Chiefs

AFL/AFC championship history: Chiefs blazed trail, Patriots set modern standard

Chiefs would like to deliver AFC Championship Lamar Hunt Trophy to his family

Kansas City Chiefs teammates Patrick Mahomes, Justin Houston and head coach Andy Reid would like to deliver the AFC Championship Lamar Hunt Trophy to the Hunt family, following Sunday's January 20, 2019 game against the Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium.
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Kansas City Chiefs teammates Patrick Mahomes, Justin Houston and head coach Andy Reid would like to deliver the AFC Championship Lamar Hunt Trophy to the Hunt family, following Sunday's January 20, 2019 game against the Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium.

In their first decade, the Chiefs knew how to get to the league championship game, collecting three AFL titles. They’ve mostly been getting lost ever since.

Not so for the New England Patriots in the 21st century. They’ve been regulars in the conference championship game, appearing more times since 2000 than not in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era.

On Sunday, the Chiefs meet the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. At stake is a trip to the Super Bowl and the Lamar Hunt Trophy, named for the late Chiefs owner and founder of the AFL. The game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time.

As for all-time meetings, the Chiefs lead the regular-season series 18-13-1, with the Patriots winning this season 43-40 in Week 6 at Foxborough, Mass. Their only postseason meeting occurred in the 2015 Divisional round, with New England winning at home, 27-20.

Here are the teams’ AFL/AFC Championship Game histories:

Chiefs (3-1)

1962: Dallas Texans 20, Houston Oilers 17, 2OT, at Houston

Tommy Brooker’s 25-year field goal with 2:54 elapsed in the second overtime gave the Texans, coached by Hank Stram, the organization’s first championship. It’s the longest championship game in NFL/AFL history, and it also was the final game played under the name “Texans” by Lamar Hunt’s club, which moved to Kansas City the next season.

1966: Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7, at Buffalo

The winner of this game would represent the AFL in the first NFL-AFL Championship Game, which would become the Super Bowl. Len Dawson threw touchdown passes to Fred Arbanas and Otis Taylor, and running back Mike Garrett’s two rushing touchdowns led the rout.

1969: Chiefs 17, Oakland Raiders 7, at Oakland

The 10th and final AFL Championship Game was dominated by the Chiefs’ defense. The Raiders gained 207 total yards. Emmitt Thomas came up with a big third-quarter interception at the 5 to prevent a score, the first of his two picks. Jim Kearney added another interception in Chiefs territory. A week later, the Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

1993: Buffalo Bills 30, Chiefs 13, at Buffalo

Joe Montana led the Chiefs to two playoff victories, but the Chiefs lost their first AFC title game. An interception off a deflected pass just before halftime halted the Chiefs’ momentum; then, Montana was knocked out early in the third quarter with a concussion. Dave Krieg finished a touchdown drive to close the gap to seven, but the Bills scored the final 10 points.

Patriots (10-5)

1963: San Diego Chargers 51, Boston Patriots 10

1985: Patriots 31, Miami Dolphins 14

1996: Patriots 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 6

2001: Patriots 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

2003: Patriots 24, Indianapolis Colts 14

2004: Patriots 41, Pittsburgh Steelers 27

2006: Indianapolis Colts 38, Patriots 34

2007: Patriots 21, San Diego Chargers 12

2011: Patriots 23, Baltimore Ravens 20

2012: Baltimore Ravens 28, Patriots 13

2013: Denver Broncos 26, Patriots 16

2014: Patriots 45, Indianapolis Colts 7

2015: Denver Broncos 20, Patriots 18

2016: Patriots 36, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

2017: Patriots 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 20

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