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Sometimes, understanding the National Football League with all its history behind, its conferences, and its championships can be a bit confusing. There can always be queries about some aspect of the big league. With this ultimate guide, any questions you may have about the NFL will be answered.
With the knowledge acquired afterward, you will be able to better enjoy this magnificent and exciting league, which keeps the Americans entertained and excited.
There is only one month to go before the end of the current regular season, and two months away from the next Super Bowl LV edition. However, we will explain everything you need to know to be ready to watch the finals and bet on the winners.
How Many Teams Play in the NFL❓
There are 32 teams competing for the trophy in the League. They are divided in two conferences with 16 teams each; the American (AFC) and the National (NFC). Each conference is formed by four divisions (eight in total): East, North, South and West. The way to describe them follows the ‘Conference Division’ format, i.e.: NFC North, AFC South, NFC East, and so on.
How Many Games Are Played in the NFL season❓
The regular season consists of 17 matchdays. After that, the playoffs begin with the best conference teams facing each other. However, the teams do not play every week, as there is one week in which they rest. The resting weeks, called ‘bye’, start on week 5 and end on week 11.
How To Reach the NFL Final ❓
In the NFL, the team with the most points does not win, as is the case in the European leagues. Teams play two matches against their three division rivals, six matches more against teams from their conference that are not in their division, and four matches against rivals from the same division in the other conference.
At the end of this round, seven teams per conference will play the playoffs. These are the four winners of each division plus three teams with the best record, who have not won their division (called wild cards). Therefore, it is not surprising that teams with the best record are left out. The best two teams do not play in the first week of the postseason, waiting for the winners of the other two duels.
After two more rounds, the championship, known as the Super Bowl, takes place. In this event, the winner of the National Conference and the winner of the American Conference will face each other.
The week before, they play the Pro Bowl, in which both conferences will confront the best players of that year.
The next step in this ultimate NFL guide is to show you everything about how American football is played.
🏟 The Field
The football field is rectangular and has a playing field measuring 109.7 metres (360 feet / 120 yards) long x 48.7 metres (160 feet / 54.3 yards) wide. Lines are drawn on the ground, marking each yard in 10-yard strips, which are indicated numerically. There are also hash marks that divide the total space into thirds, as well as two end zones, one at each end.
On the field, there are also pylons, a kind of rectangular towers that are placed at each corner of the endpoint zones to facilitate the work of the referees. There are also the Ys (yes) or Hs (axes), which are the metal structures that act as goalposts.
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📋 The Game
Normal play consists of two teams of 11 players on field, one on offence and the other on defence.
The 22 players compete during four 15 minute quarters. There are usually three ‘time-outs’ per half for each team, with a 12 minutes half-time interval.
The purpose of the game is to move the ball into the opposition’s ‘end zone’. This can be done either by running with the ball until tackled, or by passing the ball to a teammate downfield, towards the end zone.
For this, the team has four chances (or downs) to advance 10 yards. If they succeed at any point, they get four more chances and so on.
If in any of the four downs they consider that they are not going to get another 1st & 10th because they think that they are too far away, they can kick. Doing this, the possession of the ball goes to the other team. They usually do this at the fourth down.
🏈 Scoring in American Football
When a team crosses the opposition’s goal line with the ball, catches or collects the ball in the end zone, they score a touchdown and get six points. If they kick the ball through the uprights after a touchdown, they earn an extra point. And they can get two points more if they take the ball into the end zone again.
At any time the team can decide to end their offense and kick the ball for three points, which they get if the kick passes between the three yellow posts at the end of the field.
The defensive team can gain two points if they tackle a member of the offensive team with the ball in their own end zone.
📌 The Players Positions
The easiest players to identify are those on the offensive.
The quarterback is the most prominent. He is the one who receives the ball on every play and decides whether to give it to a runner (behind or next to him) or throw it to a receiver (they are far from the ball at the start, running forward, trying to catch the ball).
There are also five ‘giants’ who are closest to the ball and try to protect the quarterback and create space for the runners.
We will conclude this ultimate guide with the two more important events of the NFL.
✅ What is the NFL Draft?
The NFL draft is one of the big events in the NFL where teams have the opportunity to choose the best college players in the country. The draft is the most common way of recruiting players in the NFL.
The reason for the creation of the draft was to increase more parity between the teams. This way, in this event the worst one has the opportunity to choose the best player available, and with it, improve the team.
The available players declare themselves as “eligible” months before the event, and always after having fulfilled some temporary requirements. The draft consists of 7 rounds that last 3 consecutive days, from Thursday to Saturday.
🏆 What is the NFL Super Bowl?
Is the most important event of the NFL since it is the final game of the National Football League Championship in which the National Conference champion (NFC) and the winner of the American Conference (AFC) face each other for the trophy.
The Super Bowl event is more than two teams fighting to be the NFL champion. It is a match that transcends American football because it includes a huge content of advertising, music, and spectacle. For many, the Halftime Show is even more important than the match itself.
The last Super Bowl 2020 had an audience of over 100 million viewers, only in the United States. In addition, there were 100 million other people who followed the match from other parts of the world.
We hope this ultimate guide has given you the answers to the questions you always had about the NFL. Understanding the flow of the game and studying the teams will allow you to place smart bets and make good money with London Betting Shop.