How Do You Determine If a Team Is in the NFC or the AFC?

National Football League teams play in the National Football Conference or the American Football Conference primarily based on history and geography. The NFL set the current structure in 2002, but the only way to really know which conference a team plays in is to know each conference’s makeup.

When the NFL restructured the divisions in 2002, it did it in a way that organized the teams geographically. At the same time, it attempted to maintain the old rivalries that have been in place for decades by keeping those teams with rivalries in similar divisions. By and large, teams that used to play in the American Football League before 1970 are in the AFC, and teams that played in the pre-1970 National Football League play in the NFC.

The AFC teams are split up into four divisions as follows:

  • AFC East – New England, Buffalo, Miami and New York
  • AFC North – Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Cleveland
  • AFC South – Indianapolis, Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee
  • AFC West – Denver, Kansas City, San Diego and Oakland

The NFC teams are also split up into four divisions:

  • NFC East – Dallas, Philadelphia, New York Giants and Washington
  • NFC North – Green Bay, Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago
  • NFC South – Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta and Tampa Bay
  • NFC West – Seattle, Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis