NFL Conference Championship games predictions and previews

Tom Brady & Bucs vs Saints / Credit: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Site

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

Below are my NFL Conference Championship games predictions along with some great notes and stats directly from the National Football League Communications Department.

Our Sports Animal NFL programming for Conference Championship Games
(Sun) 10am – 12:30pm: The NFL Report with John Wilkerson and two rotating Sports Animal hosts


My Wildcard Weekend Prediction Record: 4-0 (100%)
My Season Record: 180-86 (68%)

The NFL Conference Championship schedule with my winners in bold:

Visitor Home Time (ET) Network
NFC Championship Tampa Bay Buccaneers Green Bay Packers 3:05 PM FOX, Fox Deportes
AFC Championship Buffalo Bills Kansas City Chiefs 6:40 PM CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes

 


 CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY HOLDS KEYS

TO OPEN DOOR TO SUPER BOWL LV​

The final four teams are set and this Sunday will determine the two clubs heading to Tampa Bay for Super Bowl LV.

Championship Sunday begins with the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax Live, when the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (13-5) travel to play the GREEN BAY PACKERS (14-3) for the George Halas Trophy at Lambeau Field (3:05 PM ET, FOX). The Buccaneers are appearing in their first Championship Game since the 2002 season, when they went on to win Super Bowl XXXVII, while the Packers are making their second consecutive appearance. The game features the quarterback with the most postseason wins in NFL history, Tampa Bay’s TOM BRADY (32), against the franchise with the most world championships, Green Bay (13).

In the AFC on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, CBS), the top two seeds in the conference, the BUFFALO BILLS (15-3) and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (15-2), face off at Arrowhead Stadium for the Lamar Hunt Trophy. Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN (24 years old) and Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES (25) could become just the second pair of opposing quarterbacks under the age of 26 to start a conference Championship Game, joining VINCE FERRAGAMO (25 years old) of the Los Angeles Rams and DOUG WILLIAMS (24) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1979 NFC title game. The Bills are playing in the AFC Championship for the first time since the 1993 season, when they defeated the Chiefs to advance to Super Bowl XXVIII. Kansas City, meanwhile, is only the second team in NFL history to host three consecutive Championship Games, joining the 2002-04 Philadelphia Eagles, who were also led by head coach ANDY REID.

WILD RIDE: For a second straight season, a Wild Card team has reached its conference Championship Game, as the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS follow in the footsteps of the 2019 Tennessee Titans. Tampa Bay is the first NFC Wild Card team to reach the Championship Game since the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, and the ninth overall Wild Card team to advance to that round since 2007. Two of those teams – the 2007 New York Giants and the 2010 Green Bay Packers – won the Super Bowl. Six teams overall, including the 1980 Oakland Raiders, 1997 Denver Broncos, 2000 Baltimore Ravens and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, have won the Super Bowl as Wild Card teams.

LEGENDS IN THEIR OWN LIFETIMES: Quarterbacks TOM BRADY and AARON RODGERS are meeting head-to-head for the fourth time but Sunday marks their first meeting in the postseason. Brady has won two of the previous three games, 31-17 at Gillette Stadium in 2018 with New England, and 38-10 in Week 6 earlier this season at Raymond James Stadium. Rodgers won their first meeting, a 26-21 triumph over New England at Lambeau Field in 2014.

Brady and Rodgers rank first and fourth, respectively, among the NFL’s career postseason leaders in touchdown passes.

The players with the most career touchdown passes in the postseason in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) TD PASSES
Tom Brady New England, Tampa Bay 77
Joe MontanaHOF San Francisco, Kansas City 45
Brett FavreHOF Green Bay, Minnesota 44
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay 42
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 40

HOPE FOR TEAMS THAT MISS PLAYOFFS: The TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS advanced to their conference Championship Game the year after missing the playoffs. Last season, three teams earned berths in the Championship Game after failing to qualify for the playoffs: Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee. Three teams did it in 2017 (Jacksonville, Minnesota and Philadelphia) while eight overall teams since the 2016 playoffs have advanced to their conference Championship Games the year after missing the postseason. Three of the last eight teams that played in the Super Bowl – the 2019 San Francisco 49ers, 2017 Philadelphia Eagles and 2016 Atlanta Falcons – reached that pinnacle after missing the playoffs the prior season.

WEEK 6 REMATCHES: Each Championship Game contest is a rematch of a 2020 regular-season game, and both contests took place in Week 6. Tampa Bay defeated Green Bay, 38-10, on Oct. 18 at Raymond James Stadium, and Kansas City traveled to Buffalo to earn a 26-17 victory on Oct. 19.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (13-5) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (14-3) (Sunday, FOX/FOX Deportes, 3:05 PM ET)      

  • The Buccaneers and Packers, division rivals in the NFC Central from 1977-2001, meet in the postseason for the second time. Green Bay won the only prior postseason meeting, 21-7, in the 1997 Divisional playoffs en route to a berth in Super Bowl XXXII.
  • Green Bay holds a 33-22-1 all-time series advantage (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 6 (Oct. 18), with the Buccaneers winning in Tampa Bay, 38-10.
  • Tampa Bay will appear in its fourth NFC Championship Game and its first since the 2002 season, when the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII.
  • Buccaneers head coach BRUCE ARIANS, in his second season at the Tampa Bay helm, guided his team to its first franchise playoff berth in 13 years and its first postseason victories since that 2002 Super Bowl season. Arians also led the Arizona Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game in 2015 and is the 12th head coach since the league merger in 1970 to take multiple franchises to a conference Championship Game.
  • This week, Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY is expected to make his 14th start in a conference Championship Game. Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA ranks second with seven. Brady is 9-4 in those games.
  • In Tampa Bay’s 30-20 Divisional victory at New Orleans, Brady threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, becoming the oldest player in NFL history (43 years, 167 days) to score a postseason touchdown, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (40 years, 105 days) in Super Bowl XXXVII.
  • Brady has the most postseason games played (43), wins (32), passing yards (11,968) and passing touchdowns (77) of any player in NFL history.
  • Buccaneers wide receiver MIKE EVANS, who caught a touchdown pass in the team’s Divisional playoff win last week, had 1,006 receiving yards in 2020 to become the first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons.
  • Tampa Bay cornerback SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING, whose second-quarter interception and 36-yard return set up a go-ahead touchdown in the team’s Divisional playoff win, now has interceptions in each of the Buccaneers’ two playoff wins this season. The last player with interceptions in three consecutive playoff games in the same postseason was the Giants’ R.W. MCQUARTERS (three consecutive games) during the 2007 playoffs.
  • In the Buccaneers’ Divisional playoff win, linebacker DEVIN WHITE had 11 tackles, a 28-yard interception return and an 18-yard fumble return in his first NFL playoff game. White was the team’s first-round selection (fifth overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft.
  • The Buccaneers had one player selected to the 2021 Pro Bowl roster: Linebacker JASON PIERRE-PAUL.
  • Green Bay has advanced to a second straight Championship Game for the first time since the 1996-97 seasons. Since the league merger in 1970, the Packers are hosting their third Championship. Lambeau Field also hosted the 1996 and 2007 NFC Championship Games. Overall, Green Bay has played in the NFC Championship on 10 prior occasions.
  • Packers head coach MATT LAFLEUR is the sixth individual since the league merger in 1970 to reach the conference Championship Game in each of his first two seasons as an NFL head coach, joining DON MCCAFFERTY (Baltimore Colts, 1970-71), GEORGE SEIFERT (San Francisco, 1989-90), BARRY SWITZER (Dallas, 1994-95), REX RYAN (New York Jets, 2009-10) and JIM HARBAUGH (San Francisco, 2011-12).
  • The Packers defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 32-18, last week in the Divisional playoffs. With the victory, Green Bay registered the 36th postseason victory in franchise annals, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers (36) for the second-most postseason wins in history. With a win this week, Green Bay will tie the NFL record held by the New England Patriots (37).
  • Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 108.1 passer rating in the Divisional round, marking his eighth consecutive postseason game with multiple touchdown passes, tying the NFL record held by JOE FLACCO (eight games from 2011-14).
  • Rodgers (12 career postseason games) is one of four players in history with at least 10 postseason games of 250-or-more passing yards and two-or-more touchdown passes. The others are TOM BRADY (17), Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA (12) and DREW BREES (10).
  • Rodgers is expected to make his fifth career start in a Championship Game, but his first at home.
  • Rodgers led the NFL with a career-high 48 touchdown passes this season, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (48 touchdown passes in 1984) for the fifth-most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history. The Packers’ quarterback also led the NFL with a 121.5 passer rating, the second-highest single-season mark by a quarterback in NFL history, trailing only his 122.5 rating in 2011.
  • Rodgers enters Sunday’s game having thrown a touchdown pass in 15 consecutive postseason games, the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (20 games from 1995-2009), TOM BRADY (18 from 2001-11) and DREW BREES (18 from 2004-20) have longer streaks.
  • Green Bay running back AARON JONES, who had 113 scrimmage yards (99 rushing, 14 receiving) and rushed for a touchdown in the Divisional win over the Rams, has five career postseason touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) in three career playoff games and aims for his fourth straight postseason game with a touchdown.
  • Packers wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS had nine receptions for 66 yards and touchdown in Green Bay’s Divisional playoff win. Adams led the NFL this season with 18 touchdown receptions, tied for the third-most touchdowns by a wide receiver in a single-season in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers RANDY MOSS (23 touchdowns in 2007) and JERRY RICE (23 touchdowns in 1987) had more.
  • The Packers had seven players selected to the 2021 Pro Bowl roster: Wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS, cornerback JAIRE ALEXANDER, tackle DAVID BAKHTIARI, guard ELGTON JENKINS, running back AARON JONES, quarterback AARON RODGERS and linebacker ZA’DARIUS SMITH.

 BUFFALO BILLS (15-3) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (15-2) (Sunday, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes, 6:40 PM ET)      

  • The Bills and Chiefs meet in the postseason for the fourth time, and first time in Kansas City, with Buffalo winning two of the three previous matchups. Buffalo last appeared in the AFC Championship in the 1993 season, when the Bills defeated Kansas City, 30-13, to earn a berth in Super Bowl XXVIII. Two years earlier, Buffalo beat the Chiefs, 37-14, in the 1991 AFC Divisional round, en route to Super Bowl XXVI. Kansas City won the first postseason matchup in the series, 31-7, in the 1966 American Football League title game to earn a berth in the first AFL-NFL World Championship (later renamed the Super Bowl).
  • Sunday marks the 50th all-time meeting, including the postseason, between the clubs. Buffalo holds a 26-22-1 advantage in the series. The teams last played in Week 6 (Oct. 19), with the Chiefs winning, 26-17, at Bills Stadium.
  • The Bills will play in the franchise’s ninth AFL/AFC Championship Game. Buffalo is 6-2 in those games, having won four straight (1990-93).
  • SEAN MCDERMOTT, who has led the Bills to the playoffs in three of his four seasons as head coach, worked 12 years (1999-2010) with ANDY REID on the Eagles’ staff. In total, McDermott has coached in five conference Championships and two Super Bowls. He will be making his first Championship Game appearance as a head coach.
  • Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN completed 23 of 37 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions for an 86.1 rating in Buffalo’s 17-3 Divisional playoff win over Baltimore. One week earlier, in the Bills’ Wild Card victory over the Colts, Allen became the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards with a completion percentage of 70 or higher and rush for 50-or-more yards in a postseason game.
  • Allen during the regular season had 4,544 passing yards with 37 touchdown passes and eight rushing touchdowns, becoming the first player with at least 4,500 passing yards, 35 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in a single season in NFL history.
  • Buffalo wide receiver STEFON DIGGS had eight receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown in the Bills’ Divisional playoff win. Diggs has at least six catches in 15 consecutive games, including the postseason, tied with WES WELKER, ANTONIO BROWN and Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON for the longest such streak in NFL history.
  • Bills cornerback TARON JOHNSON in the Divisional playoff victory returned an interception 101 yards for a touchdown, tied with Green Bay’s GEORGE TEAGUE (1993) for the longest interception return in NFL postseason history.
  • The Bills had five players selected to the 2021 Pro Bowl roster: Quarterback JOSH ALLEN, wide receiver STEFON DIGGS, linebacker TREMAINE EDMUNDS, kick-returner/punt-returner ANDRE ROBERTS and cornerback TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE.
  • Kansas City will play in the team’s seventh AFL/AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs are the first team to host three consecutive Championship Games since the 2002-04 Philadelphia Eagles.
  • ANDY REID, who also served as head coach of those Eagles teams, makes his eighth conference Championship appearance as a head coach, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers CHUCK NOLL (seven) and DON SHULA (seven) for the third-most by a head coach since 1970. Only BILL BELICHICK (13) and Pro Football Hall of Famer TOM LANDRY (10) have more.
  • In the Divisional victory over the Browns, Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES completed 21 of 30 attempts for 255 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 106.9 rating, and rushed for a touchdown. Mahomes has recorded at least one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown in three consecutive postseason games, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE YOUNG (three straight games) for the longest such streak in NFL history.
  • Mahomes ranks as the NFL’s career leader among qualified players in both regular-season passer rating (108.7) and postseason passer rating (106.6), with a minimum of 150 attempts.
  • With a start on Sunday, Mahomes can become the 12th quarterback since the league merger in 1970 to start three consecutive conference Championship Games and the first to accomplish the feat prior to his 26th birthday.
  • Last week, wide receiver TYREEK HILL had eight receptions for 110 yards and tight end TRAVIS KELCE had eight catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. The only other time in franchise history that two players reached 100 receiving yards in a postseason game was Dec. 25, 1971, when ED PODOLAK and ELMO WRIGHT did it in a Divisional playoff loss against Miami.
  • Hill ranked second in the NFL this season with 15 receiving touchdowns.
  • Kelce finished second among all players with 1,416 receiving yards this season, the most single-season receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history. Kelce, who had 103 receptions in 2018, also had 105 receptions this season to become the first tight end in NFL history with at least 100 receptions in multiple seasons.
  • The Chiefs tied for the league lead with seven players selected to the 2021 Pro Bowl roster: Defensive end FRANK CLARK, tackle ERIC FISHER, wide receiver TYREEK HILL, defensive tackle CHRIS JONES, tight end TRAVIS KELCE, quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES and safety TYRANN MATHIEU.

A FANTASTIC FINAL FOUR: On Championship Sunday, the Super Bowl LV participants will be determined. In the NFC (3:05 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (13-5) take on the GREEN BAY PACKERS (14-3) while the BUFFALO BILLS (15-3) travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (15-2) in the AFC (6:40 PM ET, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes).

Each of the remaining teams has won at least 13 regular-season and postseason games combined this season, marking the first time since 2015 that all four teams in the Conference Championship games each have at least 13 combined regular-season and postseason wins.

Additionally, each of the four teams in action this weekend averaged at least 29 points per game in the regular season, marking the first time in the Super Bowl era that all four teams in the Conference Championship games averaged at least 29 points per game. Green Bay (31.8 points per game), Buffalo (31.3) and Tampa Bay (30.8) were the three highest scoring teams in the league this season.

With victories by the Packers and Bills on Sunday, the Super Bowl would feature the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season for the fifth time since 1970 and the first time since 1997.

The Super Bowls featuring the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season since 1970:

SEASON NO. 1 OFFENSE NO. 2 OFFENSE SUPER BOWL
1997 Denver Broncos Green Bay Packers XXXII
1996 Green Bay Packers New England Patriots XXXI
1991 Washington Redskins Buffalo Bills XXVI
1984 Miami Dolphins San Francisco 49ers XIX

 

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

TOP PASSERS REMAIN: Each of the four starting quarterbacks remaining in the 2020 postseason recorded at least 35 touchdown passes this season – Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS (48 touchdown passes), Tampa Bay’s TOM BRADY (40), Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES (38) and Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN (37). ​

This is the first time since 1970 that each of the four starting quarterbacks in the Conference Championship games recorded at least 35 touchdown passes in the regular season.

No matter the outcome of this Sunday’s games, Super Bowl LV will have the most or second-most combined regular season touchdown passes between the two starting quarterbacks ever.

The Super Bowls with the most combined regular season touchdown passes between the two starting quarterbacks:

SEASON QUARTERBACKS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES) TOTAL TOUCHDOWN PASSES SUPER BOWL
2013 Peyton Manning (55) & Russell Wilson (26) 81 XLVIII
1984 Dan MarinoHOF (48) & Joe MontanaHOF (28) 76 XIX
2007 Tom Brady (50) & Eli Manning (23) 73 XLII

 

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

BRING IT HOME: Last week, the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS defeated New Orleans, 30-20, to advance to their fourth NFC Championship Game in franchise history.​

With a win at Green Bay on Sunday (3:05 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), the Buccaneers will become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the team’s home stadium and the fifth team to play in a Super Bowl that was hosted in their home state.

The Super Bowls with a team playing in its home state:

SUPER BOWL  SITE DATE WINNING TEAM LOSING TEAM
XXXVII  San Diego, CA January 26, 2003 Tampa Bay Oakland Raiders
XIX  Stanford, CA January 20, 1985 San Francisco Miami
XIV  Pasadena, CA January 20, 1980 Pittsburgh Los Angeles Rams
XI  Pasadena, CA January 9, 1977 Oakland Raiders Minnesota

Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY enters Championship Sunday as the NFL’s all-time postseason leader in starts (43), wins (32), passing yards (11,968) and touchdown passes (77). He is expected to make his 14th career start in a Conference Championship game, and first with Tampa Bay.

If the Buccaneers advance to Super Bowl LV, Brady will become the fourth quarterback to start a Super Bowl for multiple teams, joining PEYTON MANNING (Denver and Indianapolis), CRAIG MORTON (Dallas and Denver) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (Arizona and St. Louis Rams).

The quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl for multiple teams in NFL history:

PLAYER FIRST TEAM (SUPER BOWLS) SECOND TEAM (SUPER BOWLS)
Peyton Manning Indianapolis (XLI, XLIV) Denver (XLVIII, 50)
Craig Morton Dallas (V) Denver (XII)
Kurt WarnerHOF St. Louis Rams (XXXIV, XXXVI) Arizona (XLIII)

Tampa Bay cornerback SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING has an interception in each of the Buccaneers’ two postseason games this season. With an interception on Sunday, Murphy-Bunting with become the fourth player to record an interception in each of his first three career postseason games in the Super Bowl era, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers AENEAS WILLIAMS (first four postseason games) and ED REED (three), as well as JASON SEHORN (three).

The players to record an interception in the most consecutive games to begin their postseason career in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER TEAM(S) GAMES (DATES)
Aeneas WilliamsHOF Arizona, St. Louis Rams 4 (Jan. 2, 1998 – Jan. 27, 2002)
Ed ReedHOF Baltimore 3 (Jan. 3, 2004 – Jan. 4, 2009)
Jason Sehorn New York Giants 3 (Dec. 27, 1997 – Jan. 14, 2001)
Sean Murphy-Bunting Tampa Bay 2* (Jan. 9, 2021 – Jan. 17, 2021)
*active streak

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

HUNTING MORE TITLES IN TITLETOWN: The GREEN BAY PACKERS advanced to their second consecutive Conference Championship with a 32-18 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Playoffs. With the win, Green Bay tied the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (36 wins) for the second-most postseason victories in NFL history. ​

With a win against the Buccaneers on Sunday (3:05 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), the Packers would tie the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (37 wins) for the most postseason victories in NFL history.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM WINS SUPER BOWL WINS
New England 37 6
Green Bay 36 4
Pittsburgh 36 6
Dallas 35 5
San Francisco 32 5


Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS led the NFL with a career-high 48 touchdown passes this season. If the Packers advance to Super Bowl LV, Rodgers will be the sixth quarterback since 2000 and first since PEYTON MANNING in 2013 to reach the Super Bowl in the same season that he led the league in touchdown passes.

The quarterbacks to lead the league in touchdown passes and reach the Super Bowl in the same season since 2000:

SEASON PLAYER TEAM TOUCHDOWN PASSES SUPER BOWL
2013 Peyton Manning Denver 55 XLVIII
2009 Drew Brees New Orleans 34 XLIV
2007 Tom Brady New England 50 XLII
2006 Peyton Manning Indianapolis 31 XLI
2001 Kurt WarnerHOF St. Louis Rams 36 XXXVI

Last week, Rodgers passed for 296 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions and a 108.1 rating, his eighth consecutive postseason game with at least two touchdown passes, tied with JOE FLACCO (eight consecutive games) for the most consecutive postseason games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday, Rodgers will become the first player in league annals to record at least two touchdown passes in nine consecutive postseason games.

The players with the most consecutive postseason games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM GAMES (DATES)
Joe Flacco Baltimore 8 (Jan. 15, 2012 – Jan. 10, 2015)
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay 8* (Jan. 10, 2016 – Jan. 17, 2021)
*active streak

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

RUN IT BACK: The reigning Super Bowl champion KANSAS CITY CHIEFS are hosting their third consecutive AFC Championship Game, joining the 2002-04 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – who were also led by head coach ANDY REID – as the only teams in NFL history to host three consecutive Championship games. The Chiefs also look to become the first team since the 2003-04 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

Last year, quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES became the youngest quarterback to win Super Bowl MVP. If Kansas City defeats Buffalo on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes), Mahomes is expected to become the youngest quarterback in NFL history (25 years and 143 days old on date of Super Bowl LV) to start two Super Bowls, surpassing RUSSELL WILSON, who was 26 years and 64 days old at the time of his second Super Bowl start (SB XLIX).

Last week, Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE recorded eight receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown, his fourth career postseason game with at least 100 receiving yards, tied for the most by a tight end in NFL history.

In 10 career postseason games, Kelce has totaled 60 catches for 741 yards and seven touchdowns, all among the most by a tight end in postseason history. Tampa Bay tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI is the leader in all three categories.

The tight ends with the most career receptions in NFL postseason history:​

PLAYER TEAM(S) RECEPTIONS
Rob Gronkowski New England, Tampa Bay 82*
Dallas Clark Indianapolis 64
Jay Novacek Dallas 62
Shannon SharpeHOF Denver, Baltimore 62
Brent Jones San Francisco 60
Travis Kelce Kansas City 60*
*active

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

PLAYER TEAM(S) RECEIVING YARDS
Rob Gronkowski* New England, Tampa Bay 1,177*
Dallas Clark Indianapolis 847
Keith Jackson Philadelphia, Miami, Green Bay 834
Shannon SharpeHOF Denver, Baltimore 814
Travis Kelce* Kansas City 741*
*active

The tight ends with the most career receiving touchdowns in NFL postseason history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS
Rob Gronkowski* New England, Tampa Bay 12*
Dave CasperHOF Houston Oilers, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders 7
Vernon Davis San Francisco, Denver 7
Travis Kelce* Kansas City 7*
*active

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

SUPER STEFON: Last week, the BUFFALO BILLS defeated Baltimore, 17-3, to advance to their first AFC Championship Game since the 1993 season.

Wide receiver STEFON DIGGS recorded a team-high 106 receiving yards with a touchdown catch in the victory, after leading the league with a career-high 1,535 receiving yards in the 2020 regular season.

If Buffalo defeats Kansas City on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes), Diggs will become the third player to reach the Super Bowl in the same season that he led the league in receiving yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (1989 and 1994) and DREW PEARSON (1977).

The players to lead the league in receiving yards and reach the Super Bowl in the same season in NFL history:​

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEIVING YARDS SUPER BOWL
Jerry RiceHOF San Francisco 1994 1,499 XXIX
Jerry RiceHOF San Francisco 1989 1,423 XXIV
Drew Pearson Dallas 1977 870 XII

 

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

RUNNING THROUGH THE NFC: Last week, Green Bay running back AARON JONES rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown, his third consecutive postseason game with a rushing touchdown.

With a rushing touchdown in the NFC Championship Game, Jones will become the fourth player in NFL history to record a rushing touchdown in each of his first four postseason games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers TERRELL DAVIS (first seven postseason games) and CURTIS MARTIN (first five games), as well as ARIAN FOSTER (first four games).

The players to record a rushing touchdown in the most consecutive games to begin their postseason career in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) GAMES (DATES)
Terrell DavisHOF Denver 7 (Jan. 4, 1997 – Jan. 17, 1999)
Curtis MartinHOF New England, New York Jets 5 (Jan. 5, 1997 – Jan. 17, 1999)
Arian Foster Houston 4 (Jan. 7, 2012 – Jan. 13, 2013)
Aaron Jones Green Bay 3* (Jan. 12, 2020 – Jan. 16, 2021)
*Active streak

Tampa Bay running back LEONARD FOURNETTE recorded 107 scrimmage yards (63 rushing, 44 receiving) and a receiving touchdown in the Divisional Playoffs, his fourth consecutive postseason game with at least 75 scrimmage yards and a touchdown.

In the NFC Championship game, Fournette can become the fifth running back with at least 75 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in five consecutive postseason games in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers TERRELL DAVIS (seven games), MARCUS ALLEN (five), FRANCO HARRIS (five) and JOHN RIGGINS (five).

The running backs with the most consecutive postseason games with at least 75 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) GAMES (DATES)
Terrell DavisHOF Denver 7 (Jan. 4, 1997 – Jan. 17, 1999)
Marcus AllenHOF Los Angeles Raiders 5 (Jan. 1, 1984 – Jan. 5, 1986)
Franco HarrisHOF Pittsburgh 5 (Dec. 22, 1974 – Jan. 4, 1976)
John RigginsHOF Washington 5 (Jan. 15, 1983 – Jan. 8, 1984)
Leonard Fournette Jacksonville, Tampa Bay 4* (Jan. 14, 2018 – Jan. 17, 2021)
*Active streak    ​​

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