Breaking Down The NFL

We’ve talked a lot about current football events here in our weekly football post, but today I am opting to take a closer look at the NFLs structure.  Of course the National Football League is the governing body that oversees all US professional football.  However beneath that there is further structure.
DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20:  A detail of the NFL logo on painted on the sideline grass as the Cleveland Browns face the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 27-6.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) There are two conferences.  These are the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.  Both Conferences are made up of 16 teams each (for a total of 32 teams).  From there the conferences are broken down further into divisions.  Each conference contains 4 divisions (North, South, East & West), with 4 teams in each division. This break down currently looks like this: (US Map by Theshibboleth and NFL Team locations by Astrokey44, both GFDL license)

The football season last 17 weeks, one of which is a bye, for a total of 16 games.  Who a team will face breaks down very specifically.  During the season each team will face the 3 other teams in their same division twice (1 home, 1 away) for a total of 6 games.  4 of the teams’ games will be played against each member of another in conference division (2 home, 2 away).  Then the team faces the 2 remaining members of their conference who finished the previous season in the same place within their respective divisions (1 home, 1 away).  The final 4 games are played against teams in the other conference (2 home, 2 away). This years schedule looks like this:  (we are currently in week 10)

(Schedule thanks to Brian of CrushFantasyFootball.com)

All right, that’s it for me, and as always: GO STEELERS!!!!!!!! (who, by the way, are currently leading their division!!!)

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