NFL timeline


First NFL team created.

Approx. 1898

The Racine Cardinals are created. Today they are known as the Arizona Cardinals.

The APFA is created.

August 20, 1920

The APFA (American Professional Football Association) was created on August 20, 1920.

First APFA game

September 26, 1920

The Rock Island Independents beat the St. Paul Ideals 48-0.


Approx. 1922

The APFA changes its name to the NFL (National Football League).

First playoff game

Approx. 1932

The first NFL playoff game was played.

First televised game.

Approx. 1939

The NFL televised their first game.

NFL-AFL merger

June 8, 1966

The NFL merged with the rival league AFL (American Football League).

Ice Bowl

December 31, 1966

One of the coldest NFL games in history.

Super Bowl I (1)

Approx. 1967

The first Super Bowl is played.

Heidi game

Approx. 1968

The "Heidi" game is played. Only the people at the stadium saw the end of the game.


Approx. 1970

The NFL and AFL changed their names to NFC and AFC (National and American Football Conference).

Immaculate reception

Approx. 1972

The "Immaculate reception" was made by the former Pittsburgh Steeler, Franco Harris.

Greatest comeback

Approx. 1993

The Buffalo Bills complete the greatest comeback in NFL history beating the Houston Oilers 41-38.

NFL Network

Approx. 2003

The NFLN (NFL Network) was created.

Super Bowl LI (51)

Approx. 2017

Super Bowl LI (51) was the first Super Bowl to go into overtime.