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American Football League’s final game is one of the most important events of the year. However, behind it, there is a long way to overcome.
In 2018, the Super Bowl attracted an audience of 106 million people, between viewers and streaming, according to figures from El Comercio. In turn, the NFL raised more than 500 million dollars in advertising. But to become one of the most important events in this sport, a specific calendar must be completed.
Leer en español: Así es el complicado camino para llegar al Super Bowl
The NFL (National Football League), begins with a preseason in August, where the 32 teams test their players, allowing that the rookies -university leagues players- play, to have everything ready before the regular season. This season only lasts 17 weeks and in each team must play 16 games, which will define who advance to the next round, according to Yard 35.
In this regular season, 32 teams are divided into two parts: the National Conference and the American Conference. In turn, each one will be distributed in four geographical divisions of four teams each (North, South, East, and West). However, it is not necessary that the teams participating s must belong to that specific geographical.
NFL organizes the calendar, based on the fact that the best teams of the previous season compete against each other. In addition to that in a period of four years, all the teams have played among them at least once, according to Operations NFL.
Each team plays in round-trip format against the members of its division, other four games against all the teams of a division of its same Conference (two at home, two being visitor) and the other Conference (also two at home and two as visitor). Finally, there are two games that must be played against teams of different divisions within their Conference, which should have been in the same position of the division in the previous season, according to Sexto Anillo.
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The next round is the playoffs or postseason. Here two division champions, with the best record of each Conference, will classify (seeded 1 and 2). While the other two division champions (seeded 3 and 4) must face a single match against the two best places in each conference (seeded 5 and 6) in a round called Wild Cards, playing between the 4th and 5th seeds, and the seeds 3 and 6. It should be noted that on the playoffs, the teams only play between clubs of the same Conference, according to Fox Sports.
This season 2018-2019, the Chiefs and the Patriots of the American Conference were the two best first places. From the National Conference were the Rams and the Saints; The Eagles, champions of the last season, classified as a seed 6, thanks to winning the Bears with a close game that ended 16 to 15.
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Divisional Round, the step before the final
Once the Wildcards round is over, the Divisional begins. This round is similar to a conference semifinal, facing a one-match seeding 1-home-against the worst-seeded winner (if it classifies the seeding 3 and the 4, it will be the 4, but if it passes the 4 and the 6, it will be the latter) while the seeded 2 also plays at home against the victorious best seeded, according to Medio Tiempo.
This weekend will be defined the confrontations of the Divisional round of the 2018-2019 season. In which by the National Conference, the Saints (seeded 1) will face the Eagles (worst seeding of the wildcards) on 13 January.
The Rams (2) face this January 12 the Cowboys (4), who won against the Seahawks 24 by 22. Representing the American Conference, this January 12 the Chiefs (1), will play against the Colts (6), who won over Texans 21-7. For their part, the Patriots (2) will face, on January 13, the Chargers (5) who come to celebrate a 23-17 victory against the Ravens.
The game that defines the Super Bowl
The winners of each Divisional match will play the Conference final, which will define the team that will represent each Conference in the Super Bowl. This round is played in single match format at home of the best winner of the Divisional round.
The champions of each Conference will face each other in February, at a stadium chosen 3 years earlier. In 2019, it will be the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta (home of the Falcons that are already eliminated) where the NFL champion will be decided.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Bacallado
Translated from: 'Así es el complicado camino para llegar al Super Bowl'