AFC Championship Game

AFC ChampionshipAFC ChampionAFCChampionship GameAFC ChampionshipsLamar Hunt TrophyAFC title gameAFC Championship GamesAmerican Football Conference (AFC) Championship GameAmerican Football Conference Championship
The AFC Championship Game is the annual championship game of the American Football Conference (AFC) and one of the two semi-final playoff games of the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the United States.wikipedia
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List of AFC champions

AFC championAFC championshipsAFC Championship
The AFC champion then advances to face the winner of the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game in the Super Bowl.
Rather, the champion is decided by the AFC Championship Game (formerly the AFL Championship Game) as part of the post-season playoffs involving the teams with the best regular season records.

American Football Conference

AFCAmericanAmerican Football Conference (AFC)
The AFC Championship Game is the annual championship game of the American Football Conference (AFC) and one of the two semi-final playoff games of the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the United States.
The current AFC champions are the New England Patriots, who defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2018 AFC Championship Game for their 11th conference championship.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh PiratesSteelersPittsburgh
Since the pre-merger NFL consisted of six more teams than the AFL, a realignment was required as part of the merger to create two conferences with an equal number of teams: The NFL's Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers joined the ten former AFL teams to form the AFC; while the remaining 13 pre-merger NFL clubs formed the NFC.
The Steelers have won eight AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships.

NFL playoffs

playoffsNational Football League playoffsPostseason
The AFC Championship Game is the annual championship game of the American Football Conference (AFC) and one of the two semi-final playoff games of the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the United States.
The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games then meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games (hosted by the lower seed).

NFC Championship Game

NFC ChampionshipNFCGeorge Halas Trophy
The AFC champion then advances to face the winner of the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game in the Super Bowl.
The NFC champion then advances to face the winner of the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game in the Super Bowl.

Seattle Seahawks

SeattleSeahawksSeattle Seahawk
The Seattle Seahawks, who have been members in both the AFC and the NFC, hold the distinction of appearing in both conference title games, a loss in the AFC conference title game to the Los Angeles Raiders for Super Bowl XVIII and, in their first appearance in a NFC conference title game, a win over the Carolina Panthers for Super Bowl XL.
They are the only team to have played in both the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas CityChiefsKansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
Since 1984, each winner of the AFC Championship Game has also received the Lamar Hunt Trophy, named after the founder of both the AFL and the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt.
The 11–5 Chiefs defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Oilers on their way to the franchise's first AFC Championship Game appearance against the Buffalo Bills.

Super Bowl XL

XLSuper Bowl2005
The Seattle Seahawks, who have been members in both the AFC and the NFC, hold the distinction of appearing in both conference title games, a loss in the AFC conference title game to the Los Angeles Raiders for Super Bowl XVIII and, in their first appearance in a NFC conference title game, a win over the Carolina Panthers for Super Bowl XL.
Under Bill Cowher's reign as head coach since 1992, the Steelers had been one of the top teams in the NFL, making the playoffs in 10 out of his 14 seasons, advancing to the AFC Championship Game six times, and making an appearance in Super Bowl XXX, losing to the Dallas Cowboys 27–17.

Super Bowl

Super Bowl championSuper BowlsAFL-NFL World Championship Game
The AFC champion then advances to face the winner of the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game in the Super Bowl.
The Steelers were the first team to win three and then four Super Bowls and appeared in six AFC Championship Games during the decade, making the playoffs in eight straight seasons.

New England Patriots

Boston PatriotsNew EnglandPatriots
The New England Patriots have won the most AFC Championships at 11, and have played in a record eight straight AFC title games (2011–present).
The Colts broke a six-game Patriot winning streak in the rivalry in November 2005, then won twice in 2006; in the AFC Championship Game the Colts erased a 21–6 halftime lead; the game lead tied or changed seven times in the second half before a late touchdown led to a 38–34 Colts win.

1976 Oakland Raiders season

Oakland Raiders1976Raiders
After having appeared in the three previous AFC Championship Games – and having lost all three—the 1976 Raiders finally won the conference championship, and went on to win their first Super Bowl.

History of the Baltimore Colts

Baltimore ColtsBaltimoreColts
Since the pre-merger NFL consisted of six more teams than the AFL, a realignment was required as part of the merger to create two conferences with an equal number of teams: The NFL's Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers joined the ten former AFL teams to form the AFC; while the remaining 13 pre-merger NFL clubs formed the NFC.
In the first round of the NFL Playoffs, the Colts beat the Cincinnati Bengals 17–0; one week later in the first ever AFC Championship Game, they beat the Oakland Raiders 27–17.

1977 Oakland Raiders season

Oakland Raiders1977Raiders
The Raiders reached the AFC Championship Game for the fifth consecutive season, and their sixth in eight years.

1972 Pittsburgh Steelers season

Pittsburgh Steelers1972Steelers
The division title was the first in team history, as was the appearance in the AFC Championship game which they lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins 21-17.

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season

Pittsburgh Steelers1976Steelers
In 2007, ESPN.com named the 1976 Steelers the greatest defense in NFL history, noting, "the 1976 unit was the best (slightly better than the '75 squad). Here's why: 28. That's how many points the Steel Curtain surrendered in the last nine games of the season. That's a total. As a result, Pittsburgh, which started the season 1–4, made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game. Only 1 of the 7 teams the Steelers played during the streak finished the season with a winning record (Cincinnati) and none made the playoffs. The Steelers' defense had Hall of Famers Mean Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and Mel Blount. And eight Steelers defensive players made the 1976 Pro Bowl team: cornerback J.T. Thomas, defensive end L. C. Greenwood, Greene, Ham, Lambert, defensive back Glen Edwards, safety Mike Wagner, and Blount."

1980 Oakland Raiders season

Oakland RaidersRaiders1980
In the AFC Championship Game in San Diego, the game would be a shoot out as the Raiders stunned the Chargers 34-27 to become the first AFC Wild Card to make the Super Bowl.

1983 Seattle Seahawks season

Seattle Seahawks1983Seahawks
It was also the first season in which the Seahawks made the AFC playoffs, where they won the first two postseason games in franchise history, before losing in the AFC Championship Game.

1984 Miami Dolphins season

Miami DolphinsDolphins1984
The Dolphins won the 1984 AFC Championship, and appeared in Super Bowl XIX, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 38–16.

1973 Oakland Raiders season

Oakland Raiders1973Raiders
But the Raiders failed to reach the Super Bowl as they lost to Miami in the AFC Championship Game.

1986 Denver Broncos season

Denver BroncosBroncos1986
They finished the regular season with a record of 11–5, returned to the playoffs after a one-year absence, won the AFC Championship over the Cleveland Browns, and lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants.

1988 Cincinnati Bengals season

Cincinnati BengalsBengalsCincinnati
After coming off a disappointing 1987 season, the Bengals tied for the best record in the NFL in 1988, secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and won the AFC Championship, appearing in Super Bowl XXIII.

1981 San Diego Chargers season

San Diego Chargers1981Chargers
1981 was the second straight season in which the Chargers reached the AFC Championship Game, as well as their second consecutive loss.

1986 Cleveland Browns season

Cleveland BrownsBrowns1986
Cleveland won their first postseason game since 1969, and for the first time in franchise history, the Browns reached the AFC Championship Game, where they would eventually fall to the Denver Broncos, in the game famous for “The Drive.” It would be the first of three AFC Championship games that the Browns would reach in four seasons, all losses to Denver.

1982 New York Jets season

New York JetsJets1982
They defeated the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Raiders in the first two rounds of the playoffs to advance to their first AFC Championship Game.