The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most widely popular and broadcasted sporting leagues in the entire world with several games now being watched around the globe to a mass sum of foreign fans who enjoy rooting for their favorite team no matter what their expectations may be.
There are now numerous countries that broadcast NFL contests to its audiences with England being a particularly prosperous market for all NFL action as fans have expressed their enjoyment in watching some of the many televised contests on a regular occurrence.
Whilst understanding the sport as a whole may certainly appear to be a slight challenge for most newcomer fans, the league itself has its own unique format that stands out from most other major professional sporting competitions.
This is a full guide as to how the NFL works and functions throughout the course of the season which will be sure to bring any newcomer fan up to speed with one of the best sporting competitions in the world:
Firstly, it is imperative to understand how the NFL is actively set out featuring the 32 different franchises that are located all across the United States of America.
The league is split into two rivalling conferences named the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference with 16 teams competing in each of the standings.
The naming for the two conferences is the result of the merger between the NFL and its former rival football league in the AFL, with both leagues officially combining together in 1966 which officially kick started the Superbowl era.
Within each conference are four regional divisions from the North, South, East and West which every team is situated into, with each division housing four different teams who play each other twice a year home and away.
The winner of each division at the conclusion of the regular season will automatically earn a playoff seed in the main conference standings and will also host their first game of the postseason.
The other playoff seeds are then determined by which teams have the best record who did not win their division.
Once the 17 game regular season ends, all teams that have qualified for the playoffs will then enter into the wildcard round, with the aforementioned division winners hosting the first game against their conference counterparts.
The first seeded team in each conference will also earn an automatic bye into the next round of the playoffs and will have the opportunity to host their next few games should they advance far enough.
As each team is eliminated, the final two teams will then compete in the conference championship game which determines who will advance to the Superbowl and compete against the best team from the other conference.
This game is the pinnacle of the NFL and of all major sporting leagues as many fans from around the world tune into the broadcast, whilst checking out all the latest Superbowl winner odds on 888 Sport.
This contests features the best team from both the NFC and AFC who square off in a marquee matchup for the chance to lift the prestigious Vince Lombardi trophy, with the game also consisting of numerous acts at half time and various famous faces who always turn up for the occasion.
To make the game fair for both teams, the Superbowl always played at a neutral venue that is formally announced by the NFL, with both sets of fans being able to flock out to catch their favorite team or players in action.
The Superbowl has remained as the top event in the NFL calendar year since its opening game of establishment back on January 15th, 1967, and has had several momentous contests between some of the very best names that the sporting world has to offer.
The most successful teams in Superbowl history remain the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots who have both won six different games, with other teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants also having great success on the biggest stage in football.
Following the conclusion of the Superbowl, the NFL enters into the offseason which is the lengthy period where fans must wait another few months before the next campaign begins.
This period is highlighted by the always anticipated annual NFL draft which allows teams to select some of the top prospects in the scene today depending on whether they have a high pick or not.
The structure of the draft follows in order of the teams with the worst records and then to teams that lost the earliest in the playoffs.
Bad teams from the previous season can select a top prospect who can help turn the tides of their projected play for next season, whilst other teams who are aiming to contend for a place in the Superbowl game will often make ludicrous trades with different teams to acquire some much needed firepower, with one such instance being Matthew Stafford’s recent arrival in LA from Detroit.
Overall there is an abundance of action packed matchups and endless speculation throughout the entirety of the NFL calendar year which has further helped propel the league into the product that it is known as today and one that continues to garner a widespread amount of attention from numerous countries all over the world including England.