Choudhry's Chronicles

By: Saleem Choudhry

Saleem Choudhry - Researcher
Saleem spends his days gathering, interpreting, and disseminating information about the game of pro football. He now shares in his blog some of the more unique stories and facts that he has uncovered while working with the Hall’s vast collection of more than 18 million pages of documents.

Playoffs: The Conference Championships


Jan 18, 2011

What a great set of conference championship games we have to look forward to this weekend. If you want my picks, I like the Pittsburgh Steelers to take care of business at home against the New York Jets to capture the AFC crown. In the NFC, I think Green Bay is going to win and return to the team's first Super Bowl since Brett Favre led them to a return trip to the big game as defending champions in 1997.

The NFC Championship is pretty interesting from a historical perspective as well. The match-up between these NFC North division rivals marks just the 16th time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 that a conference championship featured opponents from the same division.

Both the Packers and the Bears each won their home game during the season. So this conference championship may be the best "rubber match" of all time.

Let's take a look at the past conference championship games which featured division rivals and their season record against each other leading into the game.

1971 AFC – Miami Dolphins 21, Baltimore Colts 0
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1972 NFC – Washington Redskins 26, Dallas Cowboys 3
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1977 AFC – Denver Broncos 20, Oakland Raiders 17
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1978 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Houston Oilers 5
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1979 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Houston 13
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1980 NFC – Philadelphia Eagles 20, Dallas Cowboys 7
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1982 AFC – Miami Dolphins 14, New York Jets 0
Regular season: Miami won both regular season games. Note: the 1982 season was shortened to nine games due to a player's strike.

1982 NFC – Washington Redskins 31, Dallas Cowboys 17
Regular season: Dallas won the lone regular season game. Note: the 1982 season was shortened to nine games due to a player's strike.

1983 AFC – Los Angeles Raiders 30, Seattle Seahawks 14
Regular season: Seattle won both regular season games

1985 AFC – New England Patriots 31, Miami Dolphins 14
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1986 NFC – New York Giants 17, Washington Redskins 0
Regular season: New York won both regular season games

1989 NFC – San Francisco 30, Los Angeles Rams 3
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1992 AFC – Buffalo Bills 20, Miami Dolphins 10
Regular season: Both teams had one win each

1999 AFC – Tennessee Titans 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 14
Regular season: Tennessee won both regular season games

2008 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Baltimore Ravens 14
Regular season: Pittsburgh won both regular season games

Only in five of the 15 match-ups did one team defeat the other twice leading into the conference title. Of those five, the team that won both the regular season bouts took the conference crown four times.

In the other games you really had to wait to see the game to know who was going to win, just like we are going to have to do this week.