Can You Answer These Questions an NFL Expert Should Know?


By: Deborah Beckwin

6 Min Quiz

Image: peepo / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

American football is arguably one of the most popular sports in America, and the most lucrative sport in the world. And on any given Sunday, rooting for the home team could bring home a win.

The National Football League began with only 10 teams in four different states. It took many years for the NFL to gain a true national presence. But even before the NFL's founding, American football as we know it had many years of evolution. 

American football has its roots in rugby, with key changes made in gameplay starting with the Massasoit conventions involving some Ivy League colleges in 1876. 

One of the attendees of those meetings was Walter Camp, considered to be the father of American football. He helped to shape the rules that made American football truly American, including legalizing blocking and creating the line of scrimmage.

After those meetings, professional football players emerged and leagues and clubs were formed, with its first professional beginnings in 1892. But it was a little chaotic without a unifying league or universal rules. The NFL's founding helped to bring order, and in the resulting decades, it grew and expanded into the sports juggernaut that it is today.

There's been a lot that's happened since the NFL was formed, so we hope you split the uprights on this quiz!

In what year was the NFL founded?

The NFL started as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in Canton, Ohio in 1920. The APFA became the NFL in 1922.


This team is the only one that operates from its original city.

The Green Bay Packers used to be called the Green Bay Acme Packers. They were formed in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau.


The NFL has how many teams?

The NFL started with just 10 teams located in four states, with four more teams joining that year. The 32 teams are evenly divided into two conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).


The NFL has how many divisions?

Between the two conferences, the AFC and the NFC, there are eight divisions total. The divisions are North, South, East and West.


How many players are on each NFL team's roster?

Although only 46 players are allowed to dress for the game, there are 53 players on a team's roster. Depending on the club, there will be different players held for each position.


In the NFL regular season, how many games are played?

At the beginning of the league, there was no set number of games until 1935, when there were 12 games. That number fluctuated during and after WWII, then grew to 14 games to 1961. in 1978, the number of games increased to the current number, 16.


How long is each quarter in a game?

In the NFL, game time is divided into two halves, 30 minutes each. Each half is divided into two quarters, 15 minutes each.


When was overtime added to NFL games?

In 1974, the NFL added overtime to break tie games played during the preseason and regular season. In 2010, the NFL created a sudden death system, where the game ends when a team scores a touchdown. In 2017, to improve player safety, the overtime period was reduced from 15 to 10 minutes.


In every NFL game, how many referees are on the field officiating the game?

There are seven referees, although each referee has a different title and position on the field. The referee is the main official who has the final say on the field. The other referees are called the umpire, down judge (or head linesman), line judge, field judge, side judge and back judge.


How many weeks are in a regular NFL season?

Although there are 16 games in the regular season, there are 17 weeks. The extra week is called a bye week, where a team is not scheduled to play. This extra week can be used to reschedule games.


How many teams make it into the playoff season?

Twelve teams make it into the playoff seasons. Eight of the teams are the division winners and four of the teams win wild card spots by being the best of the rest. The winners from the conference championship games go on to the Super Bowl.


In what year did the American Football League merge with the NFL?

The NFL had a rival in the AFL since the 1920s, but the 1960s AFL had gotten some traction to give the NFL some competition that caused player salaries to rise exponentially. The two leagues agreed to the merger in 1966 and played each in the first three Super Bowls until the AFL was folded into the NFL in 1970.


When was the first Super Bowl played?

The first Super Bowl was known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The Green Bay Packers (NFL) beat the Kansas City Chiefs (AFL) 35 to 10.


In Super Bowl XXX, what Native American language was the first to be used to broadcast the game?

KTNN is the Navajo language AM radio station that covered Super Bowl XXX in 1996. That game was between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers, with the Cowboys winning 27-17.


Who is the winningest head coach in the NFL?

Up until Nov. 13, 1993, George Halas of Chicago Bears fame was the coach who had the record of the most wins. But on November 14, 1993, when the Miami Dolphins beat the Philadelphia Eagles, Don Shula surpassed Halas with his 325th win. His record is 328 wins, 173 losses and six ties.


Which team was NOT in the NFL in the 1920s?

The Arizona Cardinals were formerly the Chicago Cardinals and along with the Chicago Bears (formerly the Decatur Stanleys), are the charter members of the NFL. The Green Bay Packers came into the league in 1921, and the Pittsburgh Steelers came on in 1933.


Which team has the most regular season wins in the NFL?

The Monsters of the Midway are one of the charter members of the NFL. The Bears have won the most regular season games, with over 700 wins.


Which team has the most postseason wins?

With over 30 postseason wins, the PIttsburgh Steelers are number one in this category. The Steelers have won their division over 20 times and are six-time Super Bowl champions.


Which team has the most combined wins?

The Green Bay Packers have close to 800 combined wins. They've dominated the NFC North, winning eight division championships between 2002 and 2016.


Which team has won the most NFL championships?

The Green Bay Packers have won 13 (and counting?) . They're also the first and only team to "threepeat," winning three straight NFL Championships 1929-31 and 1965-67.


Which coach was the first to win three Super Bowls?

Chuck Noll transformed the Pittsburgh Steelers and made them real contenders in the league. He led them to four Super Bowl wins, four AFC wins and nine division championships.


Which coach has won the most Super Bowls?

Bill Belichick has lead the New England Patriots to win five Super Bowls. The Pats have also made eight Super Bowl appearances with Belichick.


Which team has made the most Super Bowl appearances?

The New England Patriots have made 10 Super Bowl appearances, more than any other team. Eight of those appearances have been with head coach, Bill Belichick.


Which team has the only undefeated season, including the postseason and the Super Bowl?

During their 1972 season, the Miami Dolphins had a 14-0 record and went on to win Super Bowl VII. They beat the Washington Redskins, 14-7.


Who was the first player to have five Super Bowl Rings?

Defensive end and linebacker Charles Haley won two Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. Even with these achievements, he didn't instantly get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was skipped over in both 2010 and 2011, but made the cut in 2015.


Who was the first (and only so far) playing to win the Super Bowl MVP award from the losing team?

During Super Bowl V, Chuck Howley was playing for the Dallas Cowboys. He had two interceptions and forced a fumble in the 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts.


Which team scored the most points in a Super Bowl?

In Super Bowl XXIV, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos in a blowout game, 55-10. They also have won the Super Bowl with the most points scored total (75), in Super Bowl XXIX, beating the San Diego Chargers, 49-26.


Which player holds the record for the most yards rushed at 18,355 yards?

Running back Emmitt Smith played most of his professional career with the Dallas Cowboys. He smashed Walter Payton's career record of 16,726 yards. Smith also holds the record for career rushing touchdowns (164).


This player holds the record the most touchdown receptions.

Wide receiver Jerry Rice famously played for the San Francisco 49ers for most of his professional career. He had a career 197 touchdown receptions, 208 total touchdowns, 1,548 career receptions and 22,895 career receiving yards--all NFL records.


This player holds the record for the most touchdown receptions in a single season.

This record was previously held by Jerry Rice, who had 22 touchdown receptions. Wide receiver Randy Moss topped this record with 23 touchdown receptions, when he was playing for the New England Patriots.


How many Heisman Trophy winners have also been the Super Bowl MVP?

Although more Heisman winners have played in the Super Bowl or on a Super Bowl winning team, only four have been the Super Bowl MVP. Green Bay Packers wide receiver Desmond Howard was the last player to accomplish this feat in 1997.


This kicker has the longest field goal in NFL history.

Many players had matched the record of New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey at 63 yards. That record held since 1970 until Matt Prater from the Denver Broncos kicked a 64-yard field goal in 2013.


Which player holds the record for the most interceptions?

In the 1960s and 1970s, safety Paul Krause played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins. He had a career total of 81 interceptions.


This player has the most passing touchdowns.

Peyton Manning surpassed Brett Favre with 539 passing touchdowns in his career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. Manning also holds the record for the most passing yards (5,477) and most passing touchdowns (55) in a single season.


How long must a player be retired before they're considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Fans can nominate players to the Hall of Fame. Then a Selection Committee will narrow down the list to 25 semi-finalists, then to 15 finalists who are voted by at least 80 percent of the board. Four to eight players may be inducted into the Hall of Fame every year.


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