the playoffs? It can happen, but it’s unlikely. Still, it depends on various scores, so it all comes down to a numbers game. Which is why good performance matter within the division, but also the way you play.
As you can see, the NFL has 8 total divisions, 4 for the AFC and 4 for the NFC. There weren’t any changes made to these divisions for more than 2 decades now, but with various changes in the game, we can only expect changes to be imminent in the next few years. With that being said, the division system has served the NFL very well, and it continues to bring in a lot of growth, value and innovation. It also makes it easier to apply the NFL rules and ensure that every team abides to them!