In every single sport there have to be winners and losers, especially when we talk about professional sporting leagues and even more so when we speak of a sporting league as important as the NFL. Now, of course, in order for there to be winners and losers, a system to be able to keep track of each teams’ record for each season is a very important tool to have, hence the existence of the NFL standings. Each conference and division within the NFL hold their own set of standings lists which allows for officials, experts and fans to be able to keep a clear understanding of how each team has fared during said competition and how their numbers can either benefit or affect their immediate future in the competition.
The NFL is composed of 32 teams, divided into two conferences, the AFC and NFC, which both within themselves are divided into four divisions each, East, West, North and South, each hosting four teams, making up for a total of 16 teams per conference. If that information in itself doesn’t help you to understand not just the importance of standings in general but of NFL conference standings and divisional standings, then just keep an eye on the importance that every single game holds for each team and you’ll see why.
NFL team standings hold the key to understanding how the playoffs shape up every single season. But not just that, they also help shape up the ever so important order in which all teams are allowed to do their pickings in each season’s NFL draft. While for example, the higher you are in the standings, the best advantages you’ll get throughout the playoffs, on the other hand the worst you do in the standings might end up meaning landing a top spot in next season’s draft which usually mean being able to pick the best of the best talents ready to come into the league.
The way in which NFL standings work have continuously changed, especially with the division of the league into two different conferences, expansion teams appearing and the postseason hosting now 14 teams in total instead of 12 like in years prior to 2020. While at first it can be baffling to understand, once you get the hang of how the NFL standings today work everything within the football world becomes much easier to understand.
Pro football, just like any other professional sporting league in the world, has a system to determine which teams are having better seasons than others, that is exactly what the NFL standings system works as. In the NFL, it doesn’t matter how good your team may be on the field, at the end of the day what matters is the amount of wins each team can garner per season. It’s very simple, the more wins your team has, the better places they’ll be in both their divisions as well as conferences. In simple words, NFL team standings work as a way to keep track of each team’s season win/loss record.
But not all is lost, just like NFL team standings show in real numbers and stats which teams are having a better season and which teams have better chances to move on in the latter stages of the competition, even teams who don’t fare well in the standings have some perks coming their way too. For example, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who ended up with the worst record not only in the NFL AFC standings, but in general for the league, managed to gain the 1st pick in this year’s draft, showing that even when being the last team in the win column there are still prizes that can be obtained.
The NFL is composed of 2 main conferences, the AFC and NFC, being the NFC the acronym for the National Football conference. The NFC, just like its sister conference, is divided into four divisions within itself, the NFC East, NFC West, NFC North and NFC South. Since the NFL officially split itself into two separate conferences, the NFC has been able to edge out the AFC in Super Bowl wins by 24 to 20.
Within said conference, the teams that play in it are the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders in the NFC East. The NFC West is comprised by reigning Super Bowl champions Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Up north the NFC North division is made up of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. Last but certainly not least, the NFC South has the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Just like there’s the NFC with its own set of NFL standings, there’s the AFC or American Football Conference. With the AFC the system works exactly like with the NFC, with the conference being divided into four different divisions, AFC East, AFC West, AFC North and AFC South.
The teams that comprise each division in the AFC are, for the AFC East the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets. Over on the west there are the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers. Up north the AFC hosts the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lastly in the AFC South the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans all battle for the divisional title each season.
If you’re an NFL football betting fanatic you’ve probably stumbled over the NFL division standings, saw the info but also saw a bunch of small acronyms that all have a specific function to how said NFL standings work but that you don’t necessarily understand what they mean. Well, lucky for you we are here to help you understand what each of the acronyms in each NFL teams standing list mean.
For example, there are the simple ones to understand like “W” for wins, “L” for losses and “T” for ties. Then there’s “PCT” for the average percentage of wins against losses for the season, “PF” which shows the points scored in favor, “PA” which shows how many points against the team has, “Net Pts” which comes from the subtraction between the team’s “PF” and “PA” to show how many points each team has to differentiate each other from the rest in case of tie breaking scenarios. Lastly there are both the divisional, conference and non-conference win and loss records with their own due percentages, which is what ends up making up all of the NFL standings today.
Positions each season in the NFL division standings as well as in the conference standings are defined by the amounts of wins and losses that each team can gain throughout the regular season. The teams with the most wins are usually touted as the best in each division, which not only allows them to win their respective divisional title but also depending on their record allows them to gain one of the most important, if not the most important advantage in football when the postseason arrives which is home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
There is a reason why NFL divisional standings hold such importance in the league. Given that four teams qualify directly to the playoffs with three wild card teams being the last to join, being able to hold the best possible record in the regular season will allow for better positioning in the playoffs and of course, for betting purposes, better positioning in the playoffs usually mean a slightly bigger favoritism, of course, depending of the matchups.
Seven teams per season qualify for the NFL playoffs per conference, being those the four champions from each division and three wild card teams which are usually the ones that didn’t win their divisional titles but still hold the best records after said divisional champions in the NFL conference standings.
From there, the best team in the conference are given a first week bye and home field advantage through the postseason and the remaining six teams all have to battle it out in the wildcard games, where divisional champions hold home field advantage at least for that game.
That is an advantage that can be continued depending on the results of said initial games and the consequential pairings moving forward. As the postseason continues, teams continue being eliminated in one-game, win and you are in series with the last remaining teams from each conference being crowned either AFC or NFC Champions and then moving forward to the Super Bowl to battle for NFL Championship supremacy.