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The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league. The NFL has 32 teams with 16 in the National Football Conference (NFC) and 16 in the American Football Conference (AFC). Formed in 1920, the NFL was first called the American Professional Football Association for two years before renaming itself to the National Football League. The NFL merged with the American Football League (AFL) in 1970 to become the league that it is today.
The NFL has a 4 week preseason followed by a 17 week regular season that begins in early September and ends in late December. Each team plays 16 games and has one week off during the regular season. The scheduling for the NFL regular season works as follows: each NFL team plays the other three teams in their division twice. The team then plays one full AFC division and one full NFC division. The remaining opponents are then chosen based on the strength of record from the previous season.
The playoffs begin in early January with 12 teams, 6 from each conference. The Super Bowl, which began in 1967, is the championship game used to decide the NFL’s winner each year. The game, which features one AFC team and one NFC team, is often the most watched television event in the United States each year.