American Football Conference (AFC)

american football conference

What is the AFC?

The American Football Conference represents one half of the NFL and comprises the AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, and AFC West divisions. The AFC is the counterpart to the NFL’s other conference, the National Football Conference (NFC). The AFC used to be known as the American Football League before the merger between the AFL and NFL but switched names in 1970.

List of AFC Teams

AFC North

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

AFC South

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

AFC East

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

AFC West

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


There were originally 10 teams in the AFC, but the former NFL sent three of their teams (the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Colts) to even the conference at 13. Three expansion teams later joined the ranks, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and Cleveland Browns. The Browns are still considered an expansion team because their original franchise moved to Baltimore.


The majority of games on an AFC team’s schedule will be against other AFC opponents, with a few opportunities to face opponents from the NFC as well. Every team plays 17 games during the NFL regular season. Each team in the AFC follows the schedule below:

  • Six games against other teams in their division (AFC North, South, East, or West). Thus, each team plays its three divisional rivals twice, once at home and once away.
  • Four games against different AFC teams from one of the other divisions, two at home and two away.
  • Four games against different teams from one of the NFC Divisions (NFC North, South, East, or West), two at home and two away.
  • Two games against teams from the other two divisions of the AFC, one at home and one away. These games are determined based on division rankings from the prior season.
  • A single game against an NFC team from one of the three NFC Divisions the team is not playing against. These games are also determined based on division rankings from the prior season.


The AFC has been slightly less successful than their NFC counterparts, totaling 27 Super Bowl trophies compared to 29. The winner of the AFC conference championship receives the Lamar Hunt trophy. The New England Patriots have the most championships in the conference with eleven. The Browns, Texans, and Jaguars have never appeared in a Super Bowl.