What to look for - AFC Championship Games

I regularly get stuff from NFL.com.  Mostly, it's in the form of statistical breakdowns on upcoming matchups and such.  The other day, I received a really cool look at AFC Championships of the past.  There's the usual stuff - QB/RB/WR stats - but some of the stats were very interesting: rematches, for example, was one and rookie head coaches was another.

If history is correct, the Jets have a 78.5% chance of beating Indy, Jim Caldwell and Rex Ryan each stand a 50% chance of winning this Sunday's matchup, and Peyton Manning, with 378 post season completions, is close to cracking Brady's 395.

Lots of interesting stats to chew on.  More after the jump...

WHAT TO LOOK FOR - AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

RETURN ENGAGEMENT:  For the fourth consecutive season and 14th time since 1990 when the NFL went to the 12-team playoff format, teams that played at least once during the regular season will meet in the AFC Championship Game when the New York Jets face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.  If New York defeats Indianapolis, it will mark the 11th time in 14 opportunities that a team won the AFC Championship Game against a team it defeated in the regular season.

 

AFC Championship Games that were rematches of regular-season meetings since 1990:

SEASON

SEASON WINNER

SEASON LOSER

CHAMP. GAME RESULT

1990

Buffalo

L.A. Raiders

Buffalo, 51-3

1992

Buffalo/Miami *

Buffalo/Miami *

Buffalo, 29-10

1993

Kansas City

Buffalo

Buffalo, 30-13

1994

San Diego

Pittsburgh

San Diego, 17-13

1996

New England

Jacksonville

New England, 20-6

1997

Pittsburgh

Denver

Denver, 24-21

1999

Tennessee **

Jacksonville

Tennessee, 33-14

2002

Oakland 

Tennessee

Oakland, 41-24

2003

New England 

Indianapolis

New England, 24-14

2004

Pittsburgh

New England

New England, 41- 27

2006

Indianapolis

New England

Indianapolis, 38-34

2007

New England

San Diego

New England, 21-12

2008

Pittsburgh **

Baltimore 

Pittsburgh, 23-14             

2009

New York Jets

Indianapolis

???

* Met twice during season.  Teams split; ** Met twice during season.  Tennessee and Pittsburgh won both games.    

 

-- AFC --

 

ROOKIE HEAD COACHES:  For the first time in NFL history, a conference championship game will feature two rookie head coaches: New York's REX RYAN and Indianapolis' JIM CALDWELLThe winner of this week's matchup will become the fifth rookie head coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl.

The rookie head coaches to lead a team to the Super Bowl:

YEAR

HEAD COACH

TEAM

SUPER BOWL RESULT (OPPONENT)

1970

Don McCafferty

Baltimore Colts

Won SB V, 16-13 (Dallas)

1977

Red Miller

Denver Broncos

Lost SB XII, 27-10 (Dallas)

1989

George Seifert

San Francisco 49ers

Won SB XXIV 55-10 (Denver)

2002

Bill Callahan

Oakland Raiders

Lost SB XXXVII, 48-21 (Tampa Bay)

2009

Jim Caldwell/Rex Ryan

Indianapolis Colts/New York Jets

???

-- AFC --

 

PEY DAYIndianapolis Colts quarterback PEYTON MANNING currently ranks fifth in NFL postseason history in completions and passing yards.  Manning needs 18 completions to surpass DAN MARINO (385) and TOM BRADY (395) for third-most ever in the playoffs.  He needs 57 yards to overtake Marino (4,510) for fourth-most playoff passing  yards all-time.

 

The players with the most completions and passing yards in NFL postseason history:

 

PLAYER

COMP.

 

PLAYER

YARDS

Joe Montana

460

Joe Montana

5,772

Brett Favre

453*

Brett Favre

5,545*

Tom Brady

395

John Elway

4,964

Dan Marino

385

Dan Marino

4,510

Peyton Manning

378*

 

Peyton Manning

4,454*

*Active in 2009 playoffs

-- AFC --

 

YOUTH IS SERVED:  Last week, the Jets' MARK SANCHEZ became the second rookie quarterback in NFL history to win two playoff games, joining Baltimore's JOE FLACCO (2008).  With a win this Sunday, Sanchez would become the youngest quarterback to lead his team to the Super Bowl at 23 years and 88 days on Super Bowl Sunday.  Sanchez would also be the first rookie quarterback in history to start a Super Bowl.

 

Ages of the youngest quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl:

SEASON

QUARTERBACKS

TEAM

YEARS

DAYS

NFL EXP.

SB RESULT

1984

Dan Marino

Miami

23

127

 

2

L 38-16 vs. San Francisco (SB XIX)

2005

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh

23

340

 

2

W 21-10 vs. Seattle (SB XL)

1982

David Woodley

Miami

24

97

 

3

L 27-17 vs. Washington (SB XVII)

2001

Tom Brady

New England

24

184

 

2

W 20-17 vs. St. Louis (SB XXXVI)

1996

Drew Bledsoe

New England

24

347

 

4

L 35-21 vs. Green Bay (SB XXXI)

 

 

 

 

 

2009

Mark Sanchez*

NY Jets

23

88

R

???

* On Super Bowl Sunday, February 7

 

 

 

 

Sanchez, who will be 23 years, 74 days old when the Jets face the Colts this Sunday, will become the fourth-youngest quarterback to start a conference championship game.

 

The youngest quarterbacks to start a conference championship game:

SEASON

QUARTERBACK

TEAM

YEARS

DAYS

NFL EXP.

CHAMP. RESULT

1999

Shaun King

Tampa Bay

22

239

 

R

L 11-6 vs. St. Louis

2004

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh

22

327

 

R

L 41-27 vs. New England

1986

Bernie Kosar

Cleveland

23

47

 

2

L 23-20 (OT) vs. Denver

1984

Dan Marino

Miami

23

113

 

2

W 45-28 vs. Pittsburgh

2005

Ben Roethlisberger 

Pittsburgh  

23

326

 

2

W 34-17 vs. Denver

 

 

 

 

 

2009

Mark Sanchez*

New York Jets

23

74

 

R

???

* On Sunday, January 24

 

 

 

 

 

 

-- AFC --

 

GREENE MAN:  With 128 rushing yards against the San Diego Chargers last week, New York Jets running back SHONN GREENE became one of three rookies in NFL history with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his first two playoff games, joining DUANE THOMAS (1970) and ICKEY WOODS (1988).

If he continues his streak against Indianapolis, Greene can become the first player in NFL history with 100+ rush yards in each of his first three playoff games.  With 121 rushing yards, Greene can also set the NFL record for the most rushing yards by a player in his first three postseason contests.  FRED TAYLOR (383 yards) currently owns the record.

The players with the most rushing yards in their first three playoff games:

PLAYER

TEAM

YEARS

RUSH YARDS

Fred Taylor

Jacksonville

1998-99

383

Terrell Davis

Denver

1996-97

376

Eddie George

Tennessee

1999

354

Timmy Smith

Washington

1987

342

Freeman McNeil

New York Jets

1981-82

335

Shonn Greene

New York Jets

2009

263*

*Through 2 games

PLAYOFF SPARK FROM CLARK:  Indianapolis' Pro Bowl tight end DALLAS CLARK can become the NFL's all-time postseason leader among tight ends in receptions and receiving yards this Sunday.  Clark, who currently ranks fourth in both categories with 53 catches for 726 yards, needs 10 receptions and 109 yards against the Jets to set both records.

 

The tight ends with the most receptions and receiving yards in NFL postseason history:

 

PLAYER

REC.

 

PLAYER

YARDS

Jay Novacek

62

Keith Jackson

834

Shannon Sharpe

62

Shannon Sharpe

814

Brent Jones

60

Brent Jones

740

Dallas Clark

53

Dallas Clark

726

Keith Jackson

51

Jay Novacek

645

-- AFC --

 

WAYNE MANORColts wide receiver REGGIE WAYNE is currently tied for sixth all-time with nine postseason touchdown receptions.  If he catches his 10th playoff touchdown this Sunday against the Jets, Wayne will tie for third on the all-time list with Pro Football Hall of Famer FRED BILETNIKOFF, ANTONIO FREEMAN and RANDY MOSS.

The players with the most receiving touchdowns in NFL postseason history:

 

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

RECEIVING TDs

Jerry Rice

San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle

22

John Stallworth

Pittsburgh

12

Fred Biletnikoff

Oakland

10

Antonio Freeman

Green Bay, Philadelphia

10

Randy Moss

Minnesota, New England

10

 

Reggie Wayne

Indianapolis

9

 

Wayne also has an active streak of four consecutive postseason games with a touchdown catch.  He can extend that streak to five games this Sunday, which would tie for the third longest such streak in NFL playoff history.

The most consecutive postseason games with a touchdown reception in NFL history:

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

YEARS

CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF GAMES WITH TD CATCH

John Stallworth

Pittsburgh

1978-1983

8

David Givens

New England

2003-2005

7

James Lofton

Green Bay, Buffalo

1982-1990

5

Randy Moss

Minnesota

1998-2000

5

Antonio Freeman

Green Bay

1997-2001

5

Hines Ward

Pittsburgh

2002-2005

5

 

Reggie Wayne

Indianapolis

2006-2009

4*

*Active streak

 

 

 

 

-- AFC --

 

REVIS ISLANDAfter intercepting a pass in his playoff debut against Cincinnati in the Jets' Wild Card win, Pro Bowl cornerback DARRELLE REVIS secured another INT against San Diego.  With an interception against Indianapolis, Revis can become the sixth player in NFL history to intercept a pass in each of his first three postseason games.

The players with an interception in each of their first three postseason games:

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR(S)

CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH INT TO

START POSTSEASON CAREER

Aeneas Williams

St. Louis Rams

1998-2001

4

Ken Gorgal

Cleveland Browns

1950-1953

3

Warren Lahr

Cleveland Browns

1950-1951

3

Ed Reed

Baltimore Ravens

2003-2008

3

Jason Sehorn

New York Giants

1996-2000

3

Darrelle Revis

New York Jets

2009

2*

*Active streak

 

AFC TROPHY PRESENTATIONThe LAMAR HUNT TROPHY will be presented to the winner of the AFC Championship Game.

The late Hunt, founder of the Kansas City Chiefs and American Football League, helped professional football attain its stature as America's No. 1 sport.  In the 10-year history of the AFL, his team posted the most wins (87) and earned berths in two of the first four Super Bowls, including a victory in Super Bowl IV. 

In 1972, Hunt became the first person from the AFL to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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