Championship Sunday by the numbers

Here are a few stats regarding Championship Sunday to chew on while we await the games later today.

  • This is the 8th AFC Championship game in the history of the New England Patriots.  That ties them with the Denver Broncos for 3rd most appearances all-time.  Only the Pittsburgh Steelers (15) and the Oakland Raiders (11) have more appearances.
  • Conversely this is appearance #3 in the AFC Championship game for the Baltimore Ravens.  They have been in the league since 1996.
  • The San Fransisco 49ers will make their 13th appearance in an NFC Championship Game on Sunday.  That’s good for 2nd place all-time, one behind the Dallas Cowboys’ 14 appearances.
  • Surprisingly the New York Giants are going to only their 5th NFC title game.  However their previous record is 4-0 and they are the only team with more than two appearances in a Championship game to have a perfect record.
  • As far as the other teams’ Championship records go, the Patriots are 6-1, the Ravens are 1-1, and the 49ers are 5-7
  • The 49ers will host their 10th title game on Sunday, which is the most ever for an NFC team.  Only the Pittsburgh Steelers (11) have hosted more.
  • 5 teams have never won an AFC Championship Game – The Browns, the Texans, the Jets, the Jaguars, and the Chiefs.  Those 5 teams are a combined 0-10.  Only the Texans have never appeared in a Championship Game
  • The only NFC team to never win an NFC Championship is the Detroit Lions who are 0-1
  • The highest scoring AFC Championship game was the 1984 game in which the Miami Dolphins defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 45-28 (73 total points).  The lowest scoring game was the 1982 affair which saw the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets by a score of 14-0 (14 total points)
  • The highest scoring NFC Championship game was the 1994 one between the San Fransisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.  The 49ers won that game by a score of 38-28 (66 total points).  The lowest scoring game was the 1979 game which saw the Los Angeles Rams beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 9-0 (9 total points)
  • Not including the Texans, who have never made a championship game, the Bengals hold the longest active streak in the NFL, 23 years since last appearing in a championship game.  In the NFC both the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins have gone 20 years without appearing in one.
  • Counting only teams who have won a Championship game, the Vikings have gone the longest without winning one, last winning it in 1976.  The Bengals have the longest drought in the AFC, last winning it in 1981.
  • The team with the longest consecutive winning streak in a Championship game is the Buffalo Bills, who won 4 in a row between 1990-1993.  4 teams are tied for the record for most consecutive losses in a row, with 3.  They are the Oakland Raiders (1973-1975), the Los Angeles Rams (1974-1976), the Dallas Cowboys (1980-1982), and the Philadelphia Eagles (2001-2003).
  • The Oakland Raiders hold the record for most consecutive appearances with 5 (1973-1977).  They lost the first 3 but won the fourth and then lost the fifth for a record of 1-4 in the 5 game stretch.
  • January football has always been associated with cold weather and there have been some cold championship games.  The lowest temperature for an NFC Championship game was the 2007 match-up between the Giants and the Packers.  It was -7 degrees in Green Bay that day.  The coldest AFC Championship match-up was the 1981 game between the Bengals and the Chargers.  It was -6 degrees in Cincinnati.  Last season when the Jets played the Steelers in Pittsburgh and the Packers played the Bears in Chicago it was the first time that both championship games had a temperature of 0 degrees or lower (Both games had a kickoff temperature of 0 degrees on the dot.)
  • The warmest temperature for a Championship game was in Arizona in 2008 when the Cardinals hosted the Eagles.  It was a balmy 73 degrees at game time.
  • Dan Marino holds the all-time record for most passing yards in a Championship game.  He threw for 421 yards against the Steelers in 1984.  That was his rookie year.  Kerry Collins holds the NFC record with 381 yards against the Vikings in the Giants 41-0 win in the 2000 NFC Championship.
  • Despite being in their 4th Championship game, and winning all 4, Tom Brady was the first Patriot quarterback to throw for over 200 yards when he threw for 237 yards against the Colts in the 2003 AFC Championship game.  Tony Eason only needed 77 yards passing to beat the Dolphins in 1985, Drew Bledsoe needed only 178 yards to dispatch the Jaguars in 1996 and Brady threw for 115 yards before being injured in 2001.  Bledsoe threw for 102 in relief of Brady.
  • Eagles running back Wilbert Montgomery holds the Championship game record for most rushing yards in a single game, tallying 194 yards in the 1980 NFC Championship against the Cowboys.  Bills running back Thurman Thomas holds the AFC record with 186 yards against the Chiefs in the 1993 AFC Championship.
  • Only one AFC Championship game has gone into overtime, the 1986 game between the Broncos and the Browns.  That was the game of the famous “Drive” by John Elway in which he moved the ball 92 yards in the final 5 minutes to score the game tying touchdown.  The Broncos went on to win 23-20 in overtime.
  • Three AFC Championship games ended in a 3 point win in regulation – 1977, when the Broncos beat the Raiders 20-17, 1991 when the Bills beat the Broncos 10-7, and 1997, when the Broncos beat the Steelers 24-21.  No AFC Championship game has ever been decided by less than three points.
  • The Bills were the only team in history to win the AFC Championship game without scoring an offensive TD.  Linebacker Carlton Bailey scored on a 12 yard INT return in the Bills 10-7 win over Denver.  Two NFC teams have won the NFC Championship game with all field goals – the Los Angeles Rams in their 9-0 win over the Buccaneers in 1979 and the Giants 15-13 win over the 49ers in 1990.
  • Three NFC Championship games have gone into overtime, including 2 of the last 4.  The OT games were in 1998, when the Falcons beat the Vikings 30-27, 2007, when the Giants beat the Packers 23-20, and 2009, when the Saints beat the Vikings 31-28
  • Unlike the AFC, the NFC Championship has had two games decided by less than three points.  The first was the 1981 NFC Championship in which the 49ers beat the Cowboys 28-27 on Dwight Clark’s famous TD catch.  The second was the 1990 game between the two teams meeting later today, the Giants and the 49ers.  The Giants won 15-13 on a last second field goal by Matt Bahr.  That was the only game winning field goal at the end of regulation in Championship game history.

Enjoy the games

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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