What to look for – NFL Championship Weekend

SUPER CHAMPIONSHIP: In 2016, the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS won their eighth AFC East title in a row, the most consecutive division titles in NFL history, and have advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the sixth season in a row – also the longest streak all-time. The Patriots are 8-5 (.615) in AFC Championship Games all-time.

The PITTSBURGH STEELERS have advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the 16th time in franchise history and are 8-7 (.533).

The winner of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game will set an NFL record for the most Super Bowl berths in NFL history.

The teams with the most Super Bowl appearances:

TEAM SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES
Dallas 8
Denver 8
New England* 8
Pittsburgh* 8
San Francisco 6
*Play in AFC Championship Game Sunday

Pittsburgh, New England and the Green Bay Packers have three of the four highest postseason win totals in NFL history and are all in action on Championship Sunday.

The Steelers, who defeated Miami in the Wild Card round and Kansas City in the Divisional Playoffs, have 36 postseason wins, the most in NFL history. The Packers (34) and Patriots (30) rank tied for second and tied for fourth, respectively, in all-time postseason victories.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM WINS LOSSES WIN PCT SUPER BOWL WINS
Pittsburgh Steelers* 36 23 .610 6
Green Bay Packers* 34 21 .618 4
Dallas Cowboys 34 27 .557 5
New England Patriots* 30 19 .612 4
San Francisco 49ers 30 20 .600 5
*Play this weekend

— NFL —

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: This weekend’s Championship Games will feature three quarterbacks who have combined for seven Super Bowl titles: New England’s TOM BRADY (four), Pittsburgh’s BEN ROETHLISBERGER (two) and Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS (one).

The starting quarterbacks for this weekend’s Championship Games with Super Bowl titles:

PLAYER TEAM SUPER BOWL TITLES
Tom Brady New England Patriots 4 (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX)
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers 2 (XL, XLIII)
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers 1 (XLV)

The seven combined Super Bowl victories by Brady, Roethlisberger and Rodgers are the most by the four starting quarterbacks playing in a season’s Conference Championship Games.

The most combined Super Bowl wins by the four starting quarterbacks in a season’s Championship Games:

YEAR PLAYERS (NUMBER OF SUPER BOWL WINS) COMBINED SUPER BOWL TITLES
2016 Tom Brady* (4), Ben Roethlisberger* (2), Aaron Rodgers* (1) 7
2015 Tom Brady (4), Peyton Manning (1) 5
2014 Tom Brady (3), Aaron Rodgers (1), Russell Wilson (1) 5
1993 Joe Montana (4), Troy Aikman (1) 5
*Play this weekend

— NFL —

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN led the NFL with a 117.1 passer rating in 2016, the fifth-highest single-season rating in NFL history. New England’s TOM BRADY (112.2) and Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS (104.2) ranked second and fourth respectively.

The four quarterbacks projected to start the AFC and NFC Championship Games on Sunday combined for a 107.0 passer rating this season, the highest combined regular-season passer rating by the four starting quarterbacks in a season’s Championship Games.

The four starting quarterbacks with the highest combined regular-season passer rating in a season’s Championship Games:

YEAR PLAYERS (PASSER RATING) COMBINED PASSER RATING
2016 Matt Ryan (117.1), Tom Brady (112.2),

Aaron Rodgers (104.2), Ben Roethlisberger (95.4)

107.0
1998 Randall Cunningham (106.0), Vinny Testaverde (101.6),

Chris Chandler (100.9), John Elway (93.0)

100.7

— NFL —

STREAKING STARS: Several of the NFL’s best and brightest have the opportunity to make their mark in the postseason record book on Championship Sunday.

Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 355 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ 34-31 victory at Dallas in the Divisional Playoffs. Rodgers, who has passed for at least 350 yards and two touchdowns in both postseason games this season, can tie DREW BREES (three) for the most consecutive playoff games with at least 350 passing yards and two touchdown passes in NFL postseason history.

The most consecutive postseason games with at least 350 passing yards and two touchdown passes:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON(S) STREAK
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints 2010-11 3
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers 2016 2*
Kurt Warner Arizona Cardinals 2008-09 2
Kurt Warner St. Louis Rams 1999-2000 2
*Active streak

Pittsburgh running back LE’VEON BELL rushed for 170 yards in the Steelers 18-16 win at Kansas City in the Divisional Playoffs and is the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 150 yards in each of his first two career postseason games. Bell, who had 167 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Wild Card win against Miami, has the two highest single-game rushing performances in franchise postseason history.

With 113 rushing yards at New England on Sunday, Bell would become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 450 rushing yards in a single postseason.

The players with the most rushing yards in a single postseason:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RUSH YARDS
John Riggins Washington Redskins 1982 610
Terrell Davis Denver Broncos 1997 581
Terrell Davis Denver Broncos 1998 468
Marcus Allen Los Angeles Raiders 1983 466
Eddie George Tennessee Titans 1999 449
Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 337*
*Through two games

Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN passed for 338 yards with three touchdowns for a 125.7 rating in the Falcons’ 36-20 win over Seattle in the Divisional Playoffs.

With three touchdown passes against Green Bay on Sunday, Ryan, who has thrown for three touchdowns in each of his past three playoff games, would become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least three touchdown passes in four consecutive postseason games.

The most consecutive postseason games with at least three touchdown passes:

PLAYER SEASON(S) TEAM CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 3+ TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Matt Ryan 2012, 2016 Atlanta Falcons 3*
Tom Brady 2014 New England Patriots 3
Joe Flacco 2012 Baltimore Ravens 3
Aaron Rodgers 2009-10 Green Bay Packers 3
Kurt Warner 2008-09 Arizona Cardinals 3
Bernie Kosar 1987, 1989 Cleveland Browns 3
*Active streak

— NFL —

SUPER COMBINATION: New England head coach BILL BELICHICK and quarterback TOM BRADY have made six Super Bowl appearances together, the most appearances by any head coach-quarterback combination in NFL history.

With a win Sunday against the Steelers, the Patriots can extend their NFL record for the most such Super Bowl appearances.

The head coach-quarterback combinations with the most Super Bowl appearances in NFL history:

QUARTERBACK HEAD COACH TEAM SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES
Tom Brady Bill Belichick New England Patriots* 6
Roger Staubach Tom Landry Dallas Cowboys 4
Jim Kelly Marv Levy Buffalo Bills 4
Terry Bradshaw Chuck Noll Pittsburgh Steelers 4
*Active

With a win, Belichick (six) would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA (six) and become the only coach to lead his team(s) to seven Super Bowls.

The head coaches to reach the most Super Bowls:

HEAD COACH SUPER BOWL BERTHS
Bill Belichick* 6
Don Shula 6
Tom Landry 5
Five tied 4
*Active Sunday

— NFL —

AFC TROPHY PRESENTATION: The LAMAR HUNT TROPHY will be presented to the winner of the AFC Championship Game.

The late Hunt, founder of the Kansas City Chiefs and American Football League, helped professional football attain its stature as America’s No. 1 sport.  In the 10-year history of the AFL, his team posted the most wins (87) and earned berths in two of the first four Super Bowls, including a victory in Super Bowl IV.

In 1972, Hunt became the first person from the AFL to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

NFC TROPHY PRESENTATION: The winner of the NFC Championship Game will be presented with the GEORGE HALAS TROPHY.

Halas, the late owner of the Chicago Bears and a founder of the NFL, is the second-winningest coach in history (324-151-31) behind DON SHULA (347-173-6). He won six NFL championships with the Bears and is a charter enshrinee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1963).

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