The NFL hasn't been the same since Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh arrived in the early 1980s, when, almost overnight, the NFC superseded the AFC as the conference more likely to win NFL championships. It has held that distinction ever since.
Some ways of looking at what's happened:
--It started with the Super Bowl game that owner Paul Brown's Cincinnati Bengals lost in January of 1982, to a young San Francisco 49er team led by Brown's longtime assistant, Walsh.
--In the nine previous seasons, the AFC's Super Bowl edge over the NFC was 8-1.
--In the subsequent 11 years, the NFC edge has been 10-1--but it wouldn't be that large, had Walsh and Gibbs remained in the AFC.
--In recognition of Gibbs' and Walsh's AFC origins and outlook, their seven Super Bowl victories could hypothetically be counted on the AFC side. And if they are, the NFC's Super Bowl record since 1981 is not 10-1 but 3-8.
A longer-range perspective:
--In the last 20 years, the NFC's Super Bowl edge over the AFC is 11-9. Minus the Walsh-Gibbs games, the AFC is ahead, 9-4.
--In the 26 years of the Super Bowl, the NFC edge is 14-12. Minus the Walsh-Gibbs games, the AFC is ahead, 12-7.
Walsh-Gibbs teams have won 27% of the Super Bowls, 35% of the last 20.
Count them as AFC coaches in both pedigree and philosophy, and, in the last 20 years, the AFC's edge is an extraordinary 16-4.