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How do teams get to the Super Bowl? NFL side’s journey to one of the world’s most iconic sporting events

The Super Bowl is one of the most famous events in the sporting world with the NFL’s best teams competing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

Next year will be the 58th Super Bowl and it will be as highly-anticipated as ever when the players step out onto the field at Allegiant Stadium in Nevada.


The Kansas City Chiefs won this year’s Super BowlCredit: Getty

NFL teams have a long journey to reach the iconic match so takes a look at how each side makes their way to the big one…

How do teams get to the Super Bowl? 

In the NFL, 32 teams are separated into two conferences and within those conferences, they are split into four divisions consisting of four teams. 

They are the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC), with each conference split into North, South, East and West divisions. 

After 17 games, the regular NFL season comes to an end.

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The team with the best record in each division and the two teams with the next best records in each conference qualify for the playoffs. 

This means that a total of 12 teams progress from the regular season onto the road to the Super Bowl, with each side seeded based on their record from the campaign.

Patrick Mahomes won his second Super Bowl in February


Patrick Mahomes won his second Super Bowl in FebruaryCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Wild card round 

The play-offs begin with the wild card round which consists of the two teams who finished with the next best records in each conference. 

They face the teams that are seeded third and fourth in their conference while the first and second seeded teams receive a bye. 

Divisional round

The teams seeded first and second then enter the playoffs with the highest-ranked taking on the lowest-ranked team left in their conference. 

The second-seeded team will play the remaining opponent.

Winning the Super Bowl is every NFL player's dream


Winning the Super Bowl is every NFL player’s dreamCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Conference championship round 

Once the divisional round is complete, there are two teams left in each conference. 

They face off in a huge championship clash where the highest-ranked team gets home advantage. 

This determines the AFC champions and the NFC champions.

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The AFC and NFC champions then face each other in the Super Bowl. 

And they compete to decide who will lift the famous Vince Lombardi Trophy. 




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