In 2002 the NFL realigned the league because of the addition of the Houston Texans. Prior to 2002, there were 31 teams in the NFL. With the addition of the Texans, there were now 32 teams. 16 teams in each conference, 4 teams per division, the NFL split up the league into the new order, trying to preserve as any regional and historical rivalries as possible.
2002. The most recent realignment of NFL divisions was before the 2002 season.
2 conferences AFC and NFC with four divisions in each conference
The NFL is divided into 2 conferences. The 2 conferences are each divided into 4 divisions. NFL AFC NFC North South East West North South East West
The NFL, in 1956, had 2 conferences called the Eastern and Western. There were no divisions within the conferences. Teams in the Eastern Conference were the Browns, Cardinals, Eagles, Giants, Redskins, and Steelers. Teams in the Western Conference were the Bears, Colts, Lions, Packers, Rams, and 49ers.
The 32 teams of the NFL are divided evenly into two conferences, AFC and NFC, and each conference is made up of four divisions, North, East, West and South. Therefore, the NFL is divided into a total of eight divisions, each containing four teams.
In 1960, the NFL had two conferences, the East and the West, and there were no divisions within either conference. The East conference had 6 teams and the West Conference had 7. In 1967, the NFL broke the two conferences into four divisions, the Capitol, Century, Coastal, and Central. Four teams were in each division. When the AFL-NFL merger occurred in 1970, each conference, American and National, had three divisions. Those were the East, Central, and West. Five teams were in each conference's East division and four were in both the Central and West. In 2002, with the addition of the Houston Texans as the 32nd NFL team, each conference was divided into four divisions from three. The new divisions were the East, North, West, and South. Four teams were in each division.
May 22, 2001 NFL owners vote to realign into eight, four-team divisions. In 2002, the Carolina Panthers (NFC WEST) moved to the newly created *NFC South* Where they currently remain.
seattle seahawks in 2002
2 Conferences, divided each into 4 divisions. NFC (National Football Conference) North, South, East, West AFC (American Football Conference) North, South, East, West
In the four years before the 1970 merger the NFL was composed of two conferences, Eastern and Western. The Eastern Conference was composed of the Capital and Century Divisions and the Western was composed of the Central and Coastal Divisions. The winners of the two Eastern divisions and Western divisions played against each other in the Conference Championship with the two winners playing the NFL Championship. Prior to 1966, there were simply the Esstern and Western Conferences, with the winners playing for the NFL Championship. Of note, the site for the Championship game rotated between Eastern and Western Conferences each year, so the team that had actually won more games could be playing on the road. Finally, the two second place teams in each conference played each other in the NFL Playoff Bowl in Miami.
Though the Browns have not won or even played in a Super Bowl (which was implemented in 1970) they have won 4 NFL Championships which was comparable to winning a Super Bowl. They won in 1950, '54, '55 and '64. You see, there were two conferences (NFL & AFL) and the team with the best record in both conferences met for a final game at the end of the season. Then in 1966 the NFL split the two conferences even further by splitting them into two divisions. The divisions had a championship game and then, again, the conferences would have a final championship game. Eventually, this was called the Superbowl after the two conferences merged and was just called the NFL. So, you see, the Browns have won NFL championships but, for those who like semantics, it just wasn't called the "Superbowl" yet.
The NFL realigned divisions in 2002 when the Houston Texans started play. The Buccaneers moved from the NFL Central to the NFL South.