The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league composed of 32 teams divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The highest level of professional football in the world, the NFL runs a 17-week regular season from the week after Labor Day to the week after Christmas, with each team playing sixteen games and having one bye week. Out of the league's 32 teams, six (four division winners and two wild-card teams) from each conference compete in the NFL playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, played between the champions of the NFC and AFC. The champions of the Super Bowl are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy; various other awards exist to recognize individual players and coaches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; some games are also played on Mondays and Thursdays during the regular season. There are games on Saturdays during the last few weeks of the regular season and the first two playoff weekends.
The NFL was formed on August 20, 1920, as the American Professional Football Conference; the league changed its name to the American Professional Football Association (APFA) on September 17, 1920, and changed its name to the National Football League on June 24, 1922, after spending the 1920 and 1921 seasons as the APFA. In 1966, the NFL agreed to merge with the rival American Football League (AFL), effective 1970; the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that same season in January 1967. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States. The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most-watched programs in American history. At the corporate level, the NFL is an nonprofit 501(c)(6) association. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner, who has broad authority in governing the league.
American Football League (1960–69)
National Football League (1970–present)
Thomas Edward Patrick "Tom" Brady, Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for the University of Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
In Brady's eleven seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned five trips to the Super Bowl, winning three. He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards, has been selected to eight Pro Bowls, and holds the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single regular season. His career postseason record is 17–7; his playoff win total is the highest in NFL history. He also helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons (2003–04), and in 2007 he led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule. Brady has the third highest career passer rating of all time (96.6) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts. In 2012, Brady became the first quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to 10 division titles.
Logan Lee Mankins (born March 10, 1982) is an American football guard for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Fresno State, and was drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He has been selected for the Pro Bowl five times and has played in two Super Bowls.