AFC Championship Game

AFC Championship Game

AFC Championship Game

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The American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game is one of the two semi-final playoff matches of the National Football League, the largest professional American football league in the United States. The game is played on the penultimate Sunday in January and determines the champion of the American Football Conference. The winner then advances to face the winner of the National Football Conference Championship Game in the Super Bowl.

The game was established as part of the 1970 merger between the NFL and the American Football League (AFL), with the merged league realigning into two conferences. The first AFC Championship Game was held on January 3, 1971, with the Baltimore Colts defeating the Oakland Raiders, 27-17. The most recent game was played on January 23, 2011, with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the New York Jets, 24-19.

Since 1984, each winner of the AFC Championship Game has also received the Lamar Hunt Trophy, named after the founder of the AFL and longtime leader of the Kansas City Chiefs.


The first AFC Championship Game was played in 1970 after the merger between the NFL and the AFL. The game is considered the successor to the former AFL Championship, and its game results are listed with that of its predecessor in the annual NFL Record and Fact Book. The original AFC was formed by joining the ten former AFL teams with three pre-merger NFL teams: the Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The...
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