Guide to Start Watching the NFL: Everything You Need to Know
Are you new as an NFL fan and don’t even know where to start? Are you new to the NFL and still need help understanding many things? Don’t worry; we will explain everything, from the basics to more in-depth and complex things. We’ll call it The NFL for beginners. Let’s get to it!
The NFL is a lot more fun and easier to understand than it seems, but to get to have this insight about the sport, you need to understand some basic concepts about it to start enjoying it.
To begin with, you need to know what the NFL is, also known as the “National Football League”. The NFL is the world’s main American soccer league; as the name indicates, it takes place in the United States. The NFL is divided into two conferences, the American and the National; both conferences have 16 teams divided into four divisions. The seven best teams of each conference will qualify for the playoffs.
Americans get really into football. Its complexity, physicality, community, and legacy make it a beloved pastime for many Americans, who constantly check every season’s latest NFL odds and lines.
In the NFL, American football is played to score the maximum number of points possible when a game lasts. Each game is divided into four quarters of 15 minutes each. The attacking team will use its offensive team, while the defending team will use its defensive team. The attacking team will have four downs to advance 10 yards, marked with an orange line on television.
Crossing this line will restart the downs, so the offensive team will have four new opportunities to continue attacking. Once they reach the fourth down, the offensive team decides whether to give possession to the opposing team or try to get to the line, knowing that if the play fails, the opposing team will start attacking from the place of the failure. Possession is given up with a long kick. In addition, if the attacking team is close enough, they can try to score a “Field Goal,” which will give them 3 points.
The most beneficial way to gain points is to score a Touchdown, bringing the attacking team to 6 points. Once this touchdown is scored, the offensive team will decide whether to earn one more point by scoring a “Field Goal” from a distance of 15 yards or try to cross the touchdown line, adding two additional points.
Many people will have heard the name Super Bowl, but they have yet to learn how difficult it is to get there! The top 7 conference teams will qualify for the playoffs. The top teams from each conference will advance automatically to the Divisional Round. The rest will meet in the Wild Card in a single game at the home stadium of the highest-ranked team.
The winners will qualify for the Divisional Round, where the format will be the same: the highest ranked will play at home. The winners will reach the conference finals, where if you win, you will get the title of conference champion and a ticket that will take you directly to the Super Bowl.
At the end of the Super Bowl, the offseason begins. During this period, the teams focus on preparing for the next season, and a lot of importance is given to the college players preparing for the well-known NFL Draft. For this purpose, the best college players are selected for the famous NFL Combine.
This event consists of a series of physical tests with which these college players have to surprise potential NFL teams interested in them. These tests are as follows: 40-yard dash in the shortest time possible, 225-pound bench press, vertical jump, long jump, and 20- and 60-yard back and forth.
Once these tests are done, the teams have a better view of the capabilities of these players. Numerous market movements will take place over the next few months. Teams will try to obtain players who are free agents, i.e., without a contract. In addition, they will try to trade players under contract for draft picks.
After several months of offseason comes the famous NFL Draft. In the Draft, the best college players will be distributed among NFL teams in reverse order of their position in the previous season’s standings. The Draft consists of three rounds, and players will be distributed to teams in order of preference so that the best players will go first. Once the Draft is over, we will have everything we need to start a new and fantastic NFL season.
Being a contact sport with a high intensity of impact and great physical demand, it is usual that many players get hurt with some injury. And despite all the protections that can be worn, sometimes it is impossible to prevent them. Some of the most common injuries are sprains, strains, and broken bones.
Then come all the injuries involving the head, such as concussions. Players can lose consciousness momentarily by receiving constant blows to the head, especially of a certain intensity. That’s why there are so many fouls and penalties to protect players’ health.
On the other hand, there is better and better equipment to protect oneself. Helmets have technology that minimizes the shaking of the brain inside the skull as much as possible, and shells are made of a lighter material that better absorbs shocks during the game.