National Football League

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NFL quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts attempts a pass at the 2007 Pro Bowl.

The National Football League (NFL), is composed of 32 professional football teams from the United States. Teams play sixteen regular season games. Each team also receives a "bye" week in which it doesn't play, resulting in a 17-week regular season. Twelve teams qualify for the playoffs, which culminates in the NFL's championship game, the Super Bowl. Currently, the league is the most popular professional sports league in the US.

Contents

History

The origins of the NFL go back to a single game of soccer played between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1869. The game used modified London Football Association rules that began the distinction between (American) soccer and rugby. The NFL was originally formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association but in 1922 it officially adopted the name of the National Football League as it is today. George Halas, of Chicago is credited with being the father of the league and is compared to George Washington by many enthusiasts of the game. Most of the original teams in 1922 no longer exist, but some like the Giants are still around. In 1960, Kansas City businessman Lamar Hunt founded the American Football League (AFL) to be a competitor to the NFL. By 1970, the two leagues merged with most of the original NFL teams becoming the National Football Conference and the AFL teams plus the Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh and Cleveland becoming the American Football Conference. During the 1970s, the league had many electrifying quarterbacks like Johnny Unitas, Roger Staubach and Fran Tarkenton. In the 1980s, one dynasty emerged as predominant- the 49ers led by Joe Montana, although the 1985 Bears went 15-1 and won the Super Bowl with a top 3 all-time defense. Dallas Cowboys, with running back Emmitt Smith, were a dynasty that won 3 Super Bowls in the 1990s. The 2000s had more parity

List of Teams

NFL Teams by Conference
AFC NFC
East Division North Division South Division West DivisionEast Division North Division South Division West Division

See also

External links

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