I should preface this post right away by saying it relates only to NFL seasons after 1990, which is when the playoff field was expanded to six teams per conference. (All the relevant qualifiers would have made the headline way too long)
That said, under the current playoff format, Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers will mark the fifth meeting between conference rivals for the right to go to the Super Bowl.
“I think this matchup is exactly what everybody is looking for and it’s an exciting one with a lot of background,” said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. “I’m grateful that it’s coming from our division. I think our division really made a statement this year about how good we were and a lot of losses came within the division. So when you look at it, this is a fantastic matchup.”
Here is a look at all the conference championships between division rivals under the current playoff format:
|2013-14||No. 1 Seattle vs. No. San Francisco||TBD||NFC West|
|2010-11||No. 2 Chicago vs. No. 6 Green Bay||Packers 21-14||NFC North|
|2008-09||No. 2 Pittsburgh vs. No. 6 Baltimore||Steelers 23-14||AFC North|
|1999-00||No. 1 Jacksonville vs. No. 4 Tennessee||Titans 33-14||AFC Central|
|1992-93||No. 2 Miami vs. No. 4 Buffalo||Bills 29-10||AFC East|
There is a good chance you noticed the higher seed — in this case, Seattle — has gone 1-3 in those games (all at home, obviously).
It was only last week , though, when we were saying the No. 1 seeds had gone 2-5 against the No. 6 in the divisional round, dating to the 2005-06 season. That history, it seems, did nothing but provide something else the motivated Seahawks could set out to disprove.