The main difference between the AFC and NFC is that they’re two separate conferences within the NFL. They used to be different leagues entirely, but now they both exist in the NFL. Each season, the best team from the AFC plays the best team from the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Read on to discover what makes these two conferences different from each other. 

AFC vs NFC – Key Differences

American Football Conference Name National Football Conference
27 titles Super Bowls
28 titles
New England Patriots Valuable Asset Dallas Cowboys
Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets East Division
Washington Commanders, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles
Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and Baltimore Ravens North Division Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, and Minnesota Vikings
Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts South Division Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Diego Chargers West Division Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks
Lamar Hunt Trophy Divisional Award George Halas Trophy


Differences Between AFC and NFC


Before becoming one of the two National Football League (NFL) conferences in 1970, the American Football Conference (AFC) was known as the American Football League (AFL).

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There are now four teams in each AFC division. This means there are 16 teams split among four divisions in each conference. 

When the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, the NFC (National Football Conference) changed its name to National Football League.

Similar to the AFC, the NFC has 16 teams split into four divisions. Each division has four teams.


The NFC has already won 28 Super Bowl titles, while for the AFC, it’s 27. Both the AFC and NFC have specific rules governing their respective championships for each season.

A team competes against another team in a match-up in each division. Each season, the match-up will take place twice. The top six clubs from the NFC and AFC will then get a chance to compete against one another in the playoffs.

Eventually, there will be a top team from the AFC and a top team from the NFC. These two teams will compete for the Super Bowl title.

Most Valuable Team

The New England Patriots are the most valued team in the AFC, and the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable in the NFC.

The Patriots are well-known for having a value of $1.8 billion and for having won 10 championships so far.

The Cowboys are a popular team, and they’re the highest valued team in the NFL as well as the NFC at $2.3 billion. The Cowboys have won eight championships.

East Divisions

AFC East Teams

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

NFC East Teams

  • Washington Commanders
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • New York Giants
  • Philadelphia Eagles
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North Divisions

AFC North Teams

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC North Teams

  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Minnesota Vikings

South Divisions

AFC South Teams

  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans

NFC South Teams

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

West Divisions

AFC West Teams

  • Denver Broncos
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Las Vegas Raiders

NFC West Teams

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • San Francisco 49ers

The Award

The AFC champion earns the Lamar Hunt Trophy, which was initially designed by the American Football League’s creator. The NFC champion earns the George Halas Trophy.

George S. Halas, the NFC’s first creator, had significantly contributed to the league. This served as the inspiration for the naming of the trophy.


Which Conference Will You Support?

Football is a sport that attracts over a billion fans worldwide. They watch their favorite team compete in the NFL, which is the highest level of play. Find a team to cheer on in either of these conferences!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, check out our post on the difference between pilsner and lager.


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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