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Image for Mike Lukas Mike Lukas - Updated October 14, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to NFL Divisions

Nfl Structure Conferences Divisions
  • NFL Structure Breakdown: Conferences, Divisions and Teams
  • AFC Divisions – East, North, South, and West
  • NFC Divisions – East, North, South, and West

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NFL Structure Breakdown: Conferences, Divisions and Teams

Fans and bettors new to the NFL might still be unfamiliar with how the league is structured, so here we provide a basic breakdown of the logical way its teams are organized in order to help you make a more educated wager.

The NFL is one of America’s four professional sports leagues and it consists of 32 teams, or franchises, which are divided equally between two conferences, the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).

Each conference is then divided into four divisions – East, North, South, and West – with four teams in each of those divisions all playing an 18-week regular season that runs from early September to early January, each team playing 17 games and having one bye week.

The structure of the NFL including its salary cap is designed to create parity among its teams so that each season any one of the thirty-two can build a strong enough roster to make it to the playoffs and perhaps win the Super Bowl Championship and the highly coveted Lombardi Trophy.

Here are the thirty-two teams of the NFL broken down by division.

AFC Divisions – East, North, South, and West

The AFC has produced six of the last ten Super Bowl Champions, the last of them being the Kansas City Chiefs two seasons ago, with the New England Patriots and GOAT Tom Brady having won three of their six total championships in the last decade.

This 2021/22 season, the Chiefs are once again the favorites to win the Super Bowl with the Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens not too far behind, while the Houston Texans remain the SB longshot in the league.

Here are the four divisions in the American Football Conference including each team’s odds to win their division and a player to watch in 2021. Check out predictions and picks for each AFC division (East, North, South and West)

AFC East

  • Buffalo Bills  – QB Josh Allen has the arm and mobility to stack up the wins.
  • Miami Dolphins – can QB Tua Tagovailoa follow up his shaky rookie season?
  • New England Patriots  – LT Isaiah Wynn must protect Cam Newton’s blindside.
  • New York Jets – WR Corey Davis needs QB Zach Wilson to feed him dimes.

AFC North

  • Baltimore Ravens – LB Patrick Queen can help the Ravens D reclaim respect.
  • Cleveland Browns  – Can QB Baker Mayfield and WR Odell Beckham connect?
  • Pittsburgh Steelers  – Does old man Ben Roethlisberger still have what it takes?
  • Cincinnati Bengals – this front line needs to keep young QB Joe Burrow safe.

AFC South

  • Tennessee Titans  – it can’t all be about RB Derrick Henry, but he sure can run.
  • Indianapolis Colts – can Jacob Eason become the Colts franchise QB?
  • Jacksonville Jaguars  – they got pick #1 QB Trevor Lawrence, but can he win?
  • Houston Texans – will controversial QB Deshaun Watson even play?

AFC West

  • Kansas City Chiefs – time for QB Patrick Mahomes to make up for SB LV.
  • Los Angeles Chargers – could be that young QB Justin Herbert is the real deal.
  • Denver Broncos – can rookie CB Patrick Surtain II defend at the NFL level?
  • Las Vegas Raiders – TE Darren Waller is a superstar in the making.

NFC Divisions – East, North, South, and West

The NFC has produced four of the last ten Super Bowl Champions, the latest of them being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by GOAT Tom Brady last season, and before that it was the Philadelphia Eagles with backup QB Nick Foles under center.

This 2021/22 season, the Bucs are the second-favorites to win the Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers not too far behind, while the Detroit Lions become the second biggest longshot in the league.

Here are the four divisions in the National Football Conference including each team’s odds to win their division and a player to watch in 2021. Take a look at predictions and picks for  NFC divisions (East, North, South, and West)

NFC East

  • Dallas Cowboys – now that QB Dak Prescott is healthy, anything goes.
  • Washington Football Team  – is vet QB Ryan Fitzpatrick still capable of magic?
  • New York Giants  – time for a healthy RB Saquon Barkley to return to rookie form.
  • Philadelphia Eagles  – rookie WR DeVonta Smith should be fun to watch.

NFC North

  • Green Bay Packers  – will he or won’t he? (MVP Aaron Rogers play QB, that is).
  • Minnesota Vikings  – watch rookie LT Christian Darrisaw make his NFL debut.
  • Chicago Bears – could Andy Dalton be Chicago’s answer under center?
  • Detroit Lions  – how will the Lions utilize their new veteran QB Jared Goff?

NFC South

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Ronald Jones is fun to watch out of the backfield.
  • New Orleans Saints  – will it be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill under center?
  • Atlanta Falcons – can rookie TE Kyle Pitts become the next Gronk?
  • Carolina Panthers – how healthy is RB Christian McCaffrey these days?

NFC West

  • San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa is a must-watch player in San Fran.
  • Los Angeles Rams – how good can the Rams be with QB Matthew Stafford?
  • Seattle Seahawks – they need RB Chris Carson to crack skulls this season.
  • Arizona Cardinals  – is CB Malcolm Butler the missing piece to this D?

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Mike Lukas

1210 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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