The Playoffs Beckon (1972 Cleveland Browns and 1978 Houston Oilers)
Play • 9 min

Pro Football in the 1970s is part of the Sports History Network - The Headquarters For Your Favorite Sport's Yesteryear.


At this time of the year, the NFL playoffs are on the minds of many thousands of pro football fans across the nation. The same goes for the teams that are preparing for the playoffs. In the 1970s, there were fewer playoff teams than there were today. One of the reasons for this is that there were fewer overall teams in the NFL back then. Today, we have a total of 32 NFL teams. Back in the 1970s, the total number of teams was 26 and then beginning in 1976, the league had 28 total teams, with the addition of Seattle and Tampa Bay in our nation’s Bicentennial year. Back in the 1970s, the NFL had a total of eight playoff teams until 1978, when the total number of playoff teams increased to 10, with five playoff teams representing each conference.

And just like today, the playoffs during the 1970s brought out the best and most spirited play in those teams that were vying for a chance to move on towards a championship. But on occasion, it could also bring out the worst in a team......

Read the entire episode blog post and check out some other cool info regarding this episode here.


Pro Football in the 1970s is a podcast dedicated to teaching fans about the history of the NFL during the 1970s, a time when the host (Joe Zagorski) grew up as a rabid fan of the game. Joe is also an author of multiple NFL books. See Joe's books below.

The NFL in the 1970s: Pro Football's Most Important Decade

The Year the Packers Came Back: The 1972 Resurgence

America's Trailblazing Middle Linebacker: The Story of NFL Hall of Famer Willie Lanier

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