When the American Football League proved itself a worthy adversary for the NFL, the old-school boys decided that absorption was the better part of valor and after six years of butting heads with the upstart rival league, hammered out a merger agreement in 1966, eventually seeing the 10 AFL teams welcomed into the NFL fold. With 16 NFL teams, the decision was made that three of the NFL teams - the Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns - would be allocated to the new AFC to create balance in both conferences.
From 1966-69, the winners of the NFL and AFL clashed for the Super Bowl. Since the merger went into full effect starting with the 1970 season, the winners of the AFC and NFC have met for the Super Bowl.
Curiously, the only two AFL teams to win the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, have never made it back to the big game since the AFL became the AFC.
On the other hand, two of the NFL teams relocated to the AFC have proven very successful since switching sides. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won a record six Super Bowl titles as an AFC squad. The Steelers never made the playoffs during their tenure in the pre-merger NFL. The Baltimore Colts were the first AFC team to win the Super Bowl and remain the only team to represent both sides of the equation in Super Bowl play. Since relocating to Indianapolis, the Colts have won another Super Bowl title and have appeared in seven AFC Championship Games.
The Steelers, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots are deadocked with a record eight AFC titles.
Best AFC Sportsbook Odds
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What Are The AFC Standings Today
This is where you will find located the latest AFC standings. Originally a three-division, 13-team group when it was formed in 1970, today the AFC consists of 16 teams and four divisions.
The four division winners and two wildcard teams qualify for the playoffs.
Getting out of the AFC is no easy feat. Between 2000-2015, only five teams won AFC titles. The New England Patriots won six, the Pittsburgh Steelers three, the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens captured two each, with the other going to the Oakland Raiders. Over the same time frame, 11 different NFC teams went to the Super Bowl.
How To Make Money Betting On AFC
The AFC could also be described as the dynasty conference. Historically, certain teams have risen up to control the conference for an extended period. First was the Miami Dolphins, who played in three Super Bowls from 1971-73, winning twice and posting a perfect 17-0 season in 1972.
Then came the Pittsburgh Steelers, winners of four of six Super Bowl titles between 1974-79. The Buffalo Bills never won the Super Bowl, but hold the record of playing in four straight Super Bowls between 1991-93. Lately, the AFC has belonged to quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who won four Super Bowls and played in six big games between 2001-15.
When betting on the AFC, it's difficult to look past the powerhouses, but they can be beaten. For all their success, the New England Patriots went 6-4 in AFC Championship Games between 2001-15.
Seven teams played in multiple AFC Championship Games betweeen 2000-15 and the Patriots were one of five of them who won at least two Super Bowls - the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2), Denver Broncos (2-1), Indianapolis Colts (2-2) and Baltimore Ravens (2-2) being the others.
Only the Oakland Raiders (1-1) failed to win a Super Bowl and the New York Jets (0-2) were the lone member of this group of seven that didn't advance to a Super Bowl game.