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The AFC Championship game is one of two final playoff matches in the NFL and one of the hottest tickets of the season. The outcome of the game determines the champion of the American Football Conference who will then advance to play the winner of the National Football Conference in the Super Bowl. The two conferences came about after the 1970 merger between the NFL and the AFL. The winner of the AFC Championship game receives the Lamar Hunt Trophy, which was named after the founder of the AFL.
The AFC was formed by the original ten former AFL teams and three of the original sixteen NFL teams to create one of two conferences with an equal number of teams when the merger came about around 1970. Today, there are 16 teams in each Conference of the NFL. Once the regular football season comes to a close, a round of playoff games begin with the top six teams of the AFC, which include the four division champions and two wild card teams. After two rounds, the remaining two teams face each other in the last round to determine that conference’s champion in the AFC Championship game. The site of the game is determined by seed ranking, so the host is the team with the highest seed ranking at that point.
The first AFC Championship game took place between the Baltimore Colts and the Oakland Raiders in 1970, with a score of 27-17 win for Baltimore. The Pittsburgh Steelers have had the most appearances in an AFC Championship game, totaling 15, and winning 8 of them between 1970 and 2013. The New England Patriots hold the second most AFC Championship wins during that period. Both the Baltimore Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers were originally part of the NFL before the merger. The Lamar Hunt Trophy has been awarded to the AFC Champion since 1984, and was redesigned in the 2010-2011 season by Tiffany & Co.
Don't wait another second and get your tickets for the 2016 AFC Championship Game ready to go! This is the biggest game of the year (so far) so expect fans to be filling into Gillette Stadium looking to make some noise. Expect a great end to the AFC's season and get your tickets to the Championship Game before its time for the Super Bowl!