The NFL playoffs are held at the end of every 16 game regular seasons, and are single-elimination games. These games are played to determine the overall NFL champions, where six teams from each of the leagues qualify and play. A tie breaking procedure is used whenever there are equal records.
During the early years of the NFL, there was no arranged schedule of the games and these were merely decided on by a vote of team owners during the annual owners’ meeting. During 1924-1932, those teams that had the best percentages during the games were awarded the championships. In 1933, the National Football League was divided into two conferences due to the rising popularity of the impromptu championship games. Dates and venues of each championship weren’t known until the season’s last game, and it resulted in delaying the season’s end by a week. Much later on in the 1960’s, a Playoff Bowl was held in Miami which was essentially a third place playoff game. It was held early every January from 1960 to 1969.
The origins of Superbowl date back to 1970, and were formed as a result of a merger between the American Football League and the National Football League. This occurred due to pressures that the AFL was placing on the NFL. The new NFL after the merger then had 26 teams, which was comprised of two conferences and three divisions on each team. During the 1970-1977 seasons, each conference had four teams which were allowed to qualify for the yearly playoffs.
Within the four teams, there were three division champions as well as a fourth team which was known as the Wild Card team. The Wild Card team is a team that was awarded without having to qualify in the championships. The latest modifications in the games were announced in 2002, although there have also been other proposals to expand the playoffs into 14 teams.