So, you’ve heard all about American Football before but never really got into the game, and now you’ve taken an interest? You’ve come to the right place!
From how the season works, to which teams are heading to the playoffs, get up to date with our beginner’s guide right here. Already a fan and just lookin’ to get a recap of the season so far? Grab all the latest American Football essentials here and gear up for the hottest part of the calendar.
The Regular Season
The season starts out with 32 teams split across 2 conferences: American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC). Each conference is then broken down into 4 groups of 4 teams: North, West, South and East.
The first game kicks off in September on the Thursday night after Labor Day, while the rest of the games are played on Sunday, except for one on Monday night.
Previously, each team has played 16 games in a regular season, but new for 2021, teams will play 17 games, with a bye week between game week 6 and 14.
Every team in the league plays the other 3 teams from their division both home and away, as well as 6 other teams from its own conference and all 4 teams from a division in the other conference.
All teams aim is to win as many games as possible to get them into the playoffs…Not sure how they work? Check it out below ⬇️
The NFL playoffs are made up of 14 teams – 7 from each conference. These 14 consist of the 8 division winners, plus 6 wild cards: the 3 best teams from each conference who failed to win their division.
The teams in each conference are seeded 1-7 based on their regular season records, with the first seed in each conference given a first-round bye.
The first round of the playoffs is known as the Wild Card round, with the division winners playing against wild card teams.
Now down to 8 teams, the next round is called the Divisional round. The 2 top-seeded teams who received byes now take on the lowest-seeded winning teams from the Wild Card round, while the other winning teams from the Wild Card round face each other.
With just four remaining, it’s make or break! These teams then take on each other in the Conference Championships to play for a place in the Super Bowl!
The Super Bowl
It’s the biggest night on the Americansporting calendar, with an estimated 91.6m viewers in just America at last year’s Super Bowl LV!
With it being just a one-off game to decide the winner rather than a series like other American sports, it’s created the perfect opportunity for a mega night of action. Not only that, the attention of the casual fan goes through the roof thanks to its halftime show, where the likes of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and many more superstars have put on unforgettable performances!
Who’s Left This Season
After the regular season finished up, the AFC division winners were Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and top seeded Tennessee Titans. While over in the NFC, the hotly contested conference finished with Green Bay Packers edging out current Super Bowl champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the top seeded winner. The LA Rams and Dallas Cowboys also won their respective divisions.
Making up the Wild Card round are New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers from the AFC, with Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers sneaking through from the NFC.
With it all to play for, who are you backing to make it to Super Bowl LVI?! Keep up to date right here and stay locked into @jdsportsnz for all the latest on the NFL!