National Football League Championship History

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In 1920, a deal was hammered out in an automobile showroom of downtown Canton, Ohio to establish the American Professional Football Association, starting with 11 teams, growing to the original 14 within the first season and hitting 22 in 1921.  By 1922, the APFA became the NFL and was struggling to make a name for itself, by 1933 the league was down to 10 teams and split into separate conferences. NFL had challenges from other leagues, absorbing some of the teams along the way from ones like AFL 1940-1941 and AAFC 1946-1949 but another AFL emerged in the 60s and challenged NFL but they eventually worked out a deal and merged together in 1966, establishing an AFL v. NFL league championship every season with the winner of the Superbowl taking home the trophy, titled the Lombardi Trophy in 1970 after Green Bay’s coach and winner of Superbowls I & II Vince Lombardi, passed away. Over the years more teams have been added, moved, and taken out, causing divisions and conferences to be shuffled around numerous times bringing us to where we are now; 2 conferences, 8 divisions, and 32 teams, all battling for that prestigious Lombardi Trophy.

lombardi trophyLOMBARDI TROPHY 

  • MARCH– New league year starts, teams sign new players and new coaches start organized team activities (OTA)
  • APRIL– All teams are in OTA and college draft happens
  • MAY– undrafted and drafted players are being signed and put through rookie camp
  • JUNE– Whole teams are brought together for mini-camp
  • JULY– Teams are on break early, training camp starts in the end
  • AUGUST– Pre-season starts, training camp ends
  • SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER– consists of the regular season, weeks 1-16
  • JANUARY– Playoffs start for some, off-season starts for others
  • FEBRUARY– Superbowl ends the season, off-season starts for everyone.

sb history

AFC EAST

AFC NORTH

AFC SOUTH

AFC WEST

NFC EAST

NFC NORTH

NFC SOUTH

NFC WEST

 

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE (AFC)

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BUFFALO BILLS

Bills were established in 1960, before then they were in the AAFC as the Bisons 1946-1949. They got their name through a “name-the-team” contest where Bills became the winner, honoring a famed Wild West showman Buffalo Bill Cody.

  • 2 time league champions; 1964, 1965
  • 4 Superbowl appearances; XXV (1990), XXVI (1991), XXVII (1992), XXVIII (1993) 
  • 8 conference championship games; 1964, 1965, 1966, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
  • 10 division titles; 1964, 1965, 1966, 1980, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Dolphins were established in 1966. They got their name in a “name-the-team” contest where dolphins were the winner due to the bottlenose dolphins in the area.

  • 2 time league champions; 1972, 1973
  • 5 Superbowl appearances; VI (1971), VII (1972), VIII (1973), XVII (1982), XIX (1984) 
  • 7 Conference championship games; 1971, 1972, 1973, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1992
  • 13 division titles; 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2008

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Patriots were established in 1960. They got their name because of Boston’s heritage as the birthplace of the American Revolution. They were the Boston Patriots from 1960-1970

  • 5 time league champions; 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016
  • 9 Superbowl appearances; XX (1985), XXXI (1996), XXXVI (2001), XXXVIII (2003),
    XXXIX (2004), XLII (2007), XLVI (2011), XLIX (2014), LI (2016)
  • 14 conference championship games; 1963, 1985, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • 19 division titles; 1963, 1978, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

 

NEW YORK JETS

Jets were established in 1960 as the New York Titans, 3 years later they changed their name to Jets after a group of jets flew over Shea Stadium. It also gave them a name that rhymed with Mets, who they shared Shea stadium with at the time.

  • 1 time league champions; 1968
  • 1 Superbowl appearance; III (1968)
  • 6 conference championship games; 1966, 1968, 1982, 1998, 2009, 2010
  • 4 division titles; 1968, 1969, 1998, 2002

 


BALTIMORE RAVENS

Ravens were established in 1996 as a new expansion team, they were formerly the Cleveland Browns but a lawsuit kept the name and history of the team in Cleveland. The name was selected in a poll done by the Baltimore Sun in honor of Edgar Allen Poe, who penned the famous poem “The Raven” while living in Baltimore.

  • 2 time league champions; 2000, 2012
  • 2 Superbowl appearances; Superbowl XXXV (2000) & XLVII (2012)
  • 4 conference championship games; 2000, 2008, 2011, 2012
  • 4 division titles; 2003, 2006, 2011, 2012

 

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Bengals were established in 1968, owner Paul Brown wanted a link to the past of Cincinnati so he adopted the Bengals name of a former pro football team in the area.

  • 2 Superbowl appearances; XVI (1981) & XXIII (1988)
  • 2 conference championship games; 1981, 1988
  • 9 division titles; 1970, 1973, 1981, 1988, 1990, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2015

 

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Browns were established in 1950 but played in the AAFC (1946-1949) and took a hiatus from the NFL (1996-1998) when the original team became the Baltimore Ravens. When owner Arthur McBride bought the team he held a newspaper contest to name the team but the team was unable to use the name Panthers, which had originally won the contest. They settled on Browns, named after Coach Paul Brown.

  • 8 time league champions; 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1954, 1955, 1964
  • 14 conference championship games; 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1986, 1987, 1989
  • 18 division titles; 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1980, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Steelers were established in 1933 as the Pittsburgh Pirates, named after the MLB team. In 1940 they became the Steelers to more properly represent the city’s dominant steel industry. Wartime in the 40’s tore teams down since players left to fight, requiring some teams to combine forces. In 1943 Steelers and Eagles combined and became known as the Phil-Pitt Steagles and in 1944 Cardinals and Steelers combined and was called Card-Pitt, but was referred to as Carpets because they went win-less. In 1945 Steelers took their name back as they got more players in.

  • 6 time league champions; 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008
  • 8 Superbowl appearances; IX (1974), X (1975), XIII (1978),
    XIV (1979), XXX (1995), XL (2005), XLIII (2008), XLV (2010)
  • 16 conference championship games; 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2016
  • 22 division titles; 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016

 

afc-south-preview

AFC SOUTH

HOUSTON TEXANS

Texans were established in 2002 as an expansion team. There was a name the team contest that produced 5 choices; Apollos, Bobcats, Stallions, Texans, and Wildcatters. Months later the team unveiled the Texans new logo and uniforms.

  • 4 division titles; 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016

 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Colts were established in 1953 as the Baltimore Colts, named after the original Baltimore Colts team of the AAFC which got their name to reflect the great tradition and proud history of the horse-breeding and racing in the Baltimore area. In 1984 they moved to Indianapolis and kept the name.

  • 5 time league champions; 1958, 1959, 1968, 1970, 2006 
  • 4 Superbowl appearances;  III (1968),  V (1970), XLI (2006), XLIV (2009)
  • 11 conference championship games; 1958, 1959, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1995, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2014
  • 19 division titles; 1958, 1959, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1987, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Jaguars were established in 1995 as a new expansion team. The name was selected through a name the team contest.

  • 2 conference championship games; 1996, 1999
  • 2 division titles; 1998, 1999

 

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans were established in 1960 as the Houston Oilers, named for the oil industry in Texas, but moved to Tennessee in 1997, playing still as the Oilers until 1998 when they changed their name to Titans. Owner Bud Adams formed a committee and a guess the name contest to gain feedback on an appropriate name, selecting Titans because it reflected heroic attributes like great strength and leadership.

  • 2 time league champions; 1960, 1961
  • 1 Superbowl appearances; XXXIV (1999)
  • 8 conference championship games; 1960, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1978, 1979, 1999, 2002
  • 9 division titles; 1960, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1991, 1993, 2000, 2002, 2008

 

AFCW

AFC WEST

DENVER BRONCOS

Broncos were established in 1960 and got their name from a name the team, fan contest but some would say that they were named after the prior Midwest Baseball League team; Denver Broncos.

  • 3 time league champions; 1997, 1998, 2015
  • 8 Superbowl appearances; XII (1977), XXI (1986), XXII (1987), XXIV (1989), XXXII (1997),
    XXXIII (1998), XLVIII (2013), L (2015)
  • 10 conference championship games; 1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2013, 2015
  • 15 division titles; 1977, 1978, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Chiefs were established in 1960 as the Dallas Texans but changed their name to Chiefs when they moved to Kansas City, MO in 1963, which they got the name from a name the team, fan contest.

  • 2 time league champions; 1962, 1969
  • 2 Superbowl appearances; I (1966), IV (1969)
  • 4 conference championship games; 1962, 1966, 1969, 1993
  • 9 division titles; 1962, 1966, 1971, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2010, 2016

OAKLAND RAIDERS

Raiders were established in 1960 but were known as the Senors for a brief time before then from a name the team contest but that brought on a load of jokes prompting the board members to change it, moving to Raiders which was the 3rd name on the list from the name the team contest. After 20 years in Oakland, Raiders moved to Los Angeles in 1982 but came back in 1994 and have been there since.

  • 3 time league champions; 1976, 1980, 1983
  • 5 Superbowl appearances; II (1967), XI (1976), XV (1980), XVIII (1983), XXXVII (2002)
  • 14 conference championship games; 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1990, 2000, 2002
  • 15 division titles; 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1983, 1985, 1990, 2000, 2001, 2002

 

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Chargers were established in 1960, owner Barron Hilton named them Los Angeles Chargers because he liked that fans were yelling charge and sounding the bugle at Dodgers stadium and USC games. A year later they moved to San Diego.

  • 1 time league champions; 1963
  • 1 Superbowl appearance; XXIX (1994) 
  • 9 conference championship games; 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1980, 1981, 1994, 2007
  • 15 division titles; 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE (NFC) 

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NFC EAST

NFC EAST

DALLAS COWBOYS

Cowboys were established in 1960 but were known for a brief time prior as Dallas Steers and Dallas Rangers but changed the name from Rangers to Cowboys avoid being confused with the MLB team.

  • 5 time league champions; 1971, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1995
  • 8 Superbowl appearances; V (1970), VI (1971), X (1975), XII (1977), XIII (1978), XXVII (1992), XXVIII (1993), XXX (1995)
  • 16 conference championship games; 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
  • 23 division titles; 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016

 

NEW YORK GIANTS

Giants were established in 1925 and like most other NFL teams, they “borrowed” the Giants name from the MLB team.

  • 8 time league champions; 1927, 1934, 1938, 1956, 1986, 1990, 2007, 2011
  • 5 Superbowl appearances; XXI (1986), XXV (1990), XXXV (2000), XLII (2007), XLVI (2011)
  • 19 conference championship games; 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1946, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1986, 1990, 2000, 2007, 2011
  • 24 division titles; 1927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2011

 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Eagles were established in 1933 and owner Bert Bell named them the Eagles after President Roosevelt introduced his “New Deal” program through the National Recovery Administration to combat against the Great Depression, the Eagle was their symbol, and Bell hoped his franchise also was headed for a new deal but by 1943, the war took away a lot of players causing them to team with the Steelers as the Phil-Pitt Steagles but after that season they were able to go back to Eagles.

  • 3 time league champions; 1948, 1949, 1960
  • 2 Superbowl appearances; XV (1980), XXXIX (2004)
  • 10 conference championship games; 1947, 1948, 1949, 1960, 1980, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008 
  • 13 division titles; 1947, 1948, 1949, 1960, 1980, 1988, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2013

 

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Redskins were established in 1932 as the Boston Braves, named after the MLB team. After a bad year they changed the name to Redskins, 4 years later they moved from Boston to Washington, still holding the name.

  • 5 time league champions; 1937, 1942, XVII (1982), XXII (1987), XXVI (1991)
  • 5 Superbowl appearances; VII (1972), XVII (1982), XVIII (1983), XXII (1987), XXVI (1991)
  • 12 conference championship games; 1936, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1972, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991
  • 13 division titles; 1936, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1972, 1983, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015

NFC NORTH

 

CHICAGO BEARS

Bears were established in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys, then the Chicago Staleys in 1921. In 1922 they changed their name to Bears as a companion to the Chicago Cubs of the MLB because they shared Wrigley Field together.

  • 9 time league champions; 1921, 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1963, 1985
  • 2 Superbowl appearances; XX (1985), XLI (2006)
  • 15 conference championship games; 1933, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1956, 1963, 1984, 1985, 1988, 2006, 2010
  • 22 division titles; 1921, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1956, 1963, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010

 

DETROIT LIONS

Lions were established in 1930 as the Portsmouth Spartans but when they moved to Detroit in 1934 they changed the team to Lions to keep with the jungle cat image of the city’s major league baseball team, the Tigers. 

  • 4 time league champions; 1935, 1952, 1953, 1957
  • 6 conference championship games; 1935, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1991
  • 8 division titles; 1935, 1952, 1953,1954, 1957, 1983, 1991, 1993

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Packers were established in 1919 and got their name by being sponsored by the Indian Packing Company and later the Acme Packing Company.

  • 13 time league champions; 1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1996, 2010
  • 5 Superbowl appearances; I (1966), II (1967), XXXI (1996), XXXII (1997), XLV (2010)
  • 17 conference championship games; 1936, 1938, 1939, 1944, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2016
  • 24 division titles; 1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Vikings were established in 1961 and got their name because so many people in Minnesota and around the area in that time traced their heritage to Scandinavia where some say vikings originated.

  • 4 Superbowl appearances; IV (1969), VIII (1973), IX (1974), XI (1976)
  • 9 conference championship games; 1969, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1987, 1998, 2000, 2009
  • 19 division titles; 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1998,  2000, 2008, 2009, 2015

 

nfl-nfc-south-preview-2014-2015

NFC SOUTH

ATLANTA FALCONS

Falcons were established in 1966 and got their name from a name the team contest where a school teacher was declared the winner for her reason; “The falcon is proud and dignified with great courage and fight”

  • 2 Superbowl appearances; XXXIII (1998),LI (2016)
  • 4 conference championship games; 1998, 2004, 2012, 2016
  • 6 division titles; 1980, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2016

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Panthers were established in 1995 as a new expansion team and got their name and colors from the owner’s son.

 

  • 2 Superbowl appearances; XXXVIII (2003), L (2015)
  • 4 conference championship games; 1996, 2003, 2005, 2015
  • 6 division titles; 1996, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Saints were established in 1967 and got their name due to the fact the team was born on the Roman Catholic Holiday of All Saints Day.

  • 1 time league champions; 2009
  • 1 Superbowl appearances; XLIV (2009)
  • 2 conference championship games; 2006, 2009
  • 5 division titles; 1991, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2011

 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Buccaneers were established in 1976 and got their name after a board reviewed hundreds of names, selecting Buccaneers due to the local pirate legends in the area.

  • 1 time league champions; 2002
  • 1 Superbowl appearances; XXXVII (2002)
  • 3 conference championship games; 1979, 1999, 2002
  • 6 division titles; 1979, 1981, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2007

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals were established in 1898 and got their name when the owner bought them faded maroon uniforms and told people they weren’t faded, they were cardinal red. They started as the Racine Cardinals, then moved to Chicago in 1922 but kept the name. In 1944 the wars forced teams to merge together since players were leaving to fight, Cardinals merged with Steelers and became Card-Pitt but due to their win-less season they were referred to as “Carpets”. In 1945 they went back to Chicago Cardinals then kept the name when they moved to St. Louis in 1960 and again when they moved to Phoenix in 1988, changing the name to Arizona Cardinals in 1993.

  • 2 time league champions; 1925, 1947
  • 1 Superbowl appearances; XLIII (2008)
  • 4 conference championship games; 1947, 1948, 2008, 2015
  • 5 division titles; 1947, 1948, 2008, 2009, 2015

 

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Rams were established in 1946 but played as the Cleveland Rams from 1937-1942 and 1944-1945 before they moved to Los Angeles. in 1995 they moved to St. Louis but came back to Los Angeles in 2016. The name Rams, was picked by general manager Wetzel because his favorite football team had always been the Fordham Rams. Owner Homer Marshman liked the name as well. 

  • 3 time league champions; 1945, 1951, 1999
  • 3 Superbowl appearances; XIV (1979), XXIV (1999), XXXVI (2001)
  • 14 conference championship games; 1945, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1989, 1999, 2001
  • 18 division titles; 1945, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1999, 2001, 2003

 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

49ers were established in 1950 but were part of the AAFC from 1946-1949. The name was selected as a recognition of the pioneering and adventurous spirit of the 1849 gold rush that took place just east of San Francisco.

  • 5 time league champions; 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994
  • 6 Superbowl appearances; XVI (1981), XIX (1984), XXIII (1988), XXIV (1989), XXIX (1994),
    XLVII (2012)
  • 15 conference championship games; 1970, 1971, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • 19 division titles; 1970, 1971, 1972, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2011, 2012

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seahawks were established in 1976 and the name came from a fan contest with Seahawks being selected the best choice.

  • 1 time league champions; 2013
  • 3 Superbowl appearances; XL (2005), XLVIII (2013), XLIX (2014)
  • 4 conference championship games; 1983, 2005, 2013, 2014
  • 10 division titles; 1988, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016
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