The AFC Championship Game matches up the top two teams from the American Football Conference (AFC). The winner of the AFC Championship goes on to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. The NFL playoffs consist of four (4) rounds, starting with the Wildcard round, then proceeding to the Divisional Playoff Round. The two winning teams from the AFC Divisional Playoff games match up in the AFC Championship Game, which decides one of the two teams in the Super Bowl. The team that wins the AFC Championship is given the Lamar Hunt Trophy, which is named for the legendary owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt is recognized for his role in founding the AFL, the AFC's forerunner before merging with the NFL.
Unlike the Super Bowl, the AFC 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 AFC Championship game converted to the home field rule for the 1975-76 season. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for AFC Championship Game tickets.
2017 AFC Championship Game Preview
The 2016 AFC Championship Game will feature possibly the final battle between future hall of fame quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. The game is set to kick off on January 24th, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado.
Tom Brady leads the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots into Denver, in what will be an unprecedented 5th straight AFC Championship Game appearance for the Patriots. The Patriots have lost just four times all season, and have their receiver corps at full strength for one of the first times all season, with Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski both in the lineup. The Patriots just seem to find ways to win games, and might be the favorite heading into what should be a cold and messy game in Denver.
The Broncos can take solace in the fact that they beat the Patriots in Week 11, and have Peyton Manning back at his healthiest in a number of seasons. The Broncos have relied on their fantastic defense all season, and will hope that the combination of DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller can pressure Brady into uncharacteristic mistakes. The Denver Broncos defense also features a fantastic secondary, including former Patriot Aqib Talib, who will likely hawk Edelman and Gronkowski all day.
2016 will be the 4th time that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have met in the AFC Championship Game, and will likely be the last time the two play each other at this stage. Look for plenty of passing yards from both sides, but for the defensive fronts to decide, which team advances to Super Bowl 50.
Recent AFC Championship Games
Indianapolis Colts (7) at New England Patriots (45) Sunday, January 18, 2015 at Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts) The 2015 AFC Championship game is set and will pit two of the NFL’s top passing offense’s against one another at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, January 18. Similar to last year’s AFC Championship game, this year will feature another legendary quarterback duel between veteran Tom Brady and the young gun Andrew Luck. Though each carry a very different style of play, both quarterbacks bring intangible elements to the game that will make this one of the most intense games of the season.
Tom Brady will be leading the New England Patriots in to their fourth consecutive AFC Championship game. With that, the Patriots will look to combine their experience and home field advantage to gain a leg on the Colts, a team that is playing at their best as of late. Offensively the Patriots will need their running game to be at its best as they head up a Colts defense that is elite when it comes to defending the pass, as Peyton Manning and the Broncos recently discovered. With a committee in the backfield that includes the likes of Jonas Gray, Shane Vereen, and LaGarrette Blount using the run game to create matchups in the passing game will be a critical aspect of the Patriots game plan. New England’s passing game will likely fall on the shoulders of Brady’s secondary receivers assuming Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman garner the attention they deserve from Indianapolis. Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels took advantage of the defensive focus on Gronk and Edelman in the win over Baltimore by creating great opportunities for Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell, something the Colts will surely see on Sunday.
While it undoubtingly won’t be his last, it will be Andrew Luck’s first appearance in the AFC Championship game. With a shot at the Super Bowl on the line the Patriots can expect to see Luck at his best despite the emotional intensity that comes with the spotlight. When it comes to the passing game no team in the NFL comes close to operating at the Colts caliber, especially in the playoffs. Offensively #12 has an arsenal of wide outs at his disposal to attack a sub-par New England secondary that comes in at 17th overall in defending the pass. Though the Indy receiving core is highlighted by one of the league’s most dominant deep threats in T.Y. Hilton, the positions depth is what makes the Colts such a contender. Game planning for a position that includes names like Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, and rookie star Donte Moncrief will just be half the battle for New England given Andrew Lucks canny ability to escape the pocket with his legs.
The road to Super Bowl XLIX is coming to its end but not before two of the NFL’s most talented quarterbacks take the field in Foxborough. In a game that is sure to exceed its hype, the 2015 AFC Championship game is not one to miss. Get your AFC Championship game tickets before it’s too late to be a part of the NFL Playoffs as the Indianapolis Colts take on the New England Patriots for a shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
New England Patriots (16) at Denver Broncos (26) Sunday, January 19, 2014 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium (Denver, Colorado) The 2014 AFC Championship Game is headed to Denver, Colorado where the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos will duke it out at Mile High Stadium for a shot at the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 48. The Broncos had to redeem themselves over the Chargers in the Divisional round while Brady and the Pat’s had to end the luck of the Colts at Gillette Stadium.
The “Manning Brady Bowl” will be heading into its 15th round in the 2014 AFC Championship Game, and you don’t have to remind either of the two legacies that this may be the most important of them all. Brady has won 10 of the 14 previous bouts including 2 of the 3 times the two quarterbacks have met in the playoffs. The last time the two met in the AFC Championship was in 2006 and Manning pulled out the largest comeback in AFC or NFC championship history. Brady was able to do the same earlier this year with the score favoring the Broncos 24-0.
While there is a huge emphasis on the two future Hall of Famer’s under center in this game, it’s likely the two defenses will determine the outcome. In the first matchup between Denver and New England this year each team lost 3 forced fumbles and New England grabbed one of Manning’s attempts for their own. When you look at the number of offensive weapons on both sides of the ball, each team will have a daunting task at stopping one another. For Denver keeping one of the best red zone tight ends, Rob Gronkowski, contained is crucial. Likewise, the New England defense will have their hands full with Julius Thomas who was not in attendance of the regular season matchup between the two teams.
Don’t miss the biggest game in the AFC between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots on January 19, 2014 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.
Baltimore Ravens (28) at New England Patriots (13) Sunday, January 20, 2013 at Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts) The Baltimore Ravens will head to Gillette Stadium for the second year in a row to take on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. Last year's Championship did not favor the Ravens as they failed to produce in key situations leading to a 23-20 Patriots victory. 2013 is a new year and the last time these two teams met (week 3 of this season) the Ravens found a way to defeat Brady's offensive powerhouse. With that win on their shoulders and the sweet taste of revenge looming in their sights the 2013 AFC Championship is all but predictable, especially given the retirement circumstances of Ray Lewis.
It will truly be a battle between the NFL's most strategic offense and defense. With the addition of a descent running game in Ridley and Morehead, Tom Brady's ability to confuse the defense is at an all-time high. With weapons on the outside like Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, and Shane Vereen the Baltimore defense will have their hands full come Sunday. Keeping Brady's arsenal off the field will prove to be the Ravens biggest feat and if the O-line can create some room for Ray Rice to establish a drive sustaining run game this game could come down to the wire. If the Patriots learned anything from watching the Ravens defeat the Broncos in the divisional round it should be the danger of Flacco's deep ball. Flacco possess some of the most physical wide outs in the game in Boldin, Jones, and Smith and he is not afraid to use them as we have come to find out.
The 2013 AFC Championship is here and it's stacking up to be another great game between two dominant forces within the AFC. It's the Baltimore Ravens against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro in a game you don't want to miss.