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Current NFC Logo, used since 2009.

National Football Conference, otherwise known as NFC. It was the first of the two conferences that helped to form the NFL in 1920. Upon the merger of the NFL and the AFL in 1970, twelve of the fifteen NFL teams would form the new NFC, while three of the senior circut's teams, the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and the Pittsburgh Steelers would move to the newly formed AFC.along with the AFL's teams.


Original National Football Conference logo (1970-2009)

The NFC was created after the NFL merged with the American Football League (AFL) in 1970.[1] While all of the former AFL teams along with the NFL's Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Colts formed the American Football Conference (AFC), the remaining 13 NFL teams formed the NFC. The NFL Capitol, Central, and Coastal Divisions became the NFC East, Central and West Divisions, respectively.

However, team owners could not agree to a plan on how to align the clubs in the NFC. The alignment proposals were narrowed down to five finalists, and then the plan that was eventually selected was picked out of a glass bowl by then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle's secretary, on January 16, 1970.[2]

5 plans for 1970

The five alignment plans for the NFC in 1970. Plan 3 was selected:

  • Plan 1
    • Eastern - Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
    • Central - Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans
    • Western - Dallas, Los Angeles Rams, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco
  • Plan 2
    • Eastern - Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
    • Central - Atlanta, Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis Cardinals
    • Western - Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco
  • Plan 3
    • Eastern - Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington
    • Central - Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota
    • Western - Atlanta, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, San Francisco
  • Plan 4
    • Eastern - Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington
    • Central - Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay
    • Western - Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco
  • Plan 5
    • Eastern - Detroit, Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
    • Central - Chicago, Dallas, Green Bay, St. Louis Cardinals
    • Western - Atlanta, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, San Francisco

Expansion teams in the NFC

Three expansion teams have joined the NFC since the merger, thus making the current total 16. When the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the league in 1976, they were temporarily placed in the NFC and AFC, respectively, for one season before they switched conferences. The Seahawks returned to the NFC as a result of the 2002 realignment. The Carolina Panthers joined the NFC in 1995.

Since 1970, NFC teams have won 25 out of 45 Super Bowls.[3]

Since the 2002 realignment, no NFC team has made back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. Since 2001--when the St. Louis Rams lost Super Bowl XXXVI to the New England Patriots--the NFC has sent 10 of 16 teams to the Super Bowl, with only Atlanta (which appeared in Super Bowl XXXIII just three years prior), Dallas (last appeared in Super Bowl XXX), Detroit (never appeared in a Super Bowl), Minnesota (last appeared in Super Bowl XI, currently the longest such drought in the NFC), San Francisco (last appeared in Super Bowl XXIX), and Washington (last appeared in Super Bowl XXVI) having not appeared for the conference, although the Falcons and Vikings have appeared in the NFC Championship Game in that span. By contrast, the AFC have sent either the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, or the Pittsburgh Steelers in every year in that same span except for 2002, when the Oakland Raiders lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.


  1. Pro Football - HISTORY. Retrieved on 2009-04-03.
  2. Stellino, Vito. "NFL to try realign play", Baltimore Sun, 1999-10-07. Retrieved on 2010-01-24. 
  3. Chronology of Professional Football. Retrieved on 2010-09-23/.

External links

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