The NFC Championship game is one of the top games in all of football. It pairs the two best teams in the National Football Conference (NFC) in a winner takes all match up. The NFC Champion goes on to the Super Bowl to play their counterpart from the AFC. The loser of the NFC Championship goes home to start preparing for next season. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have the most visits to the NFC Championship under their belts, with more than a dozen each. In fact, the Cowboys won the first two NFC Championship games over the 49ers back in the early 1970’s. The winning team receives the George Halas Trophy and earns a spot in the Super Bowl.
Unlike the Super Bowl, the NFC Championship Game is not played at a neutral stadium. Rather the team with the highest playoff seed will host the game giving way to an extremely beneficial home field advantage. The NFC Championship game converted to the home field rule for the 1975-76 season. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for NFC Championship Game tickets.
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2017 NFC Championship Game Preview
The 2016 NFC Championship Game is set to kickoff on Sunday January 24th, 2016 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The two top seeds in the NFC Playoffs utilized their bye week to come out firing, with both the Cardinals and the Panthers advancing to the NFC Championship game.
The Cardinals have reached the 2016 NFC Championship Game due in large part to the health of their team’s top players. The past few years, offensive stars Larry Fitzgerald, and Carson Palmer have battled major injuries, especially late in the season, which have derailed the Cardinals chances in the Playoffs. The Cardinals have lost just 3 times all season, and as much confidence as any team in the NFL. Arizona hasn’t lost on the road since Week 6, but might face their toughest road test of the season when they travel to Charlotte. The Carolina Panthers have bulldozed their way through the 2015 NFL season, losing only a single game all year. The Panthers have one of the top defenses in the NFL and maul opposing teams up front. The Panthers defense has held opposing teams offenses under 20 points in 3 of their last 5 games, and have given up more than 30 points only twice this season.
The NFC Championship Game will likely be decided by how the Cardinals are able to handle the Panthers defensive front. The Cardinals passing game is one of the best in the NFL, but Carson Palmer has never been known as a mobile quarterback, and will likely be pressured early and often against the Panthers. Arizona has struggled to run the ball down the stretch and won’t find any respite against the Panthers fantastic run defense. Arizona also has a fantastic defensive front, and must keep Cam Newton under wraps early in the game, to give the Cardinals a shot at derailing the Panthers chances at a 17-1 run to the Super bowl.
Recent NFC Championship Games
Green Bay Packers (22) at Seattle Seahawks (28) Sunday, January 18, 2015 at CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Washington)The 2015 NFC Championship Game will feature one of the most intriguing matchups in the NFL Playoffs this season. Both of the NFC’s top seeds utilized their extra week of rest and came out swinging in the Divisional Playoff Round. For the Seattle Seahawks to reach a 2nd straight Super Bowl, they will have to get through Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers come into the 2015 NFC Championship Game playing their best football. The Packers have won 8 of their last 9 games, and have only lost twice since week 2. The Packers and Seahawks represent two of the top teams in the NFL on both sides of the ball. The Packers have a dynamic offense that can pour on the points practically at will. While Seattle also has a great offense, their defense is becoming a thing of legend. The Legion of Boom, led by Richard Sherman, and Earl Thomas stifles opposing teams offenses and has held teams under 20 points 7 straight weeks coming into the NFC Championship Game.
The NFC Championship Game will be a rematch of a week 1 game between the Seahawks and Packers that saw Seattle win handily in Seattle. Since that game, both teams have improved drastically. Expect Green Bay to try to establish Eddie Lacy and the run game early to try and loosen up the Seahawks daunting secondary. The Seahawks will also try and establish the run, as the Packers gave up more than 140 yards on the ground to the Cowboys. The Seahawks have only lost at home twice since Russell Wilson took over as quarterback, and the home field advantage at CenturyLink Field is serious. If the Packers are able to avoid turning the ball over, and protect Rodgers, they will have a shot at giving Wilson his 3rd home loss. If not? Seattle will likely be on their way to a 2nd straight Super Bowl.
San Francisco 49ers (17) at Seattle Seahawks (23) Sunday, January 19, 2014 at CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Washington)The 2014 NFC Championship game is not only the ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII but is also one of the NFC’s most intriguing rivalries. After slipping by the Packers and stopping the Panthers, the San Francisco 49ers will head to one of the toughest places to play in the entire country to face the Seattle Seahawks. Similar to the AFC Championship game the NFC Championship features two elite quarterbacks that hone a very similar style of play. With versatility resuming as both Kaepernick and Wilson’s advantage over most in the league, they will essentially be facing each other.
While the rivalry has always produced a heightened level of competition between the two team, that level will be extremely outdone as the two teams meet in the Championship Game for the first time in playoff history. San Francisco is by far the more seasoned team when it comes to the NFC Championship as Seattle is making only its second appearance in the game but the Seahawks have one huge factor on their side, home field advantage. The 12th man broke the record as the loudest stadium in the country earlier this year and will likely get close to repeating that feat in the Championship Game against the 49ers.
Both teams are sporting the top two defenses in the league leaving the struggle to the offensive side of the ball. San Francisco returned some help from the injured reserve as Crabtree and Manningham provide some much needed help to Boldin and Davis. Inversely the Seahawks may be playing the Championship game without their mid-season returnee Percy Harvin who suffered a concussion in the divisional round against New Orleans. If Harvin does miss the game expect the focus to ride on the shoulders of Seattle’s beast, Marshawn Lynch.
January 19, 2014 will produce one of the most exciting NFC Championship Games in recent history as the San Francisco 49ers head to the home of the 12th man to face the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
San Francisco 49ers (28) at Atlanta Falcons (24) Sunday, January 20, 2013 at Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Georgia) The NFC Championship is set in stone as the San Francisco 49ers head to the ATL to take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome and though it's a repeat for the Niners, the "Dirty Birds" have not seen the NFC Championship since the 2004-2005 season. With hopes high that the 49er dynasty team was back, San Francisco fans were devastated after the 20-17 loss to the Giants in last year's Championship game at Candlestick Park. This year the Niners will get their shot at redemption but it won't be Alex Smith under center this time. This year's game will put two NFC Championship game rookies under center as Colin Kaepernick and Matt Ryan lead their teams against one another.
After clinching his first playoff win ever, thanks to his place kicker Matt Bryant, Matt Ryan shook off the "boogie man" that had kept him 0-4 in the playoffs by continuing one of the greatest Falcon seasons in recent history. Despite a few bumps in the road the Falcons have proven that they are deserving of their current championship contending spot but will have to take it a step further against the best defense they have seen all year. Ryan has all the tools necessary to get the job done including one of the best tight ends to ever play the game in Tony Gonzales, who is also considering a retirement decision that will fuel this Atlanta team with motivation. The struggle for the Falcons will come on the defensive side of the ball.
The newly acquired triple threat at San Francisco's quarter back position has proven to be the real deal and gives the 49ers a real advantage offensively. Kaepernicks ability to run, pass, and evade a collapsing pocket only to find one of his laundry list of weapons down the field can be a deciding factor in a game as close as this one. Add one of the most productive running backs in the game to that and you have a 49er offense that is close to unstoppable. In order to have any impact on this offense the Falcons will have to play a twisted game of pressure and containment and if the Falcons are unable to match scores with the 49ers they could end up in a deep hole and playing catch up.
It's the #1 seed against the #2 seed as the Atlanta Falcons welcome the San Francisco 49ers into the Georgia Dome for the 2013 NFC Championship in a game that can only send one to New Orleans in February.