20+ Differences Between AFC And NFC (Explained)

American football is one of the sports which can be rightfully called the lifeline of the American masses. Every person can be seen rooting for his favorite team, wishing them to appear in the Super Bowl, where the AFC champions and the NFC champions Face each other. 

For a person who is new to the sport, AFC and NFC can be absolutely unfamiliar terms. One can certainly wonder why two conferences with separate teams exist when both are a part of the National Football League.

differences between afc and nfc

Comparison between AFC and NFC

AbbreviationAmerican Football ConferenceNational Football Conference
Old logoThe 1970 logo was a red ‘A’ with six stars outside. It was discontinued in 2009.The 1970 logo was a blue ‘N’ with three stars inside. It was discontinued in 2009.
New logoCurrent logo is a red ‘A’ with four stars inside. It has been in use since 2010.Current logo is a blue ‘N’ with four stars inside. It has been in use since 2010.
Original compositionIt was made of 10 AFL teams and 3 teams from NFL.The 13 teams that remained with the NFL became NFC.
ExistenceIt existed as American Football League(AFL), which was born in 1959.It existed as National Football League(NFL), which was set up in 1920.
Association with the NFLAFL became a part of the NFL in 1970 and became AFC with its new setup.NFC was always in existence as NFL but took the name NFC after 1970.
Championship TrophyAFC Champions win the Lamar Hunt Trophy.NFC Champions win the George Halas Trophy.
Number of teams who have played a Championship game15 teams have played, with the sixteenth, the Houston Texans yet to appear.All NFC teams have competed in a Championship game.
Most Championship Wins in their Respective ConferencesNew England Patriots are 11-time AFC Champions.Dallas Cowboys are 8-time NFC Champions.
Number of Super Bowl VictoriesAFC has won 25 Super Bowls.NFC has won 27 Super Bowls.
Undefeated Teams in the Super BowlNew York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, stand undefeated as of now.Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints won all their Super Bowls.
Number of teams that have not been in a Super Bowl.Three teams have not competed as of 2021.Only one team – Detroit Lions, has not competed as of 2021.

The Major Differences Between AFC and NFC

What is the AFC?

The American Football League(AFL) was formed in 1959 and had ten teams before 1970. After merging with the National Football League(NFL) in 1970, the current AFC came into being.

It has 10 AFL teams, three teams from the NFL, and currently has 16 teams divided into four divisions.

What is the NFC?

The National Football League(NFL) was established in 1920 and was the highest body for professional American football until 1959 when the American Football League(AFL) was formed.

This created a loss of audience for the NFL, with the addition of newer college players joining the AFL. 

NFL and AFL became one body – NFL in 1970. With three of its teams joining the AFC, the other 13 teams formed the NFC and balanced the team count of both conferences. Like the AFC, it has 16 teams as well, divided into four divisions.

current teams of afc and nfc

Contrast Between AFC and NFC


  • AFC- American Football Conference is called AFC in short.
  • NFC- National Football Conference is called NFC short.

Current Logos

  • AFC- The current logo of the AFC since 2010 is a red ‘A’ with four white stars inside, each star representing a division.
  • NFC- The current logo of the NFC since 2010 is a blue ‘N’ with four white stars inside, each star representing a division.

Discontinued Logos

  • AFC- The old logo of the AFC took inspiration from its past, the AFL. It had a red ‘A’ with six red stars lined in an arc over it.
  • NFC- The formerly used logo by the NFC was not very different from the current one, except that it had three white stars inside, and the blue color was slightly lighter in the shade.


difference in the logos afc vs. nfc:


  1. It stands for American Football Conference.
  2. The 1970 logo had a red ‘A’ with six stars lined in an arc.
  3. The current logo has a red ‘A’ with four white stars inside.


  1. It stands for National Football Conference.
  2. The 1970 logo had a blue ‘N’ with three white stars inside.
  3. The current NFC logo has a darker blue ‘N’ with four white stars inside.


  • AFC- AFC was formed by combining the ten teams from the original AFL and three teams from the original NFL. There are currently 16 teams.
  • NFC- NFC was formed by the rest of the thirteen NFL teams. Currently, it also has 16 teams in total.


  • AFC- The AFC came into existence in 1959 as American Football League(AFL), thus, being younger than the NFL.
  • NFC- The National Football League(NFL) was born in 1920, existing decades before the AFL came into being. NFL became NFC after the merger with the AFL in 1970.

Association with the Original NFL:

  • AFC- The American Football League merged with the original NFL in 1970 and is now a part of the modern NFL as the AFC.
  • NFC- NFC was formerly National Football League; thus, it was a part of the NFL before as well as after the merger.
how afc and nfc were formed

Championship Trophy

  • AFC- The winning team from the AFC Championship gets the Lamar Hunt Trophy.
  • NFC- The winning team from the NFC Championship game is awarded the George Halas Trophy.

Number of Teams who have played the Championship Game

  • AFC- All teams have played in the AFC Championship except the Houston Texans.
  • NFC- All NFC teams have played in the Championship in at least one season.

The Team with the Most Championship Wins

  • AFC- In the AFC Championship, the New England Patriots emerged victorious eleven times.
  • NFC- Dallas Cowboys have been the NFC Champions eight times, the most in the history of the NFC Championship.
respective championships of afc and nfc

The Number of Super Bowl Wins

  • AFC- As of 2022, the American Football Conference has won 25 Super Bowls, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots as six-time Vince Lombardi Trophy winners each.
  • NFC- The National Football Conference has won the Super Bowl 27 times, with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers as five-time Vince Lombardi Trophy winners each.

Teams Undefeated in a Super Bowl:

  • AFC- The Baltimore Ravens have played and won two Super Bowls. The New York Jets are undefeated as well, but they have played only one Super Bowl.
  • NFC- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers emerged victorious in the only two Super Bowls they played. The New Orleans Saints have played only once but won that Super Bowl.

Teams That Have Not Appeared in any Super Bowl

  • AFC- Among the AFC teams, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have never made it to the Super Bowl, with Texans not appearing in any AFC Championship either.
  • NFC- All the NFC teams but one, the Detroit Lions, have played in a Super Bowl. 
performance in the super bowl of afc and nfc

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which teams from the AFC and the NFC have the highest net worth?

From the AFC, The New England Patriots are the most valuable team, with a net worth of $3.2 billion.

However, Dallas Cowboys have the highest net worth of $4 billion, making it the most valuable in both the NFC and the NFL.

Q2. Is it possible for an AFC team to face an NFC team?

Yes. In a regular season, each AFC team has a chance to play with an NFC team at least once in four years. No such matches happen after the season until the Super Bowl.

Q3. Is it necessary for a Super Bowl match to be an inter-conference match?

Absolutely, the Super Bowl initially began as an exhibition match between the AFL and the NFL champions.

After the merger, the tradition still continues, meaning it will always be a match between the champions of the AFC and the NFC.

Q4. Which team among all 32 teams holds the most NFL titles overall?

The Green Bay Packers have won the most NFL titles, thirteen in number. Out of these, nine were won before the first Super Bowl.

Q5. Could two teams from the East Division ever play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy?

The playoffs are played among all 8 division winners from each conference and three wild card teams in an elimination setup.

So even if two teams can belong to the East division, they will be from different conferences.

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