This year’s AFC Championship game will feature a familiar franchise as well as a rising organization.
On one side there are the Kansas City Chiefs. They will host the conference title game for the fourth straight time, reaching the contest every year since Patrick Mahomes was their full-time starting quarterback.
Although the creation of the game has become an annual tradition, it has not always been so for Kansas City. For the first four decades since the NFL and AFL merged, the Chiefs grew closer to the team they will face on Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals are making just their third appearance in an AFC championship game and their first since 1988. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have only reached the conference title game once from 1970 to 2018. .
With Joe Burrow in Cincinnati and Mahomes in Kansas City, both organizations are poised to have a major presence in future conference championship games. But which organizations have been the most common participants in title games over the past 51 years?
Here is an overview of the teams that have won, lost and reached the most AFC Championship games:
Which team has won the most AFC Championship games?
the New England Patriots have by far the most wins in AFC league games with 11.
Nine of those wins came from 2001 to 2019, when Tom Brady was the team’s starting quarterback. Those nine wins translated into six Super Bowl victories for Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history.
Speaking of the Steelers, they’re tied with the Denver Broncos for the second most wins in the AFC Championship Game with eight. the Miami Dolphins are next on the list with five conference title wins.
Which team has lost the most AFC Championship games?
In addition to eight wins, the Steelers also have eight losses in AFC Championship games, the most of any team.
Second on the list for most losses, the Las Vegas Raiders with seven. After them, the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and New York Jets are tied for third with four losses apiece.
Which team has the most AFC league appearances?
The Steelers have played a record 16 AFC Championship games in total, one more than the Patriots. The Raiders (11) and Broncos (10) are the only other teams with double-digit appearances.
Sixteen teams have reached an AFC Championship game, but these are not the 16 teams that make up the current AFC. The Seattle Seahawks played in the AFC West from when they joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976 until the 2002 season when they moved to the NFC West. Their appearance in the AFC Championship Game came in the 1983 season when they lost to the Oakland Raiders 30-14.
The only current AFC team to never reach the conference title game is the Houston Texans.
Here is the full list of teams listed by appearances in AFC Championship games:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 16 (8-8)
2. New England Patriots: 15 (11-4)
3. Las Vegas Raiders: 11 (4-7)
4. Denver Broncos: 10 (8-2)
T-5. Miami Dolphins: 7 (5-2)
T-5. Indianapolis Colts: 7 (3-4)
7. Buffalo Bills: 6 (4-2)
T-8. Tennessee Titans: 5 (1-4)
T-8. Kansas City Chiefs: 5 (2-2)
T-10. Baltimore Ravens: 4 (2-2)
T-10. Los Angeles Chargers: 4 (1-3)
T-10. New York Jets: 4 (0-4)
T-13. Cincinnati Bengals: 3 (2-0)
T-13. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 (0-3)
T-13. Cleveland Browns: 3 (0-3)
16. Seattle Seahawks: 1 (0-1)
T-17. Houston Texans: 0
T-17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 0