Number of conference championship game appearances of NFL teams 2020

The Pittsburgh Steelers have played in the joint most conference championship games since the merger of the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL) in 1970. The Steelers have progressed to win the Super Bowl on six occasions, level with the New England Patriots for the most wins of all NFL teams.

The NFL’s conference call

The merger between the AFL and NFL before the 1970 season saw the formation of two new conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots compete in the AFC – the Patriots have reached the AFC championship game in every season since 2011. The San Francisco 49ers are the highest-ranked team from the NFC, having also played in 16 championship games – the last of which came in the 2019/20 season.

The birth of the Super Bowl

The AFL was a professional league that competed alongside the NFL for ten seasons between 1960 and 1969. The new league grew a dedicated following of fans, and as competition on the field intensified, the two rival leagues agreed to introduce an AFL-NFL championship game at the end of the 1966 season – this game would later be named the Super Bowl in 1968. Teams from the NFL won the first two editions of the fixture; however, teams from the AFL won the following two, highlighting the quality of the league and ultimately helping to unite the rival leagues ahead of the 1970 season.

Number of conference championship game appearances of NFL teams as of January 2020

Number of appearances
Pittsburgh Steelers16
San Francisco 49ers16
New England Patriots15
Dallas Cowboys14
L.A. / Oakland Raiders11
Denver Broncos10
L.A. / St. Louis Rams10
Minnesota Vikings9
Green Bay Packers8
Miami Dolphins7
Baltimore / Indianapolis Colts7
Philadelphia Eagles7
Washington Redskins6
New York Giants5
Chicago Bears5
Buffalo Bills5
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Sources

Release date

January 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

1970 to 2020

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