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Conference Championship Games Preview

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conference champs01The final four teams are set and this Sunday will determine the two teams heading to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.












AFC Championship Game

Tennessee Titans

Kansas City Chiefs

3:05 PM ET


NFC Championship Game

Green Bay Packers

San Francisco 49ers

6:40 PM ET


Championship Sunday begins with the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, between the TENNESSEE TITANS (11-7) and the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-4), followed by the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, featuring the GREEN BAY PACKERS (14-3) and the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (14-3). For the 15th consecutive season, there will be a new Super Bowl champion.

Three of the four remaining teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – are making a Championship game appearance after missing the playoffs last season. This marks the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons. Additionally, San Francisco is the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season, and the second in three years, joining Jacksonville in 2017.

In the NFC, this marks the third consecutive year in which the Championship Game features the conference’s top-two seeds. The AFC, meanwhile, sees the No. 6 seed Titans traveling to the No. 2 seed Chiefs. The Titans are the first six seed to reach the Conference Championship since the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in 2010. The Chiefs join New England (2011-12, 2016-17) as the only teams to host the AFC Championship in consecutive seasons since 2000.

Each game features a quarterback making his first career appearance in a Conference Championship, as both Tennessee’s RYAN TANNEHILL and San Francisco’s JIMMY GAROPPOLO take center stage for the first time on Sunday. Tannehill led the NFL with a 117.5 passer rating in 2019, the fourth-highest single-season mark in NFL history among qualified passers. Garoppolo has compiled a 22-5 record, including postseason, as a starting quarterback in his career.

Both Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES and Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS are making a return to Championship Sunday as starting quarterbacks. After leading the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game last season, Mahomes will become the eighth quarterback to start two Championship games in his first three seasons since 1970. Rodgers, meanwhile, makes his fourth Championship Game appearance, the third-most among active quarterbacks.

Each contest is a rematch of a memorable 2019 regular-season game. In Week 10, Tennessee defeated Kansas City in Nashville, 35-32, as the two teams combined for over 900 yards of total offense. The game featured five lead changes and the Titans overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Chiefs, thanks to Tannehill’s touchdown pass in the final minute and a blocked potential game-tying Kansas City field goal as time expired. In their Week 12 meeting at Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco defeated Green Bay, 37-8, on Sunday Night Football, as the 49ers’ defense held the Packers to their lowest point total of the season. 

TENNESSEE TITANS (11-7) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-4) (Sunday, CBS, 3:05 PM ET)      

  • The Titans and Chiefs meet in the postseason for the fourth time. Kansas City won the first two postseason meetings, with Tennessee winning the most recent matchup, a 22-21 victory in the 2017 Wild Card round at Arrowhead Stadium (January 6, 2018).
  • The Chiefs hold a 29-24 advantage in 53 all-time meetings between the clubs (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 10 (November 10), with the Titans winning 35-32.
  • The Titans will play in the franchise’s sixth AFL/AFC Championship Game and Sunday’s contest will mark the team’s first AFC Championship Game since 2002 (January 19, 2003, at Oakland).
  • Tennessee can become the third team since 1990 to defeat the top three seeds in its respective conference in a single postseason, joining the 2005 Steelers and 2010 Packers. Both teams went on to win the Super Bowl.
  • MIKE VRABEL is the first Titans head coach to win his first two postseason games since JEFF FISHER in 1999.
  • Tennessee quarterback RYAN TANNEHILL leads the NFL with a 114.8 passer rating, including postseason, and has won each of his first two career postseason starts. He threw the game-winning 23-yard touchdown pass in their Week 10 meeting.
  • Titans running back DERRICK HENRY has rushed for 377 yards in two games this postseason and, including his Week 17 performance, is the first player in NFL history with at least 180 rushing yards in three consecutive games. His 195 rushing yards in the Divisional round were a single-game franchise postseason record.
  • In three career games against Kansas City, including the playoffs, Henry has 402 rushing yards (134 per game) and five rushing touchdowns.
  • In their Divisional win over Baltimore, defensive tackle JURRELL CASEY became the fifth Titans/Oilers player with multiple sacks in a postseason game since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
  • The Titans had two players selected to the 2020 Pro Bowl: running back DERRICK HENRY and punter BRETT KERN.
  • Kansas City will play in the team’s sixth AFL/AFC Championship Game and is appearing in the game in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.
  • ANDY REID makes his seventh Conference Championship appearance as head coach, tied for the third-most by a head coach since 1970.
  • In their Divisional victory over the Texans, Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES became the first player in NFL history with at least 300 passing yards (321), five touchdown passes (five) and 50 rushing yards (53) in a single postseason game. Mahomes leads the NFL with 84 touchdown passes since 2018, including postseason.
  • Chiefs running back DAMIEN WILLIAMS had three touchdowns last week, becoming the fourth player since 1950 with multiple postseason games with at least three touchdowns. Williams has eight career postseason touchdowns and seven with Kansas City, the most in franchise history.
  • Tight end TRAVIS KELCE had a career-high three touchdown receptions in the Divisional round, becoming the third tight end in the Super Bowl era with three touchdown receptions in a single postseason game. In the regular season, Kelce led all tight ends with 1,229 receiving yards, becoming the first tight end in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons.
  • In their Week 12 meeting, Kansas City wide receiver TYREEK HILL had 11 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown.
  • Last week, Chiefs defensive end FRANK CLARK became the first Chiefs player since 1982 with three sacks in a postseason game.
  • The Chiefs had six players selected to the 2020 Pro Bowl: defensive end FRANK CLARK, return specialist MECOLE HARDMAN, wide receiver TYREEK HILL, defensive tackle CHRIS JONES, tight end TRAVIS KELCE and quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (14-3) at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (14-3) (Sunday, FOX, 6:40 PM ET)      

  • The Packers and 49ers meet in the postseason for the eighth time, with Green Bay holding the all-time postseason advantage, 4-3. San Francisco has won the past two meetings, including the most recent, a 23-20 Wild Card round victory in 2013 at Lambeau Field (January 5, 2014).
  • Green Bay holds a 36-31-1 all-time series advantage (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 12 (November 24), with the 49ers winning 37-8.
  • Green Bay has advanced to its 10th Conference Championship and its first since 2016.
  • Packers head coach MATT LAFLEUR is the first head coach to reach the Conference Championship in his first season since JIM HARBAUGH led San Francisco to the NFC Championship in 2011.
  • The Packers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-23, last week in the Divisional Playoffs. With the victory, Green Bay tied the Dallas Cowboys (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history. 
  • Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS threw two touchdown passes without an interception for a 113.7 passer rating in the Divisional round, marking his sixth consecutive postseason game with multiple touchdown passes. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers JOE MONTANA (seven games) and TERRY BRADSHAW (seven), as well as DREW BREES (seven) and JOE FLACCO (eight), have had more consecutive playoff games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history.
  • In 17 career postseason games, Rodgers has 38 touchdown passes – the fifth-most in NFL history – and a 100 passer rating. He is one of four quarterbacks to appear in at least 10 postseason games and maintain a passer rating of 100 or higher, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers BART STARR (104.8 rating in 10 games) and KURT WARNER (102.8 rating in 13 games), as well as MATT RYAN (100.8 rating in 10 games). 
  • Green Bay running back AARON JONES had two rushing touchdowns in the Divisional round and now has 21 touchdowns in 2019, the second-most in a single season in franchise history, including the postseason. 
  • Packers wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS recorded a team-high eight receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Seattle, his third-career postseason game with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. Adams has six touchdown receptions in seven career postseason appearances.
  • Linebackers ZA’DARIUS SMITH (13.5 sacks) and PRESTON SMITH (12) were the only pair of teammates in the NFL in 2019 and the first pair of Packers teammates since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to each record at least 12 sacks in a season. In the Divisional round against Seattle, both linebackers recorded two sacks in the victory. 
  • The Packers had two players selected to the 2020 Pro Bowl: tackle DAVID BAKHTIARI and quarterback AARON RODGERS.
  • San Francisco will appear in its 16th Conference Championship and its first since 2013.
  • With a victory, 49ers head coach KYLE SHANAHAN would join Pro Football Hall of Famer BILL WALSH (1981) and GEORGE SEIFERT (1989) as the only head coaches in franchise history to reach the Super Bowl in their first postseason appearance.
  • Last week, San Francisco quarterback JIMMY GAROPPOLO made his first-career postseason start as the 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional round, 27-10.
  • In a victory over Green Bay in Week 12, Garoppolo passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for a career-high 145.8 passer rating (min. 10 attempts).
  • Garoppolo finished the regular season with a career-high 102 passer rating (min. 100 attempts), joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JOE MONTANA and STEVE YOUNG as the only San Francisco quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher in a single season since 1950.
  • In the Divisional round, San Francisco out-gained Minnesota on the ground, 186 yards to 21. 49ers running back TEVIN COLEMAN led the team with 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns, marking his second consecutive postseason game with at least 90 scrimmage yards.
  • San Francisco tight end GEORGE KITTLE led all receivers with 129 receiving yards and a touchdown in the 49ers’ regular-season victory over the Packers in Week 12. The third-year tight end has recorded 2,945 career receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (2,774) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in his first three seasons in NFL history.
  • The 49ers tallied six sacks in the Divisional round, tied for the second-most in a single postseason game in franchise history.
  • 49ers rookie defensive lineman NICK BOSA recorded two sacks in his postseason debut last week. Bosa will be the sixth top-two draft selection to appear in a Championship Game during his rookie season in the common draft era and the first since REGGIE BUSH in 2006.
  • The 49ers had four players selected to the 2020 Pro Bowl: defensive lineman NICK BOSA, fullback KYLE JUSZCZYK, tight end GEORGE KITTLE and cornerback RICHARD SHERMAN.