11 Facts About NFL Championship


The former NFL Championship Game became the NFC Championship Game, while the former AFL Championship Game became the AFC Championship Game.

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At its inception in 1920, the NFL had no playoff system or championship game: the champion was the team with the best record during the season as determined by winning percentage, with ties excluded.

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The NFL Championship now classifies these contests as exhibition games and does not include the records, participants, or results in the official league playoff statistics.

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In 1948, the Browns became the first professional football team to complete an entire season undefeated and untied — 24 years before the 1972 Miami Dolphins of the NFL Championship would accomplish the task, but this feat is not recognized by NFL Championship record books.

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The AFL NFL Championship games featured classics such as the 1962 double-overtime championship game between the Dallas Texans and the defending champion Houston Oilers.

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In 1966, the success of the rival AFL, the spectre of the NFL Championship's losing more stars to the AFL, and concern over a costly "bidding war" for players precipitated by the NFL Championship's Giants' signing of Pete Gogolak, who was under contract to the AFL's Buffalo Bills, led the two leagues to discuss a merger.

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Three of the pre-merger NFL Championship teams were transferred to the AFC to level the conferences at 13 teams each; each conference split into three divisions.

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Previously, the NFL Championship disregarded any tie games played when they computed the standings, basing it on winning percentage with any ties thrown out and ignored.

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In 1990, the NFL Championship expanded the playoffs to twelve teams by adding a third wild-card team from each conference.

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In 2002, the NFL Championship realigned into eight divisions, four per conference, to accommodate a 32nd team, the Houston Texans.

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Since the NFL Championship did not count tied games in league standings until 1972, these seasons were considered to be "perfect" at the time they finished; further, these teams had no incentive to avoid tied games in order to maintain a "perfect" season.

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