The Game

Teams & Players

The NFL consists of 32 teams, with the most recently added being the Houston Texans (2002). Only 4 new franchises have been added since 1976.

Each team competes in their conference (there are 2 – the ‘American’ and ‘National’), aiming to make the playoffs via a 17-game season, followed by a single elimination tournament amongst the leading 7 teams in each conference. 

The winner of each conference’s tournament plays in the Super Bowl for the right to be called the NFL champion.

Here’s a quick guide to each franchise, covering their best moments in the Super Bowl era alongside their current star player:

Arizona Cardinals

Best Moment: Playing in Super Bowl XLII (2008)

James Harrison’s 100 yd interception return and Santonio Holmes tiptoes end the Cards dream and deny Kurt Warner and an all-time Larry Fitzgerald game

Star Player: Kyler Murray

1st overall pick, QB, gamer


Atlanta Falcons

Best Moment: Halftime in Super Bowl LI (2017)

Leading 21-3 (28-3 early in the third quarter) before Tom Brady and James White steal victory in OT

Star Player: Kyle Pitts

The most physically-gifted TE since forever


Baltimore Ravens

Best Moment: Winning Super Bowl XXXV (2001)

The Ravens league-best (best ever?) defense suffocate the Giants while special teams scores turn the game into a blowout

Star Player: Lamar Jackson

2nd unanimous MVP ever


Buffalo Bills

Best Moment: 4 straight Super Bowls in the early 90s

No, they didn’t win any. But they’re the only team to make the big game 4 years straight, winning the AFC each season

Star Player: Josh Allen

One-man offense and most improved player in recent times


Carolina Panthers

Best Moment: Winning the NFC title at the end of then 2015 season

Carolina dominated the Cardinals 49-15 behind Cam Newton, with the defense forcing 7 turnovers on their way to the Super Bowl

Star Player: DJ Moore

Get this man a QB…


Chicago Bears

Best Moment: Winning Super Bowl XX (1986)

The Bears limited the Pats to 123 yards on the way to a 46-10 win and cap a masterful defensive season

Star Player: Justin Fields

Slow start, blazing finish


Cincinnati Bengals

Best Moment: Almost running the table in the 2021 playoffs

The unheralded, young Bengals beat the top ranked Titans and 2nd ranked & favourite Chiefs on the road to Super Bowl LVI

Star Player: Ja’Marr Chase

Jaw-dropping talent, already amongst the leagues best


Cleveland Browns

Best Moment: Saving the Browns

Art Modell moved the franchise to Baltimore, but fan action meant the ‘Browns’ name, logos and heritage would remain in Cleveland, with the team returning to action in 1999

Star Player: Myles Garrett

One of the best no.1 picks ever


Dallas Cowboys

Best Moment: Dynasty!

The Cowboys won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years, culminating in their 27-7 victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX (1996)

Star Player: Micah Parsons

Game-changing defensive end with multi-DPOY ability


Denver Broncos

Best Moment: Repeating in Elway’s final season

The Broncos won Super Bowl XXXIII (1999), making it back-to-back championships for a 39-year old John Elway in an offense featuring 3 Hall of Famers

Star Player: Patrick Surtain

Already amongst the league’s best CBs


Detroit Lions

Best Moment: Barry Sanders 2,000 yard season

The Lions, despite a lack of hardware, have featured some of the league’s great players. And nobody was greater than Sanders, who ran for 2,053 yards in 1997

Star Player: Amon-Ra St. Brown

Sun God, Slot God


Green Bay Packers

Best Moment: Bart Starr wins the Ice Bowl

Before Favre and Rodgers, there was Starr, who ran for the deciding score in the 1967 Championship game, the coldest game in NFL history at the time

Star Player: Aaron Rodgers

Love him or hate him, you have to respect him


Houston Texans

Best Moment: Winning a playoff game

In 2011-12 season, the Texans won their division and their subsequent home playoff game against the Bengals 31-10, driven by JJ Watt and Andre Johnson

Star Player: Derek Stingley

A college standout, Stingley could be a foundational piece for years to come


Indianapolis Colts

Best Moment: Peyton’s only Super Bowl win in Indy

Manning struggled in the playoffs throughout his time as a Colt, but he led them to a wild win over their nemesis, the Patriots, in the AFC championship and D and special teams helped the star QB over the hump in Super Bowl XLI (2007)

Star Player: Jonathan Taylor

Olympic-level speed in a 226lbs frame


Jacksonville Jaguars

Best Moment: Beating Elway at Mile High in year 2

In only their second year as an NFL franchise, the Jags beat Jim Kelly one week and Elway’s Broncos the next, on the road as 12.5 point underdogs

Star Player: Trevor Lawrence

Fabio hair, gazelle legs, born winner


Los Angeles Chargers

Best Moment: Winning the 1994 AFC Championship

The underdog Chargers went into Pittsburgh and out-Steeler’d the Steelers, winning with discipline and defense

Star Player: Justin Herbert

Can you say laser show?


Los Angeles Rams

Best Moment: ‘F Them Picks’ on the way to a Super Bowl

The Rams mortgaged their future in an attempt to bring a title to LA, drafting in Stafford, Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey. And it worked as they beat the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI (2022)

Star Player: Aaron Donald

Simply, the greatest defensive player ever


Miami Dolphins

Best Moment: Toast the unbeatens

The Fins won it all in 1972-73, finishing 14-0 in the regular season and winning Super Bowl VII. Every year, they toast the last team to lose and remain the only unbeaten team since the merger

Star Player: Tyreek Hill

Half man, half cheetah. Whatever he is, he’s impossible to cover


Minnesota Vikings

Best Moment: ‘The Minneapolis Miracle

The Vikings had one play remaining in their NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Saints, down 1, too far to kick a FG. Needing 61 yards, Case Keenum through to Stef Diggs down the sideline, and the rest is history

Star Player: Justin Jefferson

He’s coming for every receiving record


New England Patriots

Best Moment: Tom Brady, Super Bowl winner

Brady has become a serial winner over the past two decades, but he wasn’t even meant to start. If it wasn’t for Drew Bledsoe’s injury and Belichick going back to Tom Terrific in Super Bowl XXXV1 (2002), history might look very different

Star Player: Matthew Judon

In a team lacking star power, he’s legit


New Orleans Saints

Best Moment: Tracy Porter’s interception

Sean Payton & Drew Brees’ Saints turned a city around, defeating the fancied Colts in Super Bowl XLIV (2010) after an onside kick and a 74 yard interception return by Porter in a raucous Sun Life Stadium

Star Player: Alvin Kamara

Face of the franchise after Brees’ retirement


New York Giants

Best Moment: The Helmet Catch

Nobody expected the Giants to beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII (2008). Down 14-10 with minutes left, Manning launched a pass that Tyree trapped between his helmet and his hand, holding on. Seconds later, Manning threw the game winning TD.

Star Player: Saquon Barkley

Probably the last time a RB is picked in the top-3


New York Jets

Best Moment: Broadway Joe calls his shot

The Jets won Super Bowl III despite being 18 point underdogs. Namath, the team’s extrovert QB, personally guaranteed victory before the game

Star Player: Garrett Wilson

Jeff meets Odell in the NY spotlight


Philadelphia Eagles

Best Moment: The Philly Special

Carson Wentz was injured. The formidable Patriots were the opponents. The Eagles had never won the big game. Enter Nick Foles, who led Philly to Super Bowl LII (2018) in an awesome offensive display, capped with one of the most famous plays ever

Star Player: Jalen Hurts

Leader, winner, swiss-army knife


Pittsburgh Steelers

Best Moment: ‘Both feet down and control of the ball’

The Steelers have numerous moments to celebrate. But none more so than Santonio Holmes toe tap while catching a pass to win a pulsating game against the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLII (2009)

Star Player: TJ Watt

22.5 sacks in a season and a former DPOY


San Francisco 49ers

Best Moment: ‘The Catch’

The 49ers started their run to 5 Super Bowls in 13 years with one of the most famous plays of all time: Dwight Clark’s winning grab with seconds remaining to beat the Cowboys in NFC Championship game at the end of the 1981 season

Star Player: Christian McCaffrey

The 3rd 1,000 / 1,000 season ever


Seattle Seahawks

Best Moment: Demolishing Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII (2014)

The Hawks first and only title came at the high point of the Russ & Legion of Boom era. Seattle led after the the first play from scrimmage and never looked back

Star Player: DK Metcalf

‘Wolverine’? ‘Baby Bron’? Whatever, he’s great


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Best Moment: Winning Super Bowl LV (2021) at Raymond James Stadium

No team had ever won the title at home. The Bucs, powered by Brady & Gronk, outclassed the Mahomes-led Chiefs for the club’s second title

Star Player: Tom Brady

Who else?


Tennessee Titans

Best Moment: The Music City Miracle

With 16 seconds remaining in the AFC Wild Card game at the end of the 1999-2000 season, Tennessee trailed by 1 to the Bills. What came next was one of the most improbable plays ever, with Kevin Dyson streaking for the winning score

Star Player: Derrick Henry

Don’t underestimate ‘The King’


Washington Commanders

Best Moment: Washington wins the tournament

The 1982 season was shortened to just 9 games due to a player strike, with the NFL instituting a 16-team playoff to determine the winner. Joe Gibbs’ Washington ran for 276 yards and won their first title

Star Player: Jonathan Allen

Behind only Aaron Donald in disruptive DT ranks


Rules & Scoring


To win, a team needs to score more points than their opponent, with points awarded for scoring ‘touchdowns’, ‘extra points’ and ‘field goals’, with teams able to score on both ‘offence’ (attack) and ‘defense’ (there is a scoring play solely available on defense called a ‘safety’).


Format & The Field

Games consist of 4 x 15 minute quarters, with a 10 minute overtime period if the game is tied at the end of 4 quarters. Games can end in wins or ties. The clock stops when the ball is dead (either out of bounds, via a penalty or due to a dropped pass) or when a team uses a ‘timeout’.

Each team has 3 x timeouts per half.

The field measures 100 x 53 yards, with an additional 10 yard ‘End Zone’ at the end of each end of the field where players score touchdowns, with goalposts positioned at the very edge, targeted on extra points and field goals. 


Players & Positions

Each team fields 11 players at any given time, but teams maintain 53-man rosters throughout the season. 

Almost all players play only offense or defense (and have specific roles within each) with a selection of offensive and defensive players operating on ‘special teams’: Set pieces where the team kicks extra points or field goals, or kicks / punts. 

The offense consists of:

  • The Quarterback (QB), who throws the ball or hands it to a running back
  • The Running Back (RB) who can run with the ball in hand or catch a pass from the QB
  • Wide Receivers (WR) who catch the ball from the QB
  • Tight Ends (TE) who catch the ball from the QB or block for the other offensive positions
  • Offensive Lineman (OL) who block for the other offensive positions

The defense consists of different groupings of players that work in unison to limit their opponent, including:

  • Defensive Linemen (DL) 
  • Linebackers (LB)
  • Defensive Backs (DB)



Every time a team has possession of the ball, they need to move the ball 10 yards forwards within 4 ‘downs’ (chances). If they do so, the number of downs resets and they repeat the process. If they don’t, their opponents take over. 

Each down is added to the distance remaining to progress 10 yards, so a team is ‘1st and 10’ (1st down, 10 yards to go) or ‘2nd and 3’ (2nd down, 3 yards to go), for example. 

If a team fails to gain 10 yards after 3rd down, they will generally kick either a field goal attempt to score points (if they’re close enough) or a punt that pins their opponents back before they start their ‘drive’.

Teams can ‘turnover’ the ball (giving it to their opponents) by ‘fumbling’ (losing possession of the ball while carrying), throwing an ‘interception’ (throwing the ball to a defender who catches the ball within the field of play) or by not achieving the required 10 yards within their 4 downs. 



Touchdown (6 Points)
Scored when a team enters the opponent’s End Zone with the ball, either running or catching

Field Goal (3 Points)
A kick between the goalposts, usually made on 4th down or when there is only enough time to make one more play

Extra Point (1 or 2 Points)
Once a touchdown is scored, the scoring team has the chance to either kick an extra point (for 1 point) or run an offensive play where the team enters the End Zone (for 2 points)

Safety (2 Points)
The defensive team can gain 2 points if they tackle a member of the offensive team carrying the ball in their own End Zone