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Open Access Articles- Top Results for Timeline of the National Football League

Timeline of the National Football League

This timeline of the National Football League tracks franchises from the early days of the league, through merger with the AFL. The history of franchises that began as independent teams, or as members of the Ohio League, New York Pro Football League, and other defunct leagues are shown as well.

NFL timeline

<timeline>

  1. Note: The end date is the year after a season. A team that played only in 1922 would be listed as 22-23. This shows up as a one-year bar for 1922.

DateFormat = yyyy ImageSize = width:1200 height:auto barincrement:25 PlotArea = left:20 right:20 bottom:20 top:20

Colors =

id:majorGridColor value:rgb(0.9,0.9,0.9)
id:lineColor   value:gray(0.5)
id:notpro      value:gray(0.9)
id:ohio        value:rgb(0.85,0.80,0.80)
id:nypro       value:rgb(0.85,0.80,0.80)
id:inactive    value:gray(0)
id:afli        value:gray(0.75)
id:afl_iii     value:gray(0.80)
id:nfl         value:gray(0.5)
id:brown       value:rgb(0.36,0.20,0.10)
id:green       value:rgb(   0,0.51,0.28)
id:darkgreen   value:rgb(   0,0.20,   0)
id:kellygreen value:rgb(   0,0.63,   0)
id:orange      value:rgb(   1,0.39,   0)
id:redorange   value:rgb(   1,0.20,   0)
id:maroon      value:rgb(0.50,   0,   0)
id:red         value:rgb(0.80,0.01,0.07)
id:red2        value:rgb(0.90,0.01,0.07)
id:darkred     value:rgb(0.50,   0,   0)
id:iceblue     value:rgb(0.20,0.60,0.80)
id:lgray       value:gray(0.90)
id:grayblue    value:rgb(0.00,0.13,0.26)
id:gray        value:gray(0.25)
id:gray2       value:gray(0.5)
id:sand        value:rgb(0.94,0.89,0.77)
id:navy        value:rgb(   0,   0,0.30)
id:teal        value:rgb(   0,0.65,0.65)
id:teal2       value:rgb(   0,0.45,0.45)
id:purpl       value:rgb(0.16,0.01,0.32)
id:columbia_blue value:rgb(0.35,0.57,0.8)
id:49ers_lightgold    value:rgb(0.85,0.62,0.46)
id:49ers_red    value:rgb(0.58,0.0,0.16)
id:bengals_orange    value:rgb(1,0.15,0.0)
id:black    value:rgb(0.0,0.0,0.0)
id:black2    value:rgb(0.06,0.11,0.14)
id:browns_brown    value:rgb(0.3,0.14,0.05)
id:buccaneers_tan    value:rgb(0.4,0.36,0.31)
id:cardinals_gold    value:rgb(1,0.77,0.05)
id:cardinals_red    value:rgb(0.69,0.01,0.22)
id:celtsgold     value:rgb(0.93,0.86,0.51)
id:chargers_blue    value:rgb(0.02,0.09,0.23)
id:chargers_lightblue    value:rgb(0.06,0.51,0.72)
id:chiefs_black    value:rgb(0.0,0.0,0.0)
id:chiefs_red    value:rgb(0.77,0.0,0.14)
id:colts_blue    value:rgb(0.0,0.25,0.49)
id:darkblue    value:rgb(0.0,0.07,0.25)
id:darkblue2    value:rgb(0.0,0.16,0.36)
id:darkblue3    value:rgb(0.0,0.18,0.3)
id:dolphins_orange    value:rgb(1,0.39,0.16)
id:dolphins_teal    value:rgb(0.0,0.42,0.47)
id:eagles_green    value:rgb(0.0,0.18,0.19)
id:eagles_silver    value:rgb(0.93,0.93,0.93)
id:falcons_red    value:rgb(0.14,0.12,0.13)
id:giants_darkblue    value:rgb(0.0,0.19,0.33)
id:gold    value:rgb(1,0.75,0.0)
id:jaguars_teal    value:rgb(0.0,0.51,0.61)
id:jets_green    value:rgb(0.09,0.25,0.2)
id:lightblue    value:rgb(0.0,0.5,0.75)
id:lions_black    value:rgb(0.93,0.95,0.97)
id:lions_lightblue    value:rgb(0.0,0.43,0.63)
id:lions_white    value:rgb(0.96,0.96,0.96)
id:orange    value:rgb(1,0.39,0.17)
id:packers_green    value:rgb(0.16,0.26,0.22)
id:panthers_teal    value:rgb(0.0,0.59,0.77)
id:patriots_silver    value:rgb(0.78,0.79,0.8)
id:raiders_silver    value:rgb(0.71,0.73,0.74)
id:rams_gold    value:rgb(0.75,0.63,0.36)
id:ravens_gold    value:rgb(0.96,0.64,0.16)
id:ravens_purple    value:rgb(0.17,0.01,0.36)
id:red    value:rgb(0.84,0.19,0.23)
id:red2    value:rgb(0.93,0.18,0.17)
id:redskins_darkred    value:rgb(0.55,0.0,0.1)
id:saints_black    value:rgb(0.0,0.04,0.09)
id:saints_light_gold    value:rgb(0.77,0.66,0.46)
id:seahawks_darkblue    value:rgb(0.01,0.06,0.12)
id:seahawks_green    value:rgb(0.24,0.54,0.22)
id:silver    value:rgb(0.63,0.65,0.67)
id:titans_dark_blue    value:rgb(0.0,0.17,0.29)
id:vikings_gold    value:rgb(1,0.67,0.17)
id:vikings_purple    value:rgb(0.14,0.04,0.4)

Period = from:1885 till:2015 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal format:yyyy ScaleMajor = start:1890 increment:10 gridcolor:majorGridColor

LineData =

at:1920  color:lineColor   layer:back  width:0.66  #APFA (later NFL) forms
#at:1946 color:lineColor   layer:back  width:0.66  #AAFC forms
at:1960  color:lineColor   layer:back  width:0.66  #AFL forms
at:1970  color:lineColor   layer:back  width:0.66  #AFL-NFL merger
  1. -- Text Positions

Define $Up = shift:(,1)

Define $Left = anchor:from align:right shift:(-1,) Define $LeftIn = anchor:from align:right shift:(25,) Define $LeftMargin = anchor:from align:left shift:(3,)

Define $UpLeft = anchor:from align:right shift:(-1,1) Define $UpLeftIn = anchor:from align:left shift:(-1,1) Define $UpLeftMargin = anchor:from align:left shift:(1,1)

Define $Right = anchor:till align:left shift:(2,) Define $RightMargin = anchor:till align:right shift:(-2,) Define $RightIn = anchor:till align:right shift:(-25,)

Define $UpRight = anchor:till align:left shift:(2,1) Define $UpRightMargin = anchor:till align:right shift:(-2,1) Define $UpRightIn = anchor:till align:right shift:(-25,1) Define $UpUpRight = anchor:till align:left shift:(2,10)

Define $Down = shift:(,-10) Define $DownRight = anchor:till align:left shift:(2,-10) Define $DownLeft = anchor:from align:right shift:(-2,-10)

Define $I = text:"(Ind)" Define $NY = text:"(NY)" Define $Ohio = text:"(Ohio L)" Define $Afliii = anchor:from align:right shift:(-1,) text:"(AFL)" textcolor:black Define $White = textcolor:white

Define $champ = text:"*" textcolor:white fontsize:XL shift:(5,-10)

TextData =

 pos:(25,200)
 textcolor:black
 tabs:(60-left)
 text:"Ind^independent team"
 text:"Ohio L^Ohio League, active 1903-1919"
 text:"NY^New York Pro Football League, active 1908-1919"
 text:"AFL I^American Football League, active 1926"
 text:"Midwest^Midwest Football League, active 1935-1940"
 text:"AAFC^All-America Football Conference, active 1946-1949"
 text:"AFL^American Football League, active 1960-1969"
 text:"1920^formation of the APFA (later renamed NFL)"
 text:"1960^formation of the AFL"
 text:"1970^NFL-AFL merger"
 text:"*^won Super Bowl or pre-Super Bowl NFL or AFL championship"

BarData =

  1. -- Original Teams
 bar:Panhandles  #Columbus Panhandles/Tigers 
 bar:Heralds  #Detroit Heralds/Tigers 
 bar:Flyers  #Muncie Flyers 
 bar:RockIsland  #Rock Island Independents 
 bar:AkronPros  #Akron Pros / Indians 
 bar:Jeffs  #Rochester Jeffersons 
 bar:Canton  #Canton Pros-Bulldogs 
 bar:Cardinals  #Arizona Cardinals
 bar:Triangles  #Dayton Triangles/Brooklyn Dodgers  
 bar:Buff  #Buffalo All Americans / Bisons / Rangers 
 bar:Bears  #Chicago Bears 
 bar:ChiTigers  #Chicago Tigers 
 bar:Hammond  #Hammond Pros 
 bar:Cleveland #Cleveland Tigers
  1. -- 1921 additions
 bar:Brecks  #Louisville Breckenridges 
 bar:Kardex  #Tonawanda Kardex 
 bar:Marines  #Minneapolis Marines
 bar:Packers  #Green Bay Packers 
 bar:Celts  #Cincinnati Celts 
 bar:Evansville  #Evansville Crimson Giants 
 bar:Brickley  #New York (Brickley) Giants 
 bar:Senators  #Washington Senators 
  1. -- 1922 additions
 bar:Toledo  #Toledo/Kenosha Maroons 
 bar:RacineLegion  #Racine Legion 
 bar:Oorang  #Oorang Indians 
 bar:Badgers  #Milwaukee Badgers 
  1. -- 1923
 bar:CleBulldogs  #Cleveland Indians/Bulldogs 
 bar:Duluth  #Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos 
 bar:Allstars  #St. Louis All-Stars 
  1. -- 1924
 bar:YellowJack  #Frankford Yellow Jackets 
 bar:KCBlues  #Kansas City Blues/Cowboys 
  1. -- 1925
 bar:Steam  #Providence Steam Roller 
 bar:Pottsville  #Pottsville Maroons/Boston Bulldogs 
 bar:NYGiants  #New York Giants 
 bar:DetPanthers  #Detroit Panthers 
  1. -- 1926
 bar:Blues  #Hartford Blues 
 bar:LionHorse  #Brooklyn Lions-Horsemen 
 bar:LABucs  #Los Angeles Buccaneers 
 bar:Colonels  #Louisville Colonels 
  1. -- 1927
 bar:NYYankees  #New York Yankees 
  1. -- 28
 bar:Wolverines  #Detroit Wolverines 
  1. -- 29
 bar:Orange  #Orange Tornadoes 
 bar:Stapes  #Staten Island Stapletons 
 bar:RedJackets  #Minneapolis Red Jackets 
  1. -- 30
 bar:DetLions  #Detroit Lions 
  1. -- 31
 bar:CLE_IND  #Cleveland Indians 
  1. -- 32
 bar:Redskins  #Washington Rs 
  1. -- 33
 bar:PhillyEagles  #Philadelphia Eagles 
 bar:Steelers  #Pittsburgh Steelers 
 bar:Reds  #Cincinnati Reds 
  1. -- 34
 bar:Gunners  #St. Louis Gunners 
  1. --37
 bar:Rams  #Cleveland/LA/St. Louis Rams 
  1. -- 1947
 bar:BostonYanks  #Boston Yanks-Bulldogs
  1. -- 1950
 bar:49ers  #San Francisco 49ers 
 bar:Browns  #Cleveland Browns
  1. -- 1952
 bar:IndyColts  #Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts 
 bar:DalCowboys  #Dallas Cowboys 
 bar:Chiefs  #Kansas City Chiefs 
 bar:Chargers  #San Diego Chargers 
 bar:Broncos  #Denver Broncos 
 bar:NYJets  #New York Jets 
 bar:Patriots  #New England Patriots 
 bar:Raiders  #Oakland Raiders 
 bar:TenTitans  #Tennessee Titans 
 bar:Bills  #Buffalo Bills 
 bar:Vikings  #Minnesota Vikings 
 bar:Falcons  #Atlanta Falcons 
 bar:Dolphins  #Miami Dolphins 
 bar:Saints  #New Orleans Saints 
 bar:Bengals  #Cincinnati Bengals 
 bar:Seahawks  #Seattle Seahawks 
 bar:Bucs  #Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
 bar:CarPanthers  #Carolina Panthers 
 bar:Jaguars  #Jacksonville Jaguars
 bar:Ravens  #Baltimore Ravens
 bar:HouTexans  #Houston Texans 

PlotData =

 color:inactive
 textcolor:black
 width:20
 fontsize:S
 mark:(line,black)
 anchor:middle # other options are anchor:from anchor:till
 align:center  # other options are align:left  align:right
 shift:(0,-5)
 bar:49ers  from:1946  till:1950  color:notpro  $Left text:"(AAFC)"
 bar:49ers  from:1950  till:end   color:49ers_lightgold textcolor:49ers_red  $RightIn text:"San Francisco 49ers"
 at:49ers at:1981 $champ mark:(line, 49ers_lightgold)
 at:49ers at:1984 $champ mark:(line, 49ers_lightgold)
 at:49ers at:1988 $champ mark:(line, 49ers_lightgold)
 at:49ers at:1989 $champ mark:(line, 49ers_lightgold)
 at:49ers at:1994 $champ mark:(line, 49ers_lightgold)
 bar:AkronPros  from:1908  till:1920 color:notpro text:"(Ohio L)"
 bar:AkronPros  from:1920  till:1927 color:blue  $Right text:"Akron Pros"
 bar:AkronPros at:1920 $champ mark:(line, blue) color:blue
 bar:Bears  from:1919  till:1920 color:notpro $Left text:"Decatur Staleys (Ind)"
 bar:Bears  from:1920  till:1921 color:darkblue textcolor:orange $Left
 bar:Bears  from:1921  till:1922 color:orange textcolor:white $UpRight text:"Chicago ~Staleys"
 bar:Bears  from:1922  till:end color:darkblue textcolor:orange $RightIn text:"Chicago Bears"
 at:Bears at:1921 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1932 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1933 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1940 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1941 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1943 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1946 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1963 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bears at:1985 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 bar:Bengals  from:1968  till:1970 color:bengals_orange textcolor:black2 $Afliii 
 bar:Bengals  from:1970  till:end  color:bengals_orange textcolor:black2  $RightIn  text:"Cincinnati Bengals"
 bar:Bills  from:1960  till:1970 color:darkblue textcolor:darkblue  $Afliii
 bar:Bills  from:1970  till:end  color:darkblue textcolor:red2 $RightIn text:"Buffalo Bills"
 at:Bills at:1964 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 at:Bills at:1965 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 bar:BostonYanks  from:1944  till:1949  color:kellygreen  $UpLeft text:"Boston Yanks"
 bar:BostonYanks  from:1945  till:1946  color:gray2  $Down text:"The Yanks"
 bar:BostonYanks  from:1946  till:1949  color:kellygreen  $Up
 bar:BostonYanks  from:1949  till:1950  color:blue  $UpLeftMargin text:"New York Bulldogs / Yanks"
 bar:BostonYanks  from:1950  till:1952  color:silver 
 bar:BostonYanks  from:1952  till:1953  color:darkblue3  $DownRight text:"Dallas Texans" 
 bar:LionHorse  from:1926  till:1927  color:red $Left text:"Brooklyn Lions/Horsemen"
 bar:Broncos  from:1960  till:1970  color:darkblue3 textcolor:orange  $Afliii
 bar:Broncos  from:1970  till:end  color:darkblue3 textcolor:orange  $RightIn text:"Denver Broncos"
 at:Broncos at:1997 $champ mark:(line, darkblue3)
 at:Broncos at:1998 $champ mark:(line, darkblue3)
 
 bar:Browns  from:1946  till:1950  color:notpro  $Left text:"(AAFC)"
 bar:Browns  from:1950  till:1996  color:browns_brown textcolor:orange $RightIn text:"Cleveland Browns"
 bar:Browns  from:1999  till:end   color:browns_brown textcolor:orange
 at:Browns at:1950 $champ mark:(line, browns_brown)
 at:Browns at:1954 $champ mark:(line, browns_brown)
 at:Browns at:1955 $champ mark:(line, browns_brown)
 at:Browns at:1964 $champ mark:(line, browns_brown)
 bar:Bucs  from:1976  till:end  color:red textcolor:white  $RightIn  text:"Tampa Bay Buccaneers"
 at:Bucs at:2002 $champ mark:(line, red)
 bar:Buff  from:1915  till:1920 color:notpro $Left text:"Buffalo All-Stars"
 bar:Buff  from:1918  till:1919 color:notpro #text:"Buffalo Niagaras"
 bar:Buff  from:1919  till:1920 color:notpro $NY #text:"B. Prospects"
 bar:Buff  from:1920  till:1924 color:orange #text:"B. All-Americans"
 bar:Buff  from:1924  till:1926 color:black #text:"B. Bisons" $Down
 bar:Buff  from:1926  till:1927 color:orange #text:"B. Rangers" $Up
 bar:Buff  from:1927  till:1928 color:black
 bar:Buff  from:1929  till:1930 color:orange textcolor:black  $Right text:"Buffalo All Americans / Bisons / Rangers"
 bar:Cleveland  from:1919  till:1920 color:notpro  textcolor:black  $Left text:"Cleveland Tigers (Ind)"
 bar:Cleveland  from:1920  till:1921 color:black  
 bar:Cleveland  from:1921  till:1922 color:orange  textcolor:black  $Right text:"Cleveland Indians"
 bar:Canton  from:1911  till:1918 color:notpro $Left text:"Canton Pros (Ohio L)"
 bar:Canton  from:1919  till:1920 color:notpro
 bar:Canton  from:1920  till:1927 color:maroon   $Right text:"Canton Bulldogs"
 at:Canton at:1922 $champ mark:(line, maroon)
 at:Canton at:1923 $champ mark:(line, maroon)
 # The amateur Morgan Athletic Club inspired the name of the pro Racine Cardinals, but there's no direct link 
 bar:Cardinals  from:1913  till:1920 color:notpro $Left $I
 bar:Cardinals  from:1920  till:1922 color:black textcolor:black $UpLeft text:"Racine ~Cardinals"
 bar:Cardinals  from:1922  till:1944 color:cardinals_red textcolor:white
 bar:Cardinals  from:1944  till:1945 color:gray2 textcolor:white $Left text:"Card-Pitt"
 bar:Cardinals  from:1945  till:1960 color:cardinals_red  text:"Chicago Cardinals" textcolor:white
 bar:Cardinals  from:1960  till:1988 color:black textcolor:white text:"St. Louis Cardinals"
 bar:Cardinals  from:1988  till:1994 color:cardinals_red textcolor:white $Up text:"Phoenix ~Cardinals" 
 bar:Cardinals  from:1994  till:end color:cardinals_red textcolor:white  text:"Arizona Cardinals" 
 at:Cardinals at:1925 $champ mark:(line, cardinals_red)
 at:Cardinals at:1947 $champ mark:(line, cardinals_red)
 bar:CarPanthers  from:1995  till:end  color:panthers_teal textcolor:white  $RightIn  text:"Carolina Panthers"
 bar:Chargers  from:1960  till:1961 color:gold textcolor:chargers_blue  $Left text:"Los Angeles Chargers (AFL)"
 bar:Chargers  from:1961  till:1970 color:chargers_blue textcolor:gold
 bar:Chargers  from:1970  till:end  color:chargers_blue textcolor:gold  $RightIn text:"San Diego Chargers"
 at:Chargers at: 1963 $champ mark:(line, chargers_blue)
 bar:ChiTigers  from:1920  till:1921 color:orange $Right text:"Chicago Tigers"
 bar:Chiefs  from:1960  till:1963  color:chiefs_black textcolor:chiefs_black $Left text:"Dallas Texans (AFL)"  
 bar:Chiefs  from:1963  till:1970  color:chiefs_red textcolor:chiefs_black  
 bar:Chiefs  from:1963  till:end  color:chiefs_red textcolor:chiefs_black $RightIn text:"Kansas City Chiefs"
 at:Chiefs at:1962 $champ mark:(line, chiefs_black)
 at:Chiefs at:1969 $champ mark:(line, chiefs_red)

 bar:Celts  from:1921  till:1922  color:celtsgold  text:"Cincinnati Celts" $Right
 bar:Reds  from:1933  till:1935  color:red  $Left text:"Cincinnati Reds"
 bar:CleBulldogs  from:1923  till:1924  color:red  $Left text:"Cleveland Indians"
 bar:CleBulldogs  from:1924  till:1928  color:maroon  $Right text:"Cleveland Bulldogs"
 at:CleBulldogs at:1924 $champ mark:(line, maroon)
 bar:CLE_IND  from:1931  till:1932  color:red  $Left text:"Cleveland Indians"
 bar:Panhandles  from:1901  till:1920 color:notpro   $I
 bar:Panhandles  from:1920  till:1927 color:gold    $Left text:"Columbus Panhandles" $Right
 bar:DalCowboys  from:1960  till:end  color:darkblue3 textcolor:white $RightIn text:"Dallas Cowboys"
 at:DalCowboys at:1971 $champ mark:(line, darkblue3)
 at:DalCowboys at:1977 $champ mark:(line, darkblue3)
 at:DalCowboys at:1992 $champ mark:(line, darkblue3)
 at:DalCowboys at:1993 $champ mark:(line, darkblue3)
 at:DalCowboys at:1995 $champ mark:(line, darkblue3)
 bar:Triangles  from:1913  till:1916 color:notpro $Left text:"St. Mary's Cadets"
 bar:Triangles  from:1916  till:1920 color:notpro $LeftMargin text:"Dayton Triangles"
 bar:Triangles  from:1920  till:1930 color:blue
 bar:Triangles  from:1930  till:1944 color:blue $UpLeftIn text:"Brooklyn ~Dodgers" textcolor:white
 bar:Triangles  from:1944  till:1945 color:orange $UpLeft text:"Brooklyn ~Tigers" textcolor:white
 bar:Triangles  from:1945  till:1946 color:gray2 $Right text:"The Yanks"
 bar:Heralds  from:1905  till:1911 color:notpro $Left text:"Detroit Heralds (Ind)"
 bar:Heralds  from:1911  till:1920 color:notpro $Ohio
 bar:Heralds  from:1920  till:1921 color:black 
 bar:Heralds  from:1921  till:1922 color:red  $Right text:"Detroit Tigers"
 bar:DetPanthers  from:1925  till:1927  color:orange  $Left text:"Detroit Panthers"
 bar:Wolverines  from:1928  till:1929  color:gold  $Left text:"Detroit Wolverines"
 bar:DetLions  from:1930  till:1934  color:purple  textcolor:black  $Left text:"Portsmouth Spartans"
 bar:DetLions  from:1934  till:end  color:lions_lightblue textcolor:lions_white  $RightIn text:"Detroit Lions"
 at:DetLions at:1935 $champ mark:(line, lions_lightblue)
 at:DetLions at:1952 $champ mark:(line, lions_lightblue)
 at:DetLions at:1953 $champ mark:(line, lions_lightblue)
 at:DetLions at:1957 $champ mark:(line, lions_lightblue)
 bar:Dolphins  from:1966  till:1970 color:dolphins_orange textcolor:dolphins_teal  $Afliii
 bar:Dolphins  from:1970  till:end  color:dolphins_orange textcolor:dolphins_teal  $RightIn text:"Miami Dolphins"
 at:Dolphins at:1972 $champ mark:(line, dolphins_orange)
 at:Dolphins at:1973 $champ mark:(line, dolphins_orange)
 bar:Duluth  from:1923  till:1926  color:red  $Left text:"Duluth Kelleys" 
 bar:Duluth  from:1926  till:1928  color:darkblue3  $Right text:"Duluth Eskimos" $Right
 bar:Evansville  from:1921  till:1923  color:chiefs_red  text:"Evansville Crimson Giants" $Right
 bar:Falcons  from:1966  till:end  color:falcons_red textcolor:white $RightIn  text:"Atlanta Falcons"
 bar:YellowJack  from:1909  till:1924 color:notpro $I
 bar:YellowJack  from:1924  till:1932 color:vikings_gold $Right text:"Frankford Yellow Jackets"
 at:YellowJack at:1926 $champ mark:(line, vikings_gold)
 bar:Hammond  from:1920  till:1927 color:vikings_purple text:"Hammond Pros" $Right
 bar:Blues  from:1924  till:1926  color:notpro  $UpLeft text:"Waterbury Blues~(Ind)"
 bar:Blues  from:1926  till:1927  color:iceblue  $UpLeftMargin text:"Hartford Blues"
 bar:Blues  from:1927  till:1928  color:notpro  $DownRight text:"Hartford Giants"
 bar:HouTexans  from:2002  till:end  color:red textcolor:darkblue  text:"Houston Texans"
 bar:IndyColts  from:1953  till:1984  color:colts_blue textcolor:white  text:"Baltimore Colts"
 bar:IndyColts  from:1984  till:end  color:lgray  $RightIn text:"Indianapolis Colts" textcolor:colts_blue
 at:IndyColts at:1958 $champ mark:(line, colts_blue)
 at:IndyColts at:1959 $champ mark:(line, colts_blue)
 at:IndyColts at:1970 $champ mark:(line, colts_blue)
 at:IndyColts at:2006 $champ textcolor: colts_blue mark:(line, lgray)

 bar:Jaguars  from:1995  till:end  color:jaguars_teal textcolor:white  $RightIn  text:"Jacksonville Jaguars"
 bar:Kardex  from:1916  till:1920 color:notpro $Left $NY
 bar:Kardex  from:1920  till:1921 color:notpro $RightMargin $I
 bar:Kardex  from:1921  till:1922 color:darkblue2 $Right text:"Tonawanda Kardex"
 bar:KCBlues  from:1924  till:1925  color:blue  $Left text:"Kansas City Blues"
 bar:KCBlues  from:1925  till:1927  color:black $Right text:"Kansas City Cowboys"
 bar:LABucs  from:1926  till:1927  color:orange  $Left text:"Los Angeles Buccaneers" textcolor:black
 bar:Brecks  from:1899  till:1921 color:notpro $I
 bar:Brecks  from:1921  till:1924 color:red    $Right text:"Louisville Breckenridges"
 bar:Colonels  from:1926  till:1927  color:red  $Left text:"Louisville Colonels"
 bar:Badgers  from:1922  till:1927  color:orange  text:"Milwaukee Badgers" $Right
 bar:Marines  from:1905  till:1921 color:notpro $I
 bar:Marines  from:1921  till:1925 color:blue    $Right  text:"Minneapolis Marines"
 bar:RedJackets  from:1929  till:1931  color:red  $Left text:"Minneapolis Red Jackets"
 bar:Flyers  from:1905  till:1920 color:notpro $I
 bar:Flyers  from:1920  till:1922 color:red    $DownRight text:"Muncie Flyers"
 bar:Flyers  from:1923  till:1926 color:notpro $Up $I
 bar:Brickley  from:1921  till:1922  color:gold $Right text:"New York Brickley Giants"
 bar:NYYankees  from:1926  till:1929  color:blue  $Left text:"New York Yankees"
 bar:NYGiants  from:1925  till:end  color:giants_darkblue textcolor:white text:"New York Giants" $RightIn
 at:NYGiants at:1927 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 at:NYGiants at:1934 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 at:NYGiants at:1938 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 at:NYGiants at:1956 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 at:NYGiants at:1986 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 at:NYGiants at:1990 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 at:NYGiants at:2007 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 at:NYGiants at:2011 $champ mark:(line, giants_darkblue)
 bar:NYJets  from:1960  till:1963  color:lgray textcolor:jets_green $Left text:"Titans of New York (AFL)"
 bar:NYJets  from:1963  till:1970  color:jets_green textcolor:white  
 bar:NYJets  from:1970  till:end  color:jets_green textcolor:white  $RightIn text:"New York Jets"
 at:NYJets at:1968 $champ mark:(line, jets_green)
 bar:Oorang  from:1922  till:1924  color:gold  $Left text:"Oorang Indians" $Right
 bar:Orange  from:1887  till:1929 color:notpro   $I
 bar:Orange  from:1929  till:1931 color:redorange   $Left text:"Orange Tornadoes"
 bar:Orange  from:1931  till:1942 color:notpro   text:"(Atlantic Coast FL)"
 bar:Packers  from:1919  till:1921 color:notpro
 bar:Packers  from:1921  till:end color:packers_green textcolor:gold $RightIn text:"Green Bay Packers"
 at:Packers at:1929 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1930 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1931 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1936 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1939 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1944 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1961 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1962 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1965 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1966 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1967 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:1996 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 at:Packers at:2010 $champ mark:(line, packers_green)
 bar:Patriots  from:1960  till:1970  color:darkblue2 textcolor:red2 $Afliii
 bar:Patriots  from:1970  till:1971  color:darkblue2 textcolor:red2  $Left text:"Boston Patriots"
 bar:Patriots  from:1971  till:end  color:red2 textcolor:darkblue2  $RightIn text:"New England Patriots"
 at:Patriots at:2001 $champ mark:(line, red2)
 at:Patriots at:2003 $champ mark:(line, red2)
 at:Patriots at:2004 $champ mark:(line, red2)
 at:Patriots at:2014 $champ mark:(line, red2)
 bar:PhillyEagles  from:1933  till:1943  color:eagles_green textcolor:eagles_silver
 bar:PhillyEagles  from:1943  till:1944 color:gray2 textcolor:white $UpLeft text:"Phil-Pitt ~Steagles"
 bar:PhillyEagles  from:1944  till:end  color:eagles_green textcolor:eagles_silver  $RightIn text:"Philadelphia Eagles"
 at:PhillyEagles at:1948 $champ mark:(line, eagles_green)
 at:PhillyEagles at:1949 $champ mark:(line, eagles_green)
 at:PhillyEagles at:1960 $champ mark:(line, eagles_green)
 bar:Pottsville  from:1920  till:1925 color:notpro $DownLeft $I
 bar:Pottsville  from:1925  till:1929 color:maroon $UpRightMargin text:"Pottsville Maroons"
 bar:Pottsville  from:1929  till:1930 color:gold $Right text:"Boston Bulldogs"
 bar:Steam  from:1916  till:1925 color:notpro $I
 bar:Steam  from:1925  till:1933 color:brown $Right text:"Providence Steam Roller"
 at:Steam at:1928 $champ mark:(line, brown)

 bar:RacineLegion  from:1915  till:1918 color:notpro   $Left $I
 bar:RacineLegion  from:1919  till:1922 color:notpro
 bar:RacineLegion  from:1922  till:1925 color:chiefs_red $Up text:"Racine ~Legion"
 bar:RacineLegion  from:1926  till:1927 color:chiefs_red $DownRight text:"Racine Tornadoes"
 bar:Raiders  from:1960  till:1970  color:raiders_silver textcolor:black  $Afliii
 bar:Raiders  from:1970  till:1981  $LeftIn color:raiders_silver text:"Oakland Raiders" textcolor:black
 bar:Raiders  from:1981  till:1994  color:black textcolor:raiders_silver  $Up text:"Los Angeles ~Raiders"
 bar:Raiders  from:1994  till:end  color:raiders_silver  $RightIn text:"Oakland Raiders"
 at:Raiders at:1976 $champ mark:(line, raiders_silver)
 at:Raiders at:1980 $champ mark:(line, raiders_silver)
 at:Raiders at:1983 $champ mark:(line, black)

 bar:Rams  from:1936  till:1943 textcolor:darkblue2 color:rams_gold $Left text:"Cleveland Rams"
 bar:Rams  from:1944  till:1946 textcolor:darkblue2 color:rams_gold
 bar:Rams  from:1946  till:1994  color:darkblue2 textcolor:rams_gold text:"Los Angeles Rams"
 bar:Rams  from:1994  till:end  textcolor:darkblue2 color:rams_gold  $RightIn text:"St. Louis Rams"
 at:Rams at:1945 $champ mark:(line, rams_gold)
 at:Rams at:1951 $champ mark:(line, darkblue2)
 at:Rams at:1999 $champ mark:(line, rams_gold)
 bar:Ravens  from:1996  till:end  color:ravens_purple textcolor:ravens_gold  $RightIn text:"Baltimore Ravens"
 at:Ravens at:2000 $champ mark:(line, ravens_purple)
 at:Ravens at:2012 $champ mark:(line, ravens_purple)
 bar:Redskins  from:1932  till:1936  color:gold textcolor:black  $Left text:"Boston Braves"
 bar:Redskins  from:1936  till:1937  color:redskins_darkred textcolor:black  $UpRight text:"Boston ~Redskins"
 bar:Redskins  from:1937  till:end  color:gold textcolor:redskins_darkred  $RightIn text:"Washington Redskins"
 at:Redskins at:1937 $champ mark:(line, gold)
 at:Redskins at:1942 $champ mark:(line, gold)
 at:Redskins at:1982 $champ mark:(line, gold)
 at:Redskins at:1987 $champ mark:(line, gold)
 at:Redskins at:1991 $champ mark:(line, gold)
 bar:RockIsland  from:1907  till:1920 color:notpro   $I
 bar:RockIsland  from:1920  till:1926 color:green    
 bar:RockIsland  from:1926  till:1927 color:afli
 bar:RockIsland  from:1927  till:1928 color:notpro   $Right text:"Rock Island Independents"
 bar:Jeffs  from:1908  till:1920 color:notpro $I
 bar:Jeffs  from:1920  till:1926 color:red    $Right text:"Rochester Jeffersons"
 bar:Saints  from:1967  till:end  color:saints_light_gold textcolor:saints_black  $RightIn  text:"New Orleans Saints"
 at:Saints at:2009 $champ mark:(line, saints_light_gold)

 bar:Seahawks  from:1976  till:end  color:seahawks_darkblue textcolor:white  $RightIn  text:"Seattle Seahawks"
 at:Seahawks at:2013 $champ mark:(line, darkblue)
 bar:Stapes  from:1915  till:1922 color:notpro   $UpLeft text:"Stapleton ~Football Club (Ind)"
 bar:Stapes  from:1922  till:1929 color:notpro   $UpLeftMargin text:"Staten Island ~Stapletons"
 bar:Stapes  from:1929  till:1932 color:darkblue 
 bar:Stapes  from:1932  till:1936 color:yellow   $Right text:"Staten Island Stapes" 
 bar:Steelers  from:1933  till:1940  color:gold textcolor:black  $Left text:"Pittsburgh Pirates"
 bar:Steelers  from:1940  till:1943  color:black
 bar:Steelers  from:1943  till:1944  color:gray2 textcolor:white $UpLeft text:"Phil-Pitt ~Steagles"
 bar:Steelers  from:1944  till:1945  color:gray2 textcolor:white $Right text:"Card-Pitt"
 bar:Steelers  from:1945  till:end  color:black textcolor:gold  $RightIn text:"Pittsburgh Steelers"
 at:Steelers at:1974 $champ mark:(line, black)
 at:Steelers at:1975 $champ mark:(line, black)
 at:Steelers at:1978 $champ mark:(line, black)
 at:Steelers at:1979 $champ mark:(line, black)
 at:Steelers at:2005 $champ mark:(line, black)
 at:Steelers at:2008 $champ mark:(line, black)
 bar:Allstars  from:1923  till:1924  color:blue  text:"St. Louis All-Stars" $Right
 bar:Gunners  from:1931  till:1934  color:notpro  $Left $I
 bar:Gunners  from:1934  till:1935  color:blue $Up text:"St. Louis ~Gunners"
 bar:Gunners  from:1935  till:1940  color:notpro  $Right text:"(Midwest)"
 
 bar:TenTitans  from:1960  till:1970  color:red textcolor:red $Afliii
 bar:TenTitans  from:1970  till:1997  color:red textcolor:white  text:"Houston Oilers" 
 bar:TenTitans  from:1997  till:1999  color:columbia_blue textcolor:white $Up text:"Tennessee ~Oilers"
 bar:TenTitans  from:1999  till:end  color:lightblue textcolor:titans_dark_blue $UpRightIn text:"Tennessee ~Titans"
 at:TenTitans at:1960 $champ mark:(line, red)
 at:TenTitans at:1961 $champ mark:(line, red)
 bar:Toledo  from:1902  till:1922 color:notpro $Left $Ohio
 bar:Toledo  from:1922  till:1924 color:maroon $Left text:"Toledo Maroons"
 bar:Toledo  from:1924  till:1925 color:gold  $Right  text:"Kenosha Maroons"
 bar:Vikings  from:1961  till:end  color:vikings_purple textcolor:vikings_gold  $RightIn  text:"Minnesota Vikings" 
 bar:Senators  from:1921  till:1923  color:blue   $Left text:"Washington Senators" 
 bar:Senators  from:1923  till:1941  color:notpro  $I

</timeline>

1920-1931 - Before the Playoffs

1920

The American Professional Football Association is formed. The fourteen teams were mainly drawn from the Ohio League or the New York Pro Football League. A $100 membership fee was charged. The Chicago Tigers folded after season.[1]

^ Team folded this Season
1920 APFA Teams
Akron Pros
Buffalo All-Americans
Canton Bulldogs
Chicago Cardinals
Chicago Tigers ^
Columbus Panhandles
Decatur Staleys
Cleveland Tigers
Dayton Triangles
Detroit Heralds
Hammond Pros
Muncie Flyers
Rock Island Independents
Rochester Jeffersons

1921

Number of teams increased to 21. Four teams lasted only one season. Three other franchises folded.

1921 Name Changes
1920 Name 1921 Name
Decatur Staleys Chicago Staleys
Detroit Heralds Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Tigers Cleveland Indians


First Season in APFA * Team folded this Season ^
1921 APFA Teams
Akron Pros
Buffalo All-Americans
Chicago Cardinals
Chicago Staleys
Cincinnati Celts *^
Cleveland Indians ^
Columbus Panhandles
Dayton Triangles
Detroit Tigers ^
Evansville Crimson Giants *
Green Bay Packers*
Hammond Pros
Canton Bulldogs
Rochester Jeffersons
Rock Island Independents
Louisville Brecks *
Minneapolis Marines*
Muncie Flyers ^
New York Brickley Giants *^
Tonawanda Kardex *^
Washington Senators *^

1922

The APFA was renamed the National Football League. Four new franchises awarded.

1922 Name Changes
1921 Team Name 1922 Team Name
Chicago Staleys Chicago Bears


First Season in NFL * Team folded this Season ^
1922 NFL Teams
Chicago Bears
Dayton Triangles
Chicago Cardinals
Buffalo All-Americans
Green Bay Packers
Akron Pros
Hammond Pros
Columbus Panhandles
Canton Bulldogs
Minneapolis Marines
Rock Island Independents
Rochester Jeffersons
Louisville Brecks
Evansville Crimson Giants ^
Toledo Maroons *
Racine Legion *
Milwaukee Badgers *
Oorang Indians *

1923

A new and distinct Cleveland Indians franchise was formed. Two other teams joined the NFL, the Duluth Kelleys and the St. Louis All Stars. The St. Louis team folded after one season.

1923 Name Changes
1922 Team Name 1923 Team Name
Columbus Panhandles Columbus Tigers
First Season in NFL * Team folded this Season ^ Last season before hiatus, rejoined league later §
1923 NFL Teams
Chicago Bears
Akron Pros
Dayton Triangles
Chicago Cardinals
Cleveland Indians *
Buffalo All-Americans
Green Bay Packers
Columbus Tigers
Duluth Kelleys *
Hammond Pros
Canton Bulldogs §
Louisville Brecks ^
Milwaukee Badgers
Minneapolis Marines
Oorang Indians ^
Racine Legion
Rochester Jeffersons
Rock Island Independents
St. Louis All Stars * ^
Toledo Maroons ^

1924

Before the season, the owner of the Cleveland Indians bought the Canton Bulldogs and "mothballed" it, taking the team's nickname and players to Cleveland for the season. The Canton Bulldogs had won the NFL championship in 1923, and won it again as the Cleveland Bulldogs in 1924.

1924 Name Changes
1923 Team Name 1924 Team Name
Buffalo All-Americans Buffalo Bisons
Cleveland Indians Cleveland Bulldogs
First Season in NFL * Team folded this Season ^ Last season before hiatus, rejoined league later §
1924 NFL Teams
Akron Pros
Buffalo Bisons
Chicago Bears
Cleveland Bulldogs
Columbus Tigers
Chicago Cardinals
Dayton Triangles
Duluth Kelleys
Frankford Yellow Jackets *
Green Bay Packers
Hammond Pros
Kansas City Blues *
Kenosha Maroons *^
Milwaukee Badgers
Minneapolis Marines §
Racine Legion §
Rochester Jeffersons
Rock Island Independents

1925

The Canton Bulldogs were reactivated. Four other franchises were awarded. This was the final season for the Rochester Jeffersons.

1925 Name Changes
1924 Team Name 1925 Team Name
Kansas City Blues Kansas City Cowboys
First Season in NFL * Last Active Season ^ Last season before hiatus, rejoined league later §
Team jumped to the AFL Rejoined the NFL **
1925 NFL Teams
Akron Pros
Buffalo Bisons
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cardinals
Canton Bulldogs **
Columbus Tigers
Cleveland Bulldogs §
Dayton Triangles
Duluth Kelleys
Detroit Panthers *
Frankford Yellow Jackets
Green Bay Packers
Hammond Pros
Kansas City Cowboys
Milwaukee Badgers
New York Giants *
Providence Steam Roller *
Pottsville Maroons *
Rochester Jeffersons ^
Rock Island Independents

1926

The league grew to 22 teams, a figure that would not be equaled in professional football until 1961, adding the Brooklyn Lions, the Hartford Blues, the Los Angeles Buccaneers, and the Louisville Colonels, with Racine Tornadoes re-entering.

1926 Name Changes
Old Team Name 1926 Team Name
Racine Legion Racine Tornadoes
Duluth Kelleys Duluth Eskimos
Akron Pros Akron Indians
Buffalo Bisons Buffalo Rangers
First Season in NFL * Rejoined the NFL † Last Active Season ^
1926 NFL Teams
Akron Indians ^
Brooklyn Lions *^
Buffalo Rangers
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cardinals
Dayton Triangles
Green Bay Packers
Frankford Yellow Jackets
Canton Bulldogs ^
Columbus Tigers ^
Detroit Panthers ^
Duluth Eskimos
Hammond Pros ^
Hartford Blues *^
Kansas City Cowboys ^
Los Angeles Buccaneers *^
Louisville Colonels *^
Milwaukee Badgers ^
New York Giants
Providence Steam Roller
Pottsville Maroons
Racine Tornadoes †^

1927

Prior to the season, the league decided to eliminate the financially weaker teams. As a result, the league dropped from 22 to 12 teams, and a majority of the remaining teams were centered around the East Coast instead of the Midwest, where the NFL had started. The New York Yankees were added from the American Football League and the Cleveland Bulldogs returned.

1927 Name Changes
Old Team Name 1927 Team Name
Buffalo Rangers Buffalo Bisons
Rejoined the NFL † Merged from 1926 AFL *
Last Active Season ^ Last season before hiatus, rejoined league later §
1927 NFL Teams
Buffalo Bisons
Chicago Bears
Cleveland Bulldogs
Chicago Cardinals
Dayton Triangles
Duluth Eskimos ^
Green Bay Packers
Frankford Yellow Jackets
New York Giants
New York Yankees *
Pottsville Maroons
Providence Steam Roller

1928

The NFL drops to ten teams. Two teams had folded, the Buffalo Bisons sat out the season and the Cleveland Bulldogs moved and played as the Detroit Wolverines.

1928 Name Changes
Old Name 1928 Name
Cleveland Bulldogs Detroit Wolverines
Last Active Season ^
1928 NFL Teams
Chicago Bears
Dayton Triangles
Detroit Wolverines ^
Chicago Cardinals
Frankford Yellow Jackets
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
New York Yankees ^
Providence Steam Roller
Pottsville Maroons

1929

The league increased back to 12 teams with the addition of two franchises, the Staten Island Stapletons, and the Orange Tornadoes. Two mothballed teams activated for the season. Minneapolis re-entered as the Red Jackets and the re-entry of the Buffalo Bisons.

1929 Name Changes
Old Team Name 1929 Team Name
Minneapolis Marines Minneapolis Red Jackets
Pottsville Maroons Boston Bulldogs
First Season in NFL * Rejoined the NFL ** Last Active Season ^
1929 NFL Teams
Boston Bulldogs ^
Buffalo Bisons **^
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cardinals
Dayton Triangles
Frankford Yellow Jackets
Green Bay Packers
Minneapolis Red Jackets **
New York Giants
Orange Tornadoes *
Providence Steam Roller
Staten Island Stapletons *

1930

Prior to the season, Brooklyn businessmen William B. Dwyer and John C. Depler bought the Dayton Triangles, moved it, and renamed it the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Orange Tornadoes relocated to Newark. The Portsmouth Spartans entered as a new team.

1930 Name Changes
Old Team Name 1930 Team Name
Orange Tornadoes Newark Tornadoes
Dayton Triangles Brooklyn Dodgers
First Season in NFL * Last Active Season ^
1930 NFL Teams
Brooklyn Dodgers
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cardinals
Frankford Yellow Jackets
Green Bay Packers
Minneapolis Red Jackets ^
New York Giants
Newark Tornadoes ^
Providence Steam Roller
Portsmouth Spartans *
Staten Island Stapletons

1931

The league decreased to 10 teams due to financial hardships caused by the Great Depression. While the Cleveland Indians joined as an expansion team, the league lost the Minneapolis Red Jackets and the Newark Tornadoes. Even the Frankford Yellow Jackets had to fold midway through the season.

First Season in NFL * Last Active Season ^
1931 NFL Teams
Brooklyn Dodgers
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cardinals
Cleveland Indians *^
Frankford Yellow Jackets ^
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
Providence Steam Roller ^
Portsmouth Spartans
Staten Island Stapletons

Early Playoff Era

1932

The Boston Braves (now Washington Redskins) enfranchised.

First Season in NFL * Team folded this Season ^
1932 NFL Teams
Boston Braves*
Brooklyn Dodgers
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cardinals
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
Portsmouth Spartans
Staten Island Stapletons^

1933

  • Three new teams enfranchised:
    • Cincinnati Reds
    • Philadelphia Eagles
    • Pittsburgh Pirates (now Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • League split into Eastern and Western Divisions.
1933 Name Change
Old Team Name 1933 Team Name
Boston Braves Boston Redskins
First Season in NFL *
1933 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Boston Redskins Chicago Bears
Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Cardinals
New York Giants Cincinnati Reds*
Philadelphia Eagles* Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Pirates* Portsmouth Spartans

1934

  • Portsmouth Spartans moved to Detroit; renamed the Lions
  • Cincinnati Reds cease operations during season, and are replaced by the St Louis Gunners for the final 3 games.
1934 Name Change
Old Team Name 1934 Team Name
Portsmouth Spartans Detroit Lions
First and Last Season in NFL † Last Active Season ^
1934 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions
Pittsburgh Pirates Green Bay Packers
Boston Redskins Cincinnati Reds ^
St. Louis Gunners

1935-1936

  • Neither Cincinnati Reds nor St. Louis Gunners return for 1935 season.
19351936 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions
Pittsburgh Pirates Green Bay Packers
Boston Redskins

1937-1939

  • Cleveland Rams (now St. Louis Rams) enfranchised
  • Boston Redskins move to Washington, D.C.
1937 Name Change
Old Team Name 1937 Team Name
Boston Redskins Washington Redskins
1937 is First Season in NFL *
19371939 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles Cleveland Rams*
Pittsburgh Pirates Detroit Lions
Washington Redskins Green Bay Packers

The 1940s - World War II mergers

1940-1942

1940 Name Change
Old Team Name 1940 Team Name
Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Steelers
Team mothballed after season, rejoined league 1944 §
19401942 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles Cleveland Rams §
Pittsburgh Steelers Detroit Lions
Washington Redskins Green Bay Packers

1943

  • Philadelphia and Pittsburgh merge to form "Phil-Pitt"
Two teams merge for season †
1943 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Phil-Pitt Steagles Detroit Lions
Washington Redskins Green Bay Packers

1944

  • Boston Yanks enfranchised.
  • Cleveland Rams resume operations.
  • Steagles end merger, Eagles resume operations
  • Steelers merge with Cardinals to form "Card-Pitt"
1944 Name Change
Old Team Name 1944 Team Name
Brooklyn Dodgers Brooklyn Tigers
First Season in NFL * Two teams merge for season †
1944 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Boston Yanks * Chicago Bears
Brooklyn Tigers Card-Pitt
New York Giants Cleveland Rams
Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions
Washington Redskins Green Bay Packers

1945

  • Card-Pitt splits into Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Brooklyn Tigers merge with Boston Yanks, named simply "The Yanks"
Two teams merge for season †
1945 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
The Yanks Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles Cleveland Rams
Pittsburgh Steelers Detroit Lions
Washington Redskins Green Bay Packers

1946 - 1948

  • Brooklyn Tigers cease operations
  • Boston Yanks resume normal operations
  • Cleveland Rams move to Los Angeles
1946 Name Change
Old Team Name 1946 Team Name
Cleveland Rams Los Angeles Rams
Last Active Season was 1948 ^
19461948 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Boston Yanks ^ Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions
Pittsburgh Steelers Green Bay Packers
Washington Redskins Los Angeles Rams

1949

  • Boston Yanks cease operations
  • New York Bulldogs enfranchised from the remains of the Boston Yanks
First Season in NFL *
1949 NFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
New York Bulldogs * Chicago Bears
New York Giants Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions
Pittsburgh Steelers Green Bay Packers
Washington Redskins Los Angeles Rams

The 1950s - AAFC merger

1950

  • Eastern Division renamed to American Conference
  • Western Division renamed to National Conference
  • San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, and the first Baltimore Colts all enfranchised from now-defunct All-America Football Conference. The Colts fold after the 1950 season.
  • New York Bulldogs change name to New York Yanks, move to National Conference
  • Chicago Cardinals move to American Conference
1950 Name Change
Old Team Name 1950 Team Name
New York Bulldogs New York Yanks
Teams merge from AAFC ** Last Active Season ^
1950 NFL Teams
American Conference National Conference
Chicago Cardinals Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns ** New York Yanks
New York Giants Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams
Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers **
Baltimore Colts ** ^

1951

  • The New York Yanks fold after the 1951 season.
Last Active Season ^
1951 NFL Teams
American Conference National Conference
Chicago Cardinals Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns New York Yanks ^
New York Giants Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams
Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers

1952

  • Dallas Texans enfranchised with the remains of the now-defunct New York Yanks, but fold after one season.
First and Last Season in NFL *
1952 NFL Teams
American Conference National Conference
Chicago Cardinals Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns Dallas Texans *
New York Giants Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams
Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers

1953-1959

  • American Conference renamed the Eastern Conference
  • National Conference renamed the Western Conference
  • A second and distinct Baltimore Colts team enfranchised from the remains of the Dallas Texans
1953 is First Season in NFL *
19531959 NFL Teams
Eastern Conference Western Conference
Chicago Cardinals Baltimore Colts *
Cleveland Browns Chicago Bears
New York Giants Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams
Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers

The 1960s - NFL and AFL

1960

  • American Football League (AFL) begins operations with eight teams as a rival to the NFL.
  • Dallas Cowboys enfranchised by NFL
  • Chicago Cardinals move to St. Louis
1960 Name Change
Old Team Name 1960 Team Name
Chicago Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals
First Season in NFL *
1960 AFL Teams
Eastern Division Western Division
Boston Patriots Denver Broncos
Buffalo Bills Dallas Texans
Houston Oilers Oakland Raiders
Titans of New York Los Angeles Chargers
1960 NFL Teams
Eastern Conference Western Conference
Cleveland Browns Baltimore Colts
New York Giants Chicago Bears
Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions
Pittsburgh Steelers Green Bay Packers
St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Rams
Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers
Dallas Cowboys *

1961-1962

  • NFL enfranchises the Minnesota Vikings
  • Los Angeles Chargers move to San Diego
  • Dallas Cowboys move to Eastern Division
1961 Name Change
Old Team Name 1961 Team Name
Los Angeles Chargers San Diego Chargers
1961 is first Season in NFL *
19611962 AFL Teams
Eastern Western
Boston Patriots Denver Broncos
Buffalo Bills Dallas Texans
Houston Oilers Oakland Raiders
Titans of New York San Diego Chargers
19611962 NFL Teams
Eastern Western
Cleveland Browns Baltimore Colts
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears
New York Giants Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams
St. Louis Cardinals Minnesota Vikings*
Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers

1963-1965

  • Dallas Texans move to Kansas City; renamed the Chiefs
  • Titans of New York renamed New York Jets
1963 Name Change
Old Team Name 1963 Team Name
Titans of New York New York Jets
Dallas Texans Kansas City Chiefs
19631965 AFL Teams
Eastern Western
Boston Patriots Denver Broncos
Buffalo Bills Kansas City Chiefs
Houston Oilers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets San Diego Chargers
19631965 NFL Teams
Eastern Western
Cleveland Browns Baltimore Colts
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears
New York Giants Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams
St. Louis Cardinals Minnesota Vikings
Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers

1966

  • Atlanta Falcons enfranchised by NFL
  • Miami Dolphins enfranchised by AFL
  • First AFL-NFL championship game played.
First Season in NFL * First Season in AFL **
1966 AFL Teams
Eastern Western
Boston Patriots Denver Broncos
Buffalo Bills Kansas City Chiefs
Houston Oilers Oakland Raiders
Miami Dolphins ** San Diego Chargers
New York Jets
1966 NFL Teams
Eastern Western
Atlanta Falcons * Baltimore Colts
Cleveland Browns Chicago Bears
Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions
New York Giants Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles Los Angeles Rams
Pittsburgh Steelers Minnesota Vikings
St. Louis Cardinals San Francisco 49ers
Washington Redskins

1967

  • NFL Eastern Conference divided into Capitol and Century Divisions
  • NFL Western Conference divided into Coastal and Central Divisions
  • New Orleans Saints enfranchised by NFL
  • Atlanta Falcons move to Western Conference
First Season in NFL *
1967 AFL Teams
Eastern Western
Buffalo Bills Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Kansas City Chiefs
Boston Patriots Oakland Raiders
New York Jets San Diego Chargers
Houston Oilers
1967 NFL Teams
Eastern Western
Capitol Century Central Coastal
Dallas Cowboys Cleveland Browns Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints* New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins St. Louis Cardinals Minnesota Vikings Baltimore Colts

1968

  • Cincinnati Bengals are enfranchised
  • New York Giants move to Capitol Division
  • New Orleans Saints move to Century Division
  • Century Division moves to Western Conference
  • Central Division moves to Eastern Conference
First Season in AFL **
1968 AFL Teams
Eastern Western
Buffalo Bills Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Kansas City Chiefs
Boston Patriots Oakland Raiders
New York Jets San Diego Chargers
Houston Oilers Cincinnati Bengals **
1968 NFL Teams
Eastern Western
Capitol Central Century Coastal
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Cleveland Browns Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Pittsburgh Steelers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings St. Louis Cardinals Baltimore Colts

1969

  • New York Giants move to Century Division
  • New Orleans moves to Capitol Division
1969 AFL Teams
Eastern Western
Buffalo Bills Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Kansas City Chiefs
Boston Patriots Oakland Raiders
New York Jets San Diego Chargers
Houston Oilers Cincinnati Bengals
1969 NFL Teams
Eastern Western
Capitol Central Century Coastal
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Cleveland Browns Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints Detroit Lions New York Giants Baltimore Colts
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Rams
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings St. Louis Cardinals San Francisco 49ers

The 1970s - AFL-NFL Merger

1970

  • AFL and NFL merge
    • AFL Eastern and Western Divisions become AFC East and AFC West, respectively
    • AFC Central formed.
    • NFL Century Division becomes AFC Central[citation needed]
    • NFL Capitol Division becomes NFC East[citation needed]
    • NFL Central Division becomes NFC Central[citation needed]
    • NFL Coastal Division becomes NFC West[citation needed]
  • Baltimore moves to AFC East
  • Houston moves to AFC Central
  • Cincinnati moves to AFC Central
  • St. Louis moves to NFC East
  • New York Giants move to NFC East
  • New Orleans moves to NFC West
1970 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
Boston Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Baltimore Colts
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Cardinals

1971-1975

  • Boston Patriots are renamed New England Patriots.
19711975 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Baltimore Colts
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Cardinals

1976

  • Seattle Seahawks are enfranchised
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers are enfranchised
First Season in NFL *
1976 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Baltimore Colts Tampa Bay Buccaneers *
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Cardinals Seattle Seahawks *

1977-1981

  • Seattle moves from NFC West to AFC West
  • Tampa Bay moves from AFC West to NFC Central
19771981 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Baltimore Colts Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 1980s and 1990s

1982-1983

  • Oakland Raiders move to Los Angeles
19821983 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Baltimore Colts Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1984-1987

19841987 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1988-1993

  • St. Louis Cardinals move to Phoenix
19881993 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
Phoenix Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1994

  • Phoenix Cardinals renamed Arizona Cardinals
1994 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Los Angeles Raiders
New York Jets Houston Oilers San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1995

  • Jacksonville Jaguars enfranchised
  • Carolina Panthers enfranchised
  • Los Angeles Raiders move back to Oakland
  • Los Angeles Rams move to St. Louis
First Season in NFL * Team deactivated till 1999 §
1995 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns § Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Jacksonville Jaguars * San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts Houston Oilers Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carolina Panthers *

1996

  • Cleveland Browns franchise deactivated
  • Baltimore Ravens enfranchised with remains of deactivated Cleveland Browns
First Season in NFL *
1996 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens* Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Jacksonville Jaguars San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts Houston Oilers Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carolina Panthers

1997-1998

  • Houston Oilers announce that they will move to Nashville and are renamed the Tennessee Oilers. They play the 1997 season in Memphis and the 1998 season at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville while a new stadium is built in Nashville.
19971998 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Jacksonville Jaguars San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts Tennessee Oilers Seattle Seahawks
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carolina Panthers

1999-2001

  • Cleveland Browns franchise reinstated
  • Tennessee Oilers renamed Tennessee Titans
19992001 NFL Teams
AFC East Central West
Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Cleveland Browns Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Seattle Seahawks
Tennessee Titans
NFC East Central West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams
New York Giants Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carolina Panthers

The 2000s - Realignment

2002-present

  • The NFL realigns to create four divisions with four teams each in both conferences.
    • Arizona and Seattle join the NFC West
    • NFC Central renamed NFC North
    • AFC Central renamed AFC North
    • NFC South created
      • Tampa Bay moves from the old NFC Central
      • New Orleans, Atlanta, and Carolina move from the NFC West
    • AFC South created
      • Jacksonville and Tennessee move from the old AFC Central
      • Indianapolis moves from the AFC East
    • Houston Texans enfranchised
2002 is first season in NFL *
2002—Present NFL Teams[2][3]
AFC East North South West
Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens Houston Texans * Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Cleveland Browns Jacksonville Jaguars Oakland Raiders
New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers Tennessee Titans San Diego Chargers
NFC East North South West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Atlanta Falcons Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants Detroit Lions Carolina Panthers St. Louis Rams
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers
Washington Redskins Minnesota Vikings Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seattle Seahawks

See also

References