AFC vs. NFC: 5 Differences, Difinition, Pros & Cons

The American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) are both parts of the National Football League (NFL).

In the US, there are 16 teams in each conference, four in each division (North, South, East, and West).

The top six teams from each conference play each other. This includes the division leaders and two “wild card” teams. In the Super Bowl, the last unbeaten team from each conference plays.

Since the NFL started in 1970, 20 Super Bowls have been won by the AFC and 24 by the NFC.

What Is the AFC?

In 1970, 16 clubs came together to form the AFC. These teams are split into the East, West, South, and North divisions. For each category, there are four teams that stand for it.

With a market value of $1.8 billion, the New England Patriots are the most valuable team in all divisions. The most recent champions were the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019.

What Is NFC?

It was also made in 1970 with 16 teams. The NFC has the same four divisions, with each having four teams. The most valuable part of the Dallas Cowboys was the NFC, which was worth $2.3 billion.


All 16 NFC teams play each other, and the season ends with the NFC championship game. The team that wins gets the “George S. Halas Trophy.”

Comparison chart

American Football Conference versus National Football Conference comparison chart
American Football ConferenceNational Football Conference
IntroductionThe American Football Conference is one of the two conferences of the National Football League (NFL). This conference and its counterpart, the National Football Conference (NFC), currently contain 16 teams each, making up the 32 teams of the NFL.The National Football Conference is one of the two conferences of the National Football League (NFL). This conference and its counterpart, the American Football Conference (AFC), currently contain 16 teams each, making up the 32 teams of the NFL.
FormerlyAmerican Football League (AFL)National Football League, pre 1970 AFL-NFL merger
LeagueNational Football LeagueNational Football League
Super Bowl championships2124
Most Valuable TeamNew England Patriots ($1.8 billion)Dallas Cowboys ($2.3 billion) – also the most valuable team in the NFL
Most recent champion(s)Kansas City Chiefs (2nd Title)Philadelphia Eagles (3rd title)
Most titlesNew England Patriots (10 titles)Dallas Cowboys (8 titles)
Established1970, during AFL/NFL merger1970, during AFL/NFL merger
No. of teams1616
MoneySalary Cap ($133 million).Salary Cap ($133 million).
North Division TeamsBaltimore Ravens; Cincinnati Bengals; Cleveland Browns; Pittsburgh SteelersChicago Bears; Detroit Lions; Green Bay Packers; Minnesota Vikings
East Division TeamsBuffalo Bills; Miami Dolphins; New England Patriots; New York JetsDallas Cowboys; New York Giants; Philadelphia Eagles; Washington Redskins
West Division TeamsDenver Broncos;Kansas City Chiefs; Oakland Raiders; San Diego ChargersArizona Cardinals;Los Angeles Rams; San Francisco 49ers; Seattle Seahawks
South Division TeamsHouston Texans; Indianapolis Colts; Jacksonville Jaguars; Tennessee TitansAtlanta Falcons; Carolina Panthers; New Orleans Saints; Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Differences Between AFC and NFC

Brief History of the NFL, AFC, and NFC

In 1970, two football leagues, the American Football League and the National Football League, joined together to form the AFC and the NFC.

The NFL has been around since 1920, but the AFL didn’t start until 1959, when the NFL turned down a group of expansion club owners.

Before the merger, the two leagues competed directly with each other for ten years. After the merger, there was one National Football League with two conferences.

After the merger, the AFC won the most Super Bowls in the 1970s. However, from the 1980s until the mid-1990s, the NFC won a string of Super Bowls (13 wins in a row).

In the last ten years, the two conferences have been more even. Over time, the divisions and conferences have been changed to make room for new teams.

League Structure

There are four divisions in each NFL conference (North, South, East, and West). Each division has four teams, so there are sixteen in each conference and 32 in the league as a whole.

Season Structure

During the season, each team will play every other team in its division twice. One-quarter of the games will be between teams from different conferences.

During the playoffs, the top six teams from the AFC and NFC play each other. These are the four division leaders and two wild-card teams from each conference. The last unbeaten team from each conference plays in the Super Bowl.


The NFL has a salary cap, which means that each team is theoretically allowed to pay their players the same amount of money.

Even though there are ways to get around this in a given year, such as by signing players with prorated incentives, the salary cap is a good way to make sure that no one team or conference has too much money. But teams have no limit to their market value.

The NFL is the most valuable sports league in the world because each team is worth an average of $1.17 billion.

The Dallas Cowboys (NFC) are now worth $2.3 billion, making them the most valuable team in the league. As of 2014, three of the four most valuable teams were in the NFC.


The AFC and NFC do not represent geographically different areas, and each league is split into the same East, West, North, and South sections.

On the other hand, a map of where the teams are shows that the AFC teams are mostly in the northeast, from Massachusetts to Indiana, and the NFC teams are mostly in the Great Lakes region and the South.

AFC And NFC Similarities

  • Both the AFC and the NFC play in the same league and follow the same rules. There are
  • the same number of clubs and divisions in both leagues.
  • Both leagues began with 16 teams in 1970.

AFC vs. NFC Super Bowl Wins

The NFC is just a little bit ahead of the AFC in the race for the Super Bowl title. because the NFC has won the Vince Lombardi Trophy 28 times and the AFC has won it only 27 times.


The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the two teams with the most awards in the AFC. The NFC teams that have won the most bowl games are the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.

AFC vs. NFC Teams

Teams from the American Football Conference (AFC) vs. teams from the National Football Conference (NFL):

AFC Teams:

  1. Cleveland Browns,
  2. Baltimore Ravens,
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers,
  4. Cincinnati Bengals,
  5. Miami Dolphins,
  6. Buffalo Bills,
  7. New York Jets,
  8. New England Patriots,
  9. Kansas City Chiefs,
  10. Los Angeles Chargers,
  11. Denver Broncos,
  12. Las Vegas Raiders,
  13. Tennessee Titans,
  14. Houston Texans,
  15. Indianapolis Colts,
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars

NFC Teams:

  1. Minnesota Vikings,
  2. Chicago Bears,
  3. Detroit Lions,
  4. Green Bay Packers,
  5. New York Giants,
  6. Dallas Cowboys,
  7. Washington Redskins,
  8. Philadelphia Eagles,
  9. Arizona Cardinals,
  10. Los Angeles Rams,
  11. Seattle Seahawks,
  12. San Francisco 49ers,
  13. Atlanta Falcons,
  14. Tampa Bay,
  15. Carolina Panthers,
  16. New Orleans Saints

AFC vs. NFC Pros and Cons

AFC Pros and Cons

Pros of AFC

  • The AFC takes on the NFC. Advantages and disadvantages
  • The AFC’s pros and cons

Cons of AFC

  • Since big companies sponsor it, the African Football Conference makes a lot of money.
  • The AFC not only helps and supports players, but it also helps and supports full-time employers.
  • During the season, there are a lot of worries about criminal behaviour and talk among AFC players.
  • The AFC has also been called out for the lack of safety among its players. In 2005, it was found that CTE was in the brain of a Pittsburgh Steelers player.

Pros and Cons of NFC

Pros of NFC

  • If the team wins, they will get money and a bonus that they can take home.
  • If a player gets hurt during the league, they get full medical care.

Cons of NFC

  • During the NFC season, there have been many worries about the bad behaviour of NFC team members.
  • The NFC has also been involved in politics. The San Francisco 49ers sat down for the National Anthem, just like they did in 2009, to protest police violence.


More than a million people all over the world like to watch and play football. People like these can watch their favourite team play in the NFL, which is a big league. In 1970, the AFC and NFC joined together to form the NFL.

But the NFC and the AFC are very different in a lot of ways. The main difference between the AFC and the NFC is that each team is from a different city or state. Each side has its own way of playing the game.

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