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The American Football Conference Championship Game, otherwise known as AFC Championship Game, is one of the two semi-final playoff matches of the National Football League, the largest professional American football league in the United Statesmarker. The game is 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 Pittsburgh Steelers are the current AFC Champions.

The first AFC Championship Game was played in 1970 after the merger between the NFL and the American Football League. The game ultimately represents the former AFL Championship game which took place prior to the merger and for the first four years of the merged league. The AFC basically represented the former AFL as it was formed by joining the 10 former AFL teams with 3 NFL teams: the then-Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was done due to the original NFL having more teams than the AFL and the desire to have the NFC and AFC be even in number of teams.

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.

AFC Championship logo, 2001-2005


AFC Championship Game records and facts



*Tied for Conference Championship Record **Conference Championship record ==List of Championship Games== {| class="wikitable sortable" |- bgcolor="#efefef" ! Season !! Winning Team !! Score!! Losing Team !! Score !! Location!!Stadium |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1970-71|1970-71]] || [[1970 Baltimore Colts season|Baltimore Colts]] (1) ||27|| [[1970 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] ||17|| [[Baltimore]], [[Maryland]] || [[Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)|Memorial Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1971-72|1971-72]] || [[1971 Miami Dolphins season|Miami Dolphins]] (1) ||21|| [[1971 Baltimore Colts season|Baltimore Colts]] ||0|| [[Miami]], [[Florida]] || [[Miami Orange Bowl]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1972-73|1972-73]] || [[1972 Miami Dolphins season|Miami Dolphins]] (2) ||21|| [[1972 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] ||17|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Three Rivers Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1973-74|1973-74]] || [[1973 Miami Dolphins season|Miami Dolphins]] (3) ||27|| [[1972 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] ||10|| [[Miami]], [[Florida]] || [[Miami Orange Bowl]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1974-75|1974-75]] || [[1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] (1) ||24|| [[1974 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] ||13|| [[Oakland, California]] || [[Oakland Coliseum]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1975-76|1975-76]] || [[1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] (2) ||16|| [[1975 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] ||10|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Three Rivers Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1976-77|1976-77]]||[[1976 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] (1) ||24|| [[1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] ||7|| [[Oakland, California]] || [[Oakland Coliseum]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1977-78|1977-78]] || [[1977 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] (1) ||20|| [[1977 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] ||17|| [[Denver]], [[Colorado]] || [[Mile High Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1978-79|1978-79]] || [[1978 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] (3) ||34|| [[1978 Houston Oilers season|Houston Oilers]] ||5|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Three Rivers Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1979-80|1979-80]] || [[1979 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] (4) ||27|| [[1979 Houston Oilers season|Houston Oilers]] ||13|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Three Rivers Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1980-81|1980-81]] || [[1980 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] (2) ||34|| [[San Diego Chargers]] ||27|| [[San Diego]], [[California]] || [[Qualcomm Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1981-82|1981-82]] || [[1981 Cincinnati Bengals season|Cincinnati Bengals]] (1) || 27 || [[1981 San Diego Chargers season|San Diego Chargers]] || 7 || [[Cincinnati]], [[Ohio]] || [[Riverfront Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1982-83|1982-83]] || [[1983 Miami Dolphins season|Miami Dolphins]] (4) ||14|| [[1983 New York Jets season|New York Jets]] ||0|| [[Miami]], [[Florida]] || [[Miami Orange Bowl]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1983-84|1983-84]] || [[1983 Los Angeles Raiders season|Los Angeles Raiders]] (3) ||30|| [[1983 Seattle Seahawks season|Seattle Seahawks]] ||14|| [[Los Angeles]], [[California]] || [[Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1984-85|1984-85]] || [[1984 Miami Dolphins season|Miami Dolphins]] (5) ||45|| [[1984 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] ||28|| [[Miami]], [[Florida]] || [[Miami Orange Bowl]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1985-86|1985-86]] || [[1985 New England Patriots season|New England Patriots]] (1) ||31|| [[1985 Miami Dolphins season|Miami Dolphins]] ||14|| [[Miami]], [[Florida]] || [[Miami Orange Bowl]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1986-87|1986-87]] || [[1986 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] (2) ||23{{Cref|a}}|| [[1986 Cleveland Browns season|Cleveland Browns]] ||20|| [[Cleveland]], [[Ohio]] || [[Cleveland Municipal Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1987-88|1987-88]] || [[1987 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] (3) ||38|| [[1987 Cleveland Browns season|Cleveland Browns]] ||33|| [[Denver]], [[Colorado]] || [[Mile High Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1988-89|1988-89]] || [[1988 Cincinnati Bengals season|Cincinnati Bengals]] (2) ||21|| [[1988 Buffalo Bills season|Buffalo Bills]] ||10|| [[Cincinnati]], [[Ohio]] || [[Riverfront Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1989-90|1989-90]] || [[1989 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] (4) ||37|| [[1989 Cleveland Browns season|Cleveland Browns]] ||21|| [[Denver]], [[Colorado]] || [[Mile High Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1990-91|1990-91]] || [[1990 Buffalo Bills season|Buffalo Bills]] (1) ||51|| [[1990 Los Angeles Raiders season|Los Angeles Raiders]] ||3|| [[Orchard Park (town), New York|Orchard Park, New York]] || [[Ralph Wilson Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1991-92|1991-92]] || [[1991 Buffalo Bills season|Buffalo Bills]] (2) ||10|| [[1991 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] ||7|| [[Orchard Park (town), New York|Orchard Park, New York]] || [[Ralph Wilson Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1992-93|1992-93]] || [[1992 Buffalo Bills season|Buffalo Bills]] (3) ||29|| [[1992 Miami Dolphins season|Miami Dolphins]] ||10|| [[Miami, Florida]]Joe Robbie Stadium, now Land Shark Stadium, is located in [[Miami Gardens, Florida|Miami Gardens]]. However the city was not incorporated until 2003. Prior to that, the area was an [[unincorporated area]] of [[Miami-Dade County, Florida|Miami-Dade County]], and the stadium used a Miami address. || [[LandShark Stadium|Joe Robbie Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1993-94|1993-94]] || [[1993 Buffalo Bills season|Buffalo Bills]] (4) ||30|| [[1993 Kansas City Chiefs season|Kansas City Chiefs]] ||13|| [[Orchard Park (town), New York|Orchard Park, New York]] || [[Ralph Wilson Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1994-95|1994-95]] || [[1994 San Diego Chargers season|San Diego Chargers]] (1) ||17|| [[1994 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] ||13|| [[Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ]] || [[Three Rivers Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1995-96|1995-96]]||[[1995 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] (5) ||20|| [[1995 Indianapolis Colts season|Indianapolis Colts]] ||16|| [[Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ]] || [[Three Rivers Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1996-97|1996-97]] || [[1996 New England Patriots season|New England Patriots]] (2) ||20|| [[1996 Jacksonville Jaguars season|Jacksonville Jaguars]] ||6|| [[Foxboro, Massachusetts ]] || [[Foxboro Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1997-98|1997-98]] || [[1997 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] (5) ||24|| [[1997 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] ||21|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Three Rivers Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1998-99|1998-99]]||[[1998 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] (6) ||23|| [[1998 New York Jets season|New York Jets]] ||10|| [[Denver]], [[Colorado]] || [[Mile High Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 1999-2000|1999-00]] || [[1999 Tennessee Titans season|Tennessee Titans]] (1) ||33|| [[1999 Jacksonville Jaguars season|Jacksonville Jaguars]] ||14|| [[Jacksonville, Florida]] || [[Jacksonville Municipal Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2000-01|2000-01]] || [[2000 Baltimore Ravens season|Baltimore Ravens]] (1) ||16|| [[2000 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] ||3|| [[Oakland, California]] || [[Oakland Coliseum]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2001-02|2001-02]] || [[2001 New England Patriots season|New England Patriots]] (3) ||24|| [[2001 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] ||17|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Heinz Field]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2002-03|2002-03]] || [[2002 Oakland Raiders season|Oakland Raiders]] (4) ||41|| [[2002 Tennessee Titans season|Tennessee Titans]] ||24|| [[Oakland, California]] || [[Oakland Coliseum]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2003-04|2003-04]] || [[2003 New England Patriots season|New England Patriots]] (4) ||24|| [[2003 Indianapolis Colts season|Indianapolis Colts]] ||14|| [[Foxboro, Massachusetts]] || [[Gillette Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2004-05|2004-05]] || [[2004 New England Patriots season|New England Patriots]] (5) ||41|| [[2004 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] ||27|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Heinz Field]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2005-06|2005-06]] || [[2005 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] (6) ||34|| [[2005 Denver Broncos season|Denver Broncos]] ||17|| [[Denver, Colorado]] || [[INVESCO Field @ Mile High]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2006-07|2006-07]] || [[2006 Indianapolis Colts season|Indianapolis Colts]] (2) ||38|| [[2006 New England Patriots season|New England Patriots]] ||34|| [[Indianapolis]], [[Indiana]] || [[RCA Dome]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2007-08|2007-08]] || [[2007 New England Patriots season|New England Patriots]] (6) ||21|| [[2007 San Diego Chargers season|San Diego Chargers]] ||12|| [[Foxboro, Massachusetts]] || [[Gillette Stadium]] |- |align=center|[[NFL playoffs, 2008-09|2008-09]] || [[2008 Pittsburgh Steelers season|Pittsburgh Steelers]] (7) ||23|| [[2008 Baltimore Ravens season|Baltimore Ravens]] ||14|| [[Pittsburgh]], [[Pennsylvania]] || [[Heinz Field]] |} {{Cnote|a|Sudden-death overtime}} ==AFC Championship Game appearances 1970–present== {| class="wikitable sortable" !Num!!Team!!W!!L!!PCT!!PF!!PA||Last appearance||Last championship||HOME games||Home wins||Home losses||Home Win Pct.||ROAD games||Road wins||Road losses||Road Win Pct. |- |align="center"|14||[[Pittsburgh Steelers]]||align="center"|7||align="center"|7||align="right"|.500||308||284||[[NFL playoffs, 2005-06|2008]]||2008||10||5||5||.500||4||2||2||.500 |- |align="center"|11||[[Oakland Raiders|Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders]] ||align="center"|4||align="center"|7||align="right"|.364||202||253||[[NFL playoffs, 2002-03|2002]]||2002||5||3||2||.600||6||1||5||.167 |- |align="center"|8||[[Denver Broncos]]||align="center"|6||align="center"|2||align="right"|.750||189||166||2005||[[NFL playoffs, 1998-99|1998]]||5||4||1||.800||3||2||1||.667 |- |align="center"|7||[[New England Patriots]]||align="center"|6||align="center"|1||align="right"|.857||195||128||[[NFL playoffs, 2007-08|2007]]||2007||3||3||0||1.000||4||3||1||.750 |- |align="center"|7||[[Miami Dolphins]]||align="center"|5||align="center"|2||align="right"|.714||152||115||[[NFL playoffs, 1992-93|1992]]||[[NFL playoffs, 1984-85|1984]]||6||4||2||.667||1||1||0||1.000 |- |align="center"|5||[[Buffalo Bills]]||align="center"|4||align="center"|1||align="right"|.800||130||54||[[NFL playoffs, 1993-94|1993]]||1993||3||3||0||1.000||2||1||1||.500 |- |align="center"|5||[[Indianapolis Colts|Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts]]||align="center"|2||align="center"|3||align="right"|.400||95||116||[[NFL playoffs, 2006-07|2006]]||2006||2||2||0||1.000||3||0||3||.000 |- |align="center"|4||[[Tennessee Titans|Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans]]||align="center"|1||align="center"|3||align="right"|.250||75||116||2002||[[NFL playoffs, 1999-00|1999]]||0||0||0||---||4||1||3||.250 |- |align="center"|4||[[San Diego Chargers]]||align="center"|1||align="center"|3||align="right"|.250||63||95||2007||[[NFL playoffs, 1994-95|1994]]||1||0||1||.000||3||1||2||.333 |- |align="center"|3||[[Cleveland Browns]]||align="center"|0||align="center"|3||align="right"|.000||74||98||[[NFL playoffs, 1989-90|1989]]||N/A*||1||0||1||.000||2||0||2||.000 |- |align="center"|2||[[Cincinnati Bengals]]||align="center"|2||align="center"|0||align="right"|1.000||48||17||[[NFL playoffs, 1988-89|1988]]||1988||2||2||0||1.000||0||0||0||--- |- |align="center"|2||[[Baltimore Ravens]]||align="center"|1||align="center"|1||align="right"|.500||30||26||[[NFL playoffs, 2008-09|2008]]||2000||0||0||0||---||2||1||1||.500 |- |align="center"|2||[[Jacksonville Jaguars]]||align="center"|0||align="center"|2||align="right"|.000||20||53||[[NFL playoffs, 1999-00|1999]]||N/A||1||0||1||.000||1||0||1||.000 |- |align="center"|2||[[New York Jets]]||align="center"|0||align="center"|2||align="right"|.000||10||37||[[NFL playoffs, 1998-99|1998]]||N/A**||0||0||0||---||2||0||2||.000 |- |align="center"|1||[[Kansas City Chiefs]]||align="center"|0||align="center"|1||align="right"|.000||13||30||1993||N/A***||0||0||0||---||1||0||1||.000 |- |align="center"|1||[[Seattle Seahawks]]{{Cref|c}}||align="center"|0||align="center"|1||align="right"|.000||14||30||[[NFL playoffs, 1983-84|1983]]||N/A||0||0||0||---||1||0||1||.000 |- |align="center"|0||[[Houston Texans]]||align="center"|0||align="center"|0||align="right"|---||---||---||N/A||N/A||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||--- |- |} *last [[National Football League|NFL]] title - [[National_Football_League_Championship game, 1964|1964]] **last [[American Football League|AFL]] title - [[American_Football_League_playoffs#1968_Championship|1968]] ***last AFL title - 1969

Media coverage

See also



Footnotes

  1. The Raiders won only one of those five, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-7 in 1976 en route to victory in Super Bowl XI.
  2. However it should be noted the franchise was founded in 2002.



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