AFC Championship Game


AFC Championship Game

NFL event
title = AFC Championship Game
|200px
caption = AFC Championship logo
league = NFL
founded = 1970
trophy = Lamar Hunt
champions = 12
champion = New England Patriots
The American Football Conference Championship Game, otherwise known as AFC Championship Game, is one of the two semi-final matches of the National Football League, the largest professional American football league in the United States. The game is currently played on the penultimate Sunday in January and determines the champion of the American Football Conference. The winner receives the Lamar Hunt Trophy and advances to face the winner of the NFC Championship Game in the Super Bowl. The current AFC Champions are the New England Patriots.

It began in 1970 after the merger between the NFL and the American Football League. The AFC was formed by joining the 10 former AFL teams with 3 NFL teams: the then-Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Playoff structure

At the end of each football season, a series of playoff games involving the top six teams in the AFC are conducted, consisting of the four division champions and two wild card teams. The two teams remaining play in the AFC Championship game.

Since the 1975-76 season, the site of the AFC Championship has been based on playoff seeding. The surviving club with the highest initial seeding in the playoffs hosts the game. A wild card team can not host the game unless both participants are wild cards. Before 1975-76, the site of the game was determined on a rotating basis.

Game history

AFC Championship Game Records and facts

*Most Victories – 6; Denver Broncos (1977, 1986-87, 1989, 1997-98); Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-75, 1978-79, 1995, 2005); New England Patriots (1985, 1996, 2001, 2003-04, 2007)
*Most Losses – 7*; (tie) Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1970, 1973-74|1973-75, 1977, 1990 & 2000); Pittsburgh Steelers, (1972, 1976, 1984, 1994, 1997, 2001 & 2004)
*Most Appearances – 13; Pittsburgh Steelers (1972, 1974-75, 1976, 1978-79, 1984, 1994-95, 1997, 2001, 2004-05)
*Most Consecutive Appearances – 5**; Oakland Raiders (1973-77) [The Raiders won only one of those five, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-7 in 1976 en route to victory in Super Bowl XI.]
*Most Games Hosted – 9**; Pittsburgh Steelers (1972, 1975, 1978-79, 1994-95, 1997, 2001, 2004)
*Most Consecutive Victories – 4**; Buffalo Bills (1990-93)
*Most Consecutive Losses – 3*; Oakland Raiders (1973-75)
*Highest attendance – 91,445; Raiders vs. Seahawks in Los Angeles on January 8, 1984 (1983 season).
*Most points scored – 51**; January 20, 1991 (1990 season) – Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Raiders
*Largest margin of victory – 48 points**; January 20, 1991 (1990 season) - Buffalo Bills (51) vs. Los Angeles Raiders (3)
*Fewest points scored, winning team – 10; January 12, 1992 (1991 season) - Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos
*Most points scored, losing team – 34**; January 21, 2007 (2006 season) - New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts
*Most aggregate points scored – 73**; January 6, 1985 (1984 season) - Miami Dolphins (45) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (28)
*Fewest aggregate points scored – 14; January 23, 1983 (1982 season) - Miami Dolphins (14) vs. New York Jets (0)
*Longest game – 65 minutes, 38 seconds; January 11, 1987 (1986 season) - Denver Broncos (23) @ Cleveland Browns (20), OT
*Current AFC teams which have never appeared in a Conference Championship Game – Houston Texans [However it should be noted the franchise was founded in 2002.]
*Current AFC teams which have never won a Conference Championship – Cleveland Browns (0-3), Houston Texans (no record), Kansas City Chiefs (0-1), Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) and New York Jets (0-2).
*Longest drought without appearing in an AFC Championship Game – 19 years**; Cincinnati Bengals (last appearance - 1988)
*Longest drought without an AFC Championship – 23 years; Miami Dolphins (last championship - 1984)

*Tied for Conference Championship Record

**Conference Championship record

List of Championship Games

TBD = To Be Determined

AFC Championship Game appearances 1970–present

*last AFL title - 1968

**last AFL title - 1969

See also

*National Football Conference Championship Game

Footnotes


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