With Sunday’s victory over the Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers managed to set yet another postseason record, while extending another. Their second victory of this postseason extended their now two-game lead over the Cowboys for the most postseason wins, with 36. That it sent them back to the Championship Round also broke a tie with the San Francisco 49ers for the most appearances in a Conference Championship in NFL history.
Sunday’s game will be the Steelers’ 16th appearance in the AFC Championship Game. Talking exclusively about the American Football Conference, the team had already held that edge—and it was far more comfortable of one before recent years.
Pittsburgh’s reaching of the AFC Championship Game following the 2010 season marked their 15th such appearance. By that point, the Raiders had the second-most with 11. But since 2010, the Patriots have gone to every single Championship from the AFC, and are now up to 13.
Looking more globally, however, the 49ers were able to tie the Steelers with 15 total appearances in a Conference Championship when they reached the Super Bowl during the 2013 season. They have gone to the NFC Championship Game a total of 15 times, although they have only managed to win six of them, losing nine.
As for the Steelers, of course, they have won the AFC Championship Game eight times, since they have obviously been to eight Super Bowls, winning six of those. Three of those AFC Championship Game victories have come courtesy of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is looking for his fourth win in this game in five tries.
The one loss that he has on his record in the AFC Championship Game previously came during his rookie season in 2004, and it was, of course, against the Patriots. That is the last time the Steelers have faced New England in the postseason, but they are just 1-3 all-time, falling to them during the 1996 and 2001 seasons as well.
Those appearances in the AFC Championship Game all, of course, game during a bit of a turbulent time in terms of the quarterback position for the Steelers. But the fact remains that Pittsburgh is 0-2 against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game heading into this one.
The Steelers were 8-7 all-time in this round, yet they are just 6-5 when they have had the opportunity to host the game. Only four previous games in this round have come on the road for them, and they split them, 2-2.
As for the Patriots, they have gone 8-4 in the AFC Championship game, and, with the Steelers, Cowboys, and Broncos, are the only four teams to have reached the Super Bowl eight times. Obviously, one of the two is going to establish another postseason record with their ninth appearance in the Super Bowl.